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A Question to Ponder - When is Reading a Book, Not Reading a Book?


Replies to: A Question to Ponder - When is Reading a Book, Not Reading a Book?

  • kiddiekiddie Registered User Posts: 3,463 Senior Member
    Librarians definitely consider audio books reading - so I go along with them. Several people in my book group will read their books that way and it is fine by me.
  • Midwest67Midwest67 Registered User Posts: 2,792 Senior Member
    One side benefit for me with audiobooks is it's training a different skill.

    When out of audiobook practice, I also find it's difficult at first; the distractibility others have mentioned and the straining to follow the story and catch the details.

    IME, some books lend themselves to audio and others do not. The reader can make or break it.

    Audio is not without it's drawbacks (not easy to flip back to a section and review), but one aspect of it I appreciate is hearing words or phrases in a foreign language or a character with a foreign accent pronounced beautifully and accurately. Wow!
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 32,074 Senior Member
    Nothing wrong with audio books. Curious when do people listen? At the gym? Long commutes? My mother used to listen to them while ironing - which I think is half the reason she ironed everything! She also read paper books and thought she remember books she read read better. We used to listen to books on long car trips with the kids, but now mostly listen to the radio or occasionally podcasts.
  • MansfieldMansfield Registered User Posts: 792 Member
    I've been listening to audio books for a long time. My mind tends to drift with a book. I spend an awful lot of time in the car and I'd never have the time to read as many books. An excellent narrator will give dimension to the story and the characters. Michelle Obama reads the audio version of Becoming. She really makes her story come alive.
  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 Registered User Posts: 16,809 Senior Member
    edited May 25
    I do both. I read my kindle every night and listen to audio books when I ride my bike or when in the car.

    I just did a road trip to San Antonio and back. It was about an 11 hour trip. I listened to Educated by Tara Westover and have almost finished it. I fail to see how someone could say I have not read that book and absorbed and understood it just as well as anyone who read the hardback. Unless you consider "reading" as only a mechanical process involving the eyes and fingers as you turn a page, then I've definitely read that book.
  • Midwest67Midwest67 Registered User Posts: 2,792 Senior Member

    If I’m going to listen to an audiobook, it’s going to be when I walk the dog in the morning, when I’m weeding the garden, or in the car (locally or road trips).

    Since I’ve subscribed to Audible, and have easy access on my phone, I listen to more books than in the past.

    Reading tree books is rare for me & when I do, it’s slow going. I tend to read before bed and get sleepy quickly.
  • MarilynMarilyn Registered User Posts: 3,691 Senior Member
    So when I fall asleep "eye" reading a book, it stays right where it was when I left it. If you fall asleep "ear" reading (hopefully not while in the car), how hard is it to find your place again?
  • maya54maya54 Registered User Posts: 2,109 Senior Member
    edited May 25
    Is being read to by someone “ reading”. I think not so that answers the question. For people who enjoy a story this way it’s fine. Me, like being read to, it makes me crazy. It’s so slooooooooow because I read very fast. Will always choose reading over listening.
  • sryrstresssryrstress Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    D couldn't have gotten through school and college without Learning Ally and audiobooks. I always considered them "reading". Personally, I can't stand to have people read to me--never could. Agree that is it sooooo slow.

    I always read ahead while the teacher kept going. Didn't always end well when I was called for a question, but at least I wasn't bored to death.

    Do those of you listening to audiobooks, not during commuting time, just sit and listen? I could never sit for that long.
  • smdur1970smdur1970 Registered User Posts: 945 Member
    I've been listening to audiobooks since the 80s, when they came on cassettes. The tapes would often get caught in the reader mechanism and you'd have to gently (and slowly) unwind them, hoping the wouldn't break so you'd have to confess to the library. CDs eliminated those problems, but library copies often have defects that can affect anywhere from a couple of sentences to some number of chapters. I've was slow to move to e-audio, but I'm pretty much there since the library systems I belong to are moving there quickly.

    So I rarely read hard copy books unless they are the only choice and I'm really motivated--maybe one or two a year. But I consider that I've "read" the audiobooks and find more and more friends and acquaintances are 'fessing up to reading audiobooks, at least in the car.

    When I worked and commuted, I could easily get through 2 or 3 medium length books a week. Now I listen while cooking, cleaning, and exercising, so I may read one a week--fewer if they are really long, and more on occasion.

    @Marilyn, sometimes it is hard to find my place when I fall asleep. With CDs, it's a matter of going through the tracks until you find your place. With audiobooks, I try to remember to bookmark my starting place and/or set a sleep timer. These methods aren't foolproof but they help.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 3,423 Senior Member
    Check out your library online for Libby and you may be surprised by the sheer amount of free audio books. In my library district the whole shebang is marvelous. I have a constant stream of free audiobooks with a great wait-list system. I use them for exercise, cooking, gardening, cleaning.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,760 Senior Member
    I love audio books and yes, I consider them reading but the narrator of the book is huge to the enjoyment of the book. It’s like what version of a movie you liked dependent on the actors. It’s just another form of entertainment.
    I’ve listened with son to hundreds of hours of books on long commutes. Thank goodness they were available.
  • atomomatomom Registered User Posts: 4,659 Senior Member
    I think audiobooks are wonderful, but listening to them is not the same as reading. When you read, you are interpreting a visual representation of spoken language, which is a more complex skill than listening.
    However, when people ask, "Have you read this book?" they most likely are asking if you know the story/info. the book contains, and don't care if you got it by listening or reading. So I probably would answer, "Yes," even if I had listened to a recording instead of actually reading the book.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,760 Senior Member
    If visual representation is a more complex skill than listening then why aren’t more people better at it? Think you have that backwards!
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,910 Senior Member
    I think it has a different impact on the brain. I suspect someone just raised on audio books wouldn’t do as well on the SAT English section (just saying, since we spend a lot of time on that topic out here 🙂).

    I’ve listened to books sometimes on long car trips. But in general, it is hard to kept my attention on them. And there are already so many podcasts on my phone, no time. 🙄
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