Silently reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -- no skimming, reading every word -- takes me 3.5 hours. Jim Dale narrates the unabridged audiobook version in 8 hours 17 minutes. In other words, for me, reading is considerably faster than listening. I think this is probably true for most readers. Why, then, are so many formerly voracious readers now switching to audiobooks?
Jim Dale does a great version of the audiobooks, but I still prefer to read books myself. I think it's mostly because people like to multitask so often nowadays. Most people will put it on while they clean, do work, etc. It takes little effort. Plus, most of my friends say that they don't read nearly as fast and things like that.
Reading yourself is so much better, in my opinion. You use your own imagination for how the characters speak their dialogue and so on.
I still prefer reading. But time constraints is the reason I listen to audio books. I can listen while driving or travelling but can't read.
I also prefer reading, mainly because, as you say, it is a lot quicker to read than to listen, but also because I often don't have a stereo or the like. But I think that more people do it because a) as KaycieV said, many more people want to multitask, and b) because you can understand more of the emotion if someone reads it out loud. English sentences can mean so many different things by just changing how you say them, so often listening makes it clearer. Also, lots of people might find reading quite daunting, so it is less of a challenge to listen to books. And finally, in the case of comedy, it is so much funnier when someone reads it out loud!!
I think there are lots of reasons for listening to audio books instead of reading them, with wanting to multi-task or listen to books while you're travelling being the biggest priority for most people. I think that's great, but I think audio books are even better for people who are learning to read, whether that be children or people with learning difficulties - I think it would be great for them to listen to the audio book whilst reading along with it as they would be able to see what the words look like. I think there are also a lot of people who can read but have difficulties with it, for example if they have dyslexia. My mum suffers from dyslexia and she hates reading because it takes her so long and she'll often have to read a page four or five times before she understands what she's reading -for her, reading can be truly stressful as opposed to an enjoyable pastime. For people with similar problems, I think that audio books are a great way of still being to able access books without having to worry about reading them.
Listening! I think that you should listen to the first one so you hear his voices (Jim Dale's) for all the characters. Then you can read the rest of them yourself imagining the voices as you read
by John Chandra5 years ago
Have you read Harry Potter and do remember the first time you read the first book of your choice. I remember reading the 1st book when I was a 13year old and that was nearly ten years ago.
by Chasuk4 years ago
I have friends who tell me that they have "read" a book, when they have actually listened to it. This blurring of the lines bothers me; I consider reading a book and listening to it as two entirely...
by Asyrdar7 years ago
Ill make this brief and leave this open. With the popularity of mainstream, predictable fantasy novels rising (Twilight and Harry Potter, I apologize for any offense I cause, this is after all a discussion of opinion.),...
by kbowlingtiger2 years ago
Out of the seven Harry Potter books, which one is your favorite and why? I dunno if I can choose. :-)
by Keith Abt4 days ago
I've seen a few forum threads/questions about reading lately - asking what types of books you like to read, or how many you've read in the past year, etc....but none have simply asked: what book are you reading right...
by Tanmoy Acharya5 years ago
HubPages is full of great poets. I feel some of them must have noticed how listening to good music inspires the Muse. Something to talk about
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