27 June 2010

Sunday Salon: Most of us "Count" Audio Books!

It's official! A poll here on MYSTERIES in PARADISE gives your permission to count audio books in your "reading" so long as they are not abridged.

I have run a poll for the last week with the following results

Commenters made the following points
  • research shows that we use similar cognitive processes to make meaning from stories that are read to us as stories we read ourselves.
  • For me, reading involves a book, my eyes, and somewhere comfortable to park my behind.
  • Listening to a book is a different experience in the sense that the narrator's dramatic and interpretive gloss inevitably supplants your own. You absorb an audible book more passively than you would if you were reading it yourself.
  • I certainly treat audible books as ones that I have "read."
  • While listening to an audio book is technically not 'reading' a book, I do consider it so. I have absorbed the plot of the story, I have visualized the characters in my mind, and I have drawn a conclusion of whether or not I liked the book the same as if I had read it.
  • I like to reread books on audio because I can glean something new usually from the book being read to me.  
  • For me, "reading" means a book, one with ink-and-paper, between covers. 
  • Whether we absorb a story through reading the words or through hearing the words, the point is, we've absorbed the story. I see no difference between reading the book or listening to the book (as long as it's the full-length, unedited version of the book).  
So this week's poll is "would you ever read an abridged book?"
Look for the poll in the right hand margin.
You'll find a post where you can comment on this here.

6 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Thanks for summing this up, Kerrie. I honestly can't say that I'm surprised, really.It is very interesting to see what others think...

Bernadette in Australia said...

There's actually quite a bit of science that says for a big segment of the population this statement "You absorb an audible book more passively than you would if you were reading it yourself." is not true.

Anyway I'm glad to have permission, though I would have continued to count them even if the poll had gone the other way :)

BooksPlease said...

Having a story read to me as a child was a treat - a nightly one for a while, and listening to the radio too - "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin" brings back very happy memories. I definitely agree that audiobooks are books that I've read.

Mason Canyon said...

Audio books to me are a great way to "read" while you drive. Enjoyed your post.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Biblibio said...

It's interesting that abridged audio books don't really "count", but would an abridged "book book" count? Does reading a 600 paged version of "The Count of Monte Cristo" not count as reading the book? (this example is slightly skewed, seeing as it is taken from my childhood - I was ten years old at the time...)

Obviously, this survey reflects readers' opinions, no more. But it's still somewhat interesting to think about...

Kerrie said...

I wouldn't count an abridged book in any format. Someone asked me if Kindle books are abridged (because they seem shorter she thought) - they aren't

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