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nursenblack

Reading vs Listening

57 posts in this topic

I'm not familiar with Goodreads. I use a few german sides, that allow to track progress and note if you finished a book.

But yeah, I wouldn't count unfinished books as read either, but that has nothing to do with it being audio books for me.

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I absolutely count them.  When I read a book I hear myself reading it in my head in my own voice and I don't see any difference between that an hearing someone else's voice in my head.   I only started listening to books last year, but they make me get out and walk too, so that's good..  :)

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I don't count audiobooks just as I don't count listening to a play on the radio as going to the theater. They are different experiences and like someone else said before, it feels like you are not actually reading the book, instead someone else is reading it for you. I guess it's a matter of semantics but what's most important is the difference between reading yourself and listening to others. Imo every person that reads something, is reading it with his or her intonation, rhythm and everyone understands and likes different parts. 

 

Another thing that I don't like about audiobooks is that they make me feel lazy. I usually keep notes when I am reading and write mini-reviews and impressions after finishing the book based on those notes but audiobooks seem to go too fast for my liking. They are an excellent alternative for people with eye problems however so they have that going for them. 

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I really don't think radio vs theatre is a fair comparison to make here. 

 

This is a very personal thing, I believe, and I remain a little upset that so many of you judge that an audiobook doesn't count as reading. I personally would never suggest this to anyone. 

 

Oh well, I'm going to carry on enjoying all of my reading, no matter what the genre or format!  :mellow:

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Why not? You don't see the play but you can hear the words. Why does it work for one medium and not for another? 

 

Also, let's take some practical examples. Let's say that one of your children is preparing for some big test or he/she is in college and an exam is coming. Would you be ok if he/she listened to the audiobook instead of reading? Alternatively, let's say you are a teacher and pupils show up in class saying that they have not read Paradise Lost but instead listened to it on their phones. 

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Because, when you watch a play, the visual aspect is important. We are talking here about looking a word on a page, or having it read to you.

 

As for my children, my eldest found audiobooks extremely useful.. she is not a great reader, and had no interest in Pride and Prejudice, for example, when she studied it for school. If I'd left her with just the book, I know her attention would have drifted - listening to the audiobook helped her a lot. 

 

As I said before, this is a personal issue, and I don't see how someone who doesn't like audiobooks can judge someone badly who does. It strikes me a pure snobbery, if I'm honest.

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The visual aspect is just as important in reading as it is in other medias when you consider long or complicated books. When you read something difficult you can come back, re-read and can understand things better due to context. Audiobooks are quite linear in comparison. 

 

You can get away with easy books like P&P I guess (though not having interest is a poor excuse for not actually reading the book, especially if it was needed for school) but good luck doing that with other works. 

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I actually don't like audiobooks at all, I never listen to them because my attention wanders too easily and I like to be able to speed up or slow down in my reading. That said, I think debating the medium by which the information is absorbed into your brain is a little pointless - if one person reads a book on paper, and another listens to it, both people can sit down and have a book discussion about the content of that book, they've both absorbed the same story. So in that sense, in the sense that really matters, I'd consider audiobooks reading. It's just a different method of taking in the content, and surely that should be done in whatever way best enables people to process and enjoy the content?

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Very well said, Noll. I agree with all of it.

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I don't believe that either form of consuming a book, such as by reading or listening, is better than the other.  It's subjective, and every single person learns differently and has a preference.

 

In my head, I keep a mental note of which books I've read and which I've listened to because they are not the same to me.  I prefer reading from a book but there is the rare occasion in which I will read a book on my Kindle app or listen to an audio book.  For instance, I have a hard time reading Jane Austen but I love listening and I love watching the movies.  When I take long road trips I also like listening to audio books because it keeps me interested and passes the time quickly.  Without it I would get bored and the trip would drag terribly.

 

Also, if I'm reading a book I really love, I'll go back and read a passage one or more times, or I'll want to go back to a previous page and remind myself of something.  I can't do this with an audio book.  I suppose my preference also goes with the fact that I like holding an actual book while I read, and I like to look at them on my bookshelf :D.

 

Either way, whatever form of 'reading' floats your boat, as they say! :lol:

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I have long wondered about including audiobooks in my list of books read, but I allow myself to do so because (a) it actually takes me longer to listen than to read, (b) I only ever listen to audiobooks when I can't actually read (e.g. on long car journeys), (c ) I only ever listen to unabridged books, and (d) I don't actually listen to that many (only two or three a year max at present). Rather than worrying about the difference between reading and listening, I treat them as books 'processed'.

 

On learning styles, there is little to no scientific evidence to support the theory that we learn best in different ways - it's one of the great myths of education, along with the likes of brain gym.  For a couple of articles on the subject (there are loads) see

 

http://www.skeptic.com/insight/the-myth-of-learning-styles/ 

 

http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/fleming-vakuous-learning-styles.html

 

I gather we may still have learning preferences - but they are just that, preferences not a more efficient or better way for us to learn with.

Edited by willoyd

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I actually don't like audiobooks at all, I never listen to them because my attention wanders too easily and I like to be able to speed up or slow down in my reading. That said, I think debating the medium by which the information is absorbed into your brain is a little pointless - if one person reads a book on paper, and another listens to it, both people can sit down and have a book discussion about the content of that book, they've both absorbed the same story. So in that sense, in the sense that really matters, I'd consider audiobooks reading. It's just a different method of taking in the content, and surely that should be done in whatever way best enables people to process and enjoy the content?

Brilliantly put.

 

I have recently started listening to audiobooks on the commute, but have only listened to 3 (? I think) that are *new to me* books. I'm currently working my way through the complete Sherlock Holmes (57 hours worth) and only one novel is new to me. But I find it more enjoyable than listening to the radio. So sue me.

 

I have counted the books I've read because like Willoyd, it takes me longer to listen than to read and honestly I feel I have more important things to worry about in life.

 

I much prefer reading and now I'm starting a new job in the same city in which I live I will probably cease listening to audiobooks.

 

However, I don't pretend to tell others that listening to audiobooks doesn't "count". I think it's rather bad form to judge others, and whether people mean them to or not I feel there are posts in this thread that have come across as judgemental and a bit snobby if I'm honest. *shrug*

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However, I don't pretend to tell others that listening to audiobooks doesn't "count". I think it's rather bad form to judge others, and whether people mean them to or not I feel there are posts in this thread that have come across as judgemental and a bit snobby if I'm honest. *shrug*

 

I've found rather the opposite.  Nursenblack was interested to know what others thought about including audiobooks on their reading list, and everybody has said how they feel about it, and what they do.  I've not read anything that I thought was judgemental of others.  Indeed, I've got the distinct impression that everybody has worked hard at not offending!  I'm certainly not in the least upset that some people don't count audiobooks on their reading lists..  We all have our own rules for how we put them together, and it's not a competition, so the fact that we have different criteria is neither here nor there.

 

I understand why Noll thinks that it's a bit pointless discussing whether it's reading or not, but I've enjoyed reading about how others feel about their 'reading' of audiobooks.  Thank you all for sharing.

Edited by willoyd

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Just to clarify; I wasn't meaning Nursenblack's original post and I think it's an interesting subject for discussion - as emphasised by the amount of responses!

 

It got me thinking overnight about the books I do/don't count. Last year, I added Swallows and Amazons to my list - a reread from my childhood, last read when I was about 11 I think.

 

However, I haven't counted my Sherlock Holmes ones (except the new to me ones) because I read them about 3/4 years ago. While that made sense in my own head, to most people it's probably a totally arbitrary distinction.

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This is a very interesting topic.

 

I have to admit I have never listened to an audio book before and I have no idea if I would count them as having read them, although I don't see why not.  I guess this is a personal thing though.

 

I don't know whether audio books for me personally would be a good thing or not.  My worry is that they might send me to sleep - not because the books themselves are boring as such, but just the sound of someone's voice in my ear for hours on end could be a bit monotonous.  I would be interested in giving it a go though.  How does one go about finding/purchasing audio books and what kind of price are they?  Are they cheaper than physical books? 

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Hmm, I've listened to some audio books before and enjoyed them, particularly is the vocal performance is good. If it's monotonous or the performing reader makes no effort to differentiate between characters, then I lose interest. I have a theatrical background, and I take particular note of that sort of thing, though.

 

That said, like many people here I prefer reading with my eyes because I can absorb the material very quickly, in blocks rather than word by word. In fact, my tablet can produce an audio double of any ebook on it, and I've been amused by playing around with it in the past because even at the most almost inaudibly advanced speed (which I have read that blind readers often become very adapted to and hear perfectly clearly) my eyes can still absorb the material with greater alacrity. 

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I don't know whether audio books for me personally would be a good thing or not.  My worry is that they might send me to sleep - not because the books themselves are boring as such, but just the sound of someone's voice in my ear for hours on end could be a bit monotonous.  

 

I find that listening to short stories in audio format is entertaining and side-steps this issue. I got involved with this because there is actually an audio listening bank online, which I made use of when I was moving overseas, just after I had to discard almost my entire physical book collection. The audio books kept me sane in that time. :)

 

There aren't any current best sellers there; all of the books are out of the copyright, and there are a lot of great, hidden or lost treasures, a lot of them zipped collections of different genre novels, stories, poetry, and non-fiction. It's also a collective project, so if you want, you can eventually contribute your own vocal performances.

 

If you want to give it a try, the site is here:

 

https://archive.org/details/librivoxaudio

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This is a very interesting topic.

 

I have to admit I have never listened to an audio book before and I have no idea if I would count them as having read them, although I don't see why not.  I guess this is a personal thing though.

 

I don't know whether audio books for me personally would be a good thing or not.  My worry is that they might send me to sleep - not because the books themselves are boring as such, but just the sound of someone's voice in my ear for hours on end could be a bit monotonous.  I would be interested in giving it a go though.  How does one go about finding/purchasing audio books and what kind of price are they?  Are they cheaper than physical books? 

 

 

Just as a way of seeing if it's something you might enjoy, I'd suggest checking out YouTube.  Although YouTube is primarily a video site, there are countless audiobooks uploaded there, and all free, of course.  If you like what you find there, then you know you can explore further, at audible.com, for example.  :)

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Here's an interesting article about research which revealed that to a person's brain, listening to a book is similar as reading a book (found through Modern Mrs Darcy):

 

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/08/listening-to-a-book-instead-of-reading-isnt-cheating.html

 

Quoting a paragraph from the article:

 

This question — whether or not listening to an audiobook is “cheating” — is one University of Virginia psychologist Daniel Willingham gets fairly often, especially ever since he published a book, in 2015, on the science of reading. (That one was about teaching children to read; he’s got another book out next spring about adults and reading.) He is very tired of this question, and so, recently, he wrote a blog post addressing it. (His opening line: “I’ve been asked this question a lot and I hate it.”) If, he argues, you take the question from the perspective of cognitive psychology — that is, the mental processes involved — there is no real difference between listening to a book and reading it. So, according to that understanding of the question: No, audiobooks are not cheating.

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I went through a stage of listening to audiobooks quite a bit, for a while. They were often memoirs read by the writer, so they felt more personal - I had 1 of Michael J Fox's, which was all the more moving having him tell me how he first noticed, and coped, with having Parkinson's Disease. I tended to stick to those as it was almost like having them tell ME their story personally. And I could listen while mowing the lawn or something (which very tedious otherwise!).

 

The worst ones are often the free ones where you get someone who's not especially interesting to listen to reading. Just as written books rely on good writing, so audio books rely on good writing AND good narration.

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Just as a way of seeing if it's something you might enjoy, I'd suggest checking out YouTube.  Although YouTube is primarily a video site, there are countless audiobooks uploaded there, and all free, of course.  If you like what you find there, then you know you can explore further, at audible.com, for example.   :)

 

I didn't even think to look on YouTube.  Thanks for the suggestion!

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You can always check out samples on Amazon too.

 

I love audio books, especially ones read by the author. I really like Amazon's Immersion Reading, where the audio follows the text. The audio is pretty cheap if you buy the book. And I definitely count them! There was a time this year where all I could do was Immersion Reading.

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You can always check out samples on Amazon too.

 

Really?  I didn't know you could do that.  With the amount of time I spend on that site, you'd have thought I would have figured that out.  Thanks.

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Really?  I didn't know you could do that.  With the amount of time I spend on that site, you'd have thought I would have figured that out.  Thanks.

Lol I am an Amazon devote!

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I personally need to read a physical book simply because I prefer it. I love everything about them and I find it very difficult to get into audiobooks.

I do however think they are one of the best inventions.

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