Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Revenge of the Audio Books, Part Two

Thank you to Dolce Bellezza for bringing Renoir's
beautiful "Two Girls Reading" to my attention
Even though audio books allow for multitasking, I find I still prefer "real" reading. Whenever I have time to actually sit down and do nothing else but read, I always choose the paper-and-ink book over the audio version of Anna Karenina. I am sure that I miss things when I am reading the book with my ears instead of my eyes.

Also, just as I had previously surmised, when listening to the audio version my mind tends to wander the same way it does when I'm in church. All of a sudden I will reach a point when I realize my mind has gone off on a tangent and I have no idea what the reader is talking about. To be fair, that occasionally happens to me while eyeball-reading, too. I will get to the bottom of a page and realize that, although I looked at every word present, I have been inwardly composing either a grocery list or my mental agenda for the day rather than comprehending the words I'm looking at. On the other hand, with the tangible book I am much more likely to catch my inattention sooner and to go back to the point where I diverted from the book so I can read what I missed.

You know how different people learn more successfully in different ways? Some learn better by hearing, some through sight, and I guess some people have to pee on the electric fence themselves. I may have a combination of visual and tactile learning styles, but for a long time it has been obvious to me that auditory learning is not my strong suit. Audio books confirm that for me. Even so, I will be forever grateful to the format for allowing me to get through Anna Karenina. (Not that I've gotten through it yet, but I assure you I will, even though it may take longer than forever.)


Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I am the same way -- I really can't get into an audio book at all. My mind wanders, and I truly start to think of other things. I prefer actually absorbing the words with my brain AND eyes. It's the only way for pure enjoyment for me! :)

Kathy said...

Natalie--good to know I'm not the only one!

Lesa said...

I know several folks who swear by audiobooks but I've never tried one. I was planning a post about audiobooks and my living in the darkages then saw you and a couple of other people posting about them-- isn't that funny. Have you noticed themes flowing across the blogosphere at time?

Kathy said...

I do notice the theme thing! Also--this is not why I posted about audio books now, but Caroline Bookbinder has mentioned that August is Audio Book Appreciation Month, so that might be a partial explanation for a recent spate of audio book posts throughout the blogosphere.

Amanda said...

I love having a book read to me with a pleasant English accent. Yes, sometimes my mind wonders, but usually not if it is a good book and there is always the rewind button. It makes my annoying commute so much more tolarable!!

I also do love to cosy up with a good actual book. Each have their place. How else can you keep up with an ever growing TBR list??

Kathy said...

That's one drawback to LibriVox--not all of the readers have a pleasant English accent. ;) But most of them did very well anyway. Not bad for a freebie. I just wish they would finish books 5 through 8!

Even so, I've made it all the way to pg 441, with the partial help of audio! I'm more than halfway there.

I just saw yesterday that my library has the audio version of Brisingr! I may have to make use of that. I bought the book when it came out, but I just haven't been able to force myself to read it yet. Gotta get the thing off my TBR somehow!

kenpen said...

I get really fluffy audio books. I can't listen to books that are very serious or non-fiction.

But I love audio books--"read" while exercising, cleaning, etc.

Kathy said...

The multi-tasking feature is a big draw. Do you listen to audio books on something with headphones or through something with speakers? It was great to get AK from LibriVox since it was really easy to transfer to my iPod. I guess it wouldn't be too much harder to copy CDs into iTunes, but a book on tape might be even less convenient for me since I don't spend much time in the car and I don't think we have a tape player in the house!