Sunday, June 24, 2018

Audible or Inaudible?

Audible books are all the rage these days, revenues are up 22% so far in 2018. A friend and I were talking about books on tape a week or so ago, and she said she had to pull over to the curb when the book really got good, because she wasn't paying attention to the road. Listening has become the new reading. And it seems, to some people. audio books elicit a bigger emotional response than merely reading the words ourselves and giving our own voices and emotions to the words.

Most of the time while I'm driving, my mind wanders to the story I'm currently working on, or the new story that's talking to me. If I'm playing the radio, it's merely background music and I couldn't tell you what I just listened to. Perhaps because I wasn't listening to it. Instead, I was inside my head, with various characters telling me their tales. I'm afraid the same goes for audible books. I've had people offer to give them to me for free, so I could give an opinion on the voice delivering the tale, but so far, I've resisted. Because I know I wouldn't be able to concentrate on the road, on the voices in my head AND an audible book, however riveting it might be.

But maybe I'm selling the phenomenon short. Trevor Noah gave his voice to his book "Born A Crime." I love his accent, so I probably could listen to it. English accents have always been a weak spot. On the whole, though, I think I'll keep devoting my driving time to the voices in my head rather than on tape.

How about you? Audio books or no?


  1. I'm not a big fan of audible books either. I like to flip back to previous pages to verify things that have already happened in the story. My attention span is definitely not what it used to be. On the other hand, I could also make an exception for Trevor Noah. I read the book before I heard that he had done the audio on his autobiography.

  2. I love Audible. It's the only way I get through a long commute. That and podcasts. It's my version of being sociable.