I recently received an audiobook of short stories from a Publisher and I had the same problem. I found my mind wondering while I was listening and had to start over a few times and make sure there were no distractions around me. I have not completely given up on audiobooks, in fact, I want to try a novel instead of short stories. Maybe my experience will be different.
I listened to Jacques Costeau's The Human, The Orchid, and The Octopus while driving back and forth to DC. And, even though I think I caught a lot of it, I'm sure I would have been better off reading the book.
I had a great deal of trouble at first. I think it's a learned art. I used to keep pulling over to the side of the road, rewinding, and listening. It took me forever to get anywhere! But I kept at it and I'm really glad. Now I feel like I get so much more reading done. Because even 50% attention is better than not being exposed to the book at all. I don't, however, choose audiobooks that come from books with a lot of maps or explanatory pictures.
I can listen to full-cast audiobooks because those are like listening to radio plays or watching TV. It is just tough for me when there is a single reader. My mind starts to wander like I'm in a lecture. These days I even have trouble if my kids try to read me a few sentences out of a book and then ask me to explain them. I have to read it for myself.
I think if some of the simple romances I listen to were on audio I might be able to follow them. The Lori Wick Christian romances that I start and finish in a day would probably be easy for me to follow.
I think if I drove or had long cummutes I would enjoy them. But since I had to give up driving last year and I don't have a long trip to work, the only place I listen to them is at home and there are just too many distractions there.