Audio books have become much more popular now thanks to them being quick and easy to access and with more and more books being released in this format alongside the traditional paper there is much more choice. Audio books are often seen as a way to enjoy books whilst having a busy lifestyle without having to physically read something. I personally feel that audio books are a great way to experience a book however I still think that reading a paper copy is much more engaging and you become more invested in the book.
Although I feel as though listening to audio books doesn’t engage you as much as reading the book, it can often introduce people into the world of literature as it seems much more attainable to listen to something on your phone instead of carrying a book with you. You can listen to an audio book whilst travelling to school or work, whilst in bed going to sleep, whilst you are doing or working on another thing and can therefore be a great way to enjoy literature. It is much easier to multi task whilst listening to the story. I think that audio books are best when listening to an autobiography or memoir as it adds a bit of personality to the stories and experiences of the author. This is especially the case when the author themselves reads the book for the audio version. This can be seen in comedian/actress Amy Poehler’s book ‘Yes, Please’ where she reads her book out and adds more of her personality and shares more of her experiences through her tone and anecdotes. In her book there are also sections written by others such as Seth Meyers and her parents who get the chance to read their own parts and add their personality into their sections. It makes you feel as though she is telling you personally and that you are a part of this secret club. I think Amy Poehler’s audio version of her book is a great example of how to do an audio book and autobiography very well and makes a great book. It is a whole new experience to reading and can often introduce people to new genres and books they wouldn’t choose to read.
I think that reading the books allow you to engage more as you have your full attention on the book and the characters where as you don’t always have your full attention listening to an audio book. People often choose to listen to an audio book whilst doing something else and therefore they are not totally invested into it and often miss parts of the story. I believe this is the case for fictional books more that non-fiction as there are often sub-plots that need attention to understand. You also need to have technology that supports audio books as well as having power in that technology. You don’t need to have charge or power to read a book but you do to listen to an audio book. This leaves audio books less accessible to all.
Overall, I would say that audio books have more positives than negatives but it is completely personal whether you like to listen to them yourself. I personally enjoy listening to an audio book whilst travelling somewhere or as I fall asleep as it allows me to enjoy a book that I wouldn’t necessary choose to read. I think I will always prefer to read a physical book but I also appreciate listening to an audio book.
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please comment if you enjoy listening to audio books or have any audio books that you would recommend)