No, this isn’t about who writes the best book and therefore has the best read book, this is about who reads books the best. I love audiobooks. Think I’ve said that a time or two before. As such, I can tell you that just as poorly executed writing can kill a great plot, a poorly read book can kill an audio experience.

It’s more than ‘can the person actually read’ and articulate the words in a concise manner. It’s more than can they make each character’s voice sound different, because I’ve listened to ¬†talented readers who never try to change the sound of their voice for a specific character, but still give each character their own voice. Which is as much the talent of a good author as a good reader.

The first audiobook I listened to, and enjoyed, that’s important, was written and performed by Dolly Parton. She is one of my all time favorite women. The first fiction book I listened too and fell in love with were the Stephanie Plum series written by Janet Evanovich read by C.J. Critt. I have listened to everyone of the Stephanie Plum books. I am not, sorry Janet, a fan of the new Wicked series featuring Diesel. I love the character just not in the series.

It was while listening to, I believe, book 5 that I discovered, there are readers and then there are READERS. Books 1-5 had the same reader and book 5 had the same reader along with a version with a new reader. I like the reader of books 1-5. I did not like the reader who took over after 5. Oh, I still listened because she wasn’t horrible, she just wasn’t as good as the other person, or better put, what I’d come to know as Stephanie’s voice. Since then, Janet has used a variety of readers for her series. And when I say she used I should clarify that I’m unsure of how the process works and if the author has any say in who reads the audio version of the book

I have my favorite readers who I will listen to anything they read whether its a genre I usually listen to or not. And there are a few that I mentally note to avoid everything they read. There was one book that I fell in love with and love is such a hard word to mean, and what I found out, when during the middle of the book the reader changed, was I hated the book, but loved the readers voice. Shrug.

Do you have a favorite reader? Anyone you avoid?

And for my next post, I interview a reader of audio books. Do come back.