Andrew Adam Newman in the New York Times finds out that many that many ardent readers look on audio books as cheating.
He gives the example of a librarian who admitted to her book club a couple of years ago:
They were discussing “A Fine Balance,” a novel set in India in the 1970s by Rohinton Mistry and an Oprah’s Book Club pick, when she told the group — all fellow teachers — that rather than read the book, she had listened to an audio version.Her statement, she says, was met with stunned silence, until another member an art teacher told her she thought that was a total cop-out and would be like her painting by numbers.
... the stigma persists that listening to books is Reading Lite.Do you really get as much out of a book if you listen instead of read? This is actually something that I wonder about too.
The whole thing is a bit of an academic question in Malaysia where fiction audio books are not as easily available as the print versions.
If I don't listen to audio books, it's not because I'm snobbish about it but because I don't actually like to wear things in my ears, and in the car I wouldn't be able to give it my full attention, and at home would find myself trying to do another task at the same time and only half concentrating. I did try to listen to Sebastian Faulks Human Traces on audio (bought at very cheaply Big Bookshop) while I was cooking, but realised when my delicious stew was safely in the oven that I couldn't recall half of what I'd heard! Nevertheless I feel I should give audio books another chance!
My niece Lauren found reading a struggle (dyslexia I think - diagnosed late) and so audio books were a godsend. She's now a confident reader of print books.
So what have been your experiences of audio books? And do you think it's cheating?