Many years ago, someone in my book club stated that she “listened” to her books instead of reading them. At the time, I was shocked by the statement. Why would anyone join a book club only to have someone read the story to them?
Now, years later, and with a much heavier schedule, I still find myself leaning toward traditional reading but I can easily see why audio books are so popular. But, having a story read to me leaves little to the imagination. I know there are exceptions. There are some really fabulous narrators out there and they manage to paint quite the scene in their delivery of the story, but it’s still their interpretation of the story, isn’t it?
Intonation, dramatic pauses and the like would probably be different if you read the book yourself. In turn, the experience would be different. At least that’s what I believe. Not necessarily better, I want to make that clear, but different. The process of seeing the words, processing their meaning and the actual formulation of thoughts would be different. I think about the story while listening to an audio book but it’s not active listening…it’s passive and I will catch bits of meaning here and there.
On the rare occasion that I do listen to a book on audio, I do include it in my reading stats. So this isn’t a conversation about whether or not they count. But, is listening to a book considered reading? What do you think? And for those of you who use audio books often, what do you like about them beside the obvious time-saving aspects?