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Reading vs Listening


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#21 Angury

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 08:32 PM

Just articles about reading speed and my own experience and talking with people I know. Most people re-read unnecessarily. I had a problem with this maybe five years ago or so. Every sentence is surrounded by context, you can power on without going back and it will be perfectly fine 99% of the time, and you'll retrain your brain to absorb it better the first time by doing it. And If it's the meaning behind the words that matter, stopping to re-read a sentence you understood the meaning of but didn't process fully (I.E. exact sentence structure and word choice), doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but that's why most people stop and re-read most of the time. That was certainly the case with me, anyway. 
 
Anybody looking to read faster should first see if they are either re-reading sentences a lot or sub-vocalizing.


Interesting.

I used to be the type of reader who read very very quickly, to the point that I would skim passages just to get to the action (I used to read a lot of Fantasy).
However since I started reading genres outside of Fantasy I found myself going back to passages that I felt had been particularly well written. I find it interesting to see how the author has constructed a sentence so beautifully that it has stuck in my mind.
As I've recently become interested in writing myself I find it helpful to look at the different words, rhythms and metaphors that are used as inspiration, and often also as admiration of an authors talent.

Anyway, going slightly off topic - sorry.

Edited by Angury, 02 July 2016 - 08:34 PM.


#22 davidh219

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 08:41 PM

Interesting.

I used to be the type of reader who read very very quickly, to the point that I would skim passages just to get to the action (I used to read a lot of Fantasy).
However since I started reading genres outside of Fantasy I found myself going back to passages that I felt have been particularly well written. I find it interesting to see how the author has constructed a sentence so beautifully that it sticks in your mind. Particularly as I've started to become interested in writing as well, I find it quite helpful to look at the different words, rhythms and metaphors that are used as a way to inspire myself really.

Anyway, going slightly off topic - sorry.

 

Sure, if you're really studying the language that makes sense. I take my time with authors that have truly incredible prose, but those are few and far between and mostly I'm reading for the story behind the words so I don't sweat it when the exact sentence structure didn't sink in. 

 

It's funny you should mention fantasy. I'm kind of the opposite, I skim action in fantasy. Well, I wouldn't call it full on skimming (most of the time), but the thing I'm most excited about in fantasy typically isn't the action. 



#23 Sakura

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 06:13 AM

I have listened to some entertaining books on audio in the past, but have only ever completed three of them.  I never added them as "read" anywhere. I personally feel like I'm cheating myself to count them toward the amount I've read, especially if I have a goal set.

 

When you say you never add them anywhere, I assume you mean like reading-related social media? Most of them allow you to add the audio book instead of the actual book, and I would totally mark that as 'read', because that's simply the default phrase.

 

Of course I don't read audio books, but I do consume them. I feel the distinction to me is mood. If I ask someone if they read a book I don't actually care if they read it, or listen to it, I'm asking if they know it.

 

I guess not everyone retains the same information if they read a book vs listening to a book, but people already read very different in the first place, and don't notice the same stuff, so that it  seems pointless to me, to make any distinction in that matter.

 

But if someone wants to come up with a phrase that shortens "Did you read it, or listen to it." I'd be willing to use that, to be more inclusive of audio book listener.



#24 chesilbeach

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 07:45 AM

I have to admit, I never used to include my audiobooks in my "read" list of books, as I often used them just as background noise and would only listen to books I'd read before (let's face it, I used to listen to the Harry Potter books and that was about my limit!).

 

However, over the last couple of years, I've started listening to more audiobooks, and I feel that how I listen to them has changed dramatically, and I often listen to books I haven't physically read.  The audiobooks bring a different dimension to the experience of the story, but what I find increasingly helpful is audiobooks where there is dialect written in the text.  I find it so off-putting to read written dialect as it takes me out of the story as I try to decipher the accent.  An audio book with a good narrator will definitely overcome that (Carole Boyd reading South Riding was particularly brilliant at this), and I've found that now I've got into the habit of listening to books, I've learned a different skill in how to take them all in.  I find the key is to listen to the opening chapter(s) with no distractions and really concentrate of the reading, and then once I've got all the characters and the story in my head, I can listen while doing other things and still take it all in.  I also agree it gives me more "reading" time as I can now read while I'm in the car, out walking, or doing some sewing.

 

So, for the last couple of years, I have now started included audio books in my list of books read and will continue to do so.



#25 nursenblack

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 01:00 PM

When you say you never add them anywhere, I assume you mean like reading-related social media? Most of them allow you to add the audio book instead of the actual book, and I would totally mark that as 'read', because that's simply the default phrase.

Yes, I'm referring to places like Goodreads.  I suppose I could add a shelf named audiobooks.  But I haven't added them on my reading log on this site either.  I usually end up not finishing most of them before my library loan ends anyways, and I don't add unfinished books anymore. 

 

 



#26 Sakura

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 03:56 PM

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.



#27 Janet

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 08:15 PM

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..  :)



#28 MrCat

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 12:51 PM

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. 



#29 Michelle

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 12:56 PM

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:



#30 MrCat

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 01:10 PM

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. 



#31 Michelle

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 01:14 PM

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.



#32 MrCat

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 01:37 PM

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. 



#33 Nollaig

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 02:14 PM

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?



#34 Kylie

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 03:34 PM

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



#35 Peacefield

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 03:57 PM

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:



#36 willoyd

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 04:49 PM

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.c...arning-styles/ 

 

http://donaldclarkpl...ing-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, 10 July 2016 - 06:16 PM.


#37 Alexi

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 08:51 PM

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*

#38 willoyd

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 10:48 PM

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, 10 July 2016 - 10:56 PM.


#39 Alexi

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 08:01 AM

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.

#40 Autumn

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 12:50 PM

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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