View Full Version : Audio books while knitting?

Robin R
05-28-2006, 06:02 PM
Hello Ladies. :) Do any of you listen to audio books while knitting? I have found that I feel much more productive if I can knit or type entries on my blog, etc., if I can "read" a book, too. We are enjoying it quite a lot!

I searched for our first audio book about two months ago and found Pride and Prejudice. I found a place that lets you preview the audio book to see with narrator you like best. I have really enjoyed P & P and have listened to it twice through! (It's over 13 hours long)
Our second audio book was Sarah, Plain and Tall, which included all three books by Patricia M. And, even better, it is read by Glenn Close! She does a wonderful job.
The third one we chose was Charlotte's Web. Oh! It is wonderful. It is read by the author, E.B. White and is fabulous. I am listening to it right now. Charlotte's Web is special to us. I've had the book and movie since my 16-year old was a baby. I would watch it over and over and it has become our absolute favorite cartoon and is in my top five favorites of movies overall. It was no surprise that we have enjoyed the audio c.d. so.
Last week we were able to get two new ones. I chose Sense and Sensibiblity, which I am listening to now. The other we chose today is Joni, which is read by Joni Eareckson Tada herself! We listened to that on Friday and it was wonderful. My next audio book will be another Jane Austen book (Persuasion or Mansfield Park).

If you also listen to audio c.d.s while knitting, what are your favorites? :XX:

05-28-2006, 06:37 PM
Angela's Ashes is SO good, read by the author, Frank McCourt. I would also highly recommend any of the Harry Potter books, which are read by Jim Dale. Really fun.

05-28-2006, 10:01 PM
I've listened to all the Harry Potter books and I'm on the last Wheel of Time book. I love listening to audio books while knitting!

I need some more ideas about what books to listen to next. A few ladies at my knit group like listening to the Janet Evanovich books, so I might try those out if my local library has them.

05-28-2006, 10:07 PM
I love audio books! Our library has a pretty good selection, so I generally just browse the shelf and find something by an author I enjoy. Before children, I was well read. But now, if I start reading, I fall asleep. The only way I can get in any literature are audio books.

Sounds like you need books that the children would enjoy as well. What about...
Anne of Green Gables
Little House on the Prarie
anything by Frances Hodgson Burnett (by the way, my maiden name was Burnett, I used to pretend I was related to her)
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Babe The Galliant Pig
Beverly Cleary books (the Mouse and the Motorcyle, Ramona books)
Dahl books

I also like to listen to NPR downloads-the Prairie Home Companion, Infinite Mind, Parent's Journal,etc.

05-28-2006, 11:27 PM
I'm a bibliophile to the bone, so I don't know if I would have taken knitting up at all if I didn't have audio books!

The public library here has quite a selection, so I get a chance to explore new authors while I'm tangling myself up in yarn. Currently in the CD player is The St. Valentine's Day Murders by Ruth Dudley Edwards. Not only is it an interesting and funny book, but the reader is marvelous!

Other favorites:
All the Harry Potter Books
The Mists of Avalon
The Guns of August
Anything by Reginald Hill

That's all I can come up with right off the top of my head, but I sure do love me them audio-books!

05-28-2006, 11:50 PM
I knit and 'read' at the same time ALL the time (and every moment I can!!)! Mostly though it is in bed at the end of the night to unwind (I don't have a DH to keep me company or wind down with!!). I have read a lot.....but my favorites are the ones that have the different characters in different voices, and for that you just have to experiment, I'm afraid.

Although, speaking of audio books, I have had my share of nightmares too. The newest Diana Gabaldon book (highly, highly recommended--synopsis here (http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0770428797/qid=1148874369/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/702-5997417-7941648) for the first book) is available on cd, but there are the abridged and nonabridged versions. The abridged version is 13 cds, and available everywhere (btw, her books are very detailed and complex--you need the ENTIRE book)-however, the unabridged version is 48 cds and was specially recorded for the visually impaired, hence it is in the 'special' collections at our local library, and I can't get at it!! Add to that saga that the library doesn't interlibrary loan their cds or books less than a yr old, and I am fubarred!!

Very frustrating!!

05-29-2006, 02:39 AM
This subject is so close to my heart. Knitting and Reading are my favorite things, so I am ALWAYS listening to an audio book. I am a member at two county libraries, so I have quite a selection available to me. My favorite audiobooks are either "The Cat Who..." series by Lilian Jackson Braun, or any of the Star Trek tapes with "Scottie" narrating them. It's so relaxing to knit while escaping to one of the imaginary worlds in those books.

My husband and I go to consignment and thrift stores quite a bit, so when I find audiobooks for a good price, I'll nab them. Sometimes, after listening to them, I'll give them to the library.

05-29-2006, 05:31 AM
I prefer to actually read books, but I enjoy listening to recorded lectures by The Teaching Company. They have university professors putting together courses, which are then recorded in the Teaching Company studio. They're pretty expensive, but if you catch one on sale, you can usually get the audio download versions for $35 each. (The video DVD versions can go for $800 at normal price :shock: )Well worth it in my opinion! Right now I'm listening to the Roman History lectures. I miss the cameraderie you get actually interacting with a good professor, but I don't miss high tuition costs! :lol:

05-29-2006, 07:21 AM
Woohoo!! Other bibliophiles!!! I listend to audio books and knit too...it started with the Debbie Macomber books A Good Yarn and The Shop on Blossom street (just not in that order!). I had just started knitting and wanted to read them badly...I couldn't put down the needles to pick up a book so I downloaded them to my ipod. Many of you know that I work with students with autism--well one of my long time kiddos (my first student and he graduated on Friday!!!) really reads well but doesn't comprehend very well--we started working on the technique of visualizing (since that's really what comprehension is all about) and found that for him, listening to the stories helps him to visualize them--his eyes aren't distracted by the words...anyhow...I read my next books with him--Eragon and Eldest. Then I downloaded To Hell with all that...Livin and Loving your inner housewife by Caitlin Flanagan. I haven't finished it yet--I got interested in it after hearing a radio interview with her....and I've also downloaded By the Rver Piedra I sat down and wept by Paulo Coelho. I don't know anything about the last one but I loved The Alchemist so I thought I'd give it a try!
Sorry to ramble on....it's so good to hear that there are others who listen to books while they knit!

05-29-2006, 08:20 AM
I prefer to actually read books

Oh, don't worry....I actually read as well. My husband and I are constantly tripping over the books piled up in our house. I think we each have at least 6 books going at once!

They are in the bathroom (the designated "reading room"), the bedroom, the living room, and my craft room. I've told him many times that we need to invest in creating a room full of bookcases just to store our collection!

05-29-2006, 09:20 AM
I read/listened to the Poisonwood Bible. Very good, but I don't think I would have found the opportunity to sit and read it and find time to knit! Audiobooks are very efficient.

Not a complete threadjack, but I'm a member of Paperback Swap. The concept is that you list books with which you are willing to part, and others do the same. If someone wants a book on your list, you send to them and if you find a book that you want, you can request it and the member will ship it to you. It's all on a point system. The only expense that you have is shipping book requests. Sometimes audio books are listed, but they count as 2 points. It's definitely worth a try if book buying is causing problems with your yarn buying account!


Lindsey H
05-29-2006, 03:08 PM
I was "reading" while knitting for a while then I just ran out of steam because my library doesn't have a very large selection. I love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. They all have the number of the book in the title. The first one is One for the Money. You do not have to read them in order though. They are pure "potato chip" books. Fun and you can't read just one. My library had some and my mom got the others from her library. I enjoyed listening to most of them. I could not stand the narrator for the seventh one. I am going to save this thread for future reference.

Lindsey H
05-29-2006, 03:10 PM
Oh I wanted to add that I had not even thought of listening to Jane Austen's book :rollseyes: . She is by far my favorite author :heart: . Every once in a while I just get into a "Jane Austen kind of mood". I am going to check into those.

05-29-2006, 03:17 PM
My other favorite thing to do while knitting is watching DVDs or videos. I'll check them out from the library, or rent them, or buy them at thrift stores. I usually go for the LONG movies...you know, like the "made for tv" mini-series things? I'll also get PBS videos or "tourist" movies. It's pretty cool to watch the ones about travel, because it almost feels like I'm taking a little vacation!

Robin R
05-29-2006, 03:23 PM
Hi Ladies. You all have given me a lot of really great ideas - thank you so much. :mrgreen:

Someone on my blog gave me the idea of listening to The Pilgrim's Progress. I'm going to work on ordering that one, the entire set of Narnia books and a few listed way up in this thread that I can't remember the name of. :lol:

Lindsey, a good friend of mine got me started on Jane Austen's books. Oh! I didn't know what I was missing! I have now seen three of the movies and am on my second audio book - S & S. It took me a little longer to get into it compared to P & P, but I am enjoying it very much. I am about half way through it.

This is just so nice - listening to these books that I have wanted to read for so long! I was an avid reader before I had children. Over the years I ended up reading less and less unless it was to them. Now we are all enjoying listening to these wonderful books. My children also read a lot on their own. One is into Trixie Beldon mysteries and is on book #10.

Thanks for sharing which books you've enjoyed, ladies. :heart:

05-29-2006, 05:06 PM
I belong to Audible and have for years. Originally audio books were my way of coping with housework, then they helped make my commute bearable. These days most of my knitting is done on the bus or in waiting rooms, and I can't mix in an audiobook as well. When I get the chance to knit and listen at home, though, I enjoy it.

If you're enjoying Jane Austin, might I suggest you add Dickens to your listening list? A fantastic one to start with is Great Expectations -- unabridged of course!

If you're an English lit buff and haven't read the Thursday Next Novels (starting with the Eyre Affair), you don't know what you're missing.

P.G. Wodehouse is a scream. I especially like the ones set at Blandings Castle.

A sweet listen is All Creatures Great and Small plus the sequels.

For non-fiction, A Short History of Nearly Everything is entertainingly written. And "Getting Things Done" is the only time management book that ever worked in real life for me.

Robin R
05-29-2006, 06:22 PM
Twoleftneedles - thanks! We have gotten most of our audiobooks from audible.com as well. I've been a member for about two months.

Dickens is on my list! :mrgreen: The only way to go is unabridged, huh? :lol: I won't even listen to a sample or consider a book that is abridged. Who wants half the book, half of the author's ideas, plot, point? Not I! :thumbsup:

05-29-2006, 06:58 PM
How cool that your daughter reads Trixie Belden! I LOVE Trixie and Jim and Di and Honey and.....well....ALL of them! I used to wish I could live in Trixie's house when I was a girl, and sometimes I still do. :D

05-31-2006, 12:54 PM
I would love to try this but I'm afraid it would have to be a VERY easy read type book. If I have to pay attention too much I'm afraid of losing track of my knitting and mess it up somehow. I really want to read "Night" by Elie Wiesel after I saw Oprah interview him last week. I wouldn't mind listening to it while I knit but I don't think it would be easy to read a book like that and concentrate on knitting at the same time. The subject matter (Auschwitz) is very serious so I am not sure if it would be easy or even appropriate to do something else while listening to it. If any of you have read this book I would love some input on this idea.

05-31-2006, 07:35 PM
This thread was a total ah ha moment for me. I had never thought of listening to audio books and knitting. I love audio books in the car for my commute. I am an avid reader and this would be a great way for me to "read" some of the books I have always wanted to read but have never gotten around to!
Now I have to hit the library!

05-31-2006, 07:42 PM
I for one have not found it to be a problem when knitting and reading at hte same time. If you can multitask (or raise more than one child!), you can read and knit at the same time.

Although, I do see your point re:Auschwitz.

05-31-2006, 08:25 PM
I find I can only listen to Audio books if I don't need to concentrate on what I'm knitting (ie: stocking stitch/garter stitch scarves or plain items).

Music, my favourite for knitting is either relaxation classical, Lounge or soft jazz. Anything more upbeat and I prefer to dance to it. ;)

But I also knit in front of the TV, depending on the program will depend on how much concentration I need for the project.


Robin R
05-31-2006, 09:54 PM
Holly - I hope you enjoy finding audio books to knit to!

Guess which books I bought today from audible.com?

*Old Time Radio Shows: Detectives, Volume 1, Part 1

*Old Time Radio Shows: Detectives, Volume 1, Part 2

*Old Time Radio Shows: Detectives, Volume 2, Part 1

*Old Time Radio Shows: Detectives, Volume 2, Part 2

*Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

*The Chronicles of Narnia (all of the books!)

*Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

*Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

*Emma by Jane Austen

I am trying to build up a library - we love books! We have been listening to a chapter of this, then a chapter of that and watching no t.v. It's interesting to see how much more you pay attention to someone speaking when there is nothing for you to look at and you are relying totally on your ears to get all of the information! :mrgreen:

05-17-2007, 01:57 PM
I'm sorry that I'm reviving a year old thread, but I love listening to books while I do... well a whole bunch of things. I wanted to share LibriVox (http://librivox.org/)with everyone. It is a site where you can download readings of books that are no longer under copyright. My hubby and I listened to The Secret Garden on a road trip to Florida and I was incredibly impressed. The recording was good enough to have been professional.

I will warn you that the recordings start and stop with each chapter. You can either listen to each, 'this is a LibriVox recording...' message or you can skip to the next chapter. It all depends on what you find less annoying, but I figured the price was right, and I love the classics.

Jill A.
05-17-2007, 05:48 PM
Don't forget all the things you can get on iTunes. Many old radio programs are now podcasts, such as The Green Hornet and Suspense.

Also, on librivox.org, you can find tons of audiobooks and poetry that are free downloads. They use volunteers to read books that are no longer under copyright, like old classics. Not all of the volunteers are professional quality, but some are tremendous, and I like free!! :cheering:

These audiobooks can be listened to on you computer, synced on an ipod or mp3, or burned onto CDs.

05-17-2007, 10:06 PM
I LOVE doing this! I keep books on CD and tape in the car. If I have an off period subbing, I borrow a player from the library, find an office, listen and knit! :knitting:

My family loves the Mrs. Pollifax books by Dorothy Gilman (I think). They're great mysteries that take place in interesting places. Good for pre-teens and up, but probably not younger because of the suspense.

05-17-2007, 11:00 PM
I second the Narnia recommendation! I've checked out all seven from my public library, and they're very well read. (I especially like The Silver Chair - Jeremy Northam does a great Puddleglum.)

Another great series is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. It's British humor at its finest.

Shakespeare is also fun to listen to, especially if you get a recording with sound effects. (Swordfights are hard to imagine audibly.)

Methinks I will have to check out this Librivox thing...

05-17-2007, 11:10 PM
Thanks for bumping this thread! I need to find something more brain enriching and it would be nice to listen while knitting but also while out walking, It would encourage me to do the latter...
I am inspired to pursue these options~:thumbsup:

05-18-2007, 04:37 PM
I am also "reading" audio books while knitting. I lvoe to read, but kind of hard to do with hands full of yarn.....lol. I am listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Preparing for the Deathly Hallows release!

05-18-2007, 05:21 PM
I've never done audio books. Are there ever any non-fiction types like mathematics or sciences?:heart:

05-18-2007, 06:40 PM
I've never done audio books. Are there ever any non-fiction types like mathematics or sciences?:heart:

I'm sure there are. I was downloading some books from LibriVox last night for my hubby and I to listen to on the plane to Europe, and I saw a book on relativity by Einstein and Origin of the Species by Darwin. If they've got it in public domain books, I'm sure they've got it in more contemporary titles too.

If you are looking for really hard science, you should check out MIT's OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/index.htm). MIT provides a ton of their course information online for free, and several of the instructors record their lectures. I think it would be great fun to pick an interesting class and take it virtually while I knit away.:cheering:

05-19-2007, 08:15 AM
That is a great idea!! I am a huge reader and hate having to decide if I want to knit or read. This way I can do both! It never even occured to me... Thanks for the idea! :cheering:

05-19-2007, 12:09 PM
I have been listening to some 1940s radio shows while knitting. Those are really fun.

05-19-2007, 12:29 PM
I have been listening to some 1940s radio shows while knitting. Those are really fun.

My LYS was doing the same thing the last time I went in there, and it confused me so much. I was talking to the owner and not paying any attention until they started talking about Australia getting involved in the war. :think: It took me a bit to get my bearings straight and realize they weren't talking about Iraq.