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Is Listening to an Audiobook the Same as Reading the Book?

So asks this New York Times article. This was a funny bit:

The comedian Jon Stewart, an author of the mock history textbook “America (The Book),” opens the audio version by lampooning the format. “Welcome, nonreader,” he intones. Listeners are advised that the listening experience “should not be considered a replacement for watching television.”

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

5 Comments on Is Listening to an Audiobook the Same as Reading the Book?

  1. Personally, I think Audiobooks are great. We use them in the car to keep my son happy during our trips. I think they are far better than a DVD player in the car in that we have heard stories we would not normally be able to read together. Are they a replacement for books? I think not – I think they give some folks alternatives for how the get to keep up with thier favorite authors.

  2. Alan Mintaka // May 30, 2005 at 8:30 pm //

    I also listen to audiobooks in the car. Now that many titles are coming out on MP3 CDs, they’re even cheaper than cassettes.

    When shopping for a title that interests me, I use these rules of thumb:

    1. Is the reader also the author? If so, I don’t touch it. I have yet to hear an author sound intelligible when reading his/her own material.

    2. I don’t buy abridged titles. If any censoring or abridging is to be done, I’ll do it myself.

    3. If it’s recorded on Audio CD, I won’t buy it – Audio CDs are grossly overpriced, regardless of whether they’re “Library” or “Retail” versions.

    4. If it’s recorded on one or more cassettes and is reasonably priced, I’ll buy it and record it to a single MP3 CD for easier handling. It’s a cheap and easy way to access titles that aren’t on MP3.

    5. If it’s on MP3 and reasonably priced, I’ll buy it.

  3. Got to say, I love the things! I got hooked on them while driving nationwide hotshots while getting my MBA. I’ve heard (read) the complete versions of The Count of Monte Cristo (not the sandwich), The Hound of the Baskervilles, several Star trek titles (not a bad gig for Johnathan Frakes), and more Cliver Cussler and Dick Francis titles than I would care to admit. I even listen to them on my two hour daily commute, it’s better than most Houston radio by far. the best books have actors or at least good quality voice actors reading them, I agree with the above about avoiding authors reading their own work…. love em! two snaps up in a circle!


  4. “Two snaps up in a circle”

    Funny. I hope you don’t mind if I yse that in the future. 😉

  5. Go ahead…just know that I took it from the TV show In Living Color, so don’t give me the credit (or blame)..:) enjoy!

    Doug – Two Snaps

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