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reading snob?

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message 1: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
Do you consider listening to the book the same as reading a book? Do you get the same out of a book if you listen to it vs reading it? Do you think differently if you know someone read a book vs listened to it?
Silly things that come into my head huh?


message 2: by Holli (new)

Holli Love the question.............yes I consider listening to a book the same as reading it in general but not personally. I say that because I'm a visual person. If something is being explained to me or I'm trying to follow a storyline I have to read it or see it. I can't hear something (unless its a conversation I'm engaged in) and process it. Especially when trying to learn something. I can't process what's being read to me so I tune it out and wait for someone to hand me the book or the diagram or whatever it is!! :) I don't think differently about someone hearing a book vs reading it.....they still have the knowledge in their mind of what the book was trying to say and so that's good enough for me.


message 3: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (kristen120378) I don't think it's the same, but I don't judge people by it. I just can't imagine listening to someone read me a story (I think the last time that happened I was too young to read). I like to hear it in my own voice.


message 4: by Cyndi (new)

Cyndi (chill77) I just cannot listen to books on tape, cd, whatever! I get so sidetracked that so much time goes by I don't even realize that I was listening to the book!
I haven't tried to listen to a book in a long time, but did download The Alchemist to my ipod, so I'm going to start with that.
Holli, I can't have people read to me either. I have to actually "see" what they are talking about or reading or I am completely lost.


message 5: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
Okay then I think I am the only snob. I don't want to be but I think I am. When I see peoples list of books they have "read" and its like 30 books a month because they have listened to them and not read them I initially don't think its the same. I remind myself they had the same book read to them that I read myself but it just doesn't seem the same to me. I've done audio books when I am road-tripping and they are great because they keep me awake but any other time I try I get totally distracted and feel like I've missed something along the way. I had thought about trying it on my ipod when I walk or work out and see if that would distract me from the exercise that I HATE doing and focus on the book.




message 6: by Lynlee4 (new)

Lynlee4 | 99 comments I'm with you Tera. We've done audio books on road trips but I'm usually reading another book at the same time. I listen to books on my IPod while tredging the treadmill but don't really consider it 'reading'. I usually listen to books I've already read. If it's a book I haven't read, I feel like I'm missing something.

It does distract me while on the treadmill. Better than a book though~Barnes and Noble has the BEST author interviews on podcasts!! I listen to 2 or 3 and my treadmill time is over-job done. There are so many, I don't think I'll ever catch up but it's a great way to spend 30+ minutes.


message 7: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andreag) | 74 comments I'm with Holli in that I'm a visual person so I absorb details better when I read then when I listen.

I do have a subscription to Audible though and I enjoy listening to audiobooks. If I find myself spacing out when I listen, I have to go back and re-listen to the zection I missed. For the most part the books I listen to are mysteries and light fiction.

I did just get a copy of the Iliad as an audio book. In that case since it was originally an oral story, I thought listening might be a better experience. I also got an audio version of James Joyce's Ulysses... again, something I've been told was enhanced by listening to it.

I think Austen and Dickens and other books of that era were also written to be read aloud... parlor entertainment before the radio and brain-draining television...


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments I'm a total audiobook lover (there's hardly anything I do, other than my job, that I don't do while listening to an audiobook. OK, sex is an exception - dirty minds! Or was that me? OK, I'm the one with the dirty mind).

I do a fair amount of rewinding when my mind wanders, though. And some books I couldn't read if I was only reading them. They're more interesting if someone "performs" them. I would never trade them in though, they are gold in my book.

When I wake up in the middle of the night (1-3 hours, usually every night, sigh), I listen to a book with my eyes closed rather than waking up completely, turning on the light, etc. and reading. I don't know what I would do without them.


message 9: by Kristie (new)

Kristie (spedkristie) | 385 comments I love audiobooks. However, I tend to only audio books that I think I will have difficulty reading, due to style, content etc. Im glad that I do b/c otherwise a lot of good books would be read by me.....


message 10: by Emily (new)

Emily (ejfalke) | 576 comments This is an interesting thread. I am not a big fan of listening to a book because I tend to really absorb the phrasing and a lot of times I'll stop to mull something over.

I can listen to something non-fiction or short though - church talks, lectures, essays, short stories, etc. NPR and PRI have some cool podcasts that I like - "Books", "Book Tour", "Selected Shorts". "This I Believe" is from NPR, and it's one of my favorite things to listen to (essays from listeners). Lynlee, thanks for the suggestions on author interviews from B&N!

I don't know if I think of it differently from "reading." I used to, but my dad listens to books to and from work, and when I carpooled with him for a few days last summer, I realized that for a really busy man, listening to a book was as good as reading. I don't think you should pass it off as "Look at me; I read all these books!" though.


message 11: by Brittany (new)

Brittany (missbrittany) | 336 comments i have listened to 1 audiobook and HATED it.


message 12: by Brittany (new)

Brittany (missbrittany) | 336 comments ***listening to someone else's inflection and not being able to go back over parts easily...that's what i hated most. plus, that particular "book" sucked in general.


message 13: by Lori (new)

Lori I am also much too visual to listen to a book. Also, I don't want to do anything else when I'm with a book, I am far too fully engrossed. I'm not sure I'd get the same experience out of listening to a book while, say, driving, or cleaning the house.


message 14: by Meg (last edited Sep 26, 2008 02:55AM) (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments OK, I have decided that I will never read all the books that I want to read before I die. That being said, I think audiobooks is one way to double what I read. I love reading a book, holding it in my hand and absorbing everything at my pace. With audiobooks, if it is a good narrator it is almost like watching a movie with your ears instead of your eyes. I love audible.com, get a book a month. I have an hour commute to work a day, and when I am not carpooling I am listening to a book, it is awesome. I have trouble listening to lengthy conversations and use listening to books as a training for conversation.

I am a book snob in a different way, I love good literature. I am not a harlequin romance type of gal.


message 15: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hannah7299) | 303 comments I have honestly never listened to an audio book and have always been apprehensive about it. I am in the same boat as many of you and would rather see what I'm reading. For certain books, I have to re-read parts and it seems like that would be a hassle with an audiobook.


message 16: by Paige (new)

Paige | 43 comments I love audio books, but only listen to them in the car. When we move across country I am always at the Cracker Barrel picking up my audio books because it helps make time fly. My kids and I have this goal to read through all the Newberry Award Winners and every once in a while I will pick one up to listen to in the car and it is like MAGIC!! I hear no whining, complaining, asking how much longer because they are totally engrossed in the story. So if we have a drive that is 2 hours or longer, I am all over this!


message 17: by Therese (new)

Therese | 60 comments I am a snob...only the book will do...although I wonder if it is different now because of my Kindle-you know, I'm reading but it is electronic, but it isn't a BOOK!


message 18: by Emily (new)

Emily (ejfalke) | 576 comments A little off topic, but I love to read books out loud. I love to read to my students. Last year, after reading "Amistad Rising" to my students, one boy said I should work for the textbook companies reading the stories to be recorded. I was so flattered.


message 19: by Holli (new)

Holli How sweet :) I used to like reading out loud too actually. I haven't thought about it in awhile. I used to come home from school and read out loud to my grandma while she sewed.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I don't feel listening to a book is the same as physically reading it, so count me in with you Tera!

I have nothing against them, I've tried them but I'm not crazy about them. I prefer reading the books. That's just me!


message 21: by Sydney (new)

Sydney (sydneyh) I've never done audio books and I don't think I could. I have trouble focusing as it is, I don't think I could listen to someone reading me a book. I know you don't listen to an entire novel in one sitting, but I just don't think I have the patience.
There's also something very tactile about holding a book... the weight of it... the feeling of accomplishment when you can SEE that you've ready 300+ pages, etc.


message 22: by Peanut (new)

Peanut | 149 comments I think a book can be improved upon by listening to it read. BUT! But it has to be done by a great narrator. EX: David Sedaris's books are fabulous because he reads them himself. It just adds so much more because of his dry wit.

Another ex: Life of Pi. I listened to this book and was totally enchanted by the narrator's voice. I'm sure I would have liked the book if I just read it but I think the narrator was excellent.

Another ex: The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I read that the book was hard to read due to lack of punctuation. I didn't know that by just listening to it I didn't like the story but I probably wouldn't have even finished it if I had read it.

It really depends. I'm a book gal and always will be. But I do like to get books on cd, too. Especially during winter when travel is slower.


message 23: by Lynlee4 (new)

Lynlee4 | 99 comments Meg mentions an hour drive to work~I'm all for audio books for the drive. That might be the only way I could keep my sanity!


message 24: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Hickman (bkread2) | 233 comments I think it also depends on the book. I like Shakespeare, but many of his in written form only confuses me. Since a lot of his are actually plays it helps me to "listen" to the book instead of actually reading it in written format. Whereas I must read his poems. Another example would be H.G. Wells and his... War of the Worlds...that would have to be audio to get the whole effect. I sometimes checkout an audio book of what I have already read to "relive the story". I also like to listen to "Great Courses" on cds as well. But many of those I listen to several times. I also do road trip to books.

But in some instances I cannot say its less than actual reading. When my grandfather could no longer see or have cataract surgery to correct his failing eyesight he switched from books to tapes (of course this is when they first started being available at libraries). But then again he was from the age where they heard stories on the radio live. So he treated them as a radio show, only an hour at a time in between his opera or classical music being played...he even listened to the one television station over the radio.

So it might depend on type of book, length of listening session, the type of person listening (such as visually impared or dyslexic) and of course what you are doing the time of listening. And of course some people are not the type that learns visually but verbally. There is not just "one" answer I believe.


message 25: by Emily (new)

Emily (ejfalke) | 576 comments What great thoughts, Leslie!


message 26: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments Usually when I am listening to an audiobook, I also have the actual book so I can read it when I'm not doing something else. I think it's good to have both, that way if you miss something you can go back.

I think audiobooks are like actual books - the right book at the right time makes ALL the difference.




message 27: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 26 comments Good question... to me I would never give up reading for listening, but each has their place in my life. When I am busy doing other things than reading I find myself wishing I could be reading. With a busy life it is hard to read all the books I want to. I use the time I am in the car, cleaning the house etc. to listen to some books. That said there are some that I want to read to focus all my attention on.


message 28: by Someone (new)

Someone  Youmayknow (momar13) Wow, what a strong thread this turned into.
Audio books worked perfectly for my children in the car. We even have a family joke about how important it is to lock the car doors so the books on tape don't get stolen.

The books that I got for them to listen to were tougher books than would have challenged themselves to read but interesting enough for them to be interested in. Also, it kept them quiet on car rides.

Personally, I enjoy a book, feel of it, the smell,the act of turning the pages.
That said, I wonder Therese how you like the Kindle. My boyfriend thought I might like it but I want to be able to touch one since I am so tactile about books.

As for being a snob about listening v.s. reading, is it shorter for a person to listen to a book than to read one? I read really fast. So it's not unusual for me to read a book a week. If I could listen while cooking and stuff I guess I could get in more books in a month but I prefer quality over quantity. Then, yes, I guess I am a snob about this in some respects.

Whew, that was a long post.


message 29: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Hickman (bkread2) | 233 comments Oh yes if someone has a kindle please let me know how you like it! I was thinking about asking "Santa" for one for Christmas. I am a little fuzzy at what they are completely. Well, more like how long you can keep a download of a book. I was thinking it would be great for travelling on planes etc. because they are so much smaller than an actual book.


message 30: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments I'm thinking about the kindle too, and since I do most books from the library, I'm wondering if you can "borrow" the kindle books? I like how you can adjust the font size when reading too.


message 31: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I am also fascinated by the kindle. Whoever has one can you tell us all about it? I love the idea that not only do you download books, but magazines and the newspapers. I am all for saving trees. I also like the idea that you can adjust the font size, then no more glasses.


message 32: by Therese (new)

Therese | 60 comments I got the kindle for my birthday this month, and I love it! I am one to be reading 3-4 books at a time, and now I can carry them in one handy device. Also, if I am out somewhere, and hear about a book I want to read, I have wireless on it (comes with it) and I can download immediately. The wireless connection is called whispernet, and it is free. After the initial cost of the kindle, the books are pretty cheap-less than $10 (and sometimes significantly less-Twilight was $6.04). It holds 200 books, and once you fillit, you can add an SD memory card. In theory, it would be limitless memory because you could just swap out the memory card for another and another, etc...

The screen is very easy on your eyes, like a paperback book...I haven't explored the newspaper/book option-yet!

If anyone has any other questions, let me know!


message 33: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Sandberg (ksshadowfax99) | 6 comments I listen to audiobooks and read. That way I can get away with actively reading more than one book at a time. Audio books are a great way to pass time in the car, since driving and reading from a book is generally frowned upon by the police. My kids pick out audio books if we are going on a family trip.

There are books that I've tried to listen to on Audiobook and couldn't (like Run by Ann Pachett) and had to get the actual book for. There are some books that I've listened to several times on audiobooks (like The Devil wears Prada, The Nanny Diaries, and The Time Traveler's Wife).


message 34: by Emily (new)

Emily (ejfalke) | 576 comments Thanks for posting info on the Kindle. I've thought about one in the past, but I don't want it to ruin the joy of a new book! :) I was also wondering about how it is on the eyes because I have dry eye and looking at screens can really dry them out.


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) I have never listened to a book on tape. I just way prefer the actual physical thing to hearing it. I like to envision my own narrative voice, and generally hear the different characters in various voices in my head. :)


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