1. yuriicide
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    yuriicide Member

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    Audio books vs Reading

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by yuriicide, Jan 26, 2011.

    I have just recently begun listening to a few audio books that Ive had for a while but never got around to. I find it really perplexing (at least the first couple of times), seeing as I'm more into actual reading, compared to audio or visual stories. What do you guys think of audio books in general? Do you find it helps you understand dialogue and sentence structure better as opposed to reading it?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love audiobooks - as a teen it was easiest way to 'read' on the bus, or whilst out exercising or I could even listen at work. As a Mum of three it is about the only 'reading' I seem to manage these days.

    I find I notice things I wouldn't when reading, lines stick out and ideas I wouldn't have thought about. Actually think I get more out of an audio than a print book but to buy an unabridged audiobook it very, very expensive.

    The 'storyteller' is also important who is reading it, a good actor isn't automatically a good reader. Try out the BBC Radio 4 and Radio 7 on the BBC radio website they usually have some good audiobooks, short stories and plays and are reliable in picking good readers.
     
  3. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't really listen to audio books, just because I prefer reading stories in print. I like holding the book physically, whereas listening to audio books I'd find myself easily distracted no matter how good the audio book was. But I have listened to the first few Harry Potter books on audio tape though because I couldn't get into them. It helped me know the story and characters making it easier when I went back and tried to read them in print again.
    Sometimes I listen to stories and plays on BBC Radio 4 and 7 because it's interesting to see the difference between writing for something to be listened to, and writing for something to be read.
     
  4. m5roberts
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    m5roberts Member

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    I actually work at an audio book store. They are pretty expensive, which is why we get most of or business from rentals.

    I'm a visual learner, so audio isn't necessarily my preferred method of reading, but it's really convenient if you have to commute. A lot of our customers are truckers, so they get their reading done while they work. For me personally, the benefit I've found so far is that it helps with vocabulary. A couple of times I have heard words pronounced that really took me aback; reading print for vocab retention can only go so far.

    Also, they have the potential to make reading social. A whole family or a group of friends or whatever can sit around the same audio book and discuss it as they go. My roommates and I do this all the time.

    So, basically, I don't see audio books replacing print books for me, but each of them has its place in my life.
     
  5. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I don't mind them. We usually get a couple for our LONG holiday trip (about 18 hours drive time total).

    The big difference is that I can't control the pacing. I can't slow down when the prose gets dense or speed through an infodump. Bad because I give up some control, but good as it makes for an easier read.

    It's also harder to stop for a while then find where I left off. Bad because it's annoying, good as it encourages me to NOT put it up.

    Just some thoughts.

    -Frank
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Audiobooks are the one thing that are still by far the best on cassette tape. It stops right where you left off. I also know which 'readers' match my pace nicely and which ones I can't take. I often choose the audiobooks based on who is reading it - I love David Tennant, Stephen Fry, John Barrowman, Gervase Phinn, Alan Bennett etc

    Some books I like best on audio - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it was originally written as a radio play and its pace suits audio. Gervase Phinn because I laugh so much reading his books, that they are hard to read, Jane Eyre, because it doesn't matter if I cry. I find humour and emotion are best served on audio lol I can get far more involved with a story when I don't have to worry about tears blurring my ability to read.

    Oh and authors I don't particularly like a good reader has in the past helped me get through Thomas Hardy and Catcher in the Rye.
     
  7. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    I like audio books, but if I have the option between the two, I'll usually go with reading...occasionally reading and listening (this allows me to multi-task and get some other things done while continuing the story). Audio books serve me best when (driving) on long road trips when I can't actually read, but still want to dive into a story. I listen to them on my iPod.

    I've also used audio books to force me to read a few books. If I just can't get into the book and need to read it for other purposes, I'll get the audio book and just follow along. Something about doing this keeps me from falling asleep while reading. :p

    I tend to find that audio books are only good, too, if it has a good narrator, meaning that the person's voice fits with the tone and pacing of the story.
     
  8. Son44
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    Son44 New Member

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    I'm a bit of a lazy person when it comes to reading ( I want to improve my writing, but I don't want to read... huh...) and if the book is like 600 pages ++ I usually go for an audio book.

    Saves me time + I can do stuff at the same time.
     
  9. Spacer
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    Spacer Active Member

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    I've only used then during a long drive.

    If I had to listen instead of read, while giving it my full attention, I think I would find it so slow that my mind would wander and I'd get bored.
     
  10. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    I was almost exclusively an audiobook person when I was a kid, I was too poor with my english skills and it would take me stupidly long to read. I became pretty encyclopaedic on the Harry Potter books because every night I would listen to them to put me to sleep; I seem to absorb info really well when I'm on the brink of sleep because I can literally pull quotes out of those books with a lot of precision. I must have listened to the first 5 books thousands of times. However I read the 6th and 7th as the audio books were too expensive and I couldn't be bothered to wait, so I read them, and eventually I just read all the books which I've now read many times. But i still listen to audiobooks, they're fantastic. I don't usually like sleeping without something like a film to put me to sleep, so audiobooks are useful for that.
     
  11. impure
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    impure Member

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    I prefer reading since I have a kindle.
    It gives me more of a complete experience IMO.
     
  12. Vargroth375
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    Vargroth375 New Member

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    I prefer reading the actual book because i can imagine whats happening and picture it better then when you have someone reading out and trying to change their voice to suit the character.
     
  13. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Audio books were great when I used to be in my car a lot. Like most here, I prefer the written word, but audio books definitely had there place. When I was a kid, I always enjoyed when teachers would read to us in class, a chapter or so a day till the book was done. Audio books are a little like that.
     

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