The Seasonal Reading Challenge discussion

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GETTING TO KNOW YOU > print books vs audio books

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message 1: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments since I kinda hijacked a post in the Task Ideas thread - let's discuss audio vs. print books here (if you so desire)


message 2: by Christine US (new)

Christine US (christineus) | 572 comments I think they are both valid methods of reading. With an unabridged audio, you get the exact same words/concepts/story/etc as with the written book. And when you live in an area where the radio stations are just AWFUL - as I do in Houston - they make a daily commute tolerable.

Plus, it's kinda fun to feel like you're being read to -- like when you were little. It's comforting.


message 3: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments yeah, being in DC there are tons of radio stations but none that I want to listen to on my hour+ commute each day


message 4: by JC (new)

JC (jmnc) | 640 comments I use both about 50/50. Personally I think audiobooks shouldn't be disallowed in a task, though I don't think it's against the rules. I can only imagine how hard it must be to be visually impaired and unable to read a book with one's eyes and have the only method of book enjoyment be and audiobook. That being said, maybe if there is a task disallowing an audiobook, there will also be a task for ONLY an audiobook.


message 5: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments ohh I like that! lol! I get abridged audios not being allowed because you don't knwo the length (although I guess you could do some percentage math to figure it out); or books that are only in audio (I ran into that this time, but found the book in an anthology so I could use it)


message 6: by JC (new)

JC (jmnc) | 640 comments Absolutely abridged audios shouldn't count anyway - It's like skipping part of a print book. I get quite upset when I plan a book for a task, sometimes having to wait my turn to check it out in audio from the library, then getting it in my hands and discovering it's abridged!! I've tried to find a way to tell if an audiobook is abridged before I make the trip to the library to get it by the description on the library's online catalog, but it's hit or miss depending on the person that entered in the information. Sometimes I get an audiobook and it seems too few discs for the amount of pages GR says the print copy has, and I will finally find, in teeny tiny print on the packaging, that it is abridged. Back to the drawing board to find another book to fit the task!


message 7: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments yeah that is fustrating - I don't think my library has abridged ones - or at least I haven't run into any, but I have seen them in overdrive, and i always screen out those ones


message 8: by Lahni (new)

Lahni | 314 comments My library has some abridged audios but the catalogue is very good at mentioning that. I like audio books. I can get a lot more "reading" done that way. And since I'm not a fast reader I feel it levels the reading challenge playing field a little more. Most reading challenges (not just the Seasonal Reading Challenge) tend to favor fast readers and the rest of us are sorely handicapped.


message 9: by Kathy G. (new)

Kathy G. | 20 comments I had never used audiobooks until this last challenge. I found one where the "reader's" voice was a delight to listen to and so fit the main character. It was fun to listen to on the way to work.
At first, I was put off by the idea of "listening" to a book instead of having it in my hand--- but now I've changed my mind. :-)


message 10: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 15614 comments Mod
I've moved this topic to this folder, which is where the general discussions among members are located. Let's try to keep these folders here, so we can avoid "orphaned" topics!


message 11: by Christine US (new)

Christine US (christineus) | 572 comments I started listening to the "In Death" series on audio, and really enjoy it. The narrator is fantastic, and I love what she does with the voices. I actually have no interest now in reading the books, I want to just keep listening to her tell the stories!

I have found that books between 300-500 pages tend to run anywhere from 9-12 CDs. I think a lot of the exact page: CD ratio depends on editing, the speed of the reader, etc. But those numbers tend to ring pretty true with my library experiences anyways. (I get my audio CDs from my library -- the cost is prohibitive otherwise.) If I know it's a long book, and there are only 4 CDs, that's big tip that something isn't quite right.


message 12: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 243 comments I usually 'read' 1-2 audio books books a month, and I enjoy them. I listen to them on the way to work as well as before I go to bed.

I definitely don't think that audiobooks should be excluded for a challenge, but I also don't think that abridged audiobooks should necessarily be excluded in a blanket statement.

I've recently listed to unabridged versions of Outlander, which is almost 33 hours long (it took a month). The abridged version of Outlander is a 6 hour recording, which is MUCH more manageable.

In comparison, an unabridged version of The Red Badge of Courage is 5 hours long.

It doesn't seem fair that a 5 hour long unabridged audiobook would count, but a 6 hour long abridged version would not.


message 13: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments Sorry sandy - I thought I put it in this folder


message 14: by ★Meghan★ (new)

★Meghan★ (starinheaven) | 832 comments I just started listening to audiobooks in July and have found that I love to listen to them. I started with a fairly simple and cheap one and have worked my way to more expensive ones. Now I have quite a few sitting waiting to be read on my Audible account. It is fantastic.


message 15: by Christine US (new)

Christine US (christineus) | 572 comments Personally, I think in order to make the argument of "listening is the same as reading" actually count - you have to do an unabridged version. Otherwise, you truly AREN'T getting the same word count or content as a phsyical book in hand. I have tried several times to read Outlander, but the length gets me....well, that and the fact that I kinda stop caring after awhile about the characters.
So while a 6-hour version of the story might get me through it, I just don't think I'd be getting the same value out of the story if I would actually make myself read through the book. So, while 33 hours is a long time - it's the true entire story that someone reading would get.


message 16: by ★Meghan★ (new)

★Meghan★ (starinheaven) | 832 comments I think the abridged version would depend on whether or not there is an abridged version of the book. Like what Dee was talking about when she found her book within an anthology. I would technically call that an abridged version since there is no print version. I think that In Her Shoes has a shorter version of the book as well.


message 17: by Katrina (new)

Katrina (katmcv) | 457 comments I have tried to use audiobooks in the past but I have trouble focusing on that, and if I zone out it's hard to just turn back a page and re-read it. I know a lot of people do enjoy audiobooks as part of the SRC, but I don't think it should be noted as a problem that one task out of around a possible 60 requires you read the pages of a book. I found the task suggested to be fairly broad and I don't think you'd have trouble picking a book to read from the hundreds of books we probably all have on our tbr.


message 18: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments sorry was driving home

@ katrina - its not that the category wasn't broad, but rather - there is no way it could be enforced - this challenge in general works on the honor system, but how are they going to know if i listened or read - KWIM?


message 19: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 15614 comments Mod
Vicky wrote: "I definitely don't think that audiobooks should be excluded for a challenge, but I also don't think that abridged audiobooks should necessarily be excluded in a blanket statement. .."

Abridged audiobooks are not excluded in a blanket statement. The challenge rules specifically state that

"Audiobooks that are noted as being “abridged” may be used to meet the general 100+ page book requirement as long as they are at least 2 hours in length. Abridged audiobooks may NOT be used for tasks with defined longer page requirements as there are no direct print equivalents. "


message 20: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments I guess i'm 0/2 today Sandy...lol!


message 21: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 15614 comments Mod
Dee wrote: "sorry was driving home

@ katrina - its not that the category wasn't broad, but rather - there is no way it could be enforced - this challenge in general works on the honor system, but how are they..."


There is no way that any of the requirements of the challenge can actually be enforced. It has to rely on the honor system, because there's no way in the world that we can tell whether you just posted a bunch of books that you didn't read or listen to. All we can tell is whether you posted the required information and whether what you posted fit the task. So, if a task were to say "no audiobooks" we would have to rely on the honesty of the participants in the challenge, just as we do for every other task.


message 22: by Katrina (last edited Nov 10, 2011 02:58PM) (new)

Katrina (katmcv) | 457 comments Dee wrote: "sorry was driving home

@ katrina - its not that the category wasn't broad, but rather - there is no way it could be enforced - this challenge in general works on the honor system, but how are they..."


Of course it would be hard to enforce, but I think most people would be willing to read a book for this task rather than defy the rules and listen to it. The whole point is to challenge yourself and if someone insists they must listen to a book for a task that says 'no audiobooks' then what's the point of even participating? There's no point huffing about it, because at the end of the day you're still going to read a book, and that's exactly what we're here for.


message 23: by mstan (last edited Nov 10, 2011 03:17PM) (new)

mstan | 876 comments I find it difficult to focus when I listen rather than read (I'm more a visual learner than an audio/aural one). However, I have yet to try a full-length audio-book. I've got some good recommendations lately and may test my 'aural reading' skills with some short stories first.


message 24: by Sassafrass (last edited Nov 11, 2011 03:25AM) (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 896 comments I listen to about 1-2 audiobooks per week when I am driving because my kids listen to kids music in the car and there is only so much of that I can listen to without wanting to drive a stake through my brain. LOL

I couldn't concentrate on them at first, but I have gotten a lot better at it. It also helps doing housework like folding laundry or cleaning, and I can still get reading done while not neglecting my house.

Abridge audio is something I've never listened to. The whole time all I would be thinking about is what I'm missing. I'm too nosy for that. LOL

edited to change steak to stake--I must have been hungry when typing.


message 25: by Sassafrass (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 896 comments Does anyone else find that audio slows them down. I can read much faster than the narrator is speaking, so it takes me longer to finish audio then it would if I were reading on my kindle.


message 26: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments it def. slows me down, but I find that I pick up on stuff that I probably would have missed in my reading - I recently listened to the entire outlander series, even though I have read them multple times and found so much stuff that I had missed


message 27: by Sassafrass (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 896 comments That's true Dee. I have found that too. Sometimes, it's just the inflection of the reader's voice that will make something stand out for me.

There are some series that I will not read, In Death is one, I have to listen on audio. I started reading the first 3 book and started with audio on book 4 and I can't imagine going back to reading it because the Narrator is so good.

Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series is another one that I have always listened to. Also, the Stephanie Plum series, although I liked the first narrator better than the current one.


message 28: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments i'm the same about the in death series - also don't know if I could have read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but I LOVED narrator (simon vance...mmm)

when it comes to classics, audiobooks all the way - my brain hear's classics and goes to sleep if i try to read


message 29: by Sassafrass (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 896 comments I've got to try Simon Vance. Everyone is talking about him.


message 30: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments if you want something shortish - The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific - its funny - about an american couple who ends up in Kiribati (which is actually said Kiribas...lol) and their adventures on the island - he has a second one called Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu


message 31: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 468 comments I really enjoy listening to books, though I actually read most of my books. As Sassafrass said above, they take longer for me to get through because I read faster than people speak, but it is nice to be read to sometimes. If I have a long car ride, I like to feel I've "accomplished" something as I drive. :)

I listened to all of the Percy Jackson books. I may buy them on audio if I get a chance. I would also recommend the narrations on Song Yet Sung, Thirteen Reasons Why and The Heretic's Daughter.

Finally, I like to think about what task I would create if given the chance, and I've always thought I would encourage people to complete my task in audio book format.


message 32: by Donna Jo (last edited Nov 10, 2011 09:55PM) (new)

Donna Jo Atwood | 3157 comments I really wish I could listen while I drive, but have found that audios while driving are a recipe for disaster--I've never had an accident doing it, but I have missed tollroad exits.
I, too, am a fast reader and keep thinking by about the end of the 3rd disc that I could be finished with the book if I were only reading it. Plus I've had several narrators ruin books for me. One Nora Roberts narrator not only ruined the first book of the series, but then when I read the second book I could hear her voice in my head, so she messed up that one too.
However, that is a personal choice I make. I think choosing to listen to unabridged audios is as valid as choosing to read an ebook over the paper copy. Some people just naturally absorb things better in an audio format.
Now stepping off my soapbox.


message 33: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments i def. think Nora's narrators are hit or miss - i hated the wedding quartet in audio - i only listened to part of the first one because the narrator drove me nuts - the one good thing about audible where I get lots of mine, or even overdrive through the library is that they have a sample feature

I don't know if i've missed any tollroad exits while driving, but I have found myself taking the long way home so I can listen to more


message 34: by Wendy UK (new)

 Wendy  UK (wendyuk) | 756 comments I have enjoyed several unabridged audio books, but it takes me a very long time to get through them and I find it difficult to keep track of the story. I have been listening to One Day for the whole of this challenge and still have more than two hours to go! I usually listen while ironing or knitting - I don't think I could concentrate on a book while driving. I do have to be very careful in choosing the narrator as I have hearing loss and some I can't distinguish what they're saying - I can't follow an American reader at all! I listen to a sample on Audible before buying and the narrators I've listened to have been superb.


message 35: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (sureshot26) | 771 comments I love audiobooks for walking and working out at the gym - getting to the next part of the story is great motivation to get my butt exercising. I have an Audible subscription, and it's become a good way for me to get very popular new releases that are hard to obtain from the library or are currently rather expensive in HC.

Audiobooks can definitely shape your experience in a pretty significant way. I just finished listening to Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, which is narrated by Jim Dale of Harry Potter audiobook fame, and I think it's one that's much better appreciated in this medium. It's very description-heavy, and as a fast reader I have a tendency to skim description - the audio format forced me to slow down and really focus on the nuances. I really don't think I would have enjoyed it as much if I'd read it.


message 36: by Karen Michele (last edited Nov 11, 2011 11:25AM) (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 1646 comments I enjoy both formats and I love listening when doing housework and driving. I'm really interested in what people think or know about the intellectual act of visual vs auditory reading. Is there a difference? The vocabulary is the same, the analysis of what you've read would be the same, too. Each format would be respectively challenging to a person with a visual or auditory impairment. I can't think of anything just offhand that would be different intellectually, but would welcome any data on the subject that anyone has. I know my high school readers use both formats interchangeably and the only reason I don't have a lot of audio books in our collection(I'm a hs librarian) is financial due to a limited budget and the expense of audio books.


message 37: by Sassafrass (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 896 comments I think some people are visual learners where they have to see something to absorb it and likewise there are some who absorb better listening.


message 38: by Donna Jo (new)

Donna Jo Atwood | 3157 comments Karen, the financial limits can be helped by borrowing from the public library if you have one in the vicinity. You do need to check though, as some libraries have a policy to buy only unabridged, while others tend to buy abridge copies whenever possible. Some will even allow you to InterLibrary Loan audios from outside their system if they don't own it themselves.


message 39: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 1646 comments Donna Jo wrote: "Karen, the financial limits can be helped by borrowing from the public library if you have one in the vicinity. You do need to check though, as some libraries have a policy to buy only unabridged,..."

Thanks Donna Jo,
I wasn't very clear in that post. I get all of my audio books from our public library, but the budget I have for the high school library for which I do the selecting doesn't allow enough money for me to have them for my students and I worry that it is a disservice to my auditory learners. We do have most of the books required in classes available in audio, but not much more.


message 40: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments i don't know price-wise, but what about the play-away audios? are they any cheaper than the cd versions


message 41: by Wendy UK (new)

 Wendy  UK (wendyuk) | 756 comments Karen GHHS wrote: "I enjoy both formats and I love listening when doing housework and driving. I'm really interested in what people think or know about the intellectual act of visual vs auditory reading. Is there a d..."

It would seem to me that the problem with auditory learning as opposed to visual learning is that it's more difficult to go back to something, or linger on something which you find difficult to understand. When you read you can pause, reread, flick forward and back through the book, look up words in a dictionary or glossary. When listening to an audiobook, I feel that once I've heard it it's gone.
But then perhaps that's just because I'm very definitely a visual learner!
When I listen to an audiobook I do enjoy it, but more in the way of being entertained, as I would be when watching a play for example. I think it's more passive than reading the words on a page.
Also most of us seem to do something else while listening, so we're not really giving the book our full attention as we would be if we were reading it.


message 42: by Sassafrass (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 896 comments I listen on audio so I'm able to go back 30 sec's at a time to go review something I didn't understand. Sometimes, someone will talk to me or something so I miss something, or the phone rings on my iPhone and it interrupts the book so I just go back 30 secs to replay. The audible app is good because you don't have to only listen to books that you get from audible, you can also listen to books in your own library. And you still have the benefit of the controls.


message 43: by Donna Jo (new)

Donna Jo Atwood | 3157 comments Karen GHHS wrote: "Donna Jo wrote: "Karen, the financial limits can be helped by borrowing from the public library if you have one in the vicinity. You do need to check though, as some libraries have a policy to buy..."

Having been a librarian myself, I can understand the underfunded part. And many school libraries I know about are very underfunded. I think most librarians, both school and public, are very good at working miracles to spend their materials budgets well. But "they" keep coming out with more media to split the budget between.


message 45: by Bea (new)

Bea | 3819 comments Hue wrote: "http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2..."

Hue, how does this relate to this discussion thread?


message 46: by Chris (new)

Chris (chrismd) | 905 comments I've been listening to audiobooks since the late 80s, and I've had more debates about whether listening is the same as reading than I'd care to count. For most of us, (those who aren't visually impaired) it's a personal preference. I like to listen to audiobooks when I'm walking, knitting or doing housework. I read hardcopy books every night before I go to sleep. I keep a book going on the Kindle and/or Nook apps on my phone for those times I'm caught somewhere with some time on my hands.
Listening does take longer than reading, a fact that makes me chuckle when people refer to listening to books as "cheating." But it's a good tradeoff when your hands are otherwise occupied.
It's terrible to get an audiobook you've been looking forward to only to find the narrator is so bad you can't stand to listen to it. (This happened with one of the books I chose for the fall challenge, Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. Eventually I'll get the print version.) Some books don't work well in an audio format. On the other hand, there are a number of books I probably would have given up on if it hadn't been on audio. (Room, by Emma Donahue, for one.) And two of my most favorite books are ones I listened to, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and English Passengers by Matthew Kneale.
So bottom line: if YOU don't like audiobooks or YOU think it might not be for you, don't listen to them. I certainly don't think there should be a challenge task that REQUIRES you to listen to a book, and I don't think there should be one that bans listening. I think we all need to respect each other's book choices and how each of us chooses to take in the author's words.


message 47: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments Chris - I was the same about Room - the only thing that made it enjoyable for me was that it was narrated with a kids voice


message 48: by JennRenee (last edited Nov 16, 2011 07:02PM) (new)

JennRenee (jennreneeread) | 1332 comments The only time I really listen to the audio is when I am doing something that I cannot read and do as in walking the dog or playing on the computer. I also listen to them at work while I work. Makes the day go by quickly. I enjoy most of them but I really prefer to read. I can read much quicker then I can listen to audio, plus I like to have my own voices to the characters.


message 49: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments i've def. become addicted to those playaway audiobooks for work - I can't have my ipod due to security issues (since you can record on it)...but I can have the playaways and they have saved my sanity on a regular basis


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