I’m guessing most of you like reading (or why would you be here), how do you feel about audio books?
For me, “reading” means using my eyes, not my ears. As much as I acknowledge their usefulness while doing chores or using your hands, I only ever use audiobooks for the rare long drive–listening, no matter how pleasant, is not READING, yet people persist in telling me they like to read and that audio books are their favorites. Am I the only one to feel that’s just not the same thing?
You’re right of course: reading and listening are different skills. Listening an audiobook is a different experience than reading the same book. For one thing, the reader is an integral part of an audiobook and he or she matters a lot. For example, I’ve listened most of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire books and they have the same narrator, Simon Vance. However, I’ve read the last three books in the series (the audiobooks aren’t available here) and I just couldn’t help but “hear” Vance’s voice.
I also think that, at least for me, it’s easier to get distracted while listening and doing something else. Of course, it’s possible for the mind to wander while reading but I think it’s easier to notice it while reading.
However, I think that listening a book takes practice, just like every skill, and not all people like to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Wouldn’t it be boring if we all liked to do the same thing and also the same way?