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Interview with a Listener: Tom Anderson

Updated: Oct 31, 2019


Listener Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson just finished listening to Giving Up Giving Up, by Author Abigail Gazda. It is available now on iTunes, Amazon and Audible.


Hi Tom,


Thank you so much for connecting with us today! We are excited to learn more about you as an audiobook listener, as well as your impressions of this audiobook!


First, some particulars:

Your Name:

Tom Anderson


Title of the Book You Just Listened For Us:

Giving Up Giving Up, The Memoir of a Quitter, self-narrated by Abigail Gazda.


What City do you live in?

Woodbury, Minnesota (Suburban Minneapolis/St.Paul)


IHS: What was your favorite part about this particular audiobook?

Tom: Due to the subject matter and the author being the narrator it almost felt like a therapy session.


IHS: Give us a ballpark to know how “avid” an audiobook listener you are: How many audiobooks have you listened to in the past 12 months?

Tom: I’m hoping 65 doesn’t make me sound like I don’t have a life.


IHS: How did you get into listening to audiobooks? Were you a reader first?

Tom: Reader then, reader now. But I listen to audiobooks when I work out mainly because I got tired of listening to music.


IHS: What are you usually doing when you are listening to audiobooks?

Tom: Working out.


IHS: Listeners, like book readers, often have their favorite niche or genre, and things they don’t like to get into. What kinds of books do love, and which do you stay away from?

Tom: I am almost exclusively a non-fiction person. Last on my list would probably be Romance; typical guy.


IHS: Sometimes you can really get into a book! Any funny stories about something that happened while you were in “another world” while listening-away?

Tom: I was on a flight a number of years ago listening to a book-on-tape. There was a screaming baby in the row behind us. The man next to me tapped me on the shoulder and said “I’ll give you $100 cash for your headphones and tape player.” About fifteen minutes later he upped the ante to $200 and I still didn’t sell. Some things are priceless.


IHS: Do you ever follow a narrator? If you like their voice, will you go out of your way to pick up another book by the same narrator? Any particular narrators you really like?

Tom: I really like it when an author reads their own work. That sometimes tips the scale for me. Great narrators can make a bad book better but a bad narrator can ruin a great book.


IHS: What about the length of an audiobook? Do you look for longer books for the entertainment? Or do you prefer shorter, quick listens?

Tom: I used to think bigger was better but now I ask myself “do I really want to spend 19 hours with that subject matter?”


IHS: What will make or break an audiobook for you?

Tom: Subject matter (something poorly written) and/or a bad narrator.


IHS: Are there any kind of books that just shouldn’t be made into audiobooks in your opinion?

Tom: Cookbooks!


IHS: Let’s talk reviews. What do you usually look for in an audiobook, and what do you usually comment on when you write your reviews?

Tom: I pretty much review everything I listen to so I don’t select an audiobook thinking about the review. I will always mention content and narration and I am probably more forgiving than I should be with some books.


IHS: What should people look for before deciding to purchase? The star rating? The detailed reviews? The summary?

Tom: Something that grabs you. I look for books on subjects I don’t know much about; I want to learn something new from every book I listen to.


IHS: Are there any audiobook haters in your friends or family? People who are avid “page-turners” or those who think listening to audiobooks is “not really reading”? What do you say to them?

Tom: “Did you love it when your parents or a teacher read to you as a child?


IHS: According to Audible, only about 1 in 20 books is in audiobook format. If a book is not in audiobook format, will you buy it? How many actual books did you buy and read last year?

Tom: I still read and I am an avid e-book reader. I read 58 e/p books last year so doing the math I finish one audiobook and one e/p book every week on average. But remember: I’m retired!


IHS: Finally, what advice would you give to an author who is considering doing an audiobook?

Tom: Just do it. And do the narration yourself. No one knows the material better than you.


Okay, now. We'd like to know your Top 10 Best Audiobooks You’ve Listened To in the Last Year.

In no particular order:

Bicycle Diaries-David Byrne

The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret-Kent Hartman

You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves-Hiawatha Bray

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose-Joe Biden

You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams-Alan Cumming

What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves-Benjamin K. Bergen

What I Talk about When I Talk about Running- Haruki Murakami

Look Up, Move Forward-Becky Andrews

Death Becomes Us-Pamela Skjolsvik

Finder: The True Story of a Private Investigator-Marilyn Greene


How about Top 10 Things I’d Do If I Get Ridiculously Rich?

Trust fund my kids and grandkids

Get the house painted so I don’t have to do it

New driveway (ain’t that sexy?)

New deck (see above)

Split time between here and the U.K.

Be a really benevolent benefactor to my favorite charity

Create a legacy of charitable support that will continue long after I am gone

Pay someone to convince my wife that knee surgery can be a good thing-I’ve failed in doing that

Try to establish an American equivalent to the British National Trust – We are historically ignorant and historically destructive

Support PBS and the CPB – Free, quality television should be a given


That's awesome! Okay, Tom. Thank you so much for your time today.


Folks, that's a wrap!


Cheers!


Kimberly


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