At the beginning of every year, I go through the “audio book phase”. It’s that period of time when everyone (including myself) is obsessed about time management, new year’s goals and efficiency.
As a result, I keep downloading Audio book apps and force myself to be more productive! Use my time wisely, and so on. If I could double the number of books I read every month by listening to audio books while doing other things, that would be AMAZING!
This is my 3rd year attempting to listen to audio books and after some trial and error, I found some pros and cons, and I would love for all of you to add more things to this list!
I’m joining TTT (Top Ten Tuesday) meme this time, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
CONS | OR THINGS I DON’T LIKE ABOUT AUDIO BOOKS:
1 – The books lose their immersiveness.* What I love the most about reading is the ability to dive into the fictional world, to lose myself completely within the twists of the plot. Do you know that incredible feeling when you stop noticing the pages turn? When there are no more words in front of you, but the whole story (a movie) rolling in your head? That is what I never get when listening to Audio books.
*Is “immersiveness” really a word? Hmm..
2 –Lack of connection to the characters. As a consequence of the previous point, I can never connect to the characters the same way as when I’m reading the book. I never feel as deeply for them.
3 – The pain of rewinding. Even when reading a book, there are moments when your mind flies somewhere else, and you need to go back to re-read a sentence, a paragraph or maybe an entire page. With audio books, it’s not as easy to rewind. Especially when driving.
4 – The dependency on the narrator. The HUGE part of Audio book enjoyment is the narrator. Their voices, their tones, pronunciations, accents. It’s no longer just the author and me.
5 – They limit imagination! When you read the dialog, the characters assume some form in your head. They can be young with a squeaky voice or have a deep baritone. Or maybe you don’t think about their voices at all, the image of them that you drew for yourself is enough and it fits well with the rest of the stories. But once you listen to the narrator, the freedom of creating is gone. You are automatically drawn to make the image correlate with the voice.
6 – The reading speed is always slow. Of course, reading aloud will always be slower than reading silently. When reading in my head, I don’t need to pronounce all the words, I can eat the endings, I can skip “a”s and “the”s. And Audio book apps nowadays come with the possibility to speed the reading up, but it’s not the same. We just speed up the recording, which makes it sound weird and unpleasant (to my ear).
7 – Audio books are expensive. Way more expensive than physical books and than e-books. Which is understandable as there are more people involved in the production, more costs are required to make it as good as possible. But it is still a CON, in my opinion.
PROS | OR THE GOOD THINGS I COULD THINK OF:
8 – Multitasking becomes much easier. This is probably the best thing about Audio books – the possibility to do more, the opportunity to be efficient with your reading while also doing other things. For me, there are only certain tasks I can do while listening to audio books – driving is the main one. But also other mindless activities, like doing puzzles or cleaning the house, etc. (I love puzzles btw! 😀 )
9 – The possibility to listen to them anywhere. All we need is our phone and headphones. It’s that simple. Don’t need to carry heavy books around anymore. And the phone is always with us anyway, making it easy to read at any place, at any time of the day.
10 – It is easier to finish the books you don’t enjoy. You might think: “What? How is it a positive point?” And maybe you are right, I struggled a bit to come up with the final point. But then I remembered «Nine Perfect Strangers» by Liane Moriarty and how the only reasons I actually finished it was because I listened to the audio books during my daily commutes. Was it worth it? I don’t know, but I don’t really like DNFing books. At least now I can say that I read it till the very end and the ending was just as bad as the beginning and the middle.
Okay! I know there are way more negative things about Audio books, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I think there is definitely a time and place for them. Being efficient and productive, and all that. But during my free time, I’d always pick reading over listening.
How do you feel about audio books? Would you like to add anything to the CONs or PROs list? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!