About audio books

17.2.2020 14:38
Books can also be read by listening.

Is listening to audiobooks reading?

The discussion about the superiority of traditional books and audio books was unleashed at the turn of the year thanks to e-audio books. Author Laura Lindstedt wrote in Helsingin Sanomat (December 29.12.2019, 22.1.2020) that she does not want someone else to decide at what pace she moves in the wave of thoughts, she does not want to be at the mercy of others. With a print book, he thinks: stops, browses, makes notes in the margin. "The book leaves traces, layers that are forever missing from new digital products." He fears that writers will start thinking about the future audio book when they write and modify their text in the direction of listening, not reading. On January XNUMX, XNUMX, columnist Tarja Heinivaho doubts in the same newspaper that listening to audiobooks does not reveal all the nuances of the text to the listener.

Reporter and vlogger Laura Kuivalahti Bibbidi Bobbidi Book -community is strictly on the side of both formats, he reads or listens to books practically all the time. Even though he distinguishes between reading and listening and even though he "loves reading on paper more", he in no way values ​​either format better than the other. However, there is a difference between the reading and listening experiences, because when listening to audio books, Kuivalahti also does something else, and does not always concentrate fully on listening. Instead, he slavishly reads the books word for word, concentrating.

The content of the audio book is identical to that of the paper book. Expressed in library jargon, there are various expressions of the work and their manifestations. The works have been made into books, books into translations, abridgments, audio plays, films, games, plain language adaptations. The form changes, but the work, or at least its idea, remains the same. Does it matter what form the story takes? Can a movie ever be as good as a book, can a translation ever reach the spirit of the original text? The discussion about the differences between different expressions is eternal. Basically, the story remains the same, even if the form and format changes. In Jukka Parkkinen's memoir Suvi Kinonsen, one of Suvi's seven uncles obtained a university degree in literature by reading Illustrated Classics comic magazines, and hardly anyone would say that the film version of Godfather is essentially inferior to the book. The new form of the work does not kill the original work.

A current phenomenon of different forms of the story is the TV series Game of Thrones. It is originally the book series A Song of Fire and Ice written by George RR Martin, which has been popular with fantasy readers since its publication. The work gained mainstream popularity with the TV series. I haven't read the series myself, but my children force me to watch the TV series. They have read some of the books in the series and have already watched the TV series once. Now the second round is going on because of the father's education. While watching, I have to listen to their incisive analysis of the differences between the TV series and the book. When I complain about the sex and nudity scenes in the series that are completely unrelated to the plot, they tell me that they are not in the book.  

Back to audiobooks. Some book lovers are of the opinion that listening to an audiobook makes readers lazy and impoverishes the authors' text, some consider the audiobook a continuation of the tradition of reading aloud and listening as an activity comparable to reading. As someone who commutes too long, I don't see audiobooks as a bad format in any way: without them, I wouldn't read even a little bit, which is enough energy these days. The most important thing is not what, how and with what you read, the most important thing is that you read.

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