Saturday, April 16, 2011

Reading or being Read to: Choice between Audio and Visual Books

I have rejected all audio books I have been offered. I am always scared that I would lose something if I listened to the book instead of reading it. I know there are those whose only choice is to listen. However, if you have the choice which one would you choose: audio or visual? If you have ever listened to an audio book what made you choose it? How would you compare a book you have read and one you have listened to? Also there are words writers italicise or put between inverted commas to create a different meaning or effect - sometimes for humour or for emphasis. How are these carried out in audio readings. Besides, we all have different voices, mental or vocal, how do you cope with other people's voice or follow completely for meaning.

12 comments:

  1. I think it all comes down to the narrator. The first audiobook I listened to and liked was read by Alan Rickman. I knew I loved his voice already, and the book was by an author I wasn't sure I loved (Thomas Hardy). I know I could listen to Rickman read the phone book and be happy, so I decided to take a chance. Spending five weeks with that book made me love it so much more than if I'd read it in print. With some books, listening to audio makes you miss some things, but with others it can actually enhance your understanding of a book. For instance I listened to Lolita by Nabokov, read by Jeremy Irons (another wonderful voice) back in December. I had read Lolita in print about a decade ago and understood maybe half of what Nabokov says, but in the audio version, I understood everything. Nabokov has to be read slowly to fully understand, and I don't read slow enough in print to catch everything. The audio experience was amazing, and other bloggers have had the same one with this particular book. So I think it all depends. I love audios, but only with the right book and the right narrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Amanda you make very important point. Shows you really know what you are saying. The challenge then is finding the shiver book and the shiver reader. How can one make such decisions?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I definitely prefer print, but audio can be good for times when reading is impossible. I'm trying to learn to like it but it's slow going!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Amy I have never listened to one before. Perhaps one requires some 'training'. I have always felt i'd lose something by just listening to audio books.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Print all the way...! Have not tried audio before.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Geosi, publishers have predicted the death of the print, at least the palpable ones we buy. Me too. Have not listened to audio before.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I haven't tried audio books. I have my own rhythm of reading, so I don't know if it would work. What Amanda says about Nabokov I think it's true: there are some authors that you have to read slowly to understand. I remember that in "The English Patient" they say that about Kipling.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am learning a lot with this weekly discussions. I would make it a permanent feature. Anyone who has a topic for discussion could send it to my inbox. thanks

    I guess difficult novels have to be read slowly. That's what I want to say the 'rhythm'. English Patient? I would try that style. thanks for the tip

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have not listened to any audio book but i can say that some may sound good depending on the reader. The voice quality of the reader is important. I have read a section of my unpublished book on radio and people loved it. The reader determines how well you will love it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. how do you handle those parts that depend more on the structure of the prose? And those words whose real understanding depends on whether they are in inverted commas or have been italicised?

    ReplyDelete
  11. An author in my opinion will read best his work. IN my case, i carry out the emotion of my characters very well, at least that is what they that listened to me said. More so It cannot be overlooked the importance of some careful reading as some works requires time to even understand a particular sentence.

    For my book, the prose is read differently from the dialogue. The prose sets the tone as a narrative to allow the dialogue to be read as though a stage play. I enjoy it that way.

    ReplyDelete
  12. thanks for your response. I agree with the points raised here. Authors read their works best.

    ReplyDelete

Help Improve the Blog with a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Featured post

Njoroge, Kihika, & Kamiti: Epochs of African Literature, A Reader's Perspective

Source Though Achebe's Things Fall Apart   (1958) is often cited and used as the beginning of the modern African novel written in E...