Audiobook Bleg

In general, I prefer reading content rather than listening to it.

I read much faster, for one. And while it is certainly true that I can listen at 2x, it still is faster in my case to read. Plus, no matter how hard I try, listening at 2x doesn’t seem like a – for lack of a better word – nice experience. I know I should be defining this better than simply saying “not nice”, but that’s the best I can do for the moment.

There are exceptions, of course. If it’s an Amit Varma podcast, 2x is an imperative (although I do know folks who listen at 1x). And given the quality of each episode, and given the fact that transcripts aren’t yet available, the opportunity costs are worth it. But in general? Reading trumps listening.


But even in the case of Amit’s podcast, my preferred location for playing it is in my car. I get far too easily distracted during walks – could be a chain of thought that develops because of something that was said on the podcast, could be a dog that walks past me, or it could be a nice little bout of daydreaming. Shouldn’t be happening, and I ought to be worried about my attention span, but now what to do?

In a car, though, it is a different story. The hassle of trying to drive a car through the dynamic jigsaw puzzle that is Pune’s traffic is the perfect semi-distracted environment in which I just have enough attention to give to the podcast and nothing else.

But audiobooks? Never been able to consume them. I’ve tried with a couple, but rarely gone past the first two chapters. I did listen, with my daughter, to a couple of Harry Potter novels during the lockdown (Stephen Fry was a major reason why), but that apart, I haven’t had much luck.

Recently though, David Perell recommended a book called “The Goal”, and specifically recommended the audiobook. I’ve been listening to it, and it has been a very enjoyable listen. I’m about halfway through, and in this case, definitely plan to finish it.

  1. It’s got a lot of dialogues, and the audiobook does a nice job of making them seem very stylistic and entertaining.
  2. The rhythm of the conversations sounds much better when you’re listening to it, and because the book doesn’t contain a lot of dry descriptive sentences, the format really works.
  3. Each chapter is fairly short – about ten minutes or so, and these bite sized chunks work for me when listening.
  4. There is also some background music that plays at the start and during the chapter, and that enriches the experience of listening, at least for me.
  5. The concepts that are being spoken about in the book are directly related to economics, and the treatment is novel enough for me to remain interested.
  6. The fact that these concepts are interwoven with at least two different stories involving the protagonist make for an interesting tale, and that acts as a lovely bonus. It’s a hook that has kept me interested so far.

All of which was to explain to you why I like this particular audiobook – and to explain why I’m more than willing to try some other audiobook content once this one is done.


So: here’s the bleg.

What audiobooks do you think I might like?

Please do let me know, whether in the comments or however else you like.

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