Audiobooks are popping up all over the place. More people are “reading” audiobooks these days and more books are being recorded. Now it’s not only the special few that can be popped into the cd-player, more and more recent books are being released as an audiobook as well. There are platforms such as Audible to buy the digital audiobooks making the process a lot more easy. But how do we feel about them? Here’s what I think, and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments!
Multitasking: It’s great, you can read while doing other things now. Do you get carsick if you read while moving? It’s no longer a problem because you can just listen to your book. You are doing boring chores around the house? Don’t worry, brighten them up with that hobby you love so much. I really do think it’s a lovely way to combine reading with something else. Personally I use this a lot while quilting, I do it by hand so there’s no machine making a lot of noise (and therefore interfering with the audiobook) so it’s a match made in heaven.
Severe dyslexia is a problem of the past: I personally don’t suffer from reading problems, but I’m guessing this clears that issue right up. You no longer have to struggle through every page to experience beautiful stories. Someone is reading it to you and this is a great way to enjoy the story without all the hassle. This can also be a great solution for people with poor vision or even those who are blind (yes Braille is an option, this is just a different one).
Experiencing a book differently: Listening to a book being read to you has a different feeling than when you are reading it yourself. So audiobooks really do give the whole book a different dimension, especially if the person who is reading the book does different voices for all of the characters.
Multitasking: I know I already put this on the positive side of the balance as well, but it really can become a negative part of listening to audiobooks as well. Sometimes you combine it with the wrong things and you cannot give enough attention to either task. This makes you miss out on a part of the book or makes the other task at hand badly executed. I can see how listening to an audiobook while driving might be very handy, especially on long drives, but if there is a tough traffic situation at hand I might just block out the audiobook for a while and have missed some key points in the story. Or it’s possible to get so distracted by the book that you aren’t paying enough attention to the traffic around you. So multitasking can be great with audiobooks, but I would advise some caution though.
The reader’s voice: Normally when you read you pay attention to the writing style, the story, the characters. But when listening to the audiobook a new level is added to that, and that is the voice of whoever is reading the story to you. You might like a book less because you didn’t like the style or the voice of the reader. This can taint your experience of the book in a positive or a negative way. Let’s just hope they picked a good reader for that book that everyone has been loving, right?
Remembering the story: I have to say that this was a problem for me, especially when listening to a book I haven’t read before (as opposed to the Harry Potter audiobooks where it doesn’t matter If I miss something). Sometimes I had a hard time getting back into the story because I had forgotten what was happening last time I was listening to the audiobook. And it’s a lot harder to leaf back to get an overview of events on an audiobook (no skim-reading possible!).