I passed up the opportunity to listen to The 19th Wife instead of reading it. At the time, listening seemed like a good idea, because of the baby--and I was right, it's definitely easier to find time for audio than actual books. I'm pretty proud of having predicted that--though I do manage to read over his sleeping head often enough.
The reason I didn't buy The 19th Wife, though, is because of the sample. The readers (a man and a woman, for the two different first person narrators) seemed pretty good, but within the first two minutes, there was an online chat transcribed in the text. Try reading a chat transcript out loud. Remember that you have to read the attributions, too. And note that both chat participants have long names.
PrettyGirl2005: What u up 2?
HotGuyLivesInUtah: Not much u?
Just that. Read that out loud. You're already irritated, aren't you? You can read that to yourself in a second and a half, but it takes half a minute to read out loud. And it gets embarrassing and confusing to read "PrettyGirl2005" over and over again. You see why I couldn't do it.
Amusingly, this was the only chat transcript in the book.
I have been doing some listening, especially during late night feedings, when I can barely see the baby anyway. He's mostly asleep, I'm actively trying NOT to talk to him to keep from waking him up any further, and it helps to have something to distract me. Mostly I've been listening to old This American Life podcasts, though I do have Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road on my mp3 player. It's read by Andre Brauer, which is pretty exciting, but the sound quality of the beginning is kind of mediocre, so I haven't started it yet. Also, TAL is easier to dip in and out of during short feeding sessions.
I need to pick another audiobook soon--I'm pretty sure I'm only allowed to roll over a certain number of credits, and I'm nearing my max. The search for a good audiobook can be frustrating--the books I want to read are often not available or have lousy narrators--but the triumph is worth it in the end.