Today Frank asks us how we feel about audiobooks, specifically if they count as “actually reading” in our minds. Of course, if you can’t see to read, they do, but what about the rest of us? For me, it’s not so much as they don’t count, but that I have no interest in them. Well, it’s really more than that. I actively dislike listening to another person read to me. It’s a form of torture to have to listen to some voice drone on and on and on while I’m supposed to remember what they say. Like those horrible lecture halls back in school where I’d have to doodle to stay awake. This is probably why I don’t go to poetry readings, even though I love poetry. You know what I love about poetry? READING THE WORDS ON THE PAGE. Sometimes, if they really grab me, I might read them aloud to myself. But I don’t want to hear someone else read, even if he has the most gorgeous British accent in the world. And sorry this does include any audio files you’ve put on your blog of poetry readings. I include myself in this too, by the way ~ I don’t want to read my work aloud to anyone.
There is no way I’d be able to concentrate on someone reading a book to me. If I were driving, I wouldn’t be able to focus on the words. That’s why music is perfect for driving… it flows over you effortlessly. If I were lying down, I’d fall asleep to someone reading. If I were alert at home, I’d start doing something else while the reading progressed because I can’t just SIT there, listening, with nothing to do or watch. And then I’d miss half the story due to lack of concentration. Again, in school, I had a huge problem paying attention while teachers droned on. I was fabulous at memorizing what was in the textbooks, which usually was enough to get great grades without paying much attention to their jabbering.
In my opinion, there’s too much noise in the world already, bombarding me every moment of the day. Yes, I did miss some human interaction during lockdown, but now already there’s too much noise again. Traffic, talking, hold music everywhere, announcements in stores, machinery, fans, things dinging and buzzing, freaking BIRDS, and my cat who needs to proclaim his philosophical ideas at 3AM. Ugh.
That said, I made two audiobooks, at a friend’s urging, because “people like them.” That was a horrible experience! Nothing against the two wonderful women who volunteered to read them for no money (sometimes actresses like to have them in their resumes and will do short ones for you) ~ they actually turned out beautifully. That is, if you want to listen to someone yak in your ear. WHICH I DO NOT (if you missed that so far). But the point is, these short books took forever to make because I had to listen to the audio files the volunteers uploaded. A book that takes you a half hour to read could take 3 hours (or more) to “proofread.” If there was even one minor mistake in a file, the reader had to record it again, and I had to listen to it again (not the whole book, but a segment). Naturally, because we’re talking about poetry, people are as uninterested in buying those audiobooks as they are my regular Kindle books. It helped my sales not one bit. In fact, I have made NOTHING because they won’t pay unless you hit $25, which I have not.
Image from Pixabay.
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