Tag Archives: Armchair BEA

More Than Just Words: Audiobook Love!

ArmchairBEAToday’s topic at Armchair BEA is “More Than Just Words”:

There are so many mediums that feature more than just words and enhance a story in a multitude of ways. Examples may include graphic novels and comics, audiobooks, or even multimedia novels. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just the words and use other ways to experience a story. Which books stand out to you in these different formats?

I’d like to talk about audiobooks, because they’re something I “discovered” for myself shortly after I began MsBookish.

For years I’d told myself audiobooks just weren’t my kind of thing. I’m a really fast reader – I confess to skimming through boring sections in books, and even when I’m reading every single word, I do so very quickly. There was no way an audiobook could replicate that for me, and when I looked at the duration of various audiobooks – 6 hours, 13 hours, some even 19 hours (yikes!) – I just couldn’t see how an audiobook could fit into my life.

And then one day I discovered several Agatha Christie novels put out as BBC Radio Crime Full Cast Dramas. Only a couple of hours long, this series adapted my favourite Christie novels into plays. I listened to one, and I was hooked.

It’s kind of like how I came to eat sushi. When I was younger, the texture of the raw fish really put me off. But then one day I had smoked salmon, found I liked it, and in the process, I got used to the raw fish texture. Suddenly, there I was, eating all kinds of sushi, not just the smoked salmon sushi.

It was the same with audiobooks. I got used to listening to these BBC radio adaptations, and when I got through all the ones I could find, I decided to give the full-length Agatha Christie novels a try. I fell in love with Hugh Fraser’s narration of the Hercule Poirot mysteries, and from there, things just took off.

I now listen to at least one audiobook a week. The strange thing is that I find if I just sit down to do nothing but listen, I have a hard time. Unless the book is very exciting (and there are some that are), my mind wanders. All over the place. And with an audiobook, a few seconds spent pondering whether you really should do another load of laundry can mean missing something vital, especially if you’re listening to a mystery.

But if I’m doing something on the mindless side – cleaning, chopping up food, folding laundry or my favourite thing to pair with an audiobook, an iPhone or iPad game – I get a beautiful audiobook listening experience! So for me, an audiobook is a great way to multitask and get all those boring chores done without feeling like you’ve done anything at all.

What about you? Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks? Are you on the fence, worried that you won’t be able to last through the hours of narration? If you like audiobooks, what are some of your favourite listens? Please let me know in the comments below, because I’m always on the lookout for a great book in audio!

Armchair BEA Intro!

ArmchairBEAI’m participating in Armchair BEA for the first time this year, and really looking forward to it. I’m so glad that this year the conference falls during a week where I’m not very busy – yay!

So here we go with the Intro questions. I’ve only picked three four because I have a tendency to be long-winded (plus, I’m a little late getting to this post  …).

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

My name is Belle Wong, and I’ve been blogging for quite a long while now – several years on other blogs before starting MsBookish. I just checked, and my first post here was a review of The Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver, which I posted on November 2, 2008!

I decided to start blogging about books here at MsBookish because of something Stephen King wrote in On Writing:

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

At the time, I was neither reading a lot nor writing a lot – my life was always crazy with deadlines, my two older kids were in their early teens, with all the angst and turmoil that can bring, and my youngest was preschool (and homeschooled). I decided I needed motivation and accountability when it came to my reading, and it seemed a blog would be the best way to get that motivation and accountability.

(My life has changed just a little since then. I’m still usually crazy with deadlines, but the two teens are now both in university, and the youngest is now 11 (and still homeschooled)).

And I’m blogging from Toronto, Ontario. I used to live in the suburbs, so this blog has seen me through “the big move” from suburbia to city life.

Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online. 

Okay, I don’t think I can describe my blog in just one sentence! I’ve broadened the topics I blog about to “everything and anything in which I’m interested” and my tag line is: “Everything I know, I’ve learned from a book. Well, maybe not everything …”

You can find me on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and Instagram. (I’m also on Goodreads, but the friend requests are just crazy there, so basically I ignore them but when someone I’m following on Twitter signs up to Goodreads, I’m pretty certain Goodreads automatically adds them to my friends list on Goodreads.)

What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ . 

I’m very much a genre reader, and at the top of my list are urban fantasies and mysteries/thrillers. But I also like traditional fantasy and SF as well. And middle-grade books in these genres too.

Why do I love to read? It’s the excitement of the story, and the way a good book can take me deep into another world. I’m always so thrilled when I’ve discovered “yet another good book”s, and ever since I started blogging about books, I’ve found many “another good book” as a result of book blogger recommendations.

Share your favorite book or reading related quote.

My favourite reading-related quote is another one by Stephen King (please excuse the lettering – that’s something I’ve been working on in my doodle quotes!).

Stephen King quote

“Books are a uniquely portable magic” – Stephen King

I’m really looking forward to this year’s Armchair BEA and especially meeting more book bloggers and readers!