Is an “Audio Book” a book?
In our recent discussion about The Essence of a Book we determined there is a special beauty in a book that can only beheld between your hands.
I realize Audio Books and “books on tape” are invaluable to the Blind
and are also a wonderful way for them to access books that are not
printed in Braille.
But for the rest of us… if you hear a book instead of reading it,
have you actually read the book?
Does the sound of a voice that is not created in your head skew the
intention of the author because of the way the performer reads the book
to you aloud? Where is your involvement in the interpretation of the
words and phrasing if that part of the reading experience is already
being done for you?
I know people who listen to Audio Books while driving to work. I have a
hard time understanding how that is a profitable way to “read” a book
because, for me anyway, reading a book takes entire body involvement
and tremendous concentration on the words to discern meaning. I must
forcibly engage all five senses.
Listening to an Audio Book while doing something else is as if you
never intended to make the book a whole part of you. Why bother?
If an Audio Book isn’t a book, what is it? Radio?