Thursday, July 22, 2010

audio books don't count... not for me anyways

I can now say, with full confidence, that audio-books are not the same as reading a book. I don't care if you disagree with me, I have read and listened to the same book and in no way are they comparable.

It was Good Omens... I actually liked it, but I couldn't get through it reading it because it wasn't that suspenseful... I like to feel like either a) I'm going to die if I don't finish a book, or b) the characters will die if I don't read on. Good Omens is British, therefore comical in a way American books are not, and also harder to get into and enjoy. Maybe I'm too "American" I don't know, I did like the book... I just was only able to read about half before I put it on the shelf for good.

When I listened to it I either closed my eyes because I had to or I'd get distracted and I fell asleep; or I kept my eyes open and zoned out missing things. There is a big part of the book that I can't for the life of me remember, but I would go back and I'd miss it again, so I just moved on.

Some people may have the ability to pay complete attention to the audio book, but if that is how it is for them, why not just read it? I don't understand it unless you're reading along with the book. If you have the time to pay complete attention to the audio book, without falling asleep, why not just read it? If you're blind I understand. If you're illiterate, I get it. If you're trying to learn English... but if you can read, with usable eyes in a language you understand then do it, or don't consider it a book read, because I missed things. And I'm an avid reader.

Another qualm I have with those audio bookers is how offended they get when you say it's not the same. It's not the same. I'm sorry. I'm sorry you think that reading a book and listening to it are the same. Scientifically speaking you read the book with completely different centers of your brain then when you listen to it, and in that sense alone, they are different. If you're in a class and your teacher is talking do you learn better with visual aids? Do you learn better when you take notes and read those notes as you're writing them? The answer is yes, because audio learning is usually not enough for it to stick... and when you're reading a book it's the same. If you just hear it there will be things that slip through the cracks, and when you get to a point where you needed those bits of info you don't have them.

So, I am not arguing against listening to a book, I just want you to know it's not the same, you didn't read it, and whether or not you're willing to admit it, you missed something I didn't because I read it and you just listened.

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