TBR Jar Challenge: March

During March, I had the challenge of reading, or in this case listening to, an audiobook.

I’m not someone who enjoys audiobooks that much. After a childhood of travelling, I have learnt to associate them with smell of coffee and the feeling of travel sickness. As a result, I tend to avoid them when I can.

This challenge was fairly difficult to get started. I had no audiobooks handy when I was given the challenge – all the audiobooks I could have potentially listened to were at my parent’s house, because they’re the ones who listen to them. I, on the other hand, do not. I also discovered how expensive audiobooks actually were – another obstacle to overcome.

In the end, I signed up for the free monthly trial at audible, where you get a free audiobook as well. It seemed perfect. Unfortunately, I had no idea which book to get. A video recommendation by Hails Hearts NYC inspired me to choose ‘Beauty Queens’ by Libba Bray, and I am glad I did.

‘Beauty Queens’ follows a group of beauty pageant contestants after they survive a plane crash on a deserted island. Starting off very superficial, their true selves and various skills gradually start to reveal themselves. But, not only do they have to contend with basic survival, they also have to keep up appearances for competing in the pageant once they get rescued and they must survive against a secret group hiding out on the island that want to kill them.

It is a very satirical novel, making fun of reality television, gender stereotypes and corporations, and the way it was written really worked well in the audiobook format – there were ad breaks, mirroring commercials of today and little snippets about the contestants. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much as a paper book.

I will admit, it did take a while to get used to the format. I often have trouble focusing on just an audio stimulus, so often need to do something with my hands. So, to start with, I ended up listening to it as a I tidied my room or walked to lectures. These were often interrupted by other noises and distractions, however, so I ended up missing chunks of the beginning. Towards the end of the book, I managed to sit down and just enjoy listening. I got engrossed in the story and looked forward to the next segment.

Amazingly enough, despite my initial aversion to audiobooks, I am now excited to start my next one.

Before that, however, I have my TBR Jar Challenge for April: Read a book and watch its adaption. I have a couple of options for this, and it is a challenge I am really looking forward to.

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