Jun 062012

I love books.  I love to read.  I have loved to read since I was little.  I have always written too but that is another post.  I remember reading The Hobbit and The Wizard of Oz in third grade, much to the chagrin of my classmates.  I read mysteries, histories, fantasies, and spy novels.  The only problem I have is the same as many others.  Too many books, too little time. (Always good to throw in a cliche or 2)

I have floor to ceiling bookshelves in my basement and 3/4 of those are filled with novels.  Novels to re-read and novels waiting to be read.  I highly recommend going to the library surplus sales and picking up nearly anything with the “Readers Choice” sticker on it.  I have found some very satisfying reads in those collections, many from new authors.  The last sale I went to, it was almost over at 4:00 on a Saturday afternoon.  A gentleman game in and announced, “The sale is almost over, everything left will be $1 per box!”  At that price we ceased to be picky and started filling our boxes with anything that sounded even remotely interesting.  We ended up with nearly 100 books that day for $6.

We have winnowed those down, many were kids books that are now at Deseret Industries or the Salvation Army, or Primary Children’s Hospital.  Many of the novels have been donated as well, I just didn’t want to read some of them.  But I still have a ton of books from authors that may never publish anything again.  It gives me hope, I may end up one of those one hit wonders.  Or my book could blow up like Harry Potter.  That is my preferred scenario.

Wow off on a tangent that was. (imagine a Yoda voice, I did for some reason)  Ok, back on topic.  What is better, a book that you can hold and feel and smell and drool on when you fall asleep on it, or something you can listen to?

I am very torn with this.  I do love the print books.  Something to hold and feel, and when you read it, you are totally at the mercy of your own brain and your own imagination for everything from pronunciations to the characters voices.

Audio is different because someone else is pronouncing names and doing voices for them.  This can be distracting especially if you are listening to a series and there are different readers with different interpretations of names and voices.  I was listening to Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series and depending on the company that puts out the CD there is a different reader.

This brings up another point, if you have read the series in good old book form, it can screw you up to listen to it.  I have never actually read one of the Sword of Truth books.  I have listened to the whole series twice on audio though.  That is not a problem if I read the book because I will have the audio pronunciations in my head.

The one I am having trouble with now is Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.  I have read each of these previously and I am now listening to them to “catch up” before I “read” the new one that just came out in November.  There are many things that I am finally getting used to, 6 books into the series!

So audio vs print.  I like both.  I don’t have much time for print though.  I spend too much time on the computer writing and there is too much housework to get to (sink full of dishes as I write this), to sit and read for very long.  Audio books are a gift from the heavens for this.  I load up the CD or the MP3 and listen while folding laundry, cleaning toilets, changing diapers or doing aforementioned dishes.

I found audio books while working a mindless job doing data entry for the Postal Service.  The only thing that saved my brain then was Rex Stout, Larry McMurtry, Robert Ludlum (I am sure he died because they told him Matt Damon would play Jason Bourne), and a slew of others that had the “mystery” sticker on them at the library.  I have yet to “read” a physical Patricia Cornwell novel or a John Sanford one.  I can’t read Nero Wolfe without hearing the guy who reads it for Books on Tape.

My conclusion: any book is good.  If it wasn’t for audio books I would miss out on much.  The will not however, replace print books.

Go to the library and check out something to listen to.  I have some to return today.


  2 Responses to “Books: Audio vs. Print, Showdown in the Library!”

  1. I’d have to say that I do not enjoy audio books due to the different people reading in a series. I feel by reading a book myself I can truly reach into my mind and pull out the entire scene and live it. Audio takes the imagination and stomps on it when someone reads the words for you. Struggling over an author’s strange name and trying to pronounce it gives you your own verison of the name. With the Lord of the Rings I fell in love with trying to discover what they’re names actually sounded like when spoken.

    Just a thought from me. ^.^
    .-= Dexs´s last blog ..All Hail… The IPad? =-.

  2. I completely agree that you lose some of the immersive experience with audio books. I wrote a post a while ago about being that into a book. http://justinsbrainpan.com/2009/12/16/daydreams-nightmares-and-books I don’t like a series that changes readers either. I correct most of the terms and or names in my head to what I read originally. I don’t know if I could enjoy Lord of the Rings on audio for those reasons. I had a hard enough time with the movies getting used to pronunciations.
    Thanks for reading!
    .-= Justin Matthews´s last blog ..February, Fishing and my Alexa Ranking. =-.

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