Since I started listening to podcasts and audiobooks in 2005, I have read paper books less and less. When I first started listening, I found it hard to pay attention to the spoken word for very long and my attention would wander. In order to help this, I began listening and playing games on my iPod at the same time – mostly just tetris or solitaire. The longer I listened to books, the easier it became to hear.

Now I am in the strange situation that I almost never read paper books, but I listen to books every day. Listening rather than reading has the advantage that you can do it hands-free. I can listen while cooking, cleaning, on the bus, wandering around the mall, out for a run. Books are great company. On re-listening, certain books evoke a strong memory of where I was when I first heard them (I listen a lot while travelling).

So here’s the thing. Will listening rather than reading make me intellectually lazy? Will I lose the ability to use my reading muscles if I don’t exercise them enough? Will I lose the ability to get absorbed in a good (paper) book?

Will audiobooks help develop my ‘paying attention when listening’ muscles?

Or does it simply just not matter?

I’m interested to know what you think.

12 thoughts on “Books

  1. kiwitravelwriter February 7, 2010 / 5:35 PM

    I do both … for me the pleasure of curling up in bed with a book is differnt to listening to one. However I can read a book with my eyes, get tired, turn the light off, set my MP3 player to switch off at a desginated time, and start listening to another ‘story’ as I go to sleep.

  2. juliofromny February 8, 2010 / 4:50 PM

    I don’t think it matters.. I read the same way. Even though I listen to audio more.. I just think it helps make you get more content in your brain easier πŸ™‚

  3. Spazz February 9, 2010 / 7:51 AM

    “….why do my eyes hurt? Because Neo, you are using them for the first time…..”

  4. Asgardsfall February 10, 2010 / 7:36 PM

    Audiobooks are a new and exciting media used to fill in all those tedious moments when you are normally listening to Lady Gaga, Pink or Kylie Minogue.
    I have to admit I have a strong attraction to these and I am forgetting what a page of text looks like.
    I do however think, and this seems to apply mainly to those complicated fiction books, that having already read the book heightens the sense of enjoyment.
    I have a few Science Fiction audiobooks which I am listening to for the first time and am finding that unless I can sit down and really concentrate on them, they sort of blur into a lot of seemingly mindless technobabble.
    With the printed page you get to set your own pace and digest these weighty tombs one morsel at a time.

  5. juliofromny February 11, 2010 / 6:13 AM

    Also, if you’re a huge fan of audiobooks in general. You might want to check out a free audiobook site called This is where Scott Sigler, Tee Morris, J.C. Hutchins and many others got there fan bases started before getting their book deals with Crown publishing, etc.. I highly recommend this site and if you really like the book, leave a donation. A good percentage goes back to the author (I believe it’s 75% but it’s been a while since I’ve last gone there).

  6. Bebe February 11, 2010 / 8:56 AM

    Yep we have scoured podiobooks. It’s a mixed bag imho. I really like Mur Lafferty and Scott Sigler, but not so sure about the others…

  7. juliofromny February 11, 2010 / 9:40 AM

    Have you tried the other two i mention? Also I love Phil Rossi’s “Crescent” (if you like horror you may like this) and Matt Wallace’s “The Failed Cities Monologues” (this is sorta like sin city but the format is very akin to Mary Shelley or Bram Stoker, you know first person point of view of different characters).

    It’s definitely a mixed bag as it is free. But I’ve enjoyed it more than not. Lastly if you like the old radio serial format then I highly recommend Decoder Ring Theatre. You can get there stuff on podiobooks or there own site: There ongoing serials are a crime-fighting series called the Red Panda Adventures and their pulp detective series called “Black Jack Justice”. At least I highly enjoy them but you be the judge. It’s free so it won’t cost you a cent to try out πŸ™‚

  8. juliofromny February 11, 2010 / 9:40 AM

    Ohhh.. And I’m a huge fan of Mur Lafferty as well.. I can’t wait for the sequel to Playing for Keeps πŸ™‚

  9. Bebe February 11, 2010 / 4:08 PM

    At the moment we have a subscription to Audible, so we are making the most of that…some of the books are 30+ hours!

  10. juliofromny February 11, 2010 / 4:24 PM

    Yeah I have that as well LOL.

    I can’t stop hoarding content πŸ˜€

  11. Bebe February 14, 2010 / 7:33 PM

    Hahaha you sound like @asgardfall!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s