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Audio Books - Yes, No or Maybe?

 
 
Sturgis
 
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2018 03:04 pm
Audio books have a place, I am sure. For those who are unable to see and can't learn braille (they may not have use of their hands or sensitivity in their fingertips) and those who are illiterate they're great. They are additionally good for folks with a host of other medical issues; but, beyond that, why use them?

A few times I've listened to a few passages of an otherwise enjoyable novel. The near monotone voice of the reader destroys it almost immediately. Some of these people are actors by trade and yet when reading they seem unable to generate anything resembling emotion or feeling, leaving the book less interesting than...well, than most anything!

So, I am asking you all, do you go with audio books or not. Offer up your reasons and say if you find them better, worse or equal to either paper or
digital type books.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 625 • Replies: 12
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rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2018 03:15 pm
@Sturgis,
I've been using Audible Audio Books for a while now and I'm loving it. But I do think it's important to select books with good readers. I've listened to a few which were absolutely destroyed by the reader and others that were supported by excellent presentation.

The main reason I've been using Audible instead of just reading is that I commute a lot and can't read while driving Smile I also have Alexa devices at home and I love putting my head on the pillow at night, turning off the lights and telling Alexa to read me my book from Audible. I have found it a perfect way to finish the night and get ready for sleep.
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centrox
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2018 03:17 pm
I listen to them while commuting to work. They cannot take the place of proper reading, but they have their place.
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ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2018 03:19 pm
I like radio plays and the like. I'm not so good with audio books. I get too distracted ... wander off
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mckenzie
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2018 11:02 pm
@Sturgis,
Audio books (fiction that we both agree upon) are essential for our long road trips, anywhere from 1200 to 2400 miles, three or four times a year. They are a godsend. Never used at home, though. We both prefer to read real paper books.
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maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2018 02:02 pm
I almost exclusively listen to audiobooks now. For certain books, the author is critical to getting through the material. For example, I tried for years to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy but I could not stay awake through the text. The audiobooks are FANTASTIC.

My reason is simple. I have 2 hours of commuting each day and 1-2 hours gym/walking where I can't be looking at a piece of paper. I get much more enjoyment out of audiobooks and podcasts than I do out of music.

Consequently, when I do sit down to read, I get troubled with all the stuff that I could be doing if this were an audiobook.

The OP's initial comment that these horrible audiobooks are primarily for those with medical issues or impairments is laughable.
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Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2018 03:56 pm
Interesting.

Not being a vehicle driver (be grateful people), I haven't had the experience of needing something to occupy a long drive. Whatever happened to the radio? Oh that's another topic.

Further thoughts from myself.

With a book I visualize a character, whereas with audio as is the case with movies, television and stage presentations, a person is given and things proceed from there. It becomes quite bothersome when a different actor takes on the role, such as with James Bond and Batman portrayers over the years.

Over the years when reading to others, I have given each character their own voice. They have their own accent and pitch. I even use facial expressions to see with a mood of anger, glee, sadness, frustration, etc. (maybe I'm just a bit weird)

Regarding the comments from maporsche, I did not say that these tools were primarily for certain individuals. My take is that I do understand it better in certain situations, such has been indicated in this thread for people driving and other times as well. I was just attempting to find other views and maybe learn the whys.

Neither maporsche did I say the audio books are horrible, just that I have trouble with them. To then declare my views as laughable, is far from being the truth or what my aim here is and was.


At any rate, my thanks to all for stating your ideas and voicing me another side to this audio book thing.
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2018 04:13 pm
@Sturgis,
Must have misread your tone...sorry.

Believe it or not, there is a stigma against audiobooks, mostly from 'traditional readers' who tend to have an air of self-righteousness.
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maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2018 04:17 pm
Ill add that when I'm trying to commit things to memory (a speech, homework, etc), I'll make an audio recording of notes or of a speech and listen to it repeatedly.

Audio is great for people who are more audio learners than visual. Even if that audio is yourself reading some notes.
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Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2018 04:31 pm
I guess one part of why I am thrown off with audio is my fractured hearing. In print I know the words, I even use closed caption on television a great deal of the time. Plus the audio books when I was young were those record albums which ran at 16 and 2/3 rpm. The old time talking books, imagine carrying that home from the library or local five and ten if you got War and Peace or Anna Karenina! (at least you'd get strong arm muscles)

Lord of the Rings? Took them out of the library, never actually read any of the volumes.
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farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 04:28 am
@Sturgis,
I love em while driving and in my studio if Im doing some tedious stuff like calculations. Obviously with "creative non-fiction" they arent the best (especially for books with lots of technical illustrations or equations).

You seem to have a strong negative opinion about em. Try listening while doing repetitive tasks like cooking or gardening . When I listened to the "GRANT"biography I found it preferred audio delivery because that dam book was ponderous and the reader was quite nicely engaged with discussing history. . Sometimes , if there were unusually ponderous segments, like his discussions about Grants drinking to excess occasionally (usually associated with stressful situations), I did have to re- read the old fashioned way to aid in making his examples "Stick"

When Im painting or sitting over a scope I enjoy listening to stuff like Stephen King or some natty murder mystery. In the back porch sun room, all warm on a cold snowy winter day, I must be reading a novel or a science text.

QAudio books are just another available resource in the delivery of information or entertainment. I dont much think about whether they have a place or not. I think thats been pretty much decided by the market.

Although, I must admit, IM not too fond of kindle versions or books on a screen. Its the eye thing and I really hate the clunky way you are allowed to find a marked page earlier on. I go back and forth in a book quite often but kindle style reading isnt as easy as reading on paper. Other than that, I do sometims use Kindle books when I am crushed for luggage space on a trip. I read "Cartoon County" in a screen format and I enjoyed its delivery of the graphics (of which the book was Loaded with xample cartoons)
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drillersmum85
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 03:25 pm
@Sturgis,
I'm pro audio books. Discovered them about 30+ years ago when they were on cassette tapes. "Sunbird" by Wilbur Smith became unforgettable, for me, thanks to the reader. He seemed to take on the persona of the narrator. Without those tape books I would never have "read" so many novels as I slaved over the ironing board, or did a bit of sewing, or knitting, and even working in the kitchen from preparing meals to the big clean-ups afterwards. I have a lot to thank them for. They turned drudgery into pleasure. I do try to tackle a regular book occasionally but as I age I struggle to hold the book. Audio books were and still are a big part of my life...until my hearing is gone.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Jan, 2018 03:33 pm
@drillersmum85,
Excellent examples.Thats what I like also, whatever is comfortable with whatever Im doing or whatever the surroundings.I sometimes stream some history books from our cable tv network (Pa Cable Network-PCN). They often feature self published history books like a one I streamed a few years back called " theGhost Towns of PA'.

I recall, back in the 1980's they were called "Books on Tape" nd I hd a "Walkman" to listen when I was out in the field . I think my first book on tape was SHOGUN by James Clavell
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