Last updated: August 15, 2021

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There are many topics we have researched to bring you the best information, and the arts are not excluded from this list. So this time we'll tell you everything you want to know about audiobooks, that wonderful way of bringing literature to your ears.

Audiobooks are audio recordings that read word for word and dramatise the narrations of novels, short stories and all kinds of stories. They distribute literature in other formats, and reach audiences that otherwise could not be reached, such as blind people, very young children and people with cognitive difficulties.

Choosing an audiobook is not as easy as it sounds; you need to consider a number of things, and you need to know the product in detail and understand the benefits it can bring you. But don't worry, there's nothing to be alarmed about, because at ReviewBox we've outlined just what you need to know to make the best choice in audiobooks.




Summary

  • Audiobooks consist of recordings of literary texts, and are intended to present these written works in other formats. Usually the stories are not only read, but also dramatised. This is to give them a theatrical feel that can help to intensify the experience.
  • There are different types of audiobooks that vary according to the stage of your life you are in: on the one hand there are children's audiobooks, which focus on stories for children, audiobooks for teenagers, which focus on self-esteem and friendship, and audiobooks for adults, which deal with reflective themes.
  • Choosing an audiobook may seem straightforward, but there are actually many criteria to keep an eye on. Take into account the type of narration, the medium of the audiobook and who is narrating the story. We'll tell you more about these later.

The Best Audiobooks: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about audiobooks

Audiobooks are practical formats of great stories, which is in itself an advantage but not enough information. To help you find the audiobook that's right for you, here's a little more about audiobooks and the benefits they bring.

Audiobooks allow you to explore the wonderful world wherever you are, without limitations. (Photo: stylephotographs / 123rf.com)

What are audiobooks?

Audiobooks are audios in which literary texts are presented and read by a narrator. They are designed to take literature from written to audio format, and thus allow it to reach audiences who would otherwise not be able to enjoy these works. They have also become popular as a more digestible presentation of these works.

Translating text into narration is no easy task, so these books are usually read by professional dictionists or speakers. They are also given a slightly dramatic tone to prevent them from becoming tedious and to intensify the emotions of the narration. So it is important to look for properly recorded audiobooks.

What are the advantages of audiobooks?

The ease of use of audiobooks is what has catapulted them to become one of the most popular formats. They allow people who, for various reasons, are unable to enjoy reading to access this wonderful world. So it represents an important cultural inclusion.

We must also consider that it makes great stories available to young children or people with cognitive difficulties. This implies that it is also an educational tool, which works in an interactive way. So they are a breakthrough in the attempts to bring literature to all corners.

Advantages
  • Brings literature into audio format
  • Those who cannot read can access the stories
  • The story can be known in less time
  • There is a great offer
  • They are more portable than a book
Disadvantages
  • They do not help to exercise literacy
  • The experience depends a lot on the narration
  • They do not encourage reading habits

Audiobooks for children, teenagers or adults - what to look out for?

Audiobooks come from literature, so they offer the same variety that literature does. With this there is a huge range of stories, but to help you organise your choices we tell you about 3 categories to consider: audiobooks for children, for teens and for adults.

Children's audiobooks. These are narrations of stories from children's literature, designed to entertain and educate children. The stories are aimed at fostering values such as solidarity, companionship, and generosity. Talking animals and children interacting with nature are often the main characters.

Audiobooks for teenagers. The stage of adolescence is always difficult and delicate, so there are many stories that focus on helping them to get through it with peace of mind. These are the basis of audiobooks for teenagers, which also tend to have self-esteem and love as central themes.

Audiobooks for adults. The largest audience for literature is adults, which is why the range of audio books for adults is so wide. Stories for adults differ from the above mainly in the complexity of the themes. They are not intended to be educational, but focus on entertaining or thought-provoking.

Children's audiobooks Audiobooks for teens Audiobooks for adults
Themes Friendship and values Romance, friendship and self-esteem Erotica, love and complex reflections
Story length Short Short and medium Medium and long
Tone of narration Exaggerated and lighthearted Dramatised Dramatised and reflective
Purpose Educational, entertaining Educational, entertaining, reflective Reflective, entertaining

What are the most popular literary genres in audiobooks?

Audiobooks cover the whole universe of literature, as well as all literary genres. With so many options, it is normal that you are not sure what kind of story you want to listen to, so to help you make this decision we will tell you about the most popular genres in audiobooks.

Children's literature. This genre is centred on works that have children as their theme or are aimed at children. They are among the most popular because they have become an excellent option to entertain and educate your children.

Self-help literature. Self-help is undoubtedly one of the most popular genres in existence, as it has contributed to the personal evolution of millions of people around the world. The audio presentation helps busy people enjoy these reflections.

Erotic literature. This is literature that tells sexual stories, both explicit and implicit. Some pink novels are close to the erotic genre, and are especially popular with women in their 40s. They are usually not very long stories.

Audiobooks are one of the best ways to bring the wonders of literature to other formats. (Photo: olegdudko / 123rf.com)

Buying criteria

Audiobooks are not only a story, but also very personal experiences that can even transform the user's perspective. Just as literature does. So to find the right one, you need to have a clear idea of how to choose it.

Our goal at ReviewBox.com.mx is to help you make the best purchase, so here we tell you about the criteria you should take into consideration when making this purchase.

  • Quality of the audiobook
  • Voice of the narrator
  • Audiobook support
  • Version of the story

Quality of the audiobook

The experience offered by an audiobook is not only focused on the story, but also on the narration. That is why you should take the quality of the audio and narration very seriously.

Audio quality. To choose an excellent quality audio you should consider several things; the format of the video (.MP3 or .MP4 formats are references), the volume of the audio (make sure the volume is uniform) and that there is no white noise in the background.

Narration quality. This is the second side of the coin when talking about audiobook quality. This focuses on the narrator's technique, and to choose a good one, take into account that the diction is good, that the reading pace is neither too fast nor too slow, and that the tone of voice is pleasant.

Audiobooks may seem easy to buy, but there are several criteria to consider. (Photo: olegdudko / 123rf.com)

Voice and narration

We have already mentioned that one of the most important aspects of the audiobook experience is the narration. That's why you should pay attention not only to technical aspects, such as the way you read, but also to the emotion and intensity you bring to the story. We tell you about the 3 types of narrators that audiobooks can offer you.

Same author. This is one of the most valuable audiobooks available, as they are recorded by the author of the story. These have the particularity that, being read by the same author, they generate a lot of empathy. In addition, the author is the best reader, since he is the one who improves his own work.

Certified storyteller. There are many storytellers who go through training to do these tasks, and their profession is storytelling and dramatisation. So, these audiobooks can offer you an excellent quality, unique experience.

Amateur narrator. These are the least recommended, as they are read by narrators who have no training in recording narrated texts. So they cannot offer you the best possible quality. But this doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad audiobook, so you could take the risk and try your luck.

Audiobook support

Audiobooks are by nature a digital product, as they consist of a recording and not a physical product. But there are also different media or presentations that will help you to diversify your experience and listen to it using different devices. We tell you about the most popular ones.

Digital version. This is the one you download as a digital file that you listen to through a playback device. You can use your smartphone, your PC or your music player to play these audiobooks. They have the great advantage that they are highly portable and are usually purchased from online shops.

CD or cassette. For those who prefer older formats, there are also audiobooks on CDs or cassettes. Of course, these require a player with a CD or cassette player, as the case may be. They are less practical because they are limited to the use of the equipment.

Version of the story

Audiobooks are not all the same, and there are several aspects that vary, including the length of the story they consider. Some audiobooks tell the whole story, regardless of length, while others shorten the story.

Full story. These are the ones that cover the whole story, word for word, and give the full picture of the story. They are usually long, especially if they are novels. But they are also divided into chapters or episodes, just as the book itself is divided.

Abridged history. These versions do not give the whole story, with all its details. They consist of only the most striking or important fragments of the story in a literal form. But there are also versions that do not have literal moments of the original narrative, but are a paraphrased summary of the whole story.

(Featured image photo: Kichigin Aleksandr / 123rf.com)

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