Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Audiobooks - Part Two

(This is a continuation of a previous post.) Are audioboooks really reading? I know this subject has been covered by others, but I’m still trying to work it out in my own mind. The blogger at Free Listens had a great post on this last year. I agree with the person who commented that if some works of literature were actually written to be read out loud, how can listening to them undermine their value? Though I admit that more may be gained from reading the written text than from just hearing it, I do not agree that listening to a book is comparable to seeing its movie version. At least in listening you come into contact with the author’s own unadulterated words.

What are your thoughts? Suggestions?

Some sites I’ve found with free downloadable books and stories:
Librivox (Some readers are great. Some are awful.)
Forgotten Classics
LearnOutLoud.com (only some books are free; sadly, a lot of the free stuff is junk)
Classic Poetry Aloud
Free Listens (reviews the best free stuff out there – a great help, especially in pointing out the best readers and recordings at Librivox)


Chils said...

thanks for the information~~~Sometimes I find it hard to find out great readers...

Carol in Oregon said...

Hope this is a treasure trove with all the links together.

I share some of your ambivalence about audio books. Having said that, I can never imagine not having them in my life. My eyes are poor, and I am already bracing myself for the likelihood of losing my vision. If that happens I can imagine audio books being a great blessing to me.

I'm listening to The Last Chronicle of Barset right now. I just had a conversation with myself about listening to this book.

I consider that I'm "previewing" it, which is ironic because I'm not viewing anything. There are so many lovely turns of phrases that I can't stop and transcribe them all. I can enjoy the listening knowing that I will certainly be reading later.

On the other hand, there are books I listen to which I have no plans to read later. I feel like I'm getting a working relationship with the book or author and not "wasting" reading time on it.

On the third hand, my reading (WWII)(Calvin) is quite heavy, both in subject matter and writing style. I foresee heavy, dense reading for the next six months. Listening to something lighter (I consider Trollope light) balances the heavy reading.

(Sorry to hog the comments section.)


Anonymous said...

thanks for the information. I simply love it.

Anonymous said...

You've spurred many thoughts... Rather than overburden your comments, I might write a post one of these days.

I agree with your thoughts here. I think both reading and listening to literature have their place. In general our age doesn't excel at listening, so anything that fosters that skill strikes me as very good!

Lynn Cross said...

I am so glad to find your blog off of my friend Sondie's blog. I could have written your profile, I feel the same way about classics. I have just recently "read" some books on CD and at least feel like at the times when I can't pick up a book physically, I have not wasted the time. It does not involve all the faculties, and i find I do not remember them as accurately. Thanks for the info. Lynn Cross from lynnsmusings.blogspot.com