Audiobooks Vs. Reading

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Audiobooks VS. Reading







While perusing my favorite bloggers websites, I've steadily noticed an increase of audiobook reviews and challenges and an overall almost preference to audiobooks over reading. Now I've listened to 1 audiobook that I really enjoyed and about 20 minutes of another that I could just not get into.

Now I don't think that reading is better than audiobooks or that if you listen to audiobooks it doesn't really count as reading. Is that really what some people think, by the way? Because when I was looking up stuff about audiobooks, a lot of people seem to think that it doesn't count?? Which I don't understand because you're taking in the content and you know what's happening in the book, you're just listening to it rather than reading it.

Either way what I do think is that it seems like way more work to listen to an audiobook. Not only do you have to actually be into the story, you also have to be able to actually listen to the narrator. As I stated earlier, that's a real issue with me. Because if I can't handle the "voices" or accents that the narrator is doing, I will completely give up on the audiobook. Also, I can't really figure out when I would listen to an audiobook. It takes way longer to listen to a book than for me to read it. I work full time and have other life things that I have to do, I just can't imagine where I'm going to find the time to listen to an 8 hour book. Especially when I can read it in a fraction of that time.

So if I had a long commute, I can see listening to an audiobook then. Or if I was on a plane, or taking a road-trip then okay, I get it. But when people are mostly listening to audiobooks and still reviewing them or just even for pleasure, I don't know how you're doing it. Truly. You're a marvel to me at this point.

When do you guys stand on this? Do you prefer reading or audiobooks? And if you listen to audiobooks often, how do you do it? Because I'm just one reader who doesn't understand. 

31 comments:

  1. Honestly, I don't think I've ever completed a full audiobook. I've never bought one, either. Reading all the way, baby! I think the voices would be a problem for me too -- man, one wrong intonation and all credibility is lost. I remember even listening to books being read aloud by teachers in middle school was a chore -- reading it for myself was always better and faster. The words sink in deeper via the eyes as opposed to the ears, for some reason.

    I can imagine audiobooks would be a pain for you, since I'm pretty sure you read at the speed of light!

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    1. I just have so many other books to read. And useless websites to browse. And trashy tv to watch. I don't know where I would fit in listening to audiobooks too. I hate when my mom even just reads a small snippet of an article or something aloud to me, just give me the magazine!!

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  2. I'm really into audiobooks now, but I still prefer reading. I listen on the drive to work, which is about 40 minutes, and on the way to pick my son up from school. If I'm really into the story I will listen while I'm at home cleaning and doing laundry. I occasionally come across narrators I don't like and will stop listening, but that's why I love the library because I can just download something else without feeling like I wasted my money.

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    1. I love the library. I have accounts with two different ones and it's nice to try books you're not sure you're going to like without spending the money on them.

      I can understand commutes and stuff like that. It makes sense. I guess I'm lucky I only have a less than ten minute drive every day.

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  3. If I picked up a hobby that required the use of both hands or if I had a long commute, then yeah, I would probably listen to more audiobooks. But as it stands, not only can I not fathom just sitting around listening to a book, I don't think I could even if I wanted to--auditory ADD. Even if I was doing something like sewing (or whatever), I still don't think I'd be able to focus on both tasks . . .

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

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    1. Listening just seems like it would be too much work.

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  4. Let's see I've "read" 43 books this year and 29 have been audio books. Last year I "read" 145 books and 86 of them were audio books.

    I think at this point about 80% of my "reading" is audios.

    And it's because I listen to them on the drive to and from work (40 mins each way) and then I listen to them at work. So I can average 2-3 audio books a week, depending on what I'm working on at work and how long the audio books are.

    If the narrator is great an audio book can be 10 times better than reading the book.

    I'm a slow reader. I'll stop to do other things and get distracted easily when reading. I usually can get 1 book read in a week maybe 2 if they are really good and I do nothing else when I'm home be read. But with a 7 year old around the house I almost always have something else to do than just sit and read.

    If it wasn't for the cost of audio books over ebooks I would go totally audio.

    But I'm starting to use my library more so if they have it on audio and the narrator is good I'm going to listen over reading it.

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    1. I'm a pretty quick reader so I can get through a few books or more a week if I really want to.

      In your case, I can understand the audiobook over reading. Having all that time to actually listen at work and commuting is nice. I would definitely listen if I had this kind of set up. In my case it's easier to read at work than listen.

      Are audiobooks that much more expensive? I've never actually checked. I'll have to look into it.

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    2. They can very expensive if you don't have a membership or watch for sales. So use the library system as much as you can too.

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    3. Libraries have saved my life. Lol Mainly my wallet.

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  5. I'm actually just about totally in agreeance with Jennifer the Book Nympho. I listen to and from work (45 mins) and on the weekends while cleaning, cooking, doing dishes, etc. If I'm doing mindless work on ANY sort then I audio. I find myself more distracted in real life and my actual "reading" has gone down. I've just been really busy I guess, tons of stuff in real life, but audios are easy.

    I will completely agree though if a narrator sucks it will kill the book. But there are definitely books that are WAYYYY better in audio than reading it. The narrators are just awesome sometimes. I have an Audible subscription and so it's not too bad, it's 1 credit aka 1 book for $14.95 per month. And I also get audiobooks from publishers for review so its not too bad cost wise.

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    1. I guess I need to find some awesome narrators. The only I liked was the lady who does the Night Huntress series.

      I didn't mind listening to a book I've already read because I could read other books at the same time. But I feel like, for me, listening to audiobooks takes up way too much time.

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    2. Wow, most people don't like Tavia Gilbert, because they don't like how she does Bone. I like her personally. Some narrators that are really high on my list include Lorelei King (Charley Davidson and Mercy Thompson), Renee Raudman (All Ilona Andrews), Robert Petkoff (Immortals After Dark), Charles Leggett (Men of the Otherworld) and Bahni Turpin (Downside) just to name a few. There are many others if you want more recommendations.

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    3. I think if I were to listen to some audiobooks it would be books I've already read so these are a good start. Thanks!

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    4. I agree with all of Melanie's narrators expect for Leggett but that's only because I've not heard her.

      It took me two books to get into Tavia's Bones voice.

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    5. I definitely needed the recommendations. Because there are some terrible narrators from what I've heard.

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  6. I listen to more audiobooks than I read. I listen on commutes and while at work. Sometimes I can do other things like clean house, do yardwork, etc. I very rarely listen with nothing else to do, even then I play solitaire or something to keep busy.

    I think if the narrator is good, the book can been 100 times better than reading. If the narrator isn't good, it can make it a worse experience. I would say that most times, with most average narrators, it isn't making the story better or worse, just a time saver for me.

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    1. I think the commuting thing is a big point. It would make much more sense for me to listen while commuting. I'm sorry you all have to go so far for work!

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    2. I do have a long commute so I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and I've definitely gotten more comfortable with weird narrators and voices. I don't have as much free time to just sit down and read anymore, so if it wasn't for audiobooks I would hardly get to read.

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    3. Audiobooks take so much longer for me. In the time I could listen to an audiobook, I can read several books.

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  7. Amber, I'm so glad that you enjoyed the Night Huntress series! And Melanie, it's not fair to assert that MOST people hate my Bones interpretation. There are just as many people who adore it as those for whom it just didn't work! (But no one actually hates ME personally. Not since maybe junior high, anyway! Ha!) There are all sorts of voices and performances for all sorts of listening fans. I'm an avid listener, too, whenever I can be, and find books great way to spend time with when doing laundry, cleaning, doing dishes, exercising. They can be a great comfort during lonely periods, wonderful entertainment, and a way to expand reading time. Reading is a delicious part of life, as is listening!

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    1. Tavia, thanks so much for joining in the conversation. It seems like audiobooks are up and coming or here in most circles.

      I personally enjoyed your Bones but to each their own. I will probably only listen to audiobooks of books that I've already read just because they take so much longer for me.

      But it's been an interesting conversation and has come with some great recommendations!

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    2. I think what sit me back for Bones' voice was when I reading the books I have Spike from Buffy in my head so it took me a while to get use to it. But now I'm fine with Bones' voice. LOL

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    3. Lol. Spike is a good visual representation of Bones for me. But I didn't mind his voice.

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  8. I like audiobooks for when I am crafting. I can be productive for my shop but enjoy an escape with a book at the same time. However I still enjoy reading the printed word (whether it's on paper or a screen) as I can really put my own interpretation on the words and get through a story faster too.

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    1. I love reading so much. I think the transition to audio is something you just have to get used to.

      I need to craft. Currently reading is my only hobby. Lol

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  9. Love seeing these conversations about audio books! :) x

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  10. I do have a question for those that listen to audiobooks while driving. Does it not make you less paying attention to the traffic around you? If the book is getting good and suspenseful, how can you concentrate on driving?
    For me, reading all the way, I cannot keep listening to something for hours when I can read it faster myself.

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  11. I admire people who can listen to audio books too! I get distracted easily so unless the situation is like what you mentioned, long commute or flight, I won't be able to listen and finish the audio in the same amount of time as I do reading a book.

    However I found out that I can listen attentively to self-help audio books. I think it's all the lectures that I've gone through, I'm predisposed to stay put and listen when someone is on a lecturing mode LOL

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