Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book

Started by Mobius, February 25, 2021, 09:15:45 PM

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Mobbd

Quote from: Astronaut Omens on February 25, 2021, 10:31:11 PM
I've nothing against audiobooks, but for me the experience is so different as to constitute a different thing, especially when it comes to fiction.
Firstly, an audiobook moves through the text in a straightforward linear way, but with a printed text I think a lot of readers tend to do things like:
Do an initial skim-read of a page before reading the page more slowly,
Linger and re-read striking sentences,
Read less interesting parts more quickly
Move back to an earlier paragraph, or even an earlier chapter, and re-read it in the context of the new information found in a later paragraph,
underline things and write things in the margins.
Personally, I feel like the visual appearance of the printed letters in a character's name plays a part in how I imagine them, though maybe something analogous happens there with the way a name sounds in an audiobook.

I was going to post something exactly like this. So please read the above twice, everyone.

But here's an additional thought too.

There may be something about personal neurological predicament that dictates one's relationship to audiobooks. Some people have trouble reading in real-time or faster and digesting the information. Contrariwise, I struggle to listen. At university, I got little out of lectures and everything out of books from the library. I barely notice the lyrics of pop songs until I've seen them written down somewhere. I have recently taken to watching movies (perfectly mainstream English-language films) with the subtitles on lest I don't pay enough attention to what people are saying or what the hell is going on.

I suspect, given how different we all are with how we digest information, there is a difference between books and audiobooks and it does matter, and that they can be thought of (as well as being entertaining in a different way to books what with the funny voice of the reader or whatever and the reduction of readerly techniques described by Astronaut Omens) as a digestive aid/accessibility thing much like my movie subtitles.

EDIT: In fact, what The Mollusk just said kinda supports this too, perhaps from the opposite side of the ADHD colour wheel to me:

Quote from: The Mollusk on March 30, 2021, 10:44:58 AM
You want to try reading a book when you've got ADHD and any external distraction even as minuscule as the sound of a car driving past outside or hearing the upstairs neighbour walking around completely sucks you out of the zone. I haven't read a book in well over half a decade. Most news articles are hard for me. Audiobooks - having someone talk to you - are a world apart, to the point that I can even sit on the bus listening to them when I've got the world whizzing right by my field of vision. They're of enormous benefit to me.

gib

Quote from: Johnboy on February 25, 2021, 09:32:49 PM
I do yes, but I'm having trouble finding decent ones

is there a place where people share them?

torrents works for me. PM me if you like

The Mollusk

Quote from: Mobbd on March 30, 2021, 11:37:07 AM
I was going to post something exactly like this. So please read the above twice, everyone.

But here's an additional thought too.

There may be something about personal neurological predicament that dictates one's relationship to audiobooks. Some people have trouble reading in real-time or faster and digesting the information. Contrariwise, I struggle to listen. At university, I got little out of lectures and everything out of books from the library. I barely notice the lyrics of pop songs until I've seen them written down somewhere. I have recently taken to watching movies (perfectly mainstream English-language films) with the subtitles on lest I don't pay enough attention to what people are saying or what the hell is going on.

I suspect, given how different we all are with how we digest information, there is a difference between books and audiobooks and it does matter, and that they can be thought of (as well as being entertaining in a different way to books what with the funny voice of the reader or whatever and the reduction of readerly techniques described by Astronaut Omens) as a digestive aid/accessibility thing much like my movie subtitles.

EDIT: In fact, what The Mollusk just said kinda supports this too, perhaps from the opposite side of the ADHD colour wheel to me:


Hey thanks for chiming in on that! Super insightful to hear your perspective. My ADHD does similarly dictate that I never pay attention to lyrics (except in the case of artists whose words are more pronounced, gripping and immediately appealing to my brain, like Nick Cave or Freddie Gibbs), and oddly enough if I've ever watched an English film from a crap download which has hard coded subtitles I find myself unable to not read them.

But yeah as stated before, my issue is I can't immerse myself in a book as I subconsciously can't focus enough for my mind to piece together this paragraph with the next or previous, or sometimes even two parts of the same sentence. I struggle with forcing myself too much to concentrate and I become overly aware of that sensation and will often realise I've read two or three pages and not absorbed any of it at all, even though I observed every word in succession.

Having someone read to me helps because a good narrator will of course capture the right tone necessary to dictate the mood of any particular scene or voice which is one of the first major hurdles I often can't overcome myself. Once that gear is in motion I can far easier immerse myself in the text as it's being read to me, but that's really only one part of the puzzle.

Suffice to say audiobooks help me immensely and I'd be pretty fucked without them if I wanted to consume any literature.

bgmnts


Mobbd

Quote from: The Mollusk on March 31, 2021, 07:53:17 AM
Suffice to say audiobooks help me immensely and I'd be pretty fucked without them if I wanted to consume any literature.

It's amazing. I have been a ever-so-slightly snobby about audiobooks in the past (not with any real passion - just as a tepid reaction to anything that claims to enhance a thing I already like) but this thread has exorcised this chip from my shoulder. I totally get it.

What's the hit rate on audiobook availability these days? Like, do most contemporary and classic books have an audio edition available?

Avril Lavigne

Quote from: Mobbd on March 31, 2021, 08:17:36 AM
What's the hit rate on audiobook availability these days? Like, do most contemporary and classic books have an audio edition available?

Pretty much! Everything I wanted to read over the past year I've been able to find audio editions either on iTunes or Audible, even quite niche-audience stuff like Thomas Dolby's autobiography.

Mobbd

Quote from: Avril Lavigne on March 31, 2021, 05:57:04 PM
Pretty much! Everything I wanted to read over the past year I've been able to find audio editions either on iTunes or Audible, even quite niche-audience stuff like Thomas Dolby's autobiography.

Sweet. I fancy a read of that autobio, actually. Not a psycho fan but I do like him. He was great on Buckles' pod.

Avril Lavigne

Quote from: Mobbd on April 01, 2021, 05:28:33 PM
Sweet. I fancy a read of that autobio, actually. Not a psycho fan but I do like him. He was great on Buckles' pod.

I'd recommend it, I'm a big fan of that whole early '80s period of music so there are little cameo appearances by a bunch of other musicians I love and some good stuff about the music business at the time. The second half is focused more on his involvement in '90s web & mobile phone multimedia which is surprisingly fascinating for how ahead of the curve he was in predicting the tech/media landscape that we'd end up with, and how many business people at the time couldn't get onboard with or even understand what he was talking about.

Johnboy


Rolf Lundgren

I'm slightly in awe of people who can listen to fiction audiobooks and take it in as my brain struggles to retain the information when I have to listen for a long period of time. I'd lose the plot (literally) about 10 minutes in.

It is obviously different to reading but if you understand what it's about then fill your boots.

timebug

Books for me,every time. I have listened to a few audiobooks and although it was entertaining, I never felt as though I had actually 'read' the book. Maybe it's just me....?

Shoulders?-Stomach!

An audiobook robs the listener/read of a quintessential experience of reading, through having the content performed to you rather than you interpreting tone, meaning, emphasis yourself. Being both driver and driven is a special interplay that makes reading fiction unlike anything else. In that sense I don't think listening to an audiobook can be considered an equivalent.

Of course they are very useful things indeed and a decent second best. In some cases, such as memoirs, they are preferable to reading.

jimboslice

I listen to a lot of audiobooks when jogging/walking, and I feel like it's not as far removed from reading as others have suggested in this thread.

Audio books are much better for non-fiction, particularly something like a biography read by the author. Anything dry but interesting is easier to consume for me too - politics, history, etc. Maybe retention levels are a bit lower, but mine are now too bad across the board for it to make much of a difference.

Still tend to prefer a novel in book form, especially if it's toward the higher end of the brow. Although God knows when I last read something that wasn't at least a little bit fluff.