VT Christian Reading Challenge discussion

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message 1: by Mike (new)

Mike | 3 comments I'm curious about the audiobook habits of the group members. About half of the books I "read" this year were actually completed through listening to the book.

I'd love to get know how many people plan to use audiobooks as part of this challenge, and any thoughts you have about the value of actually reading the text compared with just listening.


message 2: by Jessi (new)

Jessi (jessamonk) | 7 comments I read aloud to my children a lot and I think it is very valuable to them, so I figure audiobooks are also valuable to me. I have to be sure I am paying attention just like I have to stop every once in a while and have my kids narrate what they've heard. (Since I am often surrounded by my kids, most of my audiobook usage includes them and I benefit from pressing pause frequently to discuss things/answer questions. I think we can do that kind of thing alone if we train our brains to "discuss" the material.)
One trick I use (if I'm not driving!) is to take notes or even pause the book to write quotations or thoughts from the book into my commonplace book.


message 3: by Steve (new)

Steve Thorn | 1 comments I used to listen to audio books while on long business trips. One of my more memorable ones was O Jerusalem by Laurie R King, on a drive from Ohio to Philadelphia and back. No more trips now, so it's all the printed word. I may never listen to an audio book, unless I start taking long trips again.

For short trips (like a commute), I have a hard time with the start/stop; I listened The Compleat Angler that way this year, and felt that I really didn't get fully engaged during the short drives.

Perhaps it's similar to making coffee with care vs Keurig - the time spent in the process of making coffee is part of the full experience. Taking the time to sit down and fully concentrate on reading is part of the joy to me.


message 4: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 10 comments I have a monthly Audible subscription, and my aunt has given me 6 free months with Audiobooks.com the past 2 years. I would say I complete about 80–90% of my books either via printed book or Kindle. Basically I save longer books (that are lower on my priority list) for audio.


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (hellosnix) | 21 comments Mod
I'm similar to Bryan - I tend to use audio books for books that aren't top on my to-read list or books I know I won't want to write in. My car that I got in Oct has a cd player, so I've been listening only because of that, and just borrow books from the library.
I tend to like listening more to the literary non-fiction than anything else, and probably will listen to only 10 or so next year.


message 6: by Sean (new)

Sean McGaughran | 1 comments I also usually only get audio books that are low on my reading list and that I won't want to write in or reference. I use the Kindle app on my iPad for a lot of my reading and I love using the "Speak Screen" feature so I can basically switch back and forth from reading to turning it into an audio book. I think it only works with an internet connection, but it's nice for using at home if I want to listen to something while I'm working at home.


message 7: by AlegnaB † (last edited Dec 11, 2015 10:25AM) (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 85 comments Mod
Almost half of the books I read this year were audiobooks. I've listened to 116 so far. I can listen to them while I'm doing my household chores. I'll use audiobooks for this challenge as much as I can.

I used to read aloud a lot to my older two kids, and they became voracious readers. I didn't read much to my younger two kids because I fell asleep every time I read to them (it was due to needing reading glasses, but I didn't know that since I didn't have a problem seeing the words). They don't care much for reading. They also don't do as well academically as their older brothers did.

Before the 1900's a lot of families used to do reading aloud in the evenings. Radio came along, and many families listened to that together. Then TV came along and messed it all up. Sadly, I was a TV addict as a kid. I can't remember anyone reading aloud to me. My family never visited the public library. My mom bought a lot of books for herself and some Christian books for my siblings and me, but there wasn't much encouragement to read. We all watched a lot of TV together.

My 20yo son thanked his dad a few months ago for having a bookshelf full of classics in the hallway outside his bedroom, which he was free to choose a book from at any time, because hardly any of his friends like classics, but he loves quite a lot of them. I spent hour upon hour reading to him and his older brother when they were young. I read Swiss Family Robinson to them when he was 4yo and Robinson Crusoe when he was 5yo. He had no problem sitting for a couple of hours at a time listening to those books. Mom was the one who bought a G.A. Henty collection of books and bought the newly republished ones each summer when he begged for more. Mom was the one who got audio CD sets of classic books from the library. But did Mom get a thank you for choosing to put four bookcases in the hallway by the kids' bedrooms? Did Mom get a thank you for introducing him to the classics? Did Mom get a thank you for buying oodles of old books to go along with whatever we were studying in history? Noooo. ;-) I actually just thought about all that. Those things never even crossed my mind when my husband told me about son #2 thanking him. I guess, in a way, I'm getting a thank you whenever my son brings home a new Barnes & Noble leather-bound volume of a classic and excitedly shows it to me or when he tells me that he and his fiancé, who also enjoys classics, are going to visit used bookstores so they can look for old books.

Obviously, I think listening to audiobooks can be beneficial.


message 8: by Marie (new)

Marie | 11 comments I am not good at listening to audiobooks as I tend to lose track of the story. But I am using it as practice to learn to listen better. :) Even if it means that I sometimes have to listen multiple times to a section.

I use audiobooks in the car or when crafting or when I otherwise can't hold a book in my hands.


message 9: by David (new)

David Andrianoff | 7 comments I especially like the price of audiobooks--libraries have a great selection of books on CD as well as audiobooks to download.


message 10: by Anita (new)

Anita About half of my books read are audio. I always have an audio book and a printed book going at the same time. I listen when I'm driving, doing housework, knitting. I will definitely be listening during this challenge too.


message 11: by Heather (new)

Heather Anita wrote: "About half of my books read are audio. I always have an audio book and a printed book going at the same time. I listen when I'm driving, doing housework, knitting. I will definitely be listening du..."

I never thought of listening to an audio book while knitting Anita, thanks for mentioning that. I usually choose between these two hobbies, but never thought to switch to audio books to do both! (That was my face/palm moment of the day.)

I'm in the audio books for long drives camp, but with this challenge I may try to incorporate them more. I need to look into how to check out audio books from my library.


message 12: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 1 comments We have an Audible subscription so my husband and I listen to quite a few audiobooks throughout the year. There are some books that are just terrifically narrated (To Say Nothing of the Dog- Connie Willis and The Stormlight Archives-Brandon Sanderson come to mind), and are definitely worth the listen.

My son is 3 and my husband and I usually read at least 3 children's books to him per night.

However, I do really enjoy actually reading and I am something of a book hoarder. There's something so appealing to me about a house with shelves upon shelves filled with books. Also, I tend to get through books much faster reading than listening.

I will probably do this challenge 50% audiobooks and 50% traditional reading.


message 13: by Kyle (new)

Kyle | 2 comments Another great resource to check out for audiobooks is christianaudio.com. They offer a free download each month.


message 14: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (hellosnix) | 21 comments Mod
If anyone is looking for a great audiobook, Francis Chan reads his own book, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. It was one of those free Christian Audio books a few years ago and was fantastic.

I also listened to GK Chesterton's The Club of Queer Trades: which I downloaded from Librivox.org - it's a little tougher to get into but a delightful read. Plus it's free to download!

For those who may be willing to not read such a "Christian" book, Bossypants by Tina Fey was a superb audiobook as well.


message 15: by VeeInNY (new)

VeeInNY My sis recommended audio books as a diversion while doing housework, but I find myself engrossed in the story, sitting down and ..... end of chores. Listening while knitting??? ~>Now THERE'S a plan!!!
Husband and I typically save audio books for longer drives... Short comutes are too choppy....


message 16: by VeeInNY (new)

VeeInNY How funny...!!!
completely opposite responses


message 17: by AlegnaB † (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 85 comments Mod
Yasmin wrote: "I find I listen best when I'm doing housework and some other chore that is not mentally challenging. If I sit down to listen, my mind tends to wander and I keep having to rewind. "

That's the way I am. If I sit down to listen, I usually play Jumbline 2 on my iPad. It's an anagram game, and it keeps my mind from wandering. One would think that trying to make all the words would keep my mind so distracted that I can't pay attention to the audiobook, but it's the opposite. Weird.


message 18: by Heather (new)

Heather VeeInNY wrote: " Listening while knitting??? ~>Now THERE'S a plan..."

I know! I really can't believe that never crossed my mind! I usually have the tv on, but audio book is so much better because there's nothing to draw your eye away from your needles.


message 19: by Heather (new)

Heather Am wrote: "I saw someone else had Missoula on their challenge list. Audiobook is good for that one too, but it's another disturbing topic so you have to be careful of who is around."

I have Missoula on my list. I have a librarian friend who has a book review blog and she specifically recommended the audio book, so that's the version I'm going to check out from the library. I know it won't be an easy book to listen to - but no children in our household so I don't have to worry too much.

That's one of those books that it seems strange to say I'm looking forward to reading, but I've heard really good things.


message 20: by Jessi (new)

Jessi (jessamonk) | 7 comments Jim Gaffigan reading Dad is Fat is a great listen! Dad Is Fat


message 21: by Anita (new)

Anita The Help is wonderful in audio.


message 22: by David (new)

David | 13 comments I found audiobooks to be helpful to get through longer works -- you know the reader is going to keep going, and you have to make yourself listen. That's how I managed to finish Don Quixote. It was written 400 years ago, before the conventions of the modern novel became fixed, and I think Cervantes was satirizing the rambling tendencies of his contemporaries. Every time Quixote and Sancho Panza meet someone, you are treated to a life story; and later, when everyone's stuck in an inn during a storm, a character reads aloud a book on the shelf as entertainment, and you get to hear it too.


message 23: by Karina (new)

Karina Dulin | 1 comments I'm also moving from podcasts to audiobooks during exercise, but can only do so for fairly "easy-reading" books. For me, theological or doctrinal works have to be in print!


message 24: by Joy Lynne (new)

Joy Lynne | 1 comments I don't usually count audiobooks as a book I have "read" because I know that for me, and the way I learn, my comprehension and digestion of the book is lower when I am listening as opposed to reading. I love audiobooks while driving, but usually listen to something easy for pure entertainment, or old favorites that I have read before.


message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (hellosnix) | 21 comments Mod
Am wrote: "On audio, I've liked The Martian, although there is appropriate swearing - F word in the first paragraph. As my teenage son said,"I've seemed to have gotten myself in quite a pickle" doesn't seem t..."

I completely agree, and tell people all the time that the language in that book, while a ton, is exactly what someone would say if they were not a Christian in that context. I would much rather read a book with language than a book with a sex scene, and The Martian didn't have one.


message 26: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia I usually listen to audio books while doing housework. Fiction does not work well for me for some reason. I think because I can read it much faster on my own, and sometimes I do not like the voices that they use in audio fiction. I listen to a lot of non-fiction. I try to make it something I will not need to take notes on. After listening to Lewis's "The Four Loves" I had to go back and read it properly. "The Screwtape Letters" is excellent in Audio and I have listened to it more than once. Other audio books that I have really enjoyed are, Freakonomics, books by Dan Ariely, Three Cups of Tea, and Mountains Beyond Mountains.


message 27: by Caleb (last edited Jan 15, 2016 11:17PM) (new)

Caleb Larson | 1 comments Kyle wrote: "Another great resource to check out for audiobooks is christianaudio.com. They offer a free download each month."
Seconded. Sometimes this free resource isnt a book you want, other times you are surprised it is their free book of the month.

My job allows me a lot of mental time where I am completing tasks and can listen to an Audiobook. Therefore, I am similar to some of you in that I have a printed book or two going, and also have an audiobook I am going through (no, not simultaneously, though sometimes I wish I could). I will be interested to see my "percentages" of paper books vs audio at the end of the year, but I am projecting it to be somewhere around 60% Audiobooks vs 40% paper books. My goal is to know Christ more this year through this challenge, so if both delivery methods of books can get me closer to that goal, then I am delighted to use them!


message 28: by Nate (new)

Nate (n8claggs) | 2 comments Sarah wrote: "Am wrote: "On audio, I've liked The Martian, although there is appropriate swearing - F word in the first paragraph. As my teenage son said,"I've seemed to have gotten myself in quite a pickle" doe..."

Yes!


message 29: by Eric (new)

Eric (ericsherwood) This is going to be the year of the audiobook for me, I think. I usually listen to about 8 or so a year, just in the car. But for my actual book reading this year, I'm taking an extended trip through several large volumes (The Institutes, a few Systematic theologies, etc.) so that will take up a large portion of time.

I expect to get through at least 50 audiobooks this year using Overdrive and the library. My local library has hundreds of solid theological books on downloadable audio: Sproul, Piper, Horton, Pink, Keller, etc.


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