1. Eliemme
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    Eliemme Member

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    books and audio-books.

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Eliemme, May 3, 2013.

    Hi all,
    I am curious to know what people think about audio books. I have never "heard" one until today, when I started listening to the short-story for the short-story club.
    I started reading it and could not finish it and was curious to know how it ended...(I did not manage to finish the audio version either, I am a mother of two and I cannot decide how to use my time!).

    So was cuirious to find out whether people normally "listen" to audio books, how they value the experience, etc.

    For me, it is a nice way to spend time, though i guess to read a book you need to pay much more attention so you get to engage with the material a lot more...

    Thanks for sharing your views,
    E
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I love them. I listen when commuting.

    Don't waste time with the abridged books. I can't for the life of me figure out why people don't want to hear the whole book.

    And if you don't like the reader, it can ruin any good book. So I always try to listen before buying. Fortunately our library carries audio books so I don't buy them as often as I listen to the library's.

    I tried having my Kindle read me a book, but it was too mechanical. Not the voice, but the lack of inflection in the sentences. On the other hand, some readers ruin books when they overkill trying to act out the dialogue. Personally, I hate when a male reader tries to sound too much like a female when reading the book. It affects how you think of the character.

    You can download actual audio books on Kindle, but I've not done that yet.

    Sometimes if a book is really engaging, I may listen to it in the car, but I'll keep listening in the house because I can't wait to hear the rest.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's been a really long time since I heard an audiobook (over a year for sure). It's definitely not my first choice, and I prefer the actual book for the reason you stated. Reading a book is a much more engaging experience for me.

    Also, my local library doesn't have a very good audiobook collection.
     
  4. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    I went from reading around 60 or so books a year to somewhere over 120 books a year because of audio books. One thing that is better than reading books is that you can do things while listening, like: gardening, washing the car, doing the dishes, or walking on the beach.

    However, do NOT listen to them while driving the car. Studies have shown that while you are listening to a particularly interesting scene you'll unconsciously look up and to the right: which in most cases will be no problem, it's just the few times where it would be a problem, it really is a problem.

    I know a number of new moms that love audio books.

    *and on a side note: it can only be a good thing for a writer to read (or take in) as many books as they can fit into their routine as possible.
     
  5. Teagan_A
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    Teagan_A New Member

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    When I worked outside of the home I enjoyed books on tape (I think I may have just dated myself). I would listen to them during my commute. The bad thing was that it always seemed to be at a really good spot when I arrived at work or home. There were times I would decide to drive around the block a few times. ;)

    Now, I just enjoy books or my kindle (not reading to me).

    As a side note, I actually just started liking my Kindle. I am a person that really enjoys having an actual book in my hands. Same with my teenage son. Though we got to a point where we owned about 5,000 books (and preparing for an out-of-state move) and decided it might be best to try to push ourselves into liking our Kindles. They are growing on us.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    What studies? I don't believe it at all.

    If one is talking on a phone, sure, but not an audio book.
     
  7. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    I wish I could listen to Audio books, but they seem too expensive. I can barely afford kindle books.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Have you checked you local library?
     
  9. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    Perhaps I should. I usually hang out at my college's library, and they barely have any fiction.
     
  10. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Ginge, don't listen to audio books while driving: Talking on cell phones, smoking, texting, reading the news paper, eating a hamburger, are all distractions that lead to inattentional blindness, and can kill you and/or others so just don't do it. I have driven hundreds of thousands of down town city miles in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, in all kinds of weather. And I recognized these dangers and stopped doing them years before any law said I had to. In fact, when things start to get stressful I turn everything off, and pay even more attention than I normally do.

    That being said...believe whatever you want.
     
  11. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I like to listen to audiobooks of poetry collections, and I have listened to my share of them I will admit. It's not the same as actually reading though. At least with prose, with poetry I actually think it's very important to be heard. It's maybe more important to speak it aloud than read it silently, you get a better feel for the rhythm, flow and words then.
     
  12. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    You don't have a public library card?

    All you need is a letter addressed to you in the area that library covers. I have 5 Library cards. One for every in city I spend time in. And two of those are co-ops, that have over 30 libraries connected to them. I have tens of thousands of available novels, E-book, and audio books to choose from.
     
  13. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    I very much agree. Though, I would have never been able to consume as many novels as I have without using audio books. And after reading, and listening to thousands of novels you get a real good idea of not only what makes a novel a good read, but also what makes a novel a bad read.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    @Nee:

    You claim there are studies.
    I ask you to cite one or more.
    And you answer, "believe what you want."

    OK, I will. I will believe the science and I don't find any that says there is evidence that audio books distract drivers. A quick search of both Google and Google Scholar finds a big goose egg. I found a couple discussions such as on the StraightDope forum with several assertions. But there are not any scientific studies to be found supporting your assertion. Why should anyone consider, "someone said so", as a basis for belief?

    I'll even posit a different hypothesis: on a long drive where falling asleep at the wheel is a known causal factor for vehicular accidents, an audio book is a good way to keep a driver awake.
     
  15. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    I forgot that you believe that personal experience--even professional experience--is worthless.

    I remember that there was talk as if it was as bad back when they were arguing whether to out-law cell phone use while driving in California, but I can't seem to find it on the net right now...so I'll have to let it pass--even though I know it's nearly as dangerous as talking on the cell while driving.

    Though, texting while driving is even worse than shaving while driving.

    But I think hardly anything is dumber than rolling a spliff while driving.
     
  16. Hambone
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    Hambone Member

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    I listen to audio books while I exercise, it's one of the things that keeps me exercising. I won't listen to the book anywhere else, only on the treadmill. So it's kind of a good thing for me.

    I download my audio books (as well as my Kindle books) from my local library's website.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's called a straw man when you make stuff up about the other person's argument. You got no evidence, it's not complicated.

    Unless you now claiming professional expertise in this matter? :rolleyes:

    So you are going by some vague recollection of some "talk" whatever that even means?

    Here's the thing, there are specific reasons a cell phone discussion distracts the driver (not talking about physical things like texting which there is plenty of evidence is problematic), that differs from passive listening, including passive listening to an engaging audio book.

    Talking Distractions: Why Cell Phones And Driving Don't Mix
     
  18. jeepea
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    jeepea Member

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    Many years ago I had to do an insane amount of driving. I would check out audio books on cassette from my library and listen to them while I drove. The selection was small at the time so I listened to many books I would never have actually read. Still, I enjoyed listening to them and it helped pass the time. I do recall that I mainly listened to them for the story. I didn't always pay a attention to the structure or style like I might have when reading the actual book. As a writer, I think that it's much more beneficial to see the words on the page so that you can see the paragraphing, sentence structure and punctuation. For me, it could sometimes be very hard to imagine the punctuation as some narrators tended to be very dramatic and so it was hard to tell how much license they were taking.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Some books are harder to get into in audio format. I'm currently having trouble getting into Thomas Pynchon's "Against the Day" on audio book and I think I may need to try reading it instead.

    But the Harry Potter series on audio books was excellent.
     
  20. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't finish audio books, and I'm not altogether sure why. It's not that I have trouble listening to voice recordings - lectures, stand-up comics, that sort of thing, they work fine for me. But audiobooks always make me feel impatient to rush ahead and absorb the book at my usual reading speed. I suppose it's because the lectures, comics, etc., consist of material that was _written_ for voice. But that still doesn't explain, it just moves the question a bit.
     
  21. Audrey
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    Audrey New Member

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    I love audiobooks if the reader is really good. I have been disappointed when readers have been mediocre and kinda ruined a good book with silly accents/monotone/etc.
     
  22. charlescollin
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    charlescollin New Member

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    I thing its very difficult to get every book in audio format. And spare time must be available for listing... both are difficult
     
  23. huntsman40
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    huntsman40 Active Member

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    I personally have no choice these days but to listen to audio books. I had a fairly large and rapid fail of my eyes last year. Didn't go blind, but my optic nerve was damaged enough that I can't read anymore, at least not books. So I listen to audiobooks a lot. My experience is that how good they are is often down to how good the narrator is. If they are good and the book is good then it will be a really good experience. Even if a book is good, a bad narrator can make that book seem average.

    As a side note I did see that you can self-publish audiobooks like you do ebooks on kindle. Think it’s called something like OCX, but I’ve not personally tried it as it’s only a US service currently it seems, but still if it works it looks like a good thing.
     

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