I recently noticed that there is a definite snobbery amongst the readers of the world when it comes to audio books. Now, I can understand this. The whole point of reading is that you actually use your eyes and your own imagination to visualize the narrative. To be absolutely honest, until a couple of years ago I was one of those who decried the blasphemy of audiobooks; but then I started back at my job as an Electronics Engineer. Don’t get me wrong, I actually do enjoy the work but it can get rather tedious. Sure, when you’re fault finding it’s very interesting work. But when things are going swimmingly..well, you need something to stay sane. For me that thing is listening to books. Again, I know that’s a bit of an oxymoron.
The thing is, I don’t get as much reading time as I would like these days; and being a problem solver I naturally looked to find a way to include literature into my daily life. One thing I always have on my person at all times is my trusty iPhone. Bingo, stick some audio books on there (along with a bizarre mix of classical, jazz and hardcore electronic Euro-rock) and I’m sorted for the week. Add in apps such as Audible (well worth the subscription fee by the way) and you’ve got access to more stories than you can shake a diode at. From a practical stand point, I’ve been able to “read” more in the past year than I ever would if I just stuck to eyeballs.
Surely that’s the point. As a writer I want to get as many people as I can involved in my stories. I’m sure most writers feel the same way. So next time someone is bitching about audio book listeners “not being as smart as regular readers” (I’ve actually heard those words), point them towards this Electronics Engineer. Read in whatever format suits your lifestyle; be it audio, e-book or dead tree. Just read!