Cook'd and Bomb'd

Forums => Shelf Abuse => Topic started by: Mobius on February 25, 2021, 09:15:45 PM

Title: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Mobius on February 25, 2021, 09:15:45 PM
I haven't actually read the last few books I said I've read. I've listened to them on Audible. Is that the same thing? Does it matter?
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: holyzombiejesus on February 25, 2021, 09:25:37 PM
No, I don't. You read with your eyes not your ears.

Does it matter?

Not in the slightest.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: 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?
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: holyzombiejesus on February 25, 2021, 09:36:06 PM
Since when did reading just involve listening? Every single definition of reading (that I've just seen) involves looking at text.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: 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.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Chedney Honks on February 25, 2021, 11:00:22 PM
You read with your eyes not your ears.

Speak for yourself.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Mobius on February 26, 2021, 03:13:12 AM
Since when did reading just involve listening? Every single definition of reading (that I've just seen) involves looking at text.

What about when someone says "I can read you like a book"
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: holyzombiejesus on February 26, 2021, 10:08:40 AM
What about when someone says "I can read you like a book"

Good point. There's the reading festival too, that involves listening.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Captain Crunch on February 26, 2021, 12:22:20 PM
I can’t remember when I first heard about this but apparently listing to an audiobook while reading along with the paper version is a bit of a thing, immersive reading.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Kermit the Frog on February 26, 2021, 02:20:47 PM
Doesn't really matter, the text is the text, however you take it on is your decision as long as you do take it in. There are certain books that benefit from being read aloud, others where it detracts. I don't do audiobooks because occasionally I feel the the need to take certain paragraphs in slowly, especially in the modernist classics. Books written in cultural idioms that are not your own can benefit from an audio version read by somebody with the ear for it, but sometimes working it out from the page is half the fun of it. This is very much a 'you do you' type of situation.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: bgmnts on February 26, 2021, 02:22:26 PM
Consuming a book? Is that satisfactory? You havent actually read it.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Kermit the Frog on February 26, 2021, 02:33:04 PM
Always best to read the text off of the page and really sit with the thing in that way, because that best reflects the author's intentions and allows deeper engagement, but to be honest I find the fixation on the idea that audiobook listeners 'haven't read' a book to be snobbery I'm afraid, a largely substance-free talking point that people use to hold themselves above others. Some people are auditory learners and I would much rather my book group friends listen to the audiobook so we can chat about it than not read it at all because they can't sit comfortably with it for whatever reason. For me to accuse them of not having read it or not reading it properly would serve no real purpose, unless the book had pictures or diagrams (which of course most literary fiction does not have).
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Retinend on February 26, 2021, 03:07:23 PM
I think it's more or less the same thing. Of course, a print book has the advantage of allowing you to flip back and check what you had already read before... but for me it's the mark of a bad book if you're always having to do that. What matters with books is that you're really paying attention to them. Paying attention - not "drifting off" - is the most difficult thing, in either case. We're all guilty of "reading" a book but not really having read it - in my experience, it's no more or less likely to happen in the case of "listening" but not really "hearing".

So I'll throw in my chips on the "yeah" pile.

But... one massive practical advantage of print books that can't be replaced by audiobooks is how easy it is to fold a page down and mark a passage for later reference. It's a great feeling when you can go over to your bookshelf and quickly find a passage you had marked down as important many years before. For this reason I would always want a print copy of a book I really cared about, and I will always prefer print books to the audio alternative.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Retinend on February 26, 2021, 03:12:27 PM
I can't remember when I first heard about this but apparently listing to an audiobook while reading along with the paper version is a bit of a thing, immersive reading.

This is certainly a very effective way to study a foreign language. It even has a name in the polyglot community: "The L-R Method" (https://learnanylanguage.fandom.com/wiki/Listening-Reading_Method)
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: FerriswheelBueller on February 26, 2021, 03:48:02 PM
Depends how closely you are paying attention I reckon.

If you pop a book on in the background, then check in and realize you don’t know what’s going on but oh well then it doesn’t count. If you’re driving or listening on headphones then it’s essentially the same as reading, though you will always miss the intangibles like visually interesting words/phrases, or a well-crafted frontispiece.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: FerriswheelBueller on February 26, 2021, 03:49:19 PM
(Delighted I got to use “frontispiece” in a response)
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: kalowski on February 26, 2021, 05:06:05 PM
Nothing against audiobook as an art form but it's not reading. That involves looking at words on a page. That's pretty much the dictionary definition.
Chambers: read transitive verb (pat and pap read /red/)
To look at and comprehend the meaning of written or printed words
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: chveik on February 26, 2021, 05:26:37 PM
That involves looking at words on a page.

no. there's finger reading (braille)
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: kalowski on February 26, 2021, 06:17:17 PM
no. there's finger reading (braille)
God, it's all about sex with you, isn't it?
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: holyzombiejesus on February 26, 2021, 09:26:02 PM
Great to know that my little boy was reading when he was 2 and we played him the Gruffalo when he went to sleep.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Mister Six on February 26, 2021, 09:54:52 PM
Yeah, it's fine, who cares?

Personally I find it difficult to absorb anything complicated in audio form, though, so tend to stick to autoobiogs narrated by the author.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Mister Six on February 26, 2021, 09:57:47 PM
fold a page down

You fucking monster.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Ray Travez on February 26, 2021, 10:38:56 PM
^heheh!

I've listened to very few audiobooks. Kafka's Metamorphosis which was serialised on radio 4, a few chapters of Keith Richards' autobiography before I got fed up of it; Ollie Ollerton's book and half of Foxy's. Quite SAS heavy, my listening. There's probably a couple of others now I recall; the excrable The Stars in Our Eyes was one.

My sense is that I can recall visual images from the audiobooks better than I can from reading. Perhaps because part of the visual cortex is being used to process the words when you read? For me it's quite a different experience, more akin to watching a film than reading.

I wouldn't call it 'reading' the book, but it wouldn't bother me if someone else did.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: shiftwork2 on March 01, 2021, 04:26:51 PM
Does anyone use the sync feature between an audible and its kindle counterpart?  Obviously they get you to buy it twice (although there's often a hefty discount) so it's not my usual practice but the odd time I've done it kind of works.  Now to work out whether I've read those books...
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Sonny_Jim on March 02, 2021, 11:35:26 AM
I, Partridge (or any of the Partridge books) have more content as an audiobook, as Coogan adds in the wibbles and wobbles that is the Partridge voice. 
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: spaghetamine on March 25, 2021, 01:26:13 PM
i think i prefer it as i have so little time to read these days, with an audiobook i can stick them on while i'm working and still absorb the whole thing
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Brundle-Fly on March 25, 2021, 07:22:17 PM
I don't think I'd enjoy fiction in audiobook. You want to come up with your own idea of what characters' voices sound like and their tone. Reference stuff and autobiographies (especially read by the actual subject) are great in your ears as you march up a hill for your daily lockdown exercise.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: MoreauVasz on March 26, 2021, 09:22:05 AM
A girl I went to school with wrote a book and did the audible reading herself. That was quite a weird experience, especially the chapter about wiping her dad's arse.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Magnum Valentino on March 30, 2021, 10:38:31 AM
Vic Reeves does a reading of his autobioraphy Me Moir, but it's listed as abridged. I imagine that would be a great listen but I don't like the idea of being short-changed, as in I'd miss out on possible great material that's only in the book itself. But for biographies there's a lot to be said for hearing the author, and in particular a comic, read their own work.

How does one abridge a book? How is it decided what to remove? Would the editor take care of it then give the 'script' back to the author to read, or would the author have a say in what's excised?
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: 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.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Mobbd on March 30, 2021, 11:37:07 AM
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:

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.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: gib on March 30, 2021, 04:48:55 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
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: The Mollusk on March 31, 2021, 07:53:17 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.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: bgmnts on March 31, 2021, 08:02:49 AM
Yeah basically.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Mobbd on March 31, 2021, 08:17:36 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?
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Avril Lavigne on March 31, 2021, 05:57:04 PM
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.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Mobbd on April 01, 2021, 05:28:33 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.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Avril Lavigne on April 02, 2021, 02:51:07 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.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Johnboy on April 08, 2021, 05:09:09 PM
https://youtu.be/wjqMNM2ihF8      I like this guy’s take on audiobooks
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Rolf Lundgren on April 08, 2021, 06:39:52 PM
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.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: timebug on April 10, 2021, 08:58:44 AM
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....?
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: Shoulders?-Stomach! on April 11, 2021, 01:28:04 PM
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.
Title: Re: Do you consider listening to an audiobook as having read a book
Post by: jimboslice on April 13, 2021, 03:32:59 PM
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.