Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Reading" audiobooks

Throughout college I almost exclusively listened to KSL Newsradio, who was my employer at the time.  I couldn't listen to music anymore.  I craved news, and I think that personally knowing the radio hosts made my listening experience even more enjoyable.  I loved everything about the radio world and was sad to leave the industry upon graduating.  If I could make a living as a promotions assistant I probably would (that may be an exaggeration, but I really did love the job).

Now, being a few years removed from that world, my aversion to music radio still lives.  However, my listening preference has transitioned from newsradio to audiobooks.  I peruse through the county library in search of the next interesting book.  I've listened to everything from fantasy (Ender's Game) to classics (Catch-22) to history (1776).  Completing these books gives me something to talk about other than work.  I usually read or watch the news throughout the day anyway, so listening to it on the radio becomes redundant.  Also, the commute to Ogden is always peachy so the constant traffic updates are totally irrelevant to me.

I have some friends who are fully entrenched in the audiobook world.  We often ask each other for recommendations and reviews of the books we currently have.  It was not long after these discussions began that I noticed how we differently we described our experiences, and the difference was how we finished a book.  I listened to audiobooks.  My friends read audiobooks.

Big difference, in my opinion.

Someone saying they read, say, The Count of Monte Cristo, is a huge accomplishment.  It's several hundred pages long.  Can I say I read The Count of Monte Cristo if I watched a movie based on the novel?  No.  Of course, movies rarely follow a book word for word.  But what if a movie does?

Take, for example, Hamlet.  Or Much Ado About Nothing.  I know there are movies out there that have followed the books nearly (if not exactly) word for word.  So can I watch one of these and say that I read the book of the same title?  I don't think so.

I have never been a big reader myself.  But if I can include all the movies and audiobooks I've completed, I've got a pretty lengthy "Books I've Read" list.


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