Forums > Social Discussion > Audiobooks vs. Paper books

Login/Join to Participate

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted:So the New York Times ran an editorial a few days ago by an author about how audiobooks rob books of their true meaning and value. He argued that books are meant to be read, not heard.

I tend to agree with him in general. The reason I hated Shakespeare so much for so long was because I'd always been reading his plays. But Shakespeare didn't write his plays to be written; he wrote them to be watched. As soon as I discovered that the BBC had done all of Shakespeare's plays on video, I popped down in front of "The Tempest" with a copy of The Riverside Shakespeare in my lap and that play remains my favorite of his plays to this day. One of my college professors said "Reading Shakespeare makes as much sense as reading Mozart. It's only supposed to be read if you're planning on performing it!"

Similarly, you'll notice that whenever a book is made into a movie (with the possible exception of the first Harry Potter movie) everyone says "It's not as good as the book!" Even, I daresay, Hitchiker's Guide.

So I agree, books should be read. So...

Why am I writing this post when I'm downloading Isaac Asimov's I, Robot as I type?

Well, as much as I would like to read it, I have a ten-hour drive to New York and much as I would like to think I could keep myself entertained with Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn, I can't. And much as I'd like to read the book, I understand that reading and driving is probably more dangerous than drinking and driving. So someone else has to read for me.

Basically, other than listening while driving, I don't get the point of audiobooks at all, but I know people who listen to them just for the heck of it. Not only are they more expensive, but it just doesn't make sense to me.

Thoughts?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete Topic

.:star:.
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

.:star:.

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1785
Posted:When someone else reads a book they add something of themselves when they read it out loud. when you read it yourself you are getting it straight from the author and it is far easier to conjure up the images in your head.

I have all my Open University textbooks as audio books and its made everything alot easier - but thats textbooks not fiction.


Delete

Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Audio books are cool when you're younger, cos they have music and stuff (well the ones that I had did). Myths and Legends stuff.

good for listening to in the car when the parents don't want to be distracted by your fighting with siblings....


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Delete

onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:They're useful if you can't read. Or if you're blind.

"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

Delete

ed209


ed209

Ed: geek, staffer, past participle
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 122
Posted:I mostly agree Lightning, but I know of a few exceptions. Non-fiction audiobooks can be excellent when read by the book's author (recently listened to Michael Moore's Stupid White Men on a long drive... came off much better than reading the text).

And there's an extra on the Fellowship of the Ring DVD where you hear Tolkein read a bit of Lord of the Rings and it sounds gorgeous. He's got a great voice (sounds like Ian McKellen's Gandalf) and there's a certain thrill listening to the author read his own work.

So yeah, books should be read (unless you can't or are driving) and plays should be seen.

On a slightly different note, I think the future of books is a new Japanese invention where you can download eBooks into a folding PDA-style gizmo about the same size and weight of an actual book. So you can download and read multiple books in the same 'frame'.


Delete

Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I like reading books out loud with a lover or a friend. Taking turns, giving it life, conversing about points of interest at the end of each chapter.
But..books on tape do not have that for me. I have tried listening to them and will get lost in my thoughts about something and then realize that chapters have gone by and I missed it.

They are good for the blind, or for those with more focus but to me there is nothing like hearing the spine of a book crack and smell that inky paper smell as I get caught up in whatever I am reading.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

filthy 23
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

filthy 23

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 136
Posted:Audiobooks are soo excellent to listen to if you have a dull desk job! They sure got me through 1 1/2 years of data entry. I especially enjoyed "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" by Robert A Heinlein, JUNETEENTH by Ralph Ellison, "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain and "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck (although it was very maddening). I wouldn't have otherwise read these books. I do read a lot, just wouldn't have thought to pick these ones up. The best part is that it was all free, from the Public Library.



beerchug


I AM working.

Delete

MiG
GOLD Member since Apr 2004

MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG, Australia

Total posts: 3415
Posted:and listening is a lot easier than reading, for the slack ones among us.

Plus, audiobooks, i find, are good to go to sleep listening to, because you can lose yourself in the book, and end up dreaming it, which is sometimes really cool smile


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

Delete

Medusa
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...

Total posts: 1433
Posted:I used to know a guy who refused to buy a book unless it was on audio and that was not because he couldn't read.

His excuse....he couldn't be bothered turning the pages....

uh....huh....


Delete

Adya Miriyana
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Adya Miriyana

*slou?
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 6554
Posted:mm.. subconscious learning..

Delete

DragonFury
BRONZE Member since Mar 2005

Draco Iracundia
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 784
Posted:My grandfather was blind for a fair few years and had no chance of reading or being read to, so we started sending him audio books, My sisters and i would also add things on to other tapes for his to listen to. Was really good.

For me to listen to them, i must agree that it must be read by the author or it takes on a different perspective. If my mum and i have read the same book and then see the movie, we both have different ideas of what things would look/sound like. Its because movies are usually based on the book and not the book put into pictures.


Do we sleep when we die?

Delete

Hanz


Hanz

veteran
Location: Bendigo, Vic, Australia

Total posts: 1328
Posted:Well, I prefer reading to audiobooks, not sure why though.

Although, we did try to get some audiobooks for my cousin, as she is blind, except we couldnt find any good ones, because they all go either too fast, or too slow for her, or sometimes, you just cant understand them...


Delete

oli
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

not with cactus
Location: bristol/ southern eastern devo...

Total posts: 2052
Posted:for me to get into a storey i need to be fairly concentrated so i can get a grip of whats going on in my head. when i read a book i dont have so much choice , you focus on the book and its your main focus so its all good. but if your listening, unless your in the dark then its easy to get distracted by the big bright world that is out there...

so probably audio books are good in the dark, books are good in in the light.


Me train running low on soul coal
They push+pull tactics are driving me loco
They shouldn't do that no no no

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted:Actually, I listened to Stephen Hawking's "A Theory of Everything" read by the author and that was quite fun. I have another book of his read by some random Englishman and it just isn't the same as hearing Stephen Hawking's robo-voice.

But for non-fiction, I suppose audiobooks are OK. But for fiction... I like reading.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Ifrit
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

Ifrit

The GF of HoP
Location: Somerset, England

Total posts: 492
Posted:BE WARNED: what is to follow is the rant of slightly insomniatic self-obsessed teenager. To skip it would be advisable to one wealth.

Personally I have a long history with audio books because of my dyslexia. My mum used to get them out of the library for me when i was little as i loved stories but as i come from a rather large family (6 sisters, 2 brothers) there wasn't time for my parents to read to me when getting every1 off to sleep (a never ending battle from what i remember).

The want to read more stories than were available to me at the time to my liking (not a never ending amount by no means) gave an extra incentive to persevere with developing my reading skills. It really was a struggle but eventually I got over it to an extend enough so that I can read any literature I am face with even if the processing speed is not that of other around me. But I am glade I did put in the effort as I do love to read even if I am under as to how my experience of reading them difference to others. It almost feels as if as I have to concentrate to read the text I am unable to truly perceive what the author is trying to portray.

An unfortunate spin off to listening to so many audio books is that i have become conditioned to them to the extent that at one point i could not actually sleep without 1. I swear i could recite the whole of the Truth by Terry Prattchet with props mind smile. The only reason Ive not fully deconditioned myself is because of what MiG brought up, i find that having them playing even if Im not fully paying attention does make for some great dreams better than the one that are made up of the mundane stuff my subconscious tries to defrayment from my day to day life. I suppose thats what comes from leading an unfulfilling life :S.

Still I think that audio books are needed if not to infuse the desire to read in the young. Im sure that if more children were aware of the wealth of knowledge held in books then there would be no need new techniques in teaching children to read although i do approve of the new phonic techniques being pioneered recently, to an extent anyway.

ed902 Ive also heard Tolkien reading extracts from LOTR on this tape my sister found and it is truly magical. On par with reading it and a lot more for filling than the films. I just wished he has published a full rendition I would have loved that as a child.

I bet that opening warning made you think there was something worth while here didnt it. Well you cant say i didnt give you forewarning. I pretty sure that most of my ramblings were not relevant to the subject but please forgive me as I see it as very therapeutic act submitting the whole of what Ive written rather than editing I for public consumption.

The heart of the matter being Audiobooks = Good, but Reading = Excelent


fire leads to creation

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted:I guess I should have stated at the get-go that if you need to use audiobooks because of a disability, visual, learning, or otherwise, that's totally different and outside the scope of this discussion, I suppose.

I'd sooner admonish a wheelchair-user to use the stairs than admonish a dyslexic to read more.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

babajaga
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

babajaga

old hand
Location: Berlin, Germany

Total posts: 863
Posted:for my part I learned a lot English with audiobooks, I could already read and write in English and had a lot of vocabulary just understanding English speaking people was hard so it helped a lot for I wasnt in touch with native English speakers...

in German hmmm I'm a book nut I cant go by a book shop but audiobooks have a huge relaxing effect on me...


What is psychology?- Looking for a black cat in a dark room. What is psychoanalysis? Psychoanalysis is looking for a black cat in a dark room -- in which there is no cat -- but finding one anyway.

Delete

Skulduggery
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales

Total posts: 8428
Posted:I read a lot and love books but I still think audiobooks have their place. I've had times when reading a book wasn't possible but listening to an adiobook was and it fills the gap. I think its just a question of horses for courses. I also love radio plays and monologs. Closing your eyes and listening to someones voice can effect your mood. Brian Blessed could just read me the phone directory and I would still listen and love every word.

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

Delete

Sniper
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Sniper

Snoochie-boochie-noochies!
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 663
Posted:Written by: Doc Lightning
Similarly, you'll notice that whenever a book is made into a movie (with the possible exception of the first Harry Potter movie)



i think the shawshank redemption's the only film i've seen that comes near to the power of the book. but then i don't watch many films. meh


Delete

Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841
Posted:
I see one compromise between digital paper and real paper:
You can found the answer in:

Neal Stephanson - Diamond age (cyber-punk)

Its called "Reading-book for gentle young woman"

Its combination of hi-tech and hand book, that invent
interactivity with user and dynamic pictures in
clasic paper format.

:R


Poi THEO(R)IST

Delete

myco
BRONZE Member since Nov 2004

myco


Location: melbourne, victoria, australia

Total posts: 2084
Posted:i've never really listened to a whole talking book myself, so i can't really comment on whether i prefer audio or written, but i know that regarding book vs film, i'm very pro book. i'm not talking about ease of absoption if you're trying to study a text, but fr enjoyment. i much prefer to create my own visualisations and interpretations of a story than be fed another persons perceptions of it. There are exceptions where the film may be better than the book, but i'm talking generally.

and a little side note: my dad listens to a lot of talking books, because he's very far sighted, so for christmas i made him one of me reading a story for him. smile


Delete

jinvincible
GOLD Member since Nov 2004

jinvincible

king of the hedgehogs
Location: Madtown, USA

Total posts: 125
Posted:I generally prefer the written word. Having said that, I will also attest that you really haven't experienced Terry Pratchett until you've listened to any of the unabridged Discworld books as read by Nigel Planer...

Yellow and blue make green.

Delete

Gidg
BRONZE Member since Apr 2003

Gidg

Super Gidg!!!!
Location: Portland Oregon USA

Total posts: 8506
Posted:There is a time and a place for everything and that includes audio books. As stated by others there are some situations when the audio books it a necessity (hearing impaired, etc). They are also a great self-teaching tool when it comes to learning other languages, there are some things that must be learnt by "hearing". They are also great for children who are learning to read and don't have an adult available to help.

I, personally, have not gotten into audio books. For me the actual printed word gives my imagination wings, something that I haven't experienced with audio. I do like to read to people or have people read to me, but that is a total different situation than a recording.

It probably doesn't help that I'm a visual and not an audio person in the first place.


Growing old is mandatory; growing up is NOT.
Proud member of the HoP DPS.
Sanity is a highly overrated state of mind.
I'm normal ... it's everyone else that's crazy.

Gidg

Delete

filthy 23
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

filthy 23

member
Location: USA

Total posts: 136
Posted:ok ok so a very strange experience is to listen to 1984 read by a computer. try it, its super weird to have a robot sounding voice read that content (similar to the odd feeling of listening to the voice narrating the movie "The Cyberpunk Educator").

I AM working.

Delete

Sakura_Moon


Sakura_Moon

Hop's Kitten Jester.
Location: Wonderland igloo, Vic, Austral...

Total posts: 1803
Posted:I'm not your audiobook type, though i do think they are a good idea, especially for someone who cant read, or if you're blind. Even though they ahve brael, i would much rather listen if i didnt have my sight.
I have stupid Shakespeare at school for 3 years now.
I'm just going to say it has RUINED the plays for me, i hate analysing it andtkaing it into little pieces.
Its a play, not a book and i just want to enjoy it.
I understand the plays very well and can "translate" them for someone who has no clue.
But i am so sick of having to analyse it.
Okay, a little off topic, but it needed to be said.
Seeing as the plays were made to be acted out, putting them on audio tape is a step towards that.

And thats my 2 cents


.:Pink Exocutioner:.

I am Jack's Raging Bile Duct...

Loving you from the deepest part of my loins.


Delete


Similar Topics

Using the keywords [audiobook* v* paper book*] we found the following similar topics.
1. Learn > Juggling > 2 Club Manipulation > books 1 *help/resource Title
2. Learn > How to make your own gear > How to make Poi > Simple Maori bag Poi *help/resource Title newspaper or tennis balls  colour paper or fabric   string cord  and...
3. Learn > Juggling > 2 Club Manipulation > Books 2 *help/resource Title
4. Forums > Audiobooks vs. Paper books [24 replies]
5. Forums > Uberparis *updated* Booking now open [326 replies]

     Show more..