August 5th, 2007

Egyptian hieroglyphics

Audio vs. visual?

The New York Times recently ran an article on book club members who look down on audio books—or rather, people who listen to audio books rather than reading print versions. Apparently listening to someone read is not equal to reading in their eyes. They actually called it "cheating."

This struck me as out-and-out snobbery. So long as the audio book sticks with the author's words, what does it matter what format the book is published in? In a previous life I was a teacher, and one thing I learned is that not everyone learns and retains knowledge in the same way. Some people learn better from listening, some from seeing. Why judge one as better than the other? One size does not fit all. It's not like they're reading the Reader's Digest Compressed version for crying out loud. One reason people don't read as much any more is they don't have time. If they make time by listening to books in the car on their way to work, isn't that better than not reading?

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