TSS - Audio books REAL books?

You guys! I know I'm going to incite some strong feelings with this statement and so I want to put forth that I truly have NOTHING against audio books and this is just a general-me-thinks-this-way sorta post and meant as nothing else.  You know, like, I'm not bashing the audio scene because fact is, since my workout spot is about twenty minutes away from my school, I've been lovin' some audios fiercely. It's just, I don't GET the same book nerdiness from audios as I do with book-books.  My thoughts are pretty much floaters in this galaxy of my brain so I'm gonna attempt a list.

1. I can't write in audios.  I don't always write in my books, but I do flag the hell out of them.  If a book is well-loved you will see little posty-flags galore.  I found quickly while listening to a classic many moons ago that I couldn't do it.  I wanted to flag great convos or one-liners.  #fail

2. I can't reread the page.  So do you know how hard it was for me, whilst driving, to skip back a few "paragraphs" while listening to One Day on my way to working out? I couldn't multitask without nearly running off the side of the road and by the time I got to a stop light I was too far ahead to care. #fail

3. My head doesn't swim.  I know this is an odd one.  Swim?  What in the world does she mean by swim?  But the best way I can describe it is, after reading some books, I feel like I'm floating around in my head making connections and doing dive bombs.  It's weird, but I associate reading as a very fluid experience.

4. I can't hold it.  This is pretty obvious.  I can't hug it or throw it or shove it in my bag.

5. I have a hard time reviewing them.  Maybe this is because I'm not naturally an audible learner but after listening to audio books, especially LONG ones (One Day was about 13 or so discs), I only remember the gist of the book.  The overall feeling. Kinda like remember a book that you read years ago and you might have even ADORED it but it's still sorta play-doughy?  Yeah, it's like that.

You see, when I think of audio books, I think of storytelling.  The reader engulfs me with their voice and I'm transported back to the days of childhood when my mom would read to me before bed.  It's experiential for me but on a different level.


  1. #4 is a big problem for me too. Things just don't stay with me when I'm listening the same way they do when I'm reading. I think audiobooks are great and I'm envious of those who can enjoy them, but they just haven't worked for me so far :\

  2. Interestingly, my head swims MORE when i listen to audio, because the audio takes longer to go through, and gives me much longer to think. I also have no problem just hitting the "back 30 seconds" button a couple times if I've missed some stuff and want to go back. After about 18 months of regularly listening to audios, I have come to grasp how to understand them - which IS different from books - and thus how to review and write about them as well. I've now come to almost enjoy audiobooks far more than regular books, because they allow me to be up and doing other stuff while still having a story right with me.

  3. I like audio but I have similar feelings. One of the things that gets me is that you can't immediately check something that doesn't make sense. I get thrown a lot if there's dialect or unfamiliar phrases.

    I listen to them on on my ipod before bed, but more often than not I get a physical copy of the ones that I love and reread them. I too, love being able to hold the books.

  4. I've had all these experiences with audiobooks too. Typically I don't read audiobooks of books I haven't read before. I can -- OH MY GOD AND I DO -- enjoy listening to Harry Potter on audio (as read by Stephen Fry!), because I know those books incredibly well, and missing stuff doesn't deter me.

  5. Oh, hell yes on #5. I find it impossible to say anything remotely intelligent about audios (okay, okay...print, too). Mostly because there's nothing to flip back through to refresh my memory.

    And my iPhone did some weird thing the other morning and backtracked 1/2 an hour in my current listen. And I'll be damned if I could figure out how to get back to the right place. So I had to re-listen to the same half hour, which was actually interesting (and scary) when I realized I didn't remember most of what I had already listened to.

  6. As for the first one, if you are listening through Audible or on your iPhone, you can flag! I just discovered this recently and LOVE it.

    I really got into audiobooks last year. I was teaching part time and advising part time, and in the afternoons, there was a lot of time between advising appointments where I was really busy but not on the phone. I listened to quite a few books that way. It was awesome!

    Now that I'm teaching full time and doing Zumba most afternoons, my audiobook time is confined to dog walks and weekend gym outings. I still enjoy it though.

  7. Oh, I am currently gathering my thoughts on this very subject. I love hearing (seeing?) how other people feel about this. I think I'll have to quote you when I finally get around to writing about my own opinions. I mostly agree with you. Also, I get too impatient. I can read faster when something gets good. Not so much with the audio books!

  8. I have an impossible time reviewing audiobooks. I think because they're just not as tangible. But I am trying to listen to more and more books...otherwise I wouldn't be reading anything!


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