Out Of My Comfort Zone #2

The second post in my Out of My Comfort Zone series! If you missed it, part one was about comics.

And this time I tried an audiobook.

Why I Usually Don’t Listen To Audiobooks

The first reason is accessibility. Audiobooks cost more than ebooks and, unlike physical books, I can’t find them in the bookstore if translated.

They don’t get translated at all, and while I am bilingual, English isn’t my first language, and listening to something in a language different from yours is more difficult than reading.

I tried audiobooks only once before, with Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, but I DNFed it.

What I Listened To

I chose Sadie by Courtney Summers, not because I thought I would like it – I didn’t, not really, but that’s not what I was expecting anyway – but because it’s an audiobook I knew was going to have great narrators.


My thoughts on the book: as I expected, I didn’t enjoy this book, but you’re not really supposed to. This kind of dark realistic novels is really not for me – reading about tragic events that could be real means complete emotional detachment on my part (the other option, I feel, is Anxiety Time and my brain is trying to protect me. At least, that’s what I think it’s happening). But it was a story compelling enough that I didn’t DNF it, so it was perfect to understand whether or not I like audiobooks.

Anyway: I really appreciated the casual diversity (poor bi/pan main character with a stutter, the other main character is a man married to a man) and this book’s messages. Sadie talks about many important topics like the way predators often hide in plain sight and the way society fails vulnerable people like children and those who are poor or ill. I liked that while it made its point about young women’s pain being considered both normal and entertainment, in this book Sadie always had agency.

I didn’t feel strongly about anything in here – but I often didn’t like how this book talked about addiction (I talked more about that in my goodreads review) even if it made sense for the story.

My rating: ★★★½

Will I Listen To Another Audiobook?

I don’t want to say never, but… it’s not “yes” either. For many reasons, but not the ones I thought. (Well, the cost is still a reason*).

Surprisingly, I had no problem understanding what the characters were saying. I had to look up the spelling of everyone’s name when I wrote the review, but that was the only thing I didn’t get.

However, I have a very uneven reading pace. I don’t know if it’s that way for everyone, but I don’t read all the scenes at the same pace – I often reread descriptions multiple times to understand how things actually look or feel like, I read dialogue very quickly, and I often skip ahead a few pages and then go back. I stop all the time, go back, skip ahead, repeat, and it’s… annoying when you do it so many times with an audiobook**.

While I understood what the audiobook was saying, I struggled to visualize what was happening. I never liked having someone tell me stories, so I probably should have seen this coming.

Also! My hands really wanted to do something while I was sitting there (me, staying still? Ha!), but I can’t multitask at all (me, paying attention to multiple things? Ha!), so… it was a weird combination of struggling to pay attention to the audiobook (which took effort) and feeling like I was wasting my time because my brain didn’t register the audiobook as something I was doing – so I was bored and tired at the same time.

*(I don’t have a library. I know about audible and scribd but it’s still money for something I could end up not using? I prefer spending once for a thing I want that paying for something that I could end up not using every month.)

**Edit: if you’re wondering why I do it, it’s the anxiety. Not being able to do that easily really impacts my enjoyment of what I’m reading. (Anxiety is not fun and reading is supposed to be fun)

I don’t think this is the format for me. Is it the format for you?

12 thoughts on “Out Of My Comfort Zone #2

  1. I find it so interesting that we both dislike being told stories and have uneven reading pace, and yet you dislike audioboks and I love them! My biggest problem with being told stories is that the pace is usually too slow for me, so my mind wanders. I usually listen to audiobooks at x2 and that keeps me focused. I almost never sit down and just listen to an audiobook though. If I wasn’t doing something else I’d probably get bored and restless pretty fast too. I don’t have any problem visualizing things when listening to audiobooks, but memorizing names is so hard! Especially those stereotypical YA fantasy names I can’t even force myself read properly in a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never tried listening to a new fantasy book, but it probably wouldn’t end well for the names. [Here, I was convinced a certain character was named Maddie and then I discovered she was Mattie all along. It would be much worse in fantasy…]

      I tried doing something else while listening, but even picking a few coins that had fallen on the floor was too much for my brain. (Brains are weird.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post series because I love hearing how everyone deals differently with different formats! Honestly I get why they’re not for you, they probably wouldn’t have been for me either a few years ago. Now I was kind of forced into it because living alone I need to spend a lot of time doing chores and at least with audiobooks I feel like I’m using my time better by multitasking.
    Well, you already know my other thoughts on audiobooks! If you try again in the future I would love to hear how it goes this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …I can’t multitask at all. I tried with Sadie, but I decided that it was better if I did only one thing at once. I think I can’t concentrate on someone talking to me while I’m doing something unless I’m talking to them? Or maybe that would change if I tried doing that more, but I wouldn’t count on that. Brains are weird.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I listen audiobooks all the time but I can multitask while listening them.
    It’s very interesting to learn about the way you read. I often skip to the dialog and then return to the other bits, but I have no problem listening. However, sometimes my mind does wander and I need to listen again.
    Sometimes I also don’t remember an audiobook as clearly as books I read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it really interesting to hear about this kind of thing too – I didn’t think much about it before, but we all read in very different ways.
      I think I struggle with remembering what I listened too – it might be a coincidence because I have tried only an audiobook so far, but I have already forgotten most of what that happened in Sadie.

      Liked by 1 person

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