I have to confess that I’m somewhat of a book snob. I don’t (necessarily) mean with regard to the books I read. No, I’m thinking about the way I read them. See, I don’t consider listening to a book to be proper reading. I did a very informal poll on this by asking my boyfriend and another friend if they think it counts just as much to hear a book and to read it – and neither of them thought so either.
So here we are – three clever persons (!), neither of us think it is quite right to listen to a book instead of sitting down and having it in our hands, using our eyes to read it with – the good old traditional way. But why is that? It’s the same words – it’s just two different ways of taking them in. And in some situations, you can’t read in the traditional way – but you can listen.
Besides, when did listening get such a bad reputation? When we’re kids, our parents read to us if we’re lucky. We never wonder if they get less out of the book because it is read out loud to them. Why shouldn’t we as adults not get to enjoy the same luxury?
I’m not sure I’m wired in a way to be able to listen to complex books – at least not yet – but I do think that I can listen to some novels and enjoy them.
So what it all comes down to, is that I’ve decided to give audio books a chance. Mostly because I have to get out in the garden and start pulling weeds and making it look somewhat presentable – or at least so the kids don’t hurt themselves playing in it. And I hate garden work. So to sweeten the deal I’ve decided to listen to an audio book while doing it. And I’ve chosen Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Raine Benares, book 1) by Lisa Shearin – pure fantasy, nothing intellectual, just plain action. And as a non-experienced audio book listener, I think that’s key. To have something to listen to that’s not too complicated but rather easily accessible. So that’s what I’m going for – pure lovely fluffy entertainment while I tackle those nasty stinging nettles.
- Loud, Proud, Unabridged: It Is Too Reading! – Amy Harmon for The New York Times
- Wired for Sound – John Schwartz for The New York Times