I’m guessing most of you like reading (or why would you be here), how do you feel about audio books?Deb – Booking Through Thursday
For me, “reading” means using my eyes, not my ears. As much as I acknowledge their usefulness while doing chores or using your hands, I only ever use audiobooks for the rare long drive–listening, no matter how pleasant, is not READING, yet people persist in telling me they like to read and that audio books are their favorites. Am I the only one to feel that’s just not the same thing?
I love audiobooks, I have bought quite a few of them, but I find that I can only concentrate on one thing when listening to them.1
If I’m doing something else, I have discovered I will either not listen and miss out on entire sections, or I will do whatever I was doing very badly. So when I’m in the car, I do not mind something talking on the radio, but you better hope I will not have to pay attention to it.2
When I’m ironing for instance, bored out of my mind, I’d rather have some music than miss out on an exciting chapter in a book!
Luckily, I travel a lot using public transport and audiobooks are just perfect for that! I’ve read read my way through Good Omens and Neverwhere3, all of Harry Potter (again, after speedreading through the paper versions), Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.4
Come to think of it, all these books I have read in their paper versions: I guess I do not want to read a book for the first time as audiobook, because I know I will get distracted and I will lose the plot.
I deliberately added emphasis to the verb read, because while I enjoy listening to books, I do not consider it reading. It’s a nice addition, as are radio plays or good podcast stories, but it is not the same as reading a book: be it on paper or electronically.
See also: Loud