Audio Book Advice from a Pro

by Apr 26, 2012Books, Tech0 comments

I asked a good friend of mine who does quite a bit of commuting and who knows books what he thinks about audio book sites like Christian Audio and Amazon’s Audible. I asked him if I could turn his excellent answer into a blog post:

I have pretty limited exposure to Christian Audio. I download their free mp3s but I find the website difficult to search. I am not sure how the mp3 format works out for long books—I downloaded Bonhoeffer but it is 33 mp3s and my player tends to shuffle the track order. Also despite the $4.95 per credit books often require multiple credits.

I LOVE Audible. I joined last May and I later upgraded to Platinum Monthly which gives me two credits per month for $22.95. I have listened to…

  • 1776
  • The Glorious Cause
  • Battle Cry of Freedom
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine
  • Six Days of War
  • C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy
  • God in the Dock
  • Mere Christianity
  • Orthodoxy
  • The Man Who was Thursday
  • The Professor and the Madman
  • Destiny of the Republic
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Krakatoa
  • The American Civil War
  • The Big Three in Economics
  • To End All Wars
  • The Pilgrim’s Regress
  • The Weight of Glory
  • Til We Have faces
  • Knowing God
  • Revolutionaries
  • Augustus
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Moby Dick
  • Treasure Island
  • and more.

I will try to list the pros and cons from my viewpoint:

Pros:

  1. I have very little time to read and lots of time in the car, 10–12 hours per week.
  2. I am a slow reader.
  3. I have very broad interests—theology, history, economics, science, classics, etc. Audible has many selections in almost everything that interests me. I have 170 titles in my library (including multiple parts of a book) and 156 titles in my wish list with no end in sight.
  4. Audible allows me to “catch-up” on the classics which I would not likely take the time to read.
  5. I have most of C.S. Lewis’s books which I have listened to repeatedly with much profit.
  6. It was very helpful having a good reader pronounce all the names in Six Days of War.
  7. Audible files are superior to mp3s (I think).
  8. The entire Modern Scholar series is available (with PDFs).

Cons:

  1. I listen to fewer sermons.
  2. Most books I would probably be content to listen to once or twice—is it really cost effective?
  3. I don’t know what happens if I cancel my membership—I guess I would retain my downloads on my PC but be out of luck if anything happened to them.
  4. I often buy hard copies for $4 and spend more on audiobooks—though I do actually get to listen to them. 🙂

Tip:

Wait for the $4.99 sales—they come around 2-3 times a year and are a far bigger value than any of their other schemes. With this in view, the Platinum monthly is probably not worth it.

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