Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Do You Audio?

Since I have returned to work, my reading time has drastically decreased. Unfortunately, I believe that my stress level happens to be inversely proportionate to my reading time . . . in other words, the less I read, the more stressed I get!! Reading has always been my way of escaping, re-grouping, and relaxing. So, when my reading time decreased, I realized that I had to do something! The answer . . . audio!!! I am in the car approximately one hour a day (more in heavy traffic!). I thought . . . "Why not listen to some books during this wasted time?"

I have listened to audio books before on long trips. It was always an enjoyable ride when I did so. This time around, I have loved it! It's a perfect alternative to me . . . especially when I cannot stand listening to the radio station talk shows! I don't necessarily care about celebrity chat and random conversations. I simply feel that my time can be better spent and my mind can be stimulated in a much more interesting way. And, it has been!!

I have completed a few different audio books since I have made this change in my life. The majority have been true readings. My latest listen, on the other hand, was a dramatic reading. What do I mean by a dramatic reading? Well, imagine this . . . in a true reading, you may hear something like this . . . "The phone rang." In a dramatic reading, you will actually hear a phone ring! It was a bit odd for me. I'm still not sure what I think about this alternative. It just seems to me that I am listening to a television in my car! And, I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I think that I may prefer the readings in the truest sense! As a dramatic reading, I worry that I am missing something. I don't necessarily get the descriptions of the surroundings and this is something I enjoy picturing in my own mind. I had a hard time picturing anything when I didn't have the descriptions, including the characters themselves. Maybe it was the particular story I was listening to . . .

Whatever the story or reading may be, I am thankful for this rediscovery. My decreased time in reading has thankfully been counter-balanced with a little listening instead. And, as a result, I've once again seen a decrease in my stress. I can relax and enjoy my current story . . . even among the bumper-to-bumper traffic!

Do you audio? If so, which do you prefer . . . readings in the truest sense or those that are dramatized?


  1. I totally agree with you, Tif -- reading is my way of regrouping and escaping from my everyday life! When I don't have/make the time to read, I feel totally stressed out and blah.

    Listening to audio books is a great idea -- and I've been thinking about starting some, too! I don't have a long commute (thank goodness) but I can listen to my iPod at work. I like having "background noise" going when I'm working, and I've gotten pretty sick of my music... I think I should download a few and see how it goes! :)

  2. I've been doing more audio lately. I used to always do it in college because my now husband went to a school about 100 miles away, so I drove there a lot on the weekends. Then I sort of stopped, but have been getting more of them to listen to while I do ironing or exercise.

  3. I have to say I don't often "audio", occasionally I will play one over the car stereo on a long trip. I find audio books too slow, I can read and process text maybe 10 times faster than I can listen to it, yet it still seems more relaxing. If I listen to something it is usually music.

  4. Meg, I'm still old school and listen to books on cd!! I actually just had my hubby pick one up for me at the library the other day and he accidentally grabbed an MP3 version. Sadly, it doesn't work for me in the car!! I've got to catch up with the times!! :)

    J.T. . . . That's a LONG ways to drive!! Audio would have definitely been a savior on those trips!! I had to laugh when you said you are listening while ironing. I thought . . . people still iron?!?! I thought that was what the dryer was for!! :)

    Al . . . I love to listen to music too! I just discovered that most radio stations in my area don't play music during the usual commute time. That's where they talk about all sorts of things that I just have no interest in! Might as well entertain my mind with a good story!! :)

  5. I'm a HUGE audio book fan and really don't like when the reader/narrator adds drama. I like slight change in voice, but nothing dramatic. It ruins the story for me.

  6. Haven't really gotten into audiobooks yet, but I keep meaning to pick some up at the library to try out. I remember coming across a radio drama once and I loved it! Think it was similiar to what you're referring to as a dramatic reading, in that there were sound effects.

    Agree that if I don't get my reading time in, I tend to get a little stressed out. I always thought of it as withdrawal symptoms, as I'm a total reading addict! *L*

  7. Last night I listened to a bit of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while I folded the laundry. It was kind of like listening to the TV while I was doing something else. I can't imagine myself just sitting in one place and listening to an audio book, but I could listen to them while I was doing housework or something.

  8. While I enjoy reading books over audio, I recently started listening to the audio version of "Outlander" by Dinan Gabaldon. The libray book club I belong to will be reading the second book in the series (Dragonfly in Amber) so listening to teh audio of teh first book has helped me catch up with the storyline before I start reading the second book.

    But I have to confess, if it's a choice between a book and an audio book, I will always choose the book!

  9. I love audiobooks in all kinds of formats. My favorite are full cast ones or even two or three characters. There are some narrators who it can just be them talking and I am content. Neil Gaiman, Jim Dale to name a couple.

  10. J. Kaye . . . I'm thinking I agree! I was not a huge fan of all the drama that went along with it. I could have just listened to a TV instead. There's a reason I choose the books!

    Alexia561 . . . I can really only do audio while commuting. And, I agree about the withdrawal symptoms! That is totally me!!

    heidenkind . . . Oh how I love HP!!! As much as I love it though, I think I agree with you! If I am just sitting there, I would much rather prefer the book itself!

    Baba . . . Like I just said above, I would prefer the book over the audio in most circumstances as well!! But, audio does make my commute much more enjoyable!!

    Zia . . . Speaking of Neil Gaiman . . . I have yet to read anything of his! I've got The Graveyard Book that I'm hoping to read for the upcoming read-a-thon!! Can't wait!! Maybe I should try an audio that weekend too?!?

  11. Neil is amazing on audio. The Graveyard Book was the first of his books I read and I actually listened to that one. I have since listened to I think, all of his books he narrated on audio. I read American Gods but he didn't narrate that one himself.

  12. I'm going to have to check out my library to see if they have any that he has narrated! Thanks for the recommendation!!


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