Audible Reading

[The winners of signed advance reading copies of SOMEONE TO LOVE are Alea and Sheila–last names unknown at the moment. Congratulations to them! And thanks Β to all who left a comment. I have contacted both ladies and await their replies and their addresses.]


Are books best read with the eyes or listened to with the ears? There is no correct answer to that question, of course, only personal preference. It is certainly true that the oral tradition of telling and passing on stories preceded the written word. And how sad it would be if children could not experience stories until they learned to read them for themselves. However, I have always found listening to a story difficult–though I can’t recall how well I did at it as a preschooler. When my family used to gather about the radio to listen to a weekly drama (yes, I do remember those days!) I would settle with great determination to listen. But before many minutes had passed, I would be off in my own imaginary world. The same held true when teachers read aloud to the class. I would have to get the book and read it for myself–and then the magic would kick in.


Audio books have become increasingly popular in the last few years. I do not listen to them myself. I prefer the voice in my head, which seems to have a very direct connection with my imagination. I had a very peculiar reaction when I tried listening to one of my own books read by someone else, especially when it came to the dialogue. Quite frankly, I was horrified! Β A similar thing happens when readers occasionally suggest an actor or actress for a particular hero or heroine of mine and I think–really? REALLY? I think our imaginations are as uniquely individual as our fingerprints. I do recognize, however, that the time may come when my eyesight will no longer allow me to read with any great comfort and I will be very grateful indeed to have an alternative. Readers tell me they love to listen to audio books in the car or when housecleaning or cooking or when they are too weary to pick up a book. How very fortunate we are that there are now so many ways of entertaining ourselves with stories–through paper books, through ebooks, through audio books, and even (dubiously) through movies.


All my newer books are available in audio format, most of them from Recorded Books (see the link in the drop-down menu at the head of my web page). But now Tantor Media (affiliated with Recorded Books–and the same link will get you there) has agreed, with a little persuasive help from my agent, to go back to record what are probably my most popular older series–the six Β SLIGHTLY (Bedwyn saga) books and the four SIMPLYs. And since for the first time I had a choice of narrator, I asked for the one most readers like best–Rosalyn Landor. And I got her! The SIMPLYs are already available, and the SLIGHTLYs have started. SLIGHTLY MARRIED went on sale on September 30, 2016, and the others are to follow quite fast on its heels. SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS, Wulfric, Duke of Bewcastle’s story, the last of them, will be out in April, 2017. I do hope you will enjoy listening to all ten of these books.


I have no copies to give away, unfortunately. However, I do still have two Advance Reading copies of SOMEONE TO LOVE, Book 1 of the new eight-part Westcott family series, due out in November. I will send them, signed, to two randomly chosen people who make a comment below before the end of Next Tuesday, October 4. Good luck.

98 Replies to “Audible Reading”

      1. I am waiting for this book since I read the teaser in only beloved book
        and I would like to have signed one from you. hope I will be lucky and good luck for everyone.

        1. Just printed a list of all your books, buying them for Nook and Kindle, I want to replace hard copies for my upcoming senior years ( I am 72 now) and I do not want to give up any of your stories, they are so great to read over and over, through the years. I wait for each one to be released.. I can hardly wait for the next two!!

    1. I had received an advance copy from First to Read. Somehow I made the mistake of deleting it before I could download to my computer. I am so heartbroken about this because you are my favorite Historical Romance writer.

    2. I have every book Mary has written and she is my only collection. I have been recuperating for four months thus far from a fall in which I fractured both elbows. As I can not yet drive to my library, my collection of Mary’s books has sustained me and inspired me. Mary has such an understanding of human nature and yearnings of the heart, at any age. Her development of character is sublime. I do so admire that the stories are character driven. I’ve neever read any author that I cry at the end of the series because I will miss the characters. And….is anyone more beloved by fans than the Duke of Bewcastle? Marcia Solomon in Charlotte, NC.

      1. Marcia, I feel for you in your injury. Whether you read Mary’s books in print or listen to audio versions (which I have never yet done with her books), you can probably also download e-books or audio books from your library. I have read most of Mary’s books numerous times, both individually and in series sequence and have found them delightful, each and every time. If you’re in the U.S., there’s also, a great source of audio books & blogs about topics that interest you, to which you may subscribe. I hope you heal quickly & have excellent pain management. Good luck & good health to you!

    3. A new series coming…another taste of excellence. I am in awe of how there are so many stories in your head..and the diversity is phenomenal. After 30 years and they are still fresh and new.

  1. I’m not an audio listener either, but my mom loves books on audio.
    A Sumner to Remember was my first Balogh novel, I loved it so much that I continued to find and devour every book I could get my paws on (I prefer an actual book to an e-reader)
    I’m looking forward to this new series, November is going to be a happy month for me.

  2. I would love an early copy of your first book of the new series. Fortunately to tide me over, I can always find the chance to re-read some your old books. And currently reading Venetia by Georgette Heyer for the umpteenth time!

  3. I have been listening to audio books for about 4 years. I find that like many people, my life is very busy and I have a very difficult time sitting down to read. The audio books allow me to “read” and cook, do laundry, drive, etc.
    I actually found you Ms. Balogh through audio books. I was searching for books narrated by Ms. Landor and found Simply Perfect. I fell in love with Claudia and Joseph and YOU! I now own every one of your books on Audible, including Simply Married. Thank you for helping get that done!

  4. I’m like you Mary. I prefer to read. Even in my late 60’s I can still read the phone book without glasses! Hope that continues. I enjoyed the occasional audio book while on a long distance drive. And it was a great advantage to be able to download ebooks from my local library in Canada during our 3 month stay in Florida. But the physical book is still my favourite.

  5. I’ve collected all your books and am looking forward with great anticipation to your new series. I only hope I live long enough to collect the whole Westcott series as they are written πŸ™‚ Your writing is a joy to read in this troubled world of today.

  6. I’m very excited to hear the Slightly series through audible reading. It was the first series that introduced me to Mary’s writing and I’ve been a fan ever since. I would love to win the ARC for Someone To Love.

  7. I have tried the audio books, but like you, Mary, I find print better for me. I like my own voice in my head, putting emphasis and pauses that create the perfect story, as I feel it. I don’t like to hear what someone else thinks when they read. You have a gift for letting me envision every scene, in colorful detail.
    Thank you, and I can’t wait to begin your next series. ❀️

  8. Not sure how I feel about Audio books. Years ago, I had an audio version of one of Maya Angelou ‘s books read by her. It was her own biography, read in her own rich deep voice – and I loved it. Not sure I would feel the same about a novel. I listened to a sample from “Slightly Married” on Amazon. That book is one of my favorites, but it seemed to me that there was a loss of intimacy. As if another reader was coming between me and the characters in the book. Maybe I wouldn’t feel the same if I had not already read the book.

    I would love to have an advanced copy of “Someone to Love.” I read a portion in BUZZ BOOKS and I just can’t wait! You are such a good author.

  9. I am such a big fan of yours Ms. Balogh! I have every one of your books that I can get.
    I hope you pick me to be the one who gets one of the advanced reading copies.

    God Bless!

  10. I had a bunch of cleaning and organizing to do yesterday and blew through half of Slightly Married in audio. I’ve read it a bunch of times, but listening is a different kind of enjoyment. Looking forward to the rest of the series coming out in audio over the next few months.

  11. I am not a listener to audible books. I have several friends who love to “read” that way. If I have my druthers, I like actual books I can hold in my hand. But, recently I have been doing a lot of reviews and most books sent to me are e-books. When I read books I love, I picture in my head the way the characters look and also how they sound. In fact, though I am unable to speak with an upper class British accent, I imagine hearing one quite easily. So, I am not sure whether hearing a book read to me would hurt the imaginary book world in my head.

  12. I can remember as a child listening to my dad tell stories, he would have read them because he would tell fairy tales but use different voices and would act out the parts, his favorite was the Brennan Town Musicians( not sure I have the exact title) but I can still hear them in my head. Generally I am like you my mind would wander when read to, I am happy there are so many audio books available for both blind and dyslexic people, it has opened worlds for them and the new movie theaters which have narration for the blind, as an office nurse I had a young patient who was born blind but he was able to get DVD,s with narration and his friends and cousins would watch them with him, with his cane and eventually his seeing eye CAT was able to function very well. Would love to have an advance reader book but I don’t want to be selfish, just won your tote. Have a wonderful weekend. Jan

  13. Lots of my friends listen to books as they drive. I find it too distracting. I always prefer to read. Love the Simply series

  14. I love audiobooks, I listen to books on my 40 minute drive to and from work everyday. It is like a movie in my head. I have listened to all your books in the last 5-6 years and have enjoyed them so much.
    I especially love to listen when there is an accent Irish or Scottish. I would love to win an advanced copy of your new series, thanks for the chance to win.

  15. At this point in time, I’m with you on not listening to books. I prefer to go at my own pace with reading–stop and review sections here, jump around there. The day will likely come when listening to books beats no books, but I hope not for a very long time!

  16. Thank you for writing such heart-felt books. I could connect with most of the ladies in your book. Your books have helped me and continue to help me in what is a very challenging phase in my life

  17. Like you, I’m currently not into audio books, but Ms Landor does have a beautiful voice for the narration. Would love to get an ARC of the new book.

  18. I only recently started dipping into audio books. I like to listen to some of my favorite books when I don’t have the ability to read. I notice different things when listening and I’ve found that it gives me something new to enjoy in old favorites.

  19. I like listening to audio books while traveling with family in the car; although, we haven’t done this for awhile as my boys have grown up. This started because my oldest son is autistic (now 22) and he loved listening to someone reading him the story as he read along. At first, that someone was me – I taped myself reading some of his favorite stories. Then, I was able to find other series on audi books for him to read along with.

    For myself, I like either reading a physical book or my kindle. I too have read everything in print or on kindle that you have written and enjoy rereading several. (My mother started me reading your books, because she also enjoyed them. It was our habit of buying the latest in the survivors series for each other – whoever happened to go to the bookstore when they came out. Because of these, I went back and read all of your other series. Mom had them all, but I also bought them. She passed away this summer, but just going through my library brings back many happy memories and discussions of your books.) I just finished “A Chance Encounter” and look forward to “The Wood Nymph” before “Someone to Love” is released. Can’t wait.

  20. I have a few audible books. And I love Roslyn Landors voice. I like to listen to them when I am busy sewing my quilts.

  21. Mary: I listen to books in the car. Not yours as I get them on day and and devour them. Pace of read to only works in the car and especially with non fiction that I might otherwise find hard going. I also listen to books when I love the accent or voice. The Alexander McCall Smith Botswana books are ones where the accent takes me to the place. I also listen to Dick Francis on tape sometimes when I want something in the car and I don’t see anything else or I want an English accent. I have read all of his many times but it is a good escape in the car. Who wants the news. Though lately I have done multiple times thru the cast recording of Hamilton. I can’t wait to see it. Mary

  22. I am very grateful for audio books. My mother and I have always been avid readers, mostly historical romances. When my mother could no longer read due to eye diseases, she started listening to her books. She receives her audio books mainly from Braille Institute which she very much appreciates. She and I still enjoy reading or listening to all your stories.

  23. I can hardly wait to get the audio versions of the Slightly series. I have wished for them for years. I have reread all of the books in this series at least once and once the audio books are out I will listen to them all.

    I read books more often than I listen to audio books but I do enjoy listening, especially when I am driving or cooking or doing other chores. And a good reader can enhance my visualization of the characters.

    Several readers mentioned A Summer to Remember. It is one of my favorites. I have bought about at least 8 copies of that book and given them to friends to introduce them to your books. The next time I want to introduce your books I will have to decide whether to give that book or the first book in the Survivors’ Club series.

  24. I have read the Slightly books and the Simply series. Great stuff! I will listen as I sometimes need to do a boring task with my hands but not my head! The reader makes a big difference and you have a good one. So looking forward to this new series. I would love to win an advanced copy.

  25. I too prefer to read the books myself, and hear the voices of the characters in my imagination. In the past, I did narrate books for visually impaired readers, and know how much enjoyment they get from reading in that way. Now so many more people will be able to become acquainted with the Simply and Slightly families.

  26. I love listening to audible books when I have long drives. When my kids were little we listened to all of the classics (Dickens, Twain etc). I enjoy a good story any way I can get it.
    Can’t wait for your new series.

  27. Your writing is so beautiful. I get so emotional reading your work. You are one of the very few writers who actually get me so involved that I get butterflies in my stomach! Can’t wait for your next series!

  28. Your ways of putting characters and their stories are full of love, hope….
    I bought all your books in print and in e-books. I’m that dedicated and loyal πŸ™‚
    I’m looking forward of your upcoming new series which I know would be full of love and fun and romance….
    Good luck to you. And may you have more blessings and wonderful years to come.

  29. I am an audio book lover as they allow me to do other things and still read. I have some of your series already and they have kept me sane on long car trips. I have not read or listened to these books yet but would so love to. Thank you for your wonderful stories and imagination.

  30. I don’t like audiobooks, but I think it’s so exciting for people that do that like audio books that those series are available! I love the Simply and the Slightly series!

  31. It depends for me, which I do. there are some books, that are easier to get through if I listen to them on audio, but a majority of the books I get, i read them in paperback/hardback, or on my kindle. Looking forward to the new series! I love Wulfric’s book especially! So glad they are coming to audio. It will be great to experience those again.

  32. I am such a fan of all your book series. The Bedwyn series is my most favourite. I can’t wait for your new book to come out. I ordered your early books on Audible as soon as they came out. Please keep the historical romances coming.

  33. I am a HUGE fan of audiobooks, with the caveat that a bad narrator can ruin a good book. I’ve so glad that Rosalyn Landor will be narrating the Slightly/Simply books. A couple of your previous narrators have not been so great and have definitely affected my enjoyment of those books.

  34. I have not listened to many audio books. I love the feel of actual physical books in my hand and the smell of them too much to fully switch over but I drive 45 mins to get to work so I have been thinking about get some audio books to listen too! I would love to listen to the Slightly series on my way to work and I’m looking forward to your new series as well!!!

  35. I have always liked being read to since my earliest years. My mother and first grade teacher were especially good readers and I have no problem listening to a story and using my imagination to bring it to life. I have many of your books on audio and am extremely happy about the Slightly and Simply series being made available too. I also love to read and I usually start with the real thing before getting a copy through the library for my e-reader. I am always grateful for another chance to win an autographed copy of your newest book and hope this will be my turn!

  36. I love your writing, Mary. The characters and stories are exciting and comforting to me; after one or two readings they seem like old friends or family. I look forward to the pleasure of reading the Wescott series. The director of the library in my small, semi-rural town has promised to order several of your upcoming books. One of these days I’ll get a call from the library to pick up a book I reserved (yours) and I can’t wait!!!! I continue to prefer to read a book, hold it in my hand, turn the pages back and forth but learned to appreciate audiobooks before I retired, when I had long commutes by car or train.

  37. I love audio books. I have listened to Only Beloved several times. I’m looking forward to the new series as I enjoy your writing tremendously.

  38. If listen to audio books while knitting. I’ve frequently found, however, that they tend to skip, although that may be my ipod and not the books. In either case, it’s extremely annoying.

  39. I listened to the sample of Rosalyn Landor How expressive she is! She is sure to hold interest.
    I am looking forward to reading the new Westcott series!

  40. I never really liked reading before but when I started appreciating it via your books I loved it. When I discovered the audio books I was hooked and I can’t stop though its pretty long but it a great accompaniment to my daily chores. I think as long as books are wonderfully written and they bring out the imagination of the reader/listener it works either way. For me I enjoy both the book and audio book. The audiobook is like a drama that I like watching but its playing on my mind as I listened to it.However the book is like a personal sanctuary that I like to divulge in my own time. If its your work is worth reading and watching. Thank you for writing them!! and I hope I get to read more.

  41. I’m so glad to hear more of your books will be on audio! I listen in my car a lot – helps the commute so much! Looking forward to your new series!

  42. Audio books (if they are unabridged) are a great way to “read” books if you have not the time to read a book because you are otherwise occupied.
    A decade ago I was commuting home and back to work after the weekend (I spent three hours one way in my car) I listened to audio books every time.
    Now I’m working closer to home and commute everyday by train and I haven’t touched an audio book, because now I have the leisure to read and with that I find my reading pace is different from how a story is read in an audio book. I always think “Get to the point!”.

    PS: Can’t wait until November

  43. I am an avid audio book listener and I am excited to hear this news! Roslyn Landor is the perfect choice for your books! I am delighted that you were able to get her! Cannot wait to listen to these favorites.

  44. Oh I’m so excited for the audio books. Now I can enjoy my two favorite hobbies at the same time…reading and cross stitching. Thank you so much for wonderful storylines and such beautiful characters!!!

  45. ALL your books are my favorites. I read them over and over, and never tire of the way your characters sound in my head. Like you, I don’t care to be read to; I’d rather form my own mental image of how the characters talk, and I don’t have the patience to wait for the spoken word.

  46. I tried audiobooks because I thought I could listen them while knitting. Didn’t work for me at all. First I got distracted either in my knitting or the story and when I was back in track came the dialogue between man and woman. The female narrator (can’t remember her name) tried to change her voice for the male part. No, no, no! If she had just lowered her voice a little it would have been fine, but it was kind of nasal growling that annoyed me so much that I stopped listening. I might try again with different book and narrator, maybe something British or Irish because I love those accents.

  47. Random, huh? Well, I’d love to receive a book from you, although I already own them all, I think, in paperback or hard cover having spent some time chasing down elusive out-of-print copies on e-Bay and other used book sites all while assuring my husband that he could sell them later and recoup the atrocious prices I paid for some of them. Not sure how I feel about audio books as I’ve never listened to one. I don’t recall my parents reading to us as children, but I learned to read at an early age and was doing that for myself as far back as I can remember. I did have teachers in the one-room country school who read to us after recess, but I could hardly wait for them to put the book down so I could read it for myself. As a teacher, later, I always read to my students. So many of them struggled with reading and needed the modeling so much of so many aspects involved with reading. My all time favorite comment from a student about that reading aloud was one who announced to me and the class at the conclusion of the current book, “That’s the first whole book I’ve ever read!” Don’t think I could have been paid a higher compliment.

  48. I am a great fan of audio books, since I have a significant commute from Baltimore to Washington, but I tend to listen to non-fiction and read fiction. Of course, there are exceptions and I probably could not have gotten through all of the Dorothy Dunnett books, both the Lymond and the Niccolo series without listening to a significant portion. It makes the travel much more bearable and sometimes even something to look forward to!

  49. Just finished your “Survivors Club” series. Looking forward to “Someone To Love”. Thanks for many hours of enjoyment.

  50. Mary, I am with you on listening to books read aloud – they don’t sound like the voice I hear when I read them. And movie actors so often do not match my imagination. Sometimes the actor performance has risen up over my imagined version – I now see Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn but I cannot see Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. But as you say, for many who do not have the time to sit and read a book or for those who can no longer see the written word, audio books are a blessing.

    Can’t wait for the Westcott Series!

  51. Mary,
    Your books run through my head a lot. Especially while ironing or doing the dishes. Wouldn’t it be nice to actually listen to one?
    As for a new series, YES PLEASE! I’ve read the survivors club series frontwards and backwards and inside out. I think I’m ready for a new obsession.

  52. I received an advanced copy from “First to Read”. Somehow I deleted it before I downloaded the book. I am heart broken because you are my favorite Historical Romance writer.

  53. I’m so excited for your newest release! I have purchased all of your books over the years and I love your writing style. Your storytelling captures the beauty and elegance of historical romance and it never fails to transport me into the worlds you create. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have one of your books to read at the end of the day.

  54. I am so excited for the Slightly series coming to audio! They are some of my favorite historicals and their lack of an audio version has been much missed. And with Rosalyn Landor narrating, oh happy day! πŸ™‚ I love her work on your other series and hope that more of your backlist will translate to audio in the near future (especially your regencies such as the Stapleton-Downes series!) Even though you are not a fan of audios yourself, thank you so much for thinking about who listeners would like for the narrator and working to get the best one.

    It took me a while to train my ear to accept stories through audio, because I’m more a visual learner, but I started out only doing books I’d read before in print and that helped immensely. Since having kids, my reading time in the past 2 or 3 years has become about 75% audio and the other 25% mostly rereads or gobbling up new releases when I get a moment. I’m definitely looking forward to making time for Someone to Love and the new Westcott series! Thanks for the arc giveaway and all the hours of enjoyment reading and rereading your wonderful books. Cheers!

  55. Although I don’t personally like audio books how lovely it must be for people with little or no sight to be able to listen to your lovely books.

  56. I am a big fan of audio books. I’ve listened to the Survivor’s Club series and the Huxtable Quintet series. Can’t wait to listen to more of your books in the future.

  57. I love a well-performed audiobook. Notice that I said “well-performed”. I like the narrator to give different voices and inflections to different characters. But I also enjoy e-books when I have time to sit down and read. Yes, I read paper and ink books, but having over 1000 books in audio alone, I have no room on my shelves.
    But what I really like is whisper-sync, a service offered by Amazon for Kindle and Yes, Amazon – the book behemoth – owns both. Whisper-sync allows me to read the e-book when I have time to sit down and relax, but listen if I have chores to do. This is also good when you’re reading a book set in medieval Scotland. I was reading Hannah Howell’s Highland Groom (part of the Murray/MacEnroy series – my first HH)) when I had to switch to audio. I’m glad I did, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to stop while reading, trying to figure out how to say some of those names. and without the e-book, I wouldn’t have known how to spell them.
    So either audio or print is good, but both together can be very useful.

  58. I do a combination of both, especially when the companion Audible book is under $5. I’ll fall asleep listening to a “bedtime story” of an old favorite on my phone – the sleep timer is set for 30 minutes and I’m usually knocked out waaaay before then. πŸ™‚

  59. Your books transport me to another place, another time. I have been a fan for years. My favorite was the Slightly series and I was delighted to see Eleanor get her happily ever after in Once Upon a Dream. Would love to have a signed copy of your new book.

  60. The Simply books were the first audiobooks I bought when I first joined Audible in 2008. I love your books, and I love Rosalyn Landor. Can’t wait for the rest of the Slightly Series to come to audio.

  61. Eight stories in the Wescott series? Yea!! I am loving it so far. I especially enjoy listening to your books. But I do read them as well. I so enjoy the escape from this crazy world. Please keep writing them. You do it so well.

  62. I love the Westcott books. Mary creates characters that come to life and dig into your emotions. It is so great to have an author I can go to to release emotions although I am wrung out by the end of the book. The survivors did that very well too. Thanks Mary!!!

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