My father is legally blind, and as a result he has been receiving books on tape from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the regional library for several years. I have really only listened previously to one audio book, a copy of The Golden Compass that we took out to listen to as a family on a long driving holiday. I guess it’s because I read so quickly, or because you could only get them out from the library unless you were visually disabled, but I haven’t gotten onto the listening bandwagon.
Recently a friend suggested that I should listen to The Outlander series (even though I had just read the whole series) because narrator Davina Porter is so wonderful. I bought a couple books, and have been listening, and I am enthralled with Porter’s melodious voice. The Outlander series is full of long books- the first one is 33 hours and the second is 35 hours. I think I saw one comes in at 55 hours (A Breath of Snow and Ashes is almost 1400 pages, I recall). I’ve managed to knit much more efficiently while someone else reads to me, than when I was reading print and knitting simultaneously!
I made an audio recording of Grace Awakening the summer of 2009 for my dad. I know how long it takes to do it, and how tricky it is to read expressively with slightly different voices for the various characters, etc. Porter is amazing at that, with a breadth of accents, pacings, and intonations for the various characters. I think I would listen to her read the phone book.
Here is an interesting pair of videos Porter and he husband did, wherein Davina Porter discusses her job as an audio reader. Quite interesting, and you can enjoy her beautiful voice.