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Eutierria

Audiobooks vs Paper

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Eutierria

I love paper. I love reading. 

 

However, as life/work gets busier, I don't feel able to prioritise reading for leisure or too tired to.

 

For those of you who enjoy hours with a book & have experience of listening to audiobooks - would you recommend it? Does anything feel "missing"? I like the idea of being able to listen & do chores but considering whether that would remove the 'stillness' aspect of sitting/laying down with a paperbook. 

 

Thinking about installing some kind of audiobook app but not sure how much would be a waste of money. 

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Zagadka

Digital 😉 I moved from paper to Kindle many years ago, and I've been happy. It is comfortable, I have access to tons of books in one device, etc etc.

 

I don't like audiobooks, though. I'm not a very audio person. I don't learn that way, it can be harder to concentrate, and i like I concentrate when I read something. Some people can get by with following along with a book in the background as they do something else, but that drives me nuts. I like enjoying the way an author describes things that just isn't duplicated in an audio format where you can't go back and re-read.

 

Plus I wouldn't want to give up sitting alone outside or curled in bed reading.

 

But try it? It should be pretty easy to find a deal from Audible for a free audio book, they advertise with YouTubers and such all the time. Or maybe try out some story based podcasts or audio plays.

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SkoomaPipe

I used to listen to Edgar Allen Poe on audio tape when I was a kid (bedtime stories) and that was nice, but I never felt quite as connected to the stories as when I actually read them and found them far less memorable. Usually read the story anyway after hearing the audio tape lol. I suppose it works in a pinch ^^

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Grimalkin

I don't like audiobooks much. Reading a book feels personal to me and I don't like hearing other people's idea of what characters sound like, what inflection to put on things, etc.

 

I do like podcasts, though. They tend to be well-researched and interesting, with less second-hand awkwardness than radio. I often listen to them when I go hiking. 

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Homer

Audiobooks let a book become mere background noise. I prefer reading.

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HelloSnakeEyes

if your goal is to actually learn then audiobooks are horrendous for that, for the reason Homer explained. but if you are just looking for something to fill time and space, then i would see no reason not to listen to one when you need some diversion. 

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LeChat

It seems that public libraries in the U.K. also use Overdrive, which offers audiobooks and ebooks; I'm unsure whether all U.K. libraries charge a yearly fee or if it's free, like in the U.S.

 

It takes me longer to read books, so I like borrowing audiobooks and, sometimes, increasing the audio's speed, so that I'm able to finish audiobooks quicker, although I'm not really able to listen while doing other things because then my mind will miss some of the story.

 

I enjoy how the actors read the text; it's much more imaginative than what I imagine hearing in my head when reading.

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SithGrinch

I love audiobooks. They've been something my family did during long car rides when I was growing up. They make it easier to consume books when you can't physically read for whatever reason, and make the books more accessible to the blind or those suffering from other problems like dyslexia that can make reading difficult or frustrating.

 

I also love physical books. Books can last and the file won't corrupt or become unaccessible without an internet access. Or the cassette tape won't suddenly go screwy, or the CD get scratched, etc. Yes, books can get stained or torn or many other things, but I find it's more easily avoidable and fixable. There's also something much more satifsying about seeing a full bookshelf rather than a library list on a kindle or computer. 

 

If I had to choose, I'd say physical books. My bf and I are collecting a library slowly (which will be very expensive to ship if we ever succeed in moving out of the country) and want to read to our children (if we ever have any, that's still up for debate).

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Nowhere Girl

I don't like audiobooks. Paper and e-books only for me.

And... listening without doing anything else is too boring for me. When I listen to some political discussions on an internet radio, I also solve puzzles at the same time.

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SithGrinch
45 minutes ago, HelloBarbara said:

if your goal is to actually learn then audiobooks are horrendous for that, for the reason Homer explained

Can you explain? After all, stories were originally shared through audio retellings before writing was invented or common. 

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fuzzipueo

If you're unsure and don't want to spend money, test some audiobooks from the local library first. Look to see what they have electronically or talk to a librarian.

 

I love the library apps I have on my Kindle - both Overdrive and Hoopla - and love to listen to and read books, regardless of format!

 

If you get a really, really good narrator, they can bring the characters to life (Elizabeth Rosenblatt's reading of the Amelia Peabody Mysteries are truly excellent) or infuse life into an otherwise standard or even subpar story. An awful narrator will bring an excellent book down. And, as tastes differ, you'll want to experiment with different types of narrators and styles. Some books even have full cast audios - with different voice actors playing the characters. Some have two or more to cover a wide range of accents, like the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon (Scots, English, U.S.).

 

I mostly listen in the car, but also when I'm doing chores, feeding the cats, etc. I read paper and ebooks too, and sometimes, I will listen to the audio version of a book after I've read one of the other versions first, especially if it's a story I love.

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elisabeth_II

I guess it depends on what you do.

 

I often listen to podcasts, while going by bike to work. Speech in one ear is safer than plug one or both ears with music, when you're out in traffic. Works also nicely for me when I drive the train during the longer transport strokes. Once I get to the lots-of-signals-everywhere-big-town-area, I tend to totally forget I have audio on, so that would correspond to the background noise. Same if something need explicit attention on the bike or in the supermarket, the audio will just be forgotten about. You can rewind the podcasts or audiobooks if you feel you've missed something crucial.

 

As for stories, I have 4 + 10 audiobooks of two series, they are from the same author and same actor reading them, I've had them for ten years and listen to them while I relax or go to sleep, cos the voice is comfy. I never long for new stories, so I never thought I'd start with another audiobook, but recently got recommended one by a friend and I like it. I'm a sound-person so, I find audiobooks much more attractive than paperbooks when it comes to stories. It's the same sort of difference as movie vs book, only you don't have the graphic dimension.

 

I suppose you want to explore new stories all the time and not miss too much of the contents, Listen while you do something that doesn't require thinking.

 

Public libraries, yes, they might have audiobooks so that you can try the concept for free.

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Taival

E-book reader here as well! Physical copies are also alright, though I don't read them as much. I tried listening to one audio book, couldn't make it halfway through. Nothing wrong with the book or the narration. I just can't concentrate. I get easily lost in thought, so I frequently pause when reading and just stare in the distance and think of the Napoleonic Wars or something else completely unrelated. Sure, you can also pause in audiobooks, but it's not as easy to come back to the right scene from the "oh shit where was I" -daydream moment. I also like to to read past scenes again, and while it's not as easy on ebook than on a physical copy, I did find it a lot easier than on an audiobook. I also have a vivid imagination when reading, and I just couldn't get that same picture of a scene in my head when listening to the book. I found the narration distracting.

 

At least here all audiobook companies offer at least a week of free trial, and the libraries are full of audio books. When I worked at a library a few years ago the one in charge of the audiobook selection was driven borderline insane as she had constantly move stuff around to make more room for them, as more and more people got into audiobooks and requested a bigger selection. You should definitely try audiobooks if it feels interesting! I almost feel sad that I never got on board this current audio book boom.

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elisabeth_II
18 minutes ago, SithGrinch said:

 Yes, books can get stained or torn or many other things, but I find it's more easily avoidable and fixable. There's also something much more satifsying about seeing a full bookshelf rather than a library list on a kindle or computer. 
 

Yea, show me your library and I tell you who you are, or so they say. I have extremely little prosaic books though, mostly I love books for the content, not so much for the (proper) looks, so my motto is: it should be clearly visible that the book was actually read (and understood). Pig's ears, marks, bits of tape both to bookmark pages and to hold the whole book together, notes, personal inlets, and splashes of coffee or blurbs of chocolate are essential to my library :D

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cue

I read/listen in all sort of formats depending on what's convenient. I usually use my e-reader and download ebooks at the library. If a story is really good I'll download the audiobook version so I can listen while I work and then go back to reading when I get home. I'm also the type of person that would rather listen to podcasts/audiobooks instead of music when I exercise. I rely solely on local libraries for audiobooks, if you don't have easy access to one I'd suggest trying some sort of podcast or free audiobook to try out listening instead of diving right in.

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SithGrinch
1 minute ago, elisabeth_II said:

it should be clearly visible that the book was actually read (and understood). Pig's ears, marks, bits of tape both to bookmark pages and to hold the whole book together, notes, personal inlets, and splashes of coffee or blurbs of chocolate are essential to my library

You bring tears to my eyes. Dog ears make me sad, and tape as bookmarks makes me fear for the page (though obviously to repair something it's expected and fine). Notes and stuff are... understandable, though I refuse to write in the physical book, I'd prefer stickynotes if I'm forced, and stains make me actually freak out. 

 

I was just brought up with the idea that damaging a book was disrespectful and should be avoided at all costs. I understand it's a personal thing, but it makes me cringe.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
1 hour ago, Eutierria said:

For those of you who enjoy hours with a book & have experience of listening to audiobooks - would you recommend it? Does anything feel "missing"? I like the idea of being able to listen & do chores but considering whether that would remove the 'stillness' aspect of sitting/laying down with a paperbook. 

Hi there :) I also love paper, but do not have time these days. As a result, I listen to audiobooks for around 12 hours every single day, all year around. For me, as long as you have a good narrator, the experience is still pretty darned great (because you can get so much done while ALSO getting your fiction fix for the day).

 

The best audiobook app is Audible.com, and you get a free book to start with that you can keep even if you don't want the membership. You can listen in the background, use a sleep timer, all kinds of things. it costs money though! but it's worth it if you can afford it. 

 

However, if you're just getting into audiobooks I'd try YouTube first (you need adblock though!! because many audiobooks are full of ads). I pay for YouTube premium which means I have no ads, can turn my phone screen off while my book is playing, and I can also download books to listen to while I walk around away from WiFi.

 

What kind of stories do you like? There are some brilliant ones on YouTube right now that I can link here if you want?

 

I just listened to this one, called Before I Go To Sleep:

 

 

 

 

(that's part one and part 2)

 

It's a BRILLIANT mystery about a woman who wakes up with no memory of who she is. It turns out she has been waking up like this for TWENTY years (as she loses her memory again every night as she sleeps) and she has to piece her past back together to work out how she got to where she is. Honestly, it's amazing (that goes for everyone else here who also likes mysteries with epic twists and turns that keep you guessing the whole way through. I'd watched the movie earlier not realising there was a book, and the book STILL kept me guessing the whole way even though I'd seen the movie, that's how good it iss!!), Listen to this book if you haven't already!!

 

 

I can suggest many more if you're interested. I have been listening to a minimum of one audiobook a week for.. well for literally years. So I know of many brilliant ones that are far better than much of the crap that is out there (just like with books, there are brilliant ones and there are trash!!)

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elisabeth_II
1 minute ago, SithGrinch said:

I was just brought up with the idea that damaging a book was disrespectful and should be avoided at all costs. I understand it's a personal thing, but it makes me cringe.

That's a really good example of how two entirely different behaviours mean exactly the same thing: love the book. Maybe it's my way of being not straight? I always have had troubles keeping things in good condition. I apply the same for tables. A flawless book or flawless table just doesn't make me feel anything special. A table with - I don't know and can't bother to look up the English words right now - marks of a family with eight kids, like knife 'risps'(?) or 'jacks'(?) or whatever marks you expect on a kitchentable used for baking, eating spaghetti, temporarily putting that heavy tv screen, or a living room table with marks from kids drawing, boardgames being played (too hard maybe...), all those signs make me feel that my life is reflected there. What photoalbum would I need, if I can remember the precious scenes with friends and family by the marks on my table? I guess everyone has different ways of experiencing stuff :D So, don't feel sorry for my books, they are well taken care of, and I'll never sell them!!

 

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CBC

I have almost no ability to focus on reading books anymore. It feels mentally painful, like a struggle that makes me want to burst into tears and throw the book across the room. It's rarely pleasant. Yet I was the child who read way above her grade level and would stay up long into the night on non-school nights to read until my eyes were blurry. I had no trouble reading whatsoever as a kid, and was baffled by my peers who did. Books were my favourite thing ever. Now they're very little besides stress and they make me sad because I know I'll almost never make my way through one anymore. I'm not sure why the massive change, but I imagine several decades of terrible mental health and stress and malnutrition may be factors.

 

I can listen though, as long as I occupy my body in a mindless way whilst I do it. That usually means housework, some form of exercise, or playing a really simple phone game. If I've got something to keep my body occupied, I can listen indefinitely. I love podcasts, radio programmes and audiobooks.

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Alejandrogynous

I don't usually care for audiobooks, I tend to find the narrator's voice to be an intrusion on my experience with a book. At least I do when it comes to fiction, which is what I read the most. There are some exceptions, like I enjoy when poets read their own work. I've never tried a nonfiction audiobook, I imagine there'd be less of a clash with the narrator if it's just information, but my mind also tends to wander a lot so it would frustrate me to not be able to go back and reread something. I like listening to podcasts sometimes though.

 

But also, I just need that book smell, you know?

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
37 minutes ago, elisabeth_II said:

That's a really good example of how two entirely different behaviours mean exactly the same thing: love the book.

Yeah you can always tell which of my books are most loved because they are falling apart, have coffee stains, have fingerprints in them and usually pastel and things as well (from when I've been drawing pictures of something I'm reading) and some even have many underlines on different pages to mark quotes I particularly like. If there is a book in my house that isn't falling apart, that usually means I haven't read it yet :P (I have a rather large collection of books, all of them very well-loved, ehe).

 

I do have some suuuuuuuuuuuper special ones though, like a $70 art book depicting many of Alan Lee's illustrations of concept art from The Lord of the Rings movies. That one is still in pristine condition as I treat it with reverence because I bought it with all may saved birthday and Christmas money when I was 14 ^_^ 

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HelloSnakeEyes

@SithGrinch i originally read this report in its entirety but this is a good summary of what i was talking about, 

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SkoomaPipe
2 hours ago, SithGrinch said:

Can you explain? After all, stories were originally shared through audio retellings before writing was invented or common. 

Being told a story in person, typically by a respected member of the community (elder, chief etc.), sometimes with dances and music, a whole party to tell this story. Would be a far different experience than some disembodied voice talking to you through some speakers. For me, it's quite hard to pay attention to the disembodied voice. However, if my great grandma is telling me a story of her youth, I tend to pay attention xD

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SithGrinch
1 hour ago, SkoomaPipe said:

Being told a story in person, typically by a respected member of the community (elder, chief etc.), sometimes with dances and music, a whole party to tell this story. Would be a far different experience than some disembodied voice talking to you through some speakers. For me, it's quite hard to pay attention to the disembodied voice. However, if my great grandma is telling me a story of her youth, I tend to pay attention xD

I can see how that would be different. I find most of the voices soothing, but if I don't you can bet it's harder to pay attention or remember anything. When I'm reading with no sound, I find it hard to concentrate with other noises going on, so I often need to listen to music or something during which can still be distracting, so I find it equally useful to listen as well as read, because I can reread something multiple times, but listening to it helps me focus. It's even better if I can listen while I read. 

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Balance

I prefer books. Hearing an audio book doesnt feel like reading a book imo. And it sometimes takes longer to hear someone read a book than to just read a book yourself. And I'd probably nod off just listening to a book. Somehow if it's something like a lecture that's shorter than a book, ok I guess. Or if there's more explanation of something that's not in the book.

 

It's hard enough for me to retain what's been said to me on the phone or in person. If I don't have words to read I won't remember what's been said. You know like email, text, forums, etc.

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SkoomaPipe
22 minutes ago, SithGrinch said:

I can see how that would be different. I find most of the voices soothing, but if I don't you can bet it's harder to pay attention or remember anything. When I'm reading with no sound, I find it hard to concentrate with other noises going on, so I often need to listen to music or something during which can still be distracting, so I find it equally useful to listen as well as read, because I can reread something multiple times, but listening to it helps me focus. It's even better if I can listen while I read. 

My friend is like that. He has 6 siblings. I'm an only child lol. I can listen to certain kinds of music while reading (classical and punk mostly). If listening to the audio book while reading the book, I can certainly see how that could be helpful. Repetition and all that. Wouldn't work for me, I just talk to myself instead :lol:

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Sleighcaptain

I agree with @Homer, if you have an audiobook on whilst doing something else, it's very easy to zone out and miss half a chapter whilst sorting out the laundry :P

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123383

Nothing here.

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123383

Nothing here.

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HelloSnakeEyes
11 hours ago, SkoomaPipe said:

Being told a story in person, typically by a respected member of the community (elder, chief etc.), sometimes with dances and music, a whole party to tell this story.

The research paper i read said that the more the body was involved the more the story was remembered. its interesting to note the congruence between the research and the old, ancient manners of storytelling. 

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