The Sword and Laser discussion

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Rule 34 > Reading versus Listening

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Justin | 25 comments So, I listened to the discussion on how listening to a book is the same as reading and have to say I disagree, with extreme prejudice.

Listening and reading challenge different parts of the brain (I read this on the intertubes once), and reading is a lot more difficult than listening. It's like saying you ran a marathon when all you did was go and cheer people on while drinking a Venti Latte in your parents old lawn chair.

To be more cynical, It reminds me of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where a character states that he lost his son on 9/11. As Larry goes on to find out, the son was in Harlem and died in a car accident on 9/11. He didn't die in the attacks. Larry thought it was disingenuous to imply that you were part of a very different tragedy.

Is this comparison legit? Is listening to a podcast the same as reading a magazine article?

What are people's thoughts? Listening to a book has never impacted me like a movie or like reading a book. So maybe i just haven't "read" the right book.


message 2: by Aloha (last edited Jan 17, 2012 07:22PM) (new)

Aloha | 919 comments I only listen to unabridged. I'm a seasoned listener, so listening is better than reading. With listening, I have a higher chance of not losing contact with a book, because there are more times when I am doing a boring task than there are times when I have time to sit down and read. When I read a book, the only time I have is at the end of the day, when I usually end up falling asleep because I'm too exhausted. The reading is slower. Sometimes I end up not picking up the book again until days later, and lose my momentum with a book. Also, a great narrator will give life to a story, and emphasize areas that sometimes I may miss when I'm reading. Since I'm such a seasoned listener, my listening brain comprehends better than when I read a passage.

If I plan to write a review of a book, or reading a book that I know will require a lot of comprehension and detection of subtleties, I combine audio with an eBook. That way, after listening, I can go into the eBook and highlight areas of particular interest for reference when I am writing my review. If you don't think I'm getting much from audios, read my review for 1Q84 and see whether I am lacking in my audio listening. I read 1Q84, a tome with a lot of subtleties and symbolism, in only a few days, by combining listening with eBook. This greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the book, and prevented me from finding the length tedious and losing touch with the book.

Here is my review for 1Q84:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

And my review for 11_22_63, another tome "read" with an unabridged audiobook and eBook:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I also get tired of the accusation that listening is cheating. Cheating who? I didn't know I was competing with anybody else but myself. If I am getting a lot out of listening to a book, enough to write a comprehensive review, and as much or more than anybody else who reads by eyeball, then how is it cheating?


Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 769 comments I don't think there's anything wrong with listening to audiobooks, I find it difficult to focus when I listen to an audiobook because I'm not a very good listener but that's just me.

I do think that to say listening to an audiobook is the same as reading a book is just incorrect. No judgement attaches, and one might just say it to save time, which is fine. But they're not the same thing.

It's not cheating to listen to an audiobook, but you have not, strictly speaking, read a book.


Elianara | 19 comments I compare listening to an audiobook with reading to a child. Think of all those books mothers/fathers/teachers/librarians read to kids. Are the kids not reading a book? They might not have learned to read yet, or it might be a school thing, but they are still reading a book with the help of someone else. For me, audiobooks play the same role. It might not be my mother reading to me anymore, but someone is helping me read that book. An audiobook is a way of sharing the reading experience with someone, just the way we read and listened together with my family when I was a little girl.

TL;DR for me listening to audiobooks are the same as reading books


message 5: by Brian (last edited Jan 18, 2012 07:07AM) (new)

Brian A. | 47 comments Have to agree with the OP. Reading a book and listening to an audiobook are different enough that you shouldn't say you "read" a book if all you did was listen to an audiobook. This has actually bugged me for a while about this forum/podcast, glad someone besides me brought it up :).

I have only ever listened to one audiobook, Peter Benchley's "The Beast" on a road trip when I was a child, but I do listen to several short story podcasts and I certainly would never say that I read over 100 short stories last year....


Steve Davies (one47) | 13 comments Elianara brings up a very valid point...

Although I do find reading and listening to be different experiences, when discussing the consumption of an audio-book (eg. talking about it on the S&L podcast) I think it is perfectly valid to substitute "read" for "listened" because at that point the method of consumption is often unimportant. If in a particular context it is important to make the distinction, then it is necessary to use the accurate term, otherwise, it is not.

If you want to be a "grammar-dictator", then by all means pull people up on reading vs. listening, but words are about communicating intent, so if you get the message, does it really matter that an unimportant detail has been left out?

I will sometimes invent a word when speaking to get a meaning across, or use a word out of context (I have been known to 'edit' a cardboard box) - Is that wrong? I believe it serves a valid and valuable purpose in applying an emphasis, but by the measure of the original email, would probably be disallowed...

Just my 2p.


Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 769 comments Steve wrote: "
If you want to be a "grammar-dictator""


I prefer to think of myself as a preserver of linguistic clarity :(
And besides this is a lexical issue, not a grammatical one :p

I don't mind if people want to say they 'read' a book if they actually listened to it, it's just when they insist that they are correct in this that I am forced to raise an eyebrow.

If I walked to the shops or if I cycled to the shops I would have the same immediate outcome, I would have gotten to the shops. But it would be absurd to say I was justified in claiming that I'd cycled to the shops if I had in fact walked, just because the outcome was the same.


Steve Davies (one47) | 13 comments Kate wrote: "I prefer to think of myself as a preserver of linguistic clarity :(
And besides this is a lexical issue, not a grammatical one :p"


Okay, you got me on that one "lexical-dictator" it is :) Linguistic clarity is also fine, but life is short, let's not waste it by being picky picky ;-)

when they insist that they are correct in this that I am forced to raise an eyebrow.

If anyone is in a position to insist, then the distinction must have been clear in that context, and my caveat about context being necessary probably applies... ie. If you catch them at it, then they are probably using the wrong word. But my personal ethos would be forgiving enough to permit:

"I am reading 'Rule 34', I'm about 3 hours into it."

Given that 3-hours might mean listening hours or reading hours (it really does not matter, the result is the same!), but the following perhaps takes it too far due to the inherent (lexical) contradiction:

"I am reading 'Rule 34', I've listened to about 3 hours of it."

Even though it would not upset me and I would not challenge the issue... I still know what they mean after-all.


Aloha | 919 comments In a book discussion in forums, the usual unspoken focus is on the content of the book. What is the book about? What is your perception of it? How do you like the book? It is usually not about how you ingested the book, within what span of time, whether you read it, listen to it, read it via braille, your background or intelligence level. If every book discussion forum is nit-picky about how a content of a book is ingested, then you would have to discuss about all the above topics and all the other scenarios that might affect the perception of a book.


Aloha | 919 comments My personal pet peeve is the intelligence and perception level of the people reading a book. I think everyone should come in announcing their IQ before being able to have a discussion about a book.


Tim (Blinder_reader) | 3 comments So a few years ago I lost my sight. At the time I frequently would have 3-4 books going at once. Now as a blind reader I frequently have several audio books going at the same time.
I always read the unabridged versions which are the only versions the Library of Congress provides for the blind and visually impaired community.
I consider what I do as reading, as do most blind folks. When blind people go to school or surf the net we are listening to a screen reader that reads the content to us. Modern audio players for the blind allow for book marking and multilevel navigation of the text, heading, paragraph, section, words etc.
I would consider that reading as do teachers and professors.
I


Steve Davies (one47) | 13 comments Aloha wrote: "... read it via braille..."

Genius!

Reading via fingers, reading via eyes, reading via ears. Now start the discussion again with that in mind :)

announcing their IQ before being able to have a discussion about a book

lose the last three words :)


Glenn | 18 comments I couldn't disagree with Leo Laport and by that Tom and Veronica that "listening" is equal to reading. Listening is NOT the same as reading it. Reading REQUIRES visual input. The example of listening to a podcast vs reading a podcast is a good one, another is a or a movie. Even though plays and movies are visual, you wouldn't say that you "read a movie" or "read a play" unless you were talking about reading the actual screen play. Yet another example is music. If you are listening to a piece of music would you say you read it? Yet if you read a piece of music you wouldn't say you heard it, though if you are musical you probably heard it in your mind.

Science has also shown that reading a text and listening to a text has different impact on the brain. They are different senses and the brain "stores" that information differently.

Lastly, if you are listening to a book, and the book has different characters, do you imagine them in different voices? I know when I read a book and the speaking character changes what I "hear" in my imagination changes. When I'm "listening" to a book that doesn't happen.

It's a pet-peeve of mine when people say that listening is the same as reading and I wish people just wouldn't do it.

I think the whole reason people like Leo want listening to be equal to reading is because of the perceived and historical value of reading. People equate "readers" with increased intelligence, and some higher social standing. If this presumption wasn't there I don't think they'd care. Personally if someone "reads" a book vs "listens" to a book doesn't matter to me, they still got the data from the book. And since most people read for the story, the end result of "getting the story" is the same even if the effects on your mind are different. If you read for the story, listen or read it doesn't matter. If you want to read to stretch your mind then you'll actually have to read, not listen.


Glenn | 18 comments Steve posted while I was posting, I'd like to reply to the comment about reading via braille.

Brain studies on people who read via braille show that braille triggers activity in the visual cortex, even for people who were born blind. There's something about reading that is visual, even for people who have been blind from birth. You can google braille occipital cortex to find numerous articles.

So my previous post stats "reading REQUIRES visual input" isn't quite accurate. Reading requires visual type input. Braille is a great example of non visual input that has the same activity of visual input. Listening to text doesn't not cause the same brain activity of reading.


Joseph | 145 comments Ok, I understand everyone's arguments, though I agree and disagree with various points made, I'm ultimately lost as to why this really matters?

Listening to a book and reading it are different experiences yes, but you still absorbed the content, characters, lexis, ideas, themes etc of the story.

This whole argument seems to stem from a language battle, if it irritates perhaps just a change of how you (& Tom and Veronica) express themselves when discussing having listened to a book:

If you have listened to the book, say "I'm listening to 'BLAH', and I'm about 3 hours into it".

Hopefully if this happens endless debates on forums with no conclusion can be a mere distant memory. :D


message 16: by Aloha (last edited Jan 19, 2012 01:38PM) (new)

Aloha | 919 comments I think this is too general of a statement which is insulting to people who are predominantly audiobook listeners. This is saying that they are not expanding their minds when they are listening to an audiobook, but only using it for momentary entertainment. I don't know what research you're referring to, but the ones I saw have differing factors involved depending on the type of information that are conveyed, so you cannot make a blanket statement that reading is more beneficial to the brain than listening. In my own experience, since I started doing audiobooks, I was able to expand my mind more because I was able to go through more books. I had a period where I did not read because I was too busy and too tired from my responsibilities. Even intelligent people who have to read for their job can only focus on books specific to their fields, and do not have time to expand their minds. I've spoken to doctors who have nothing much to say or much awareness of anything else beyond their job because all they have time to read are medical journals. To me, an expanded mind is one that is aware of many things, so these doctors' awareness IQ is low.

Glenn, to respond to your argument...

Music and books are different things. Music is "an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music

A book is a method of conveying information. This transmission of information has its root not in writing, but orally such as with Homer's tales. The weakness of the oral system was that information was not preserved but lost in the translation or lost altogether, limiting the ability to record abstract ideas. However, I don't think this applies here since we've had centuries of development of abstract ideas. I agree that some books, such as textbooks containing diagrams, equations and illustrations are much better read. These are books with structure that requires reading and would be hard to grasp via audio. Books that I consider literary arts by master writers who actually take the structure of words and sentences in mind to convey meaning also should be read by eyeball. But there are plenty of stimulating ideas and concepts that can be transmitted via audio. Also, what you're saying depends on people reading by eyeball books that actually expand their minds. I don't think that is the case for most people. So, in the end, does it make any difference whether people read or listen, or whether they have to make how they ingested the book clear to everybody?

As far as your research reference, here is what I came up with. For people with busy lives, which is most of us adults here, we are easily distracted from reading than listening, according to B.A. Levy's experiment.

B. A. Levy's (see record 1978-26667-001 ) experiments in which a distracting task (counting aloud) interfered more with reading than with listening were interpreted as evidence of the importance of phonological recording during reading. The present partial replication varied the nature of the distracting task, using 1 task related to speech (counting aloud) and 1 task not related to speech (manual response to a threshold shock). Ss were 32 undergraduates. Both distracting tasks led to more interference with reading than listening. The selective interference effect is ascribed to the relative difficulty of reading over listening rather than to the importance of speech recoding in reading. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

This is the case with me. I get distracted from reading so often, that I stopped reading altogether because I lost interest in the book. With audio, I don't do that, and became engrossed in the ideas. It also helped me to "get" the forest of the idea of the book because there is a shorter lag time between picking up varying ideas and parts of the book. Seeing the meaning of the book helped me to go back to look at the detail again to see how it ties in with the whole thing. I became a very good Sherlock figuring out what the book is about. No one can tell me that my mind have not expanded from all these audios I have listened to. It's not whether it's listening or reading that expands your mind, it's what you chose to read. Plenty of people read junk and can never get enough of junk. And that's fine, too. Whatever floats their boat.

There is an experiment that shows that reading interferes with high imagery comprehension, which I think most books that people read and enjoy fall under. Definitely, fantasy books fall under the high imagery category.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/...

This means that reading requires visual imagery comprehension, just as taking in a story requires visual imagery comprehension. It is harder to do both, reading and imagining the story at the same time. Whereas with listening, it is easier to imagine to story unfolding as you're listening to it.




Glenn wrote: "...If you want to read to stretch your mind then you'll actually have to read, not listen. "


Aloha | 919 comments I say that if people are required to make clear as to whether they've read or listened to a book, then I require that people announce their IQs before talking about a book. I say the IQ has a bigger impact.

Joe wrote: "Ok, I understand everyone's arguments, though I agree and disagree with various points made, I'm ultimately lost as to why this really matters?

Listening to a book and reading it are different exp..."



Joseph | 145 comments Btw I'm not saying that if you've listened to a book then its somehow less rewarding, fulfilling or intellectually challenging than reading.

I love listening to Neil Gaiman read his stuff for example, just adds something extra to it.

Just to be clear. :) And I've no idea what IQ has to do with anything, it doesn't show how intelligent you are really, just how good at maths and problem solving. :)


Aloha | 919 comments I say that the people who have to do math and problem solving should be the one doing the reading, since those books have high structural contents. Everybody else have to listen to audios since that is actually the best way to ingest a book with high imagery content. It's actually the readers who are lacking in their comprehension since their minds are too busy visualizing all those pretty alphabets to imagine the story.


message 20: by Glenn (last edited Jan 19, 2012 04:10PM) (new)

Glenn | 18 comments Aloha, not sure if you were responding to me with the comment “so you cannot make a blanket statement that reading is more beneficial to the brain than listening” but in case you were I wanted to correct you. I never stated that reading is more beneficial, I stated that reading vs listening affects the brain differently and the brain stores information differently based on the type of input. Some people will benefit more from reading, others will benefit more from listening. One is not inherently better than the other, they are just different. You did point out a phrase that I meant to word differently but got in too big of a hurry. I meant to say that “If you want to 'read' to stretch your visual cortex then you'll actually have to read, not listen”. I did not mean to imply that you can't grow or stretch your mind by listening to stories.

I absolutely agree with you about expanding your mind. Whether reading or listening you are gaining more information and that is going to expand your mind.

We can both play the Wikipedia game :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_...

“Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning (reading comprehension).” I don't think you can do that via your ears. Meaning you can't "decode symbols" via your ears. Symbols are visual. Ears decode sounds, not symbols.

A book is a WRITTEN method of conveying information. An audio book is a derivative work of the original written book. Similar to the way a movie or a play is a derivative work based on a book. I challenge your assertion that books don't have their root in writing, but instead in oral tales. Books were created as a long term method of retaining information and did not start based on stories. The first books were historical documents, usually legal (family trees, etc), religious texts or recipe books for chemical compositions. Writing has been around since the 3rd Mil BCE, novel like stories didn't appear until sometime around the 7th century BCE.

All I'm saying is that logically and scientifically you can't call listening to a book “reading” a book. You can call it many other things, ingesting, digest, take in, learn, etc but to read it requires you to actually see words.

That's a very interesting article. I wonder how big their subject audience was. We know that different people have different learning styles and I wonder if the factored in the individual's learning preference before determining that reading interfered with high imagery sentences. You make an assumption though that's not supported by your article. You state it's “easier to imagine a story unfolding as you're listening to it.” This isn't necessarily true for everyone (definitely not me) and isn't supported by your article. Your article states “This was true even though both types of sentences were equal in difficulty when auditorily presented.” That doesn't say it was more or less difficult than reading, just that “reading and verifying” low and high imagery sentences were the same difficulty to each other when auditorily presented.

"Everybody else have to listen to audios since that is actually the best way to ingest a book with high imagery content. It's actually the readers who are lacking in their comprehension since their minds are too busy visualizing all those pretty alphabets to imagine the story." Again, you are basing this on a false assumption on a single article that doesn't detail it's study. And it's definitely not true to me. That's like saying the movie is always better than the book because you're mind isn't busy visualizing all that information. I personally have never seen a move that's better than the book.

Again, all I'm saying is that there is a difference between reading and listening to a book. Some people will benefit more from reading a book and some will benefit more from listening to a book. I say do what you find most enjoyable. I am also saying there shouldn't be any stigma attached to listening to a book vs reading a book. They both get the information to the end user and that's a good thing.


Aloha | 919 comments Glenn, we can argue as to meanings, have different research supporting certain facts, argue ad nauseum about it. The main thing is that there are people here who feel that listeners should clarify that they have listened to a book instead of read it. I say, so what? Why don't you focus on what they say about the content of the book instead of whether they've listened to it, read it, or shredded it and shoved it up their noses. I "read" a book differently than other people because I do it in a variety of ways. I'm not going to go into a forum and say every time, "I listened to the book for 2 days, went into the eBook now and then to highlight and write notes, I also wrote note into my iPhone as I'm walking on the beach listening to the audiobook whenever a passage stimulates my thinking, then once in a while I might also go into the eBook to punch in key words to do my Sherlock investigating, then I pop into the web to do more research about the subject matter.....Now, what is the book about? Hmmmmm"

So.....blah, blah, What does it matter? I'll keep on saying "read" because it's only 4 letters, whereas "listen" is 6 letters, and you know us listeners are such a lazy bunch. We also like to irritate people by claiming we've read it in 2 days, while you eyeballers are huffing and puffing through each page, probably staying up through the nights, getting fat from being sedentary, getting no house work done, while us listeners get plenty of exercise and a clean toilet.


Skip | 502 comments Why is this in the Rule 34 Subtopic?


Aloha | 919 comments Don't know. Ask Justin. LOL.


Glenn | 18 comments Wow, I really hope that's just sarcasm Aloha that isn't translating well due to the textual medium, if not that's highly aggressive and offensive response.

You're right we can argue about meanings, but ultimately only one is right. Both "Reading" and "Listening" are clearly defined terms.

Does it really matter to the discussion of the CONTENT of a book? No, absolutely not. And it should distract from the conversation about the book.

I do believe that if you listened to a book you should say listened to not read. But as I started off with, it's a pet-peeve of mine. Reading is not the same activity as listening. Both can produce the same end result, but they are different. I just thought of another example. It's like saying "I ate dinner" and "I was fed dinner". I ate dinner is like reading, it's a different action, I was fed dinner is like listening, it's a more physically sedentary task. Reading is more active. Both will result in you taking in nutrients. Being fed will allow you to multitask with your hands while eating yourself won't. Not better or worse, just different.

Maybe like we came up with a new word for podcasting we should come up with a new word for reading or listening to a book. Ultimately it only matters that you got the story (or information) not the method you used to get it.

So, what word can we use? Make one up like Reten or say something like "I logged that book".

Again like I said ultimately it doesn't matter, but personally it will always bother me when someone says "read" when they actually "listened".


Glenn | 18 comments Because Skip whether listened to or read, logged, ingested whatever, Rule 34 sucks. But I'm biased I have never liked a single Stoss book.


Aloha | 919 comments Yes, I was being sarcastic. But I have roasted many a chubbies in my cannibalistic fervor, and they all told me that they were readers. Glenn, that is a weakness of the written medium that a great audiobook can fill in. Sometimes it's hard to get the content of a passage until a great narrator reads it in the tone that it was meant to be read.

Well, I'm going to keep on saying "read", so you'll just have to keep on being irritated. LOL


Aloha | 919 comments The only area that is important that a person clarifies whether he's read, listened, used braille, etc., is in a scientific research. But in a book forum, the important emphasis is on what the person says about the book.


Justin | 25 comments Gang:

Great comments. Thanks for the lively discussion. I think part of the reason I differentiate the two is that I listen to books very poorly. When I'm driving, I find myself missing whole sections. It must be the same for others who try and multitask.

And yes, I'm not sure why this is in the rule 34 section, except that it's related to that podcast.

So, to make it relevant, I am struggling to "read" this book. It's kind of just boring. Hoping for some excitement!

Thanks again for the interesting reading / listening thoughts. I'm not sure anyone's mind was changed but the Braille perspective was very interesting.


message 29: by Tassie Dave (last edited Jan 19, 2012 08:42PM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 526 comments Read has many definitions. One definition:

To hear and understand the words of (i.e. someone speaking on a radio transmitter) : “I read you loud and clear."

If you are engaged and comprehending the material, then you are reading.
We can read by sight, by touch or by hearing.

What would be the correct terminology for reading wordless graphic novels and comic strips?
I certainly wouldn't say I just looked at them. My mind had to process and comprehend the story.
In other words I read the story.


message 30: by Aloha (last edited Jan 20, 2012 02:42AM) (new)

Aloha | 919 comments Bingo, Dave. You can be reading by sight and not be engaged with the material. I had a period where that happened to me. I was often distracted or fell asleep by reading to the point I couldn't care and couldn't really get what I was reading. It got so, in order to finish the book, I opened my eyeballs really wide and soaked in the pages as quickly as I can. I doubt I comprehended well that way. But, hey, that albatross is done! Then Audible came on the market and I became smart because I was able to get around all the demands imposed on me to keep on "reading."

So far, I've read from comments that audio listeners do not expand their mind and that they're passive and lazy, suggesting that perhaps they do not get as much out of the content as a person who eyeballed the book. Yes, I've eyeballed the comments and basically this was said. Then I've read that we have to clarify whether we've read or listened in order to not irritate term Nazis. I get sarcastic when I'm being insulted, no matter how couched or hidden it is, and when demands are made that are out of context with the importance of it in the situation. My sarcasm is crazy obvious, but it is to highlight how crazy obvious what was said or demanded.



Tassie Dave<We can read by sight, by touch or by hearing.>>


Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 769 comments Aloha wrote: "Then I've read that we have to clarify whether we've read or listened in order to not irritate term Nazis.."

http://open.salon.com/blog/razzle_daz...


Aloha | 919 comments http://library.thinkquest.org/J002267...

I won't cater to people who do not have the perception enough to realize the ridiculousness of some exaggeration, and think that I am insulting to a whole population and the seriousness of a history because I used the term Nazi. I studied the Holocaust, more than some people, actually. Yes, I will use the term Nazi to describe a group of people who are so controlling that they can't see the forest for the trees.


Aloha | 919 comments In fact, the comedian Seinfeld used the term "Soup Nazi" predominantly in his show. As most of you know, he is Jewish.


Steve Davies (one47) | 13 comments An now this thread is appropriate to the "Rule 34" section because we've encountered another similar Internet Meme - From Rule 34 we move on to Godwin's law:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin...

:)


message 35: by Aloha (last edited Jan 20, 2012 06:43AM) (new)

Aloha | 919 comments LOL. I end the discussion when I find that it's ridiculous and there is no intelligent counter to my points, but further debates and demands. That's when I like to have fun with it. My favorite ending of a debate is from Monty Python. I actually texted that to a doctor I dated who I considered pretty numb in the skull despite his intelligence. This was so he'd stop bothering me with his asinine amorous requests.

"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."

- Graham Chapman


message 36: by Tassie Dave (last edited Jan 20, 2012 07:17AM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 526 comments I think you'll find that was John Cleese's line directed at Graham Chapman. ;-)

Cleese was playing a French soldier insulting Chapman's King Arthur.


Aloha | 919 comments You're right. For some reason the Goodreads quote marked it as Chapman's. The last time I saw The Holy Grail was back in high school, so the memory as to which witty Brit said what gets foggy.


AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 1268 comments I'm not sure that I find reading 'harder' that listening. My brain can read without paying attention just as well as it can listen without paying attention. If I am reading a boring book I can 'read' whole sections and have to go back and re-read it when I realize I have no idea what I just read.

And for me listening takes WAY longer. Only unabridged versions, does anybody actually listen to those shortened ones? That's like reading a Readers Digest edition book. Ughhh, no way.


Aloha | 919 comments I don't care how intelligent they abridged it, abridged means you've let someone else decide what is important. I once accidentally listened to Foucault's Pendulum abridged while on a road trip. It came highly recommended by a friend whose discernment I respected, one who I've had in-depth discussions about art films. I was really looking forward to it because I love books with a lot of dimensions to them. Though it was very good, I didn't think it has the type of depth my friend would go for, since that was his favorite book of all time. I didn't follow through with other books by Umberto Eco since I didn't think Foucault's Pendulum was as multi-dimensional as my friend had said. However, I recently discovered that what I had listened to was an abridged when I went through my Audible stash due to my recent reading of The Prague Cemetery. That revived my interest in Umberto Eco, who I discovered is the world's foremost semiotician. Knowing Eco's field of study, I realized that what was missing in the abridged version is probably a lot of symbolic subtleties that was sacrificed to turn it into an action thriller.


Tracy (tberggie) I have found that an audio version is the only way I can get thru Stephen Kings books. They are so long and the depth he puts into them drives me to sleep when I read them, but I love listening to those same books. If it wasn't for the audio books I would not have read (listened to) much of anything he has done.


Aloha | 919 comments You can't use a single experiment to make blanket statements as to whether someone benefitted more from reading or from audiobooks. There are a variety of factors, along with everyone's personal experiences. For some people, audiobooks benefitted them more, for others reading is more of a benefit. You can use any experiment and stats to support your claim. That was why I know that pitting experiments and stats against experiments and stats can go on ad nauseum, which will be a big waste of time for me considering that it is not important in this context.


Aloha | 919 comments I was wondering why there is a demand that people be specific about their terminology, whether they've "read" or "listened." The surface reason was that a few people are OCD about terminology. Then it was pointed out that some experiments indicated that people do not get as much out of listening as they do out of reading, and that listeners are passive and not actively engaged in the material, that they are not expanding their minds. So, now, it is not a matter of someone's OCD, but a matter of a few people wanting to point out that whatever you said in the discussion probably has less merit because you are a passive listener who was not engaged in the material and have not learned anything. An insult is an insult, whether it's couched in experiments or statistics. I studied statistics and experiments, and know how it is used to sway people's viewpoint. At least I let people know that I am being cannibalistic with BBQ sauce.


AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 1268 comments Talking of comprehension. If your going to argue about reading requiring visual imagery comprehension, you can probably also argue that anybody without artistic talent cannot enjoy a book as much as anybody with a significant amount of talent.


Brian A. | 47 comments This is dumb....reading is different than listening....how can you argue otherwise???

I also thought the argument was over when you misquote something you haven't seen in [x] years......


message 45: by Aloha (last edited Jan 21, 2012 05:24PM) (new)

Aloha | 919 comments The argument from my point of view is not whether reading is different than listening, but what each individual got from either reading or listening, and why in the world do they have to differentiate it when the main thing in a book forum is about the content of the book itself. It doesn't make sense. It's typical of bureaucratic Nazis to be so nitpicky that they can't see the main importance. Also, what has my misquoting of whether it was Graham Chapman or John Cleese in jest has to do with the heart of this argument?


Brian A. | 47 comments Yeah okay. In a genre fiction forum there's probably not much difference in what you 'get' from listening to an audiobook vs. reading an actual (e)book. But lemme ask you this, are there audiobooks of Faulkner...Pynchon...Joyce??? Would you listen to those and profess you 'read' the books??

And I was obviously making fun of you.....:)

ALSO...bureaucracy, OCD and Naziism have NOTHING to do with wanting things to be correctly defined....no matter what you've studied...no smiley face here...


message 47: by Brian (last edited Jan 21, 2012 06:13PM) (new)

Brian A. | 47 comments and yes..I lumped bureaucracy with OCD and Nazis...:)


Aloha | 919 comments If I listened to the book and got as much out of it if not more than people who have eyeballed the book, then it doesn't matter how I got it into my head the unabridged version. I listened to 1Q84, and I contributed quite a bit to the discussion in a forum dedicated to 1Q84. I came here to have a discussion but have moved on since I don't feel like going over the same thing again. I have seen statements from people who read the books I've listened to that showed they have no understanding of the book.

My question is, in a forum in which the main interest is in the content of the book, given that people ingested the book under different conditions, with different educational levels, IQ, backgrounds, or distractions in their lives, why is it important that the one item thSt has to be clarified is whether the person listen to or read the book? So far, the only answer I've seen considering the whole environment is:

-people get irritated because they're fussy about terms. This is ridiculous, to me, because of what I said above about the importance of this in this environment.
-or, what was insinuated, they want to give less merit to input by people whom listened to a book.


Aloha | 919 comments P.S. don't make fun of my typos because I'm typing into my iPhone shoveling snow.


message 50: by Brian (last edited Jan 21, 2012 06:48PM) (new)

Brian A. | 47 comments Damn you for the typo caveat :)

Anyway, I AM "fussy". Words MEAN things. I thought we'd all get that, being readers...err listeners...and all...

Sue me, I think reading is 'better' than listening. Doesn't mean I can't discuss books with you BUT I do believe that I 'get more' out of it than you did.

A little tongue in cheek but it's only what the silent majority is thinking....


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Prague Cemetery (other topics)
Foucault's Pendulum (other topics)
Neuromancer (other topics)
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (other topics)
Blackout (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Umberto Eco (other topics)