Audio books are an incredible way to consume literature… well some types of literature anyway. I do not care how good a narrator might be, he will be unable to adequately describe a technical diagram in sufficient detail. So technical literature aside, listening to an audio book can bring the story alive in different ways than simply reading it ever could. Yet there are those who believe that listening to an audio book is a bad thing, almost childish.
I believe the most likely source of this belief is that you are listening to the book like a child who is too young to be able to read. Now if you were to listen to Frog and Toad Together or Green Eggs and Ham, yes these are children’s books and so listening to them is childish. However, listening to The Fellowship of the Rings, for example, should not be looked upon as a juvenile exercise. The story, as long as it is unabridged, is exactly the same as the printed version and so is anything but childish.
One of the purposes of reading should be to enjoy what you are reading by experiencing the author’s words, style, and story-telling ability. Its those qualities of the story that are important, not necessarily whether they are exprerienced by reading a book or listening to it. Whether we utilize our eyes or our ears for the book’s consumption we have still experienced the book’s story and the author’s skills.
To those people who insist that you must read a book to properly consume its contents, I simply say you should open your eyes, and your ears, to the world of audiobooks. Throughout the course of a day there are untold hours that yearn to be filled listening to a good book. Personally I’ll listen to my audiobooks mostly during my commute. Now I know some people have to listen to either the news or music while they’re driving, but how either can compete with the telling of a grand adventure I will never know.
If you insist upon listening to the news or music during your commute, or if you don’t have a commute, there are other opportunities to enjoy audio books. Just think about the amount of time you listen to either talk radio or music. A simple trade of a single hour a day for week and a half will complete an average audio book. So you should consider using audible.com to try your first audio book. There are several ways to enjoy a free audio book from audible.com including this one courtesy of Windows Weekly, so give it a try.