Saturday, April 7, 2007

Audio Books

As I have been reading around the book blogs, I have seen a number of bloggers mentioning that they are "listening to books" as opposed to reading books. I assume this means the bloggers are actually listening to audio books (or books on tapes).

Now please do not take the following personally, as it is just my opinion.

I personally do not like listening to audio tapes. Something in me (personally) says this is cheating, and that one does not get the same pleasure from the words as you would when you are reading. Now I do realise that some people are naturally auditory rather than visual, but still, a book is made to be read, more than spoken.

The other reason I do not listen to audio books is that I am hard of hearing, which means I frequently miss words or I miss accents, nuances and so on. I have enough trouble trying to cope with the telephone or the TV in my everyday life without voluntarily adding books to the issue.

And listening to an audio book while driving is not very safe or practical. One moment of concentrating on the audio and not the road, and you can be involved in an accident.

OK - you can call me biased if you like, but that's why I am a STRICTLY a reader and not a listener of books.

1 comment:

Sam Houston said...

I share your sense of "cheating" when I listen to an audio book and I don't think that I'll ever get over that feeling. Listening to a book is a completely different experience than reading that same book because a good "actor" can make even a poor book seem to be much better than it really is.

That said, I do listen to audio books quite a bit. I usually have one going for those times that I'm driving alone or doing some "mindless" chore around the house like cleaning or painting, etc. I tend to finish one of the audio books every three or four weeks and they have almost always been something that I would have not read in book form anyway...books that would not have held my interest in written form.

I detest the "abridged" audio books and refuse to touch those. But I still can't get over the feeling that audio books are a "second class" version of the real thing.