Not a Cheater

Ah, yes, the scorn of many book clubs and bibliophile traditionalists--audiobooks. This article describes the scorn some book club members face when they reveal they've listened, rather than read, the latest selection. I myself feel a tad odd when I list audiobooks on my "recently read" list--but I am firmly in the school that listening to an audiobook is just as much reading as is cracking open the physical volume.

My theory is, people that scorn audiobooks as "not as much work" as reading the book, clearly don't do as much actual work as I do, which is part of what accounts for the very little time I have to read. Then again, most of these people would probably also not classify my comic book habit as "reading." They're right--it takes much more visual effort and brain power to concentrate on a script that is both text and image--which is why when I'm tired, I read books, and only read comics when I have enough energy to concentrate.

I only wish that we had a broader selection of popular titles at UNT. Or else that the McKinney/Denton public libraries were more on my way to work. Or that they had a courier service directly to my office. And also if all my textbooks, and professional books I'd like to read--if they were on audiobook, that would rock.

Yeah, I know I sound like a big whiner. But that's what you get to be when you commute ten hours a week, watching your free time melt away like pecan ice cream.

Mmmmm, ice cream.


Adam said...

Amen, sister!

Books of the audio kind let you squeeze in some narrative when your eyes are otherwise occupied.

My commute is filled with podcasts these days, but I do love audiobooks... and being literally next door to the Euless Library makes picking them up oh so easy!

Amanda (the librarian) said...

I used to be an audiobook snob until I started this job with its 40-minute-one-way commute. Once I felt I got to know the route really well, it seemed I could safely start listening to audiobooks, and it would be a better use of my time than listening to music.

If you've been following my blog, I've been trying to write about what I "read", and a lot of those have been audiobooks. I've found some cases where certain topics don't work well (for me) as an audiobook - Stephen Hawking's books, for example. There have been other cases where the print version has had other helpful or interesting material (maps, illustrations). If a book interests me enough, or is a selection from one of my two book clubs, I'll usually pick up the print version too for reference.

I definitely don't feel like it's cheating if you listen to the unabridged version. Some of the readers are lousy, but some are quite wonderful (often the author) and add a lot to the story.

There's not much of a selection at my county library, and I only have $1500 a year to add to our audiobook collection - but at least I get to make the selections!

Starrlett said...

Yes, Amanda, I was actually reading some of your recent audiobook selections this morning--I'm glad you post reviews about the audio quality/narration, as well as reviewing the book itself.

And yeah Adam, podcasts are people, too! (Er... podcasts are a worthwhile audio format, too?) :)