Lazy or Efficient?: Audio Books

Lately, my favorite thing to do during my commute is listen to audiobooks, particularly from Audible.com. I’m always on my way somewhere or in a place of spotty reception, so sometimes it’s just easier to listen to a book than read one. Plus, I get motion sickness if I read in a vehicle, such as a bus or car; but, is this innovation preventing me from doing things “the old fashion way”? As they say, don’t fix what isn’t broken, and I can read just fine.

As a millenial, I will admit, I space out a lot when I read. It’s been happening more recently as the amount of time that I pay attention to screens in 24 hours continues to climb, and I don’t doubt the correlation between the two. I have my inner monologue still running, chattering on about all the things I want/need/have to do while I read the words in a book, and sometimes that voice is so loud I can’t concentrate. Something about listening to a book being read to me is also so comforting. With this online service that also has smart phone app capabilities, they have thousands of books, often narrated by the author if it’s a celebrity (see:Bossypants, Yes Please, and Modern Romance). If not, there are still extremely sultry narrators for any book available. I can remember taking a nap to a few chapters on a hot day, as to whether that says something about the narrator or the book contents is another story.

If it’s another genre such as fiction, the narrators often act out a lot of the dialogue, which definitely promotes a certain idea and vision of what you’re “reading.” Recently, I listened to the Gone Girl audiobook, and it was truly a WILD RIDE. A lot of the voicing was really well done to paint a picture, and the inflection gave me a sense that I knew this book on a subatomic level. However, when I watched the movie, none of it linked up. It smashed my expectations because the audio was an acted rendition of this book. I was definitely disappointed with the movie and I definitely want to listen to the novel again in awhile, because I felt like the subtle nuances were conveyed better and the visuals were more cohesive with my imagined setting of the book.

As a person who loves movies and loves books but is cursed with an unfortunately short attention span, I think audiobooks definitely work for me. However, the crushing judgments of people who call me lazy still get to me. I’m not lazy! Like I said, I CAN read, but carrying an extra book in my bag on my way to school or attempting to read on a bumpy bus ride seems a little reaching to me. Plus, if I can put it on my smartphone, why wouldn’t I?

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How do you guys feel about audiobooks? What’s a book that you could read again?

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