Friday, March 9, 2012

Reading vs. Listening to Books

Lately, I’ve been caught up in listening to an audio book. Until now, I’ve only ever listened to audio books as a passenger in a car, on a many-hour drive to a vacation destination. It was a great way to pass the time and the book had my full attention, more or less.

But this time, I’ve been listening while doing chores and walking the dog. It’s interesting how much attention is needed to listen and follow the story. I’ve found that I’ve had to “re-listen” to parts a couple of times, just the way I’d go back and re-read if I got a bit lost while reading. But it’s harder to find the part I need to hear again. My brain isn’t used to processing books this way, so I’m finding I have to concentrate more to visualize the story.

It's interesting. As a kid, the first stories I experienced were read to me, rather than read by me. But I'm not used to processing information that way now, after years of reading books myself.

Have you tried audio books? What do you think of them?

13 comments:

  1. I'm a visual person, so audiobooks don't work for me. My mind keeps drifting. It can do the same when I read a book, but at least it's easier to find the place in the book where it drifted.

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    1. Yes. That is the most frustrating thing about listening to a book for me, finding the place I need to go back to.

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  2. My fav audio books are the Harry Potters. My kids and I used to listing to them, especially on long drives. They're better than the movies!

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    1. Harry Potter is always our first choice for long car trips. Of course, Harry Potter is always the first choice for my kids, even after reading them 100 times.

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  3. The visual book is a necessity for me. I do read aloud to my two kids ALL the time and am amazed at their ability to retain and picture the story from hearing the words only.

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    1. I feel amazed at that too. It's like an ability that I've lost over time. But I'm really enjoying the sound of the words and trying to see if I can experience a book this way.

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  4. One thing that I've found is that an audio book can make me "like" a book better. I've enjoyed several books that when I tried to "read" them, I couldn't get into them. I think the actor/narrator makes a big difference.

    My office is moving so my commute is going to be longer, so I'm going to start to listen to more audiobooks this summer for sure.

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    1. Interesting. I think some books are more suited to listening to than others. Audio books are definitely useful when you're travelling.

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  5. No I haven't (I want to, though)--so it's kind of as tough as going back in your e-reader and findings the part you want to re-read!

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    1. I think it's harder in an audio book, because you have to listen for it. But it's neat to try experiencing a book in a different way.

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  6. I haven't listened to an audio book for years, I'm not sure I'd have the patience anymore, even though I can sit and read for hours :-)

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    1. I thought that at first, Sarah, but it was also kind of relaxing to have nothing to do but listen (until I got a little too relaxed and realized I had no idea what was happening in the story and had to backtrack).

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  7. The only books other than picture books (I use the audio on those all of the time in my classroom) are the Magic Tree House books for my kids in the car. I guess we only have a 30 minute ride to school and the boys are usually reading in the backseat.

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