Saturday, January 14, 2012

On audio books

Do you like listening to books? Apparently Stephen Fry listens to audio books while going for long walks, but sadly they do nothing for me (walks and audio books both!). For people who don't read, I guess audio books are a godsend, but personally, I'd much rather read a book than listen to somebody reading aloud.

And here's the thing - I don't understand the point of adults being read to, unless they're physically unable to read. It's supposed to be a treat, right, if somebody reads a book to you? Not for me. I think it's meant mainly for children, until such time as they can read for themselves. 

Pete sometimes plays an audio book in the car when we're driving long distances. I've tried my best to get into the story, but after a while it just becomes a drone in the background. I guess I get tired of listening and simply tune out. My brain can't deal with the plot or characterisation or anything, no matter who the narrator is. Not even Stephen Fry, with his beautifully modulated voice, is interesting enough. I suppose I'm a reader, not a listener.

What about you all out there? Do you enjoy audio books? What do you think of them?


Shruthi said...

I totally am with you. I shudder to even TRY an audio book. In fact, if someone tries to read out an article to me from the newspaper, I'm like, "Awww mannn give it to me, lemme read it." I can't BEAR being read to.
Having said that, I know that the future might hold something else, and I might be an audio book addict, but right now, no thanks.

30in2005 said...

I have the same problem - I just tune out. Also I find when I read myself the different characters have very individual voices but that these blur / do not in any way resemble them as being read out by someone else iykwim.

ummon said...

definitely a reader. but i do listen to discourses/speeches on youtube as i work. and must add, it doesn't register as well, maybe at the sub-conscious level.
nothing against audio books though, because at the end of the day, the content is what matters, not the medium.

Shammi said...

Shruthi: Yep, audio books might get better in the future, but right now I don't care for them.

30in2005: You nailed it. One person reading everybody's dialogue doesnt cut it.

Ummon: Yes, content definitely matters - as long as it's in print medium :)

Inji said...

I like dramatizations of books (e.g. radio plays etc) but not audio books. Having just one person read me a book, no matter how great his/her voice modulation is just too boring.

Shammi said...

Inji: Radio plays are better than single-person readings, true... but I think my problem is that after a while I feel the need to read rather than listen! :)