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Robots Read to Me, and I Like It

I’ve been a big fan of audiobooks since I discovered Audible a couple of years back. In fact, one of the big reasons I joined Kindle Unlimited was to have access to the KU books with Narration. It’s like getting 60% off an Audible subscription but gaining access to a ton more books. However, my book consumption rate has increased in the last couple of months, and the fiction books I like to read are becoming more and more scarce in KU w/ narration.

That’s okay.

In January of 2013, I bout a Kindle Fire. At the time, I wanted to get a tablet to replace my laptop, and I will proudly admit I wrote Choices on that tiny keyboard. I already had a normal Kindle for reading, and honestly, I hadn’t figured out the benefit of reading on an e-reader (other than the cost of books). I actually still read most e-books on the kindle app on my PC. When I read away from my desk, I did so by listening to audiobooks in my car.

Quite by accident, I discovered an interesting feature in the Kindle Fire’s version of the kindle app. It has text-to-voice built in.

The majority of my reading time is in the car. I do read before I fall asleep at night, but honestly, there are issues with my brain and words that I’d rather avoid when I’m trying to get some serious book pounding done. So, when I first discovered the smooth kindle lady-robot, I was pretty excited.

It soon became obvious, though, that advanced robot or not, the kindle isn’t a very good narrator for fiction.

So, I started listening to non-fiction.

Actually, as of right now, I’ve consumed an equal amount of fiction and non-fiction this year for the first time ever. I can’t help it. The bookbot is pretty decent at giving me raw information. As an added bonus, the Audible app on the Kindle Fire will only read books at 3 times the normal speed, which, I dare say, is the minimum I’m willing to listen to an audiobook at. I don’t

I don’t got time to spend 60 hours listening to your monotone, Roy Dotrice!

The book robot can actually read at 4 times speed, which doesn’t seem like much of an increase, but when you’re measuring your book reading goals in the triple digits each year, five hours here or there can really add up.

Like I said, I mostly listen to the robot reading non-fiction but here lately, I’ve been listening to fiction, too. Most of my indie author friends are text only. Audiobooks might be possible for indie authors these days, but they still aren’t entirely common. I want to support those friends. I also want to absorb insanely good books like Jamie Maltman’s Brush with Darkness, I just don’t have the kind of reading stamina I used to.

The book bot has been a godsend to me. I’m actually 10 books ahead of schedule on my goal of reading 150 books this year. At my current rate, I’ll probably hit 200. (Don’t hold your breath on that. Sooner or later, my reading will slow down… probably)

I owe that entirely to the power of the book reading robot.

Anyway, I’m going to shove off back to work now.

 

Until next time,

Matt

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

2 thoughts on “Robots Read to Me, and I Like It”

  1. jhudginsartanddesign says:

    I do a few audile books, but mainly when I’m traveling by car. Check out John A. Heldt on Amazon. He worked at the library and has a series out also. Don’t know if they fit in your reading scheme, but local author doing good with indy publishing. But 4X the speed! I listened to some podcasts at 2X and it drove me nuts. You’re the man!

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      Thanks, Judy! I’ll check him out.

      I would probably listen faster if it was available. The trick is to train yourself. So you start out at normal, and increase the speed until it becomes the new normal. Honestly, listening to things at regular speed now is painfully slow.

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