As mentioned in my previous post, I listened to an audio book for the first time. A couple of friends use audiobooks exclusively and it seems to work for them so thought I’d give it a try to supplement my reading. I’m going to go ahead and outline what I feel are the pros and cons of audio books as opposed to paper or e-books.
The number one attraction to audio books for me is that I don’t have to pause the rest of my life, loved that I could do other mundane things whilst enjoying a book…. dishes, walking, pretending to listen to other people (I joke, I joke, I kid, I kid). It actually appears that when I’m doing something mindless like running on a treadmill, I pay better attention to the narrator! I think it’s quite a personal thing, each person will have to experiment and see where the audio book fits best in your day-to-day life
Obviously there’s the space advantage, you can carry a lot more audio books around than paper books.
Audio books are clearly very convenient but there are some pitfalls, for example, my imagination is a little less engaged. Normally when I read books I determine the characters voice, their inflections e.t.c. but with audio books, there’s no choice. It’s in your ear and that’s all you’re getting. Although when it’s done right and the narrator fits the story being told, then its bliss.
With a book, if you lose concentration, you can easily reread the sentence or paragraph you skimmed. But if your mind wanders whilst listening to an audio book you might not rewind? –I didn’t have much trouble staying focused this time, but in all honesty if my mind wanders at this stage, I probably won’t rewind, that will have to be something I’d work at over time. In the book I listened to (Heartburn by Nora Ephron) there were recipes scattered in here and there, had I been reading a book, I could have easily skimmed them. There is the option of fast forwarding with audio books, but there was no way of knowing where the recipe ends? So, I really just had to wait it out. This in a way can be a plus since audio books make you hear each word. You experience the entire book as the author intended, no skimming!
I specifically avoided listening to the book lying in bed around bedtime because that’s a recipe for sleep!
In my opinion, listening to a book can be the same as reading it, after all the story is still conveyed to you, you just process the words via a different channel. Some people, myself included on occasion, still enjoy the feeling of curling up with a physical book. Those moments where you want quiet solitude with the voices in your head that make the stories come to life.
I’ll definitely keep listening to audio books, I enjoyed the experience and it’s very convenient, but I’m still a fan of reading books. Perhaps I just like the voices in my head, who knows?! 😛
Happy Reading ❤