My First Time Switching Between an Audiobook and a Print Book. Let’s Discuss!

Posted May 11, 2018 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss / 45 Comments

Have you ever tried switching back and forth between an audiobook and a “regular” book? I’ve noticed that Amazon offers the option to switch back and forth between a Kindle book and an audiobook (they often offer the audiobook at a discounted price), but I’ve never really considered trying it. Until recently.

I put the audiobook of Alex, Approximately on my list of books to listen to from the library and then promptly forgot and purchased it from The Book Outlet. (Go figure.) I decided to give the book a listen a week or two ago and listened to it while I was in the car. I was enjoying the story and the narration was great. Wished I didn’t have to park the car and get on with my day.

That night when I headed upstairs to bed, I caught sight of the book in my bookcase and thought, Why not? It only took me a minute or two to find my spot in the book, and I read for a good hour or two before I went to sleep. It was interesting because I actually felt like I had a bit of a sense of the characters now from the narration. I imagined Tem’s British accent really clearly and could hear Porter’s somewhat laid-back smirky voice in my head as well.

The next day, I had to do some more driving, so I kept listening. (It didn’t take me all that long to find my spot because I knew I was roughly halfway through the book. Of course, this is where there would be a benefit to having the Kindle/Audible versions, since it would save your spot.) Again, the characters almost felt a little more multi-faceted since I’d read them too. My imagination had filled in a few of the gaps. I found it surprising when one character’s voice didn’t match the one in my head!

And then, that night, I went back to bed with the book in hand and finished it off. This was truly a blended reading experience, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to! I’d never really considered going back and forth between reading and listening before—I’d always just have two different books going. But I’m glad I tried it out! I think I’ll be doing this with other books in the future.

Have you ever flipped back and forth between listening to and reading a book? If not, would you consider it? If you have, did you like it? I want to know!


This post is being linked up to the 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge!


45 responses to “My First Time Switching Between an Audiobook and a Print Book. Let’s Discuss!

  1. I have never done this. I listen to audio the entire day at work so I generally finish a book at work. I do know that if I start a series on audio then try to read a book in the series instead of listen, the characters are already voiced out for me. I also know that if I start a book by reading then try audio, I have a harder time enjoying the characters because they don’t match what is in my head. I prefer to either listen to the entire series, or read the entire series. Great discussion topic.

  2. I’ve never flipped between reading formats. I start with one and finish with it. I never really thought about changing while reading. I do know about Amazon and their books where you can switch to audio and vis versa. I just never tried it out. Also if you have any Echo they will read your Kindle books too you, but it’s nothing like the Audio book where the voices are the characters. Maybe one day I’ll try switching between formats.
    Very nice post and glad you experience worked out for you.

  3. shooting

    I’ve never done this, but that’s awesome it worked so well for you. I keep trying to listen to audios at the gym but I don’t know if it’ll be for me…I can keep up with podcasts, but with books for some reason, I just start to get distracted and miss things. LOL Thanks for sharing this though – great discussion.


  4. Yes! I don’t to do this often [to have access to both formats] but the few times I did loved it! Just like it happened to you Nicole, my imagination had filled in a few of the gaps. For some reason I haven’t gotten very attached to a specific character voice I imagined [yet!] So I haven’t been disappointed [yet!]

  5. I’ve done it once or twice. I think it was because maybe my loan period of the audiobook was over and I couldn’t wait until I could get it rechecked out to keep reading. And then one time it was because the book was so good, and I really only listen to audiobooks in the car or when I’m exercising, so I picked the book up to read when I wasn’t doing those things.

  6. That’s interesting to read about your experience with this! Honestly I probably wouldn’t do this for the most part because the only reason I listen to audio books is if that’s the only format I’m able to get (i.e. if that’s all the library offers online), but I’ve noticed that when I read quotes I’ve saved from audiobooks, I do hear the narrator’s voice lol. And I recently started an audiobook but stopped because I’m going to buy the print book and switch to that, so I guess that’ll be kind of a similar experience to yours!

  7. Sounds like this totally worked for this book! I’ve switched formats completely but I’ve never gone back and forth. Like, when I was reading The Cruel Prince, I felt it was starting a bit slow so I switched to audio and listened to the remaining 75% or so that way. Or I’ve started listening, wasn’t crazy about the narrator and decided to just read the book in physical form. I have plenty of Kindle books with the audio option so I’ll to give it a try and see how I like it. I can definitely see the two together making for a richer reading experience.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted: Review: Here So Far Away by Hadley Dyer
    • Oh, that might be a perfect example of a book that would work well combining formats. My husband tried listening to the audio for Illuminae but he didn’t like that they read out all the email addresses and everything. I keep thinking I’d like to give them a try, though. Maybe with the book in-hand for parts of it.

  8. Oooh this is interestinG! I actually have done it once- I started listening to Scorpio Races on my way home from ALA last year, but then I couldn’t concentrate because I was super tired so I read the rest at home in paperback. I do agree that it’s interesting with the accents and stuff- and I knew how to pronounce the weird water horse thingies because of it! And I would do it in the future I think, though maybe with a lighter-fare book?

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Wonderfully Colored Covers
  9. I’ve done this a few times, but usually only when I’m not enjoying a book in one format – but it’s not bad enough not to continue with it. So then I switch mediums.

  10. This sounds like fun! I haven’t seen the need to listen to audiobooks but it’s quite tempting! Perhaps once life starts to pick up and I get busy I’ll have to look into it 😀

  11. I actually have tried switching, although I don’t listen to audiobooks, I listen through text to speech, but similar thing anyway. ANd I actually don’t like switching 😀 had to one time because I needed to finish the book fast, but had to also clean the house 😀 I didn’t like the switch much, because I prefer to just stay in the same format, but it worked out that one time 🙂 but I do believe it helps you be more flexible with your reading and finish books faster – especially if you’re that person who will not read multiple books at a time (I can do that so if I have to switch media, I’ll likely just switch the book as well).

    Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks recently posted: [Nonfiction] 3 Things You Might Not Know About Marilyn Monroe
  12. I’ve actually never heard of someone doing this, or that Amazon even had the option. I don’t usually have more than one format of a book, so it never occurred to me to listen to an audiobook in the car and continue the physical copy at home. It’s like they’ve always had their place, but I think it would interesting to try and blend the two! There have been a lot of times when I don’t feel like wearing headphones, or am unable to play something out loud, but really want to continue a story. Having a physical copy would allow me to stay in a story!

    It’s why I often read more than one book at once. 🙂
    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

    Lindsi recently posted: Stacking the Shelves [6]
  13. Hmmm.. I’ve never thought about switching back and forth like that. The only time I’ve ever switched, was when I was listening to a book with a good story, but an awful narrator. I don’t remember the book name, just that the narrator was supposed to be a 16 year old girl who lived on the east coast, and the narrator sounded like she was 40 and southern.

  14. I have plenty of WhisperSync books/audiobooks from Amazon that I haven’t bounced back and forth between. This is just not something I do. I have an audiobook I listen to, and then I have an ebook I’m reading, and I never seem to blend the two!

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: Sunday Update – May 13, 2018
  15. Jen

    I’ve never done that before, but that’s only because I’m addicted to highlighting or tabbing and I can’t so that with an audio book. But that sounds fascinating and it’s funny how we make character voices or looks in our head and then when they don’t match with the cover or audio etc etc it’s like what’s going on her lol. Thanks for the smile reading this and I’m glad you got this type of experience!!

  16. I use whispersync sparingly. Only because I don’t see the need to purchase the kindle version and the audio version even if it’s heavily discounted. I usually get it if the kindle was free and the audio is less than $2. I like the experience, actually. Love the switching back and forth.

    I have tried reading a book while listening to the audio (Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman) and I LOVED that better!

  17. Interesting! There have been several times when I’ve started listening to an audiobook and ended up reading the rest of it. This is usually either because the library makes the audiobook disappear when it’s due, or because I am enjoying the book and want to get through it faster. I started out doing that by accident, but lately if I see an audiobook available to a book I have but haven’t gotten started on, I’ll check out the audiobook to sort of launch me into reading the book.

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