Do audio books make stories better?

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Bob Gray, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Khale

    Khale Registered User

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    I am the opposite. I really enjoy a long audio book since I have more time to listen than to read due to my reading being limited to weekends in the backyard. Listening, on the other hand, I can do when I drive, walk the dogs and go to the gym.

    I subscribe to audible.com where you get 24 books a year (about $10 a book) and I always have to renew a couple of months early (which gets me a 25th book for free).
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  2. TooNice

    TooNice Banned

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    so what? lol
     
  3. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    So this is a discussion forum, and I'm discussing. ;)
     
  4. TooNice

    TooNice Banned

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    lol okay...just so long as you're not under the impression that it being more 'primal' makes your tastes more 'correct' or something :confused:

    also i'm pretty sure murals and paintings were around before speech. so that's the an even more primal form of storytelling. but i could be wrong.
     
  5. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    No, I just think that speaking/hearing is obviously more ingrained...more basic....more fundamental....to humanity and communication than reading/writing are.

    Or look at it from another perspective -- there are many many illiterate people in the world, and for the most part they function well enough through their verbal communication -- but there are very very few mutes.

    Oh hell no. Vocal communication has been around for literally millions of years -- chimps, dogs, birds, rats, whatever, they all communicate through vocalization and hearing. The very earliest ancestors of humans were already communicating vocally, before anyone ever thought of putting pigment on walls.
     
  6. Jubilee

    Jubilee New Member

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    Did you ever find it?

    Hello, did you ever get a hold of the Steven Pacey read The Heroes ? He blew me away with The First Law series. I forced myself to stick with Best Served Cold, sometimes cursing out loud at the ridiculous Cosca voice. I was resigned to reading Heroes when I found out about the Pacey UK version. Anyway, any luck?
     
  7. Matt Molgaard

    Matt Molgaard Registered User

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    I would agree with this. Something about them reminds me of classic radio horror broadcasts, but at the same time, there's a significant difference. I still prefer reading a book to listening to an audio book.
     
  8. sullivan_riyria

    sullivan_riyria Creator of Worlds

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    It does take a bit of getting used to. And in some formats it's easier to "back up" when you've missed something. I think audio books work out the best when you are on a long drive for non-work related stuff (vacation) because when in a commute you are often distracted by "office stuff."
     
  9. fiddler

    fiddler Registered User

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    I can't imagine anyone thinking any audio book could be better than reading one.
    I've listened to maybe a dozen, half of them I had read before listening.
    When you read a book your whole mind is engaged. Listening to one is like listening to the radio. I imagine most of the people who do listen to them do so in their cars, while driving, as I did with every one. You miss too much.
    Even worse, you're at the mercy of whatever voice has been chosen to read it. I never much liked any voice doing the reading. Not a one of them had the talent for it.
    I can understand the convenience of audio books for people who don't have the time to actually sit down and read a book. But it isn't even close to actually reading one.
    If people were given a test on a book - one reading and the other listening - the listener would always come up very short.
     
  10. Bob Gray

    Bob Gray Registered User

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    I actually had no problem getting the whole story and more than when I read it, this is while I was driving. I think it was possibly the way it was read, the inflection that you don't get when reading necessarily. I think you are very off on your comment about the test, some would do better while listening, and some would do better reading, I don't believe it would be as lopsided as you think.
     
  11. Seak

    Seak and I like to party.

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    It may have helped a bit that you had already read the book. I always have an audiobook going, but I tend to have a hard time remembering specific characters and really just specifics in general.

    I think it comes down to whether you're an auditory or visual learner. I think I'm a combination, as most are, but with the skew toward visual.

    Also, some of the best audiobooks are the Star Wars ones. They actually have the music, lightsaber and droid sounds, and great voices. It's pretty cool.

    I listed to The Warded Man and The Desert Spear on audio and the narrator was perfect. It really can depend because I've listened to some that just ruined the book - like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Honest Abe's voice just sounded all wrong to me, although that may not be the only thing that turned me off that book.
     
  12. fiddler

    fiddler Registered User

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    I suppose some people might actually learn more from listening than reading. But I think that would be a very small percentage.

    To me, it's like having someone else do your work for you. Do you learn more by watching and listening or by actually doing it for yourself?

    Books are written. . . For people to read.

    Recording them for listening is, uh . . .
     
  13. Bren18

    Bren18 Maine Pro Disc Golf

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    You're so bold to speak for all of us and our testing abilities.

    My best guess is, that might be the case for you. But you insist on projecting your abilities onto the rest of the world as if we are all some sort of out of the box robot.

    Gotcha.
     
  14. sullivan_riyria

    sullivan_riyria Creator of Worlds

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    I think this is very much a personal preference. Yes, for you this may be the case, but I think you get into trouble when you paint with such a broad brush. I personally find "an added dimension" when I listen to an audio book. I'm not sure I can say which is "better," but they are both enjoyable.
     
  15. cohelian

    cohelian Registered User

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    I work for B&N part time. I have been able to read many advance readers copies of books and audio CD's. Over the past 2 years I have been able to listen to many books on audio CD while I am stocking the shelves and removing the deadsellers. I do not know who chooses the people who read the books but they are terrible. I think these people shold take some lessons from radio. They do not know what they are doing. If the voice isn't enjoyable to hear who is going to sit through 1000 pages of a voice that annoys you at the first 10 pages?
    As a reader of thousands of books since i was a 12 year old I have to chime in say I do not retain as much by listening as I do by reading.
    I am a college student. You can listen to teachers every day, but those same teachers will tell you you have to do the work yourself to really learn the material. Textbooks and your own desire to learn are the real teachers.
     
  16. Bob Gray

    Bob Gray Registered User

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    Most professors are biased towards reading, the truth is, regardless of whether you read it or listen to it you still have to use your own imagination (doing the work yourself) and for me personally, audiobooks allow me to visualize better than reading.
     
  17. Matt Molgaard

    Matt Molgaard Registered User

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    i'm honestly not a fan. There's just something special about holding and READING a book for me.
     
  18. Seak

    Seak and I like to party.

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    I would say I prefer reading the book (with my eyes), but I find audiobooks a great way to constantly be happy (i.e. reading books). When I'm in the car, I can listen, when I'm on the go in really any capacity where I need my eyes elsewhere, audiobooks are the best.

    Lately, I've found them a great way to read books I've been meaning to get to for a while. As a blogger, I constantly feel the need to read the newest, shiniest thing that comes across my doorstep either because I feel bad about not reading them or just to stay with the times. I realize this is self-inflicted and I AM getting better.

    Audiobooks are a way to read those things I've been meaning to get to for years and not feel bad. So, while I definitely prefer to actually read books, audiobooks are extremely convenient.

    Also, I always have that inner-monologue going when I read, or as I prefer to think of it - soliloquies (Heroes Die), so I feel like audiobooks are essentially just that. Someone else doing the inner-monologue for me. Obviously less work for me, but essentially the same thing. I also realize this is the slow way to read, but for some reason I just can't kick it when I read for pleasure.
     
  19. Bob Gray

    Bob Gray Registered User

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    Don't get me wrong, I read more often than I do listen to audiobooks, and there IS something special about reading a book (the feel of the pages, the smell, etc.) but if I've already read the book and don't feel like taking the time to re-read then I listen and quite often I gain more from listening to the story unfold than I do from the original read.