Free audio books! Now that’s music (or, um, words) to my audio book listening ears.
I’ll confess as a lover of real, hold them in your hand books I was a bit slow coming around to audio books. Then I put one in my phone and fell in love with the way I can listen to them as I travel or even just as I go for long walks.
With the right person reading them, they can be great. Extra points for when it’s the person who wrote it. Extra extra points for when the person who’s reading it and wrote it is so good you don’t realize they sound like more than one person.
Case in point: Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography is funny, touching, witty, and even has magic tricks. Really. I wished I had a pack of cards when I was listening on a plane but then there was a trick I could do that only required my own two hands. I looked a little foolish as I followed along putting various fingers in the air as I counted but it worked like, you guessed it, magic.
There are also parts where someone reads letters from his friends that made me laugh out loud on planes and in other public places.
I could tell when it was NPH reading, and I could tell when his charming husband David Burtka was joining him to share his points of view on a few matters, but I couldn’t tell who this other, letter reading voice was.
So before I wrote this post I got in touch with the publisher and asked. And they told me it was NPH. Prompting me to go back again, and write ‘No, I mean the older actor who reads the letters’. Prompting them to write back and confirm it was just him, saying “He is just that talented!”
Another personal favourite of mine is Kristin Chenoweth reading her autobiography A Little Bit Wicked (with a special guest appearance from Aaron Sorkin when he jumps on the mic). I loved that one so much that for the longest time I stopped listening to it just before the end because that way it wouldn’t be over (I eventually listened to the last little bit, telling myself I could just start from the beginning again).
And when I wanted to know what was in Bill Clinton’s autobiography I let him read it to me as I went for afternoon walks around my local park.
So as you can tell I’m a fan of an audio book, which is why when I realized Amazon has a deal where people get a free audio book just for signing up for a free trial on Audible I wanted to share that news.
When I heard you got to keep the audio book even if you didn’t keep going with the service (so in other words, even if you didn’t spend a cent with them) I wasn’t sure that would work. So I did a trial. I joined, got my audio book, then cancelled and yes, that book is still in my phone.
But those canny Audible folks have now got me hooked. As I was browsing I kept seeing more and more audio books that I wanted to listen to.
And in their clever ways, by showing me the old ‘people who bought this also bought’ selection I see a whole row of OTHER audio books I want to listen to. Stop it, you temptress, how will I ever get my work done if I spend all day listening to people entertaining me?!
I’ve just been having a play in there and some stand outs for me in the written by and read by category include…
Oh man, I could go on forever and that’s even before I start mentioning books I know and love being read by actors, such as Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter, Anne Hathaway doing The Wizard of Oz and the full Radio 4 BBC Cast doing the Complete Chronicles of Narnia.
But as there are more than 200,000 titles I’ll stop myself now and will just go and try to decide which one to put in my phone first.
One trick to know is that some Audible offerings are different in different countries, but even though I was in Australia I was able to join the UK one which had more choices and things that I liked the sound of.
When it came time to use the App at first I was in a little muddle and had signed into the Australian one, but then all I had to do was sign out of my account, go back into the Welcome to Audible screen and tap “Marketplace” Then choose the region audible.co.uk, then tap on “I’m already using Audible” and sign in with my Audible account details.
Easy! And away I went.
So do tell me, are you a fan of audio books too? And if so what’s your favourite one? I’ll add it to my listening wish list.
Oh, and time for a little disclaimer… as I’m an Amazon associate if you do end up going with them I’ll get a little something to help keep the blogging fires burning. But it doesn’t cost you anything extra, and a free book is always a very good price I say.