Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"Wednesday's, Wonderings & Wanderings": Audiobooks Worth It or Not?

Audiobooks is a growing industry in the book and media world. I've always been one for choosing to read the written word over using audiobooks or books on tape. However, recently due to my health, I was forced to reevaluate my stance on audiobooks, since I was prohibited from reading I had to rely on my family to read to me, read extremely slow form a few minutes, or use audiobooks. I must say I'm happy to be back to reading books on my own.  There is just something about reading a book and interpreting the annunciation of the words or influx of the phrases in your head that sculpts the story's world, characters and situations in a way only your own reading of the book could translate for yourself in a unique way that an audiobook just can't.

All that to say, I did enjoy trying out a few "modern" audiobooks. Up until this point if I got really lazy or needed to clean while I wanted to read, I'd dust off my old kindle keyboard and press the text-speech function. Listening to a person speak and read smoothly is soooo much better than a computerized voice reading to me. 

Seriously, I hadn't thought about audiobooks much because I never really saw their value. The only time I had need of an audiobook was in high school when I rented Shakespeare on cassette, so I could hear the actor act out the scenes from Romeo and Juliet, which would help me better understand all the hidden literary stuff I needed to grasp for school, as well as, appreciate and get into the actual story. Plus reading Shakespeare for the first time is no cake walk so really when my teacher suggested the audiobook idea, I ran to the library. For most people today, I find them using audiobooks much the same way as I did in high school, which is a gateway into the literary world. The normal populace may not be into "books", but they'll be down to listen to a popular book that is going to be on film. Some even use audiobooks as a time filler, just something to listen to while they drive, workout, or do menial housework. 

Meanless to say the audiobook has come a long way from being a way the blind were gifted with being able to be "read" books back in the 1930's. Now a days, audiobooks are easily downloadable from a number of personal devices and companies, when only two decades ago cassettes and books on tapes were practically the only way to listen to an audiobook.  Either way, it's clear this new trend of listening to books digitally is a trend that won't disappear but will continue to evolve with the years. I however will remain on the side wanting to read the actual book, nothing against the audiobooks, I just prefer to make up my own voices for the characters in my head.

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