ears and imaginations

after writing THIS POST and after listening to THE WITNESS, THE SCORPIO RACES and THE GURNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, i realized there’s one more style of reading.


whether it’s an audio book or someone’s reading aloud to you, there’s nothing quite like this style of reading. there’s something about the words floating to your brain from your ears instead of from your eyes that ignites the imagination. there’s probably a more technical definition, but i think it’s got something to do with the fact that listening requires less brain power than reading which frees up the imagination portion of the mind.

and when the narrator is good, it can really elevate a story. it’s a completely different medium than a movie, but it’s also very different than the regular act of reading. basically, however you want to classify it, i like it.

of course, we all know the original audio book was the bedtime story. snuggled under the covers with dim lighting and a soothing voice reading to you? there’s nothing like it. then again, my bedtime story cannot be of the scary variety because we all know monsters live in the shadows and i don’t want them creeping closer to my bed because they think i like to be scared, no siree. happily ever after, please!

or, well, maybe a story about these guys would be okay.

how about you? do you like audiobooks? being read to? are you an auditory learner or a visual one? does that make a difference? do you like to read aloud? can you make funny voices? how much money is there in being an audiobook narrator? is that enough of a variety of questions to get YOU to comment?

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10 thoughts on “ears and imaginations”

  1. I like audio books for situations where reading wouldn’t be practical, like long car trips. Otherwise, I’d rather see the printed word and imagine the voices in my head.

    1. i think i’ve just had a run recently of really amazing audiobooks, which has probably colored my viewpoint a bit because i can remember hearing a horrible narrator and not being able to finish the book because the voice was so unlike anything i had imagined the main character to be. so there is that risk!

  2. for the most part, i prefer to actually see the words on paper/e-reader. HOWEVER, there is nothing like an audiobook to get you through the weekday commute. like you said, there’s something special about the story sinking into your brain through the auditory canals. still, i won’t give up my book books for the world :)

    1. i’ll admit, i have been reading more epub files (kindle app on ipad and on my phone) and i still don’t love it. i often need to flip back and re-read a part and it’s so bloody annoying doing so on anything other than a physical book. i’m a book book girl to the end. :)

  3. I don’t much of either any more. When I did I liked them both, especially listening in the car. Love, Grandpa

    1. listening to audiobooks in the car is definitely one of my favorite ways to make a long drive feel not so long.

  4. I LOVE audiobooks! I was skeptical when I started listening to them because I didn’t know if I’d have the attention span, but a good book is a good book, period. And I love all the extra reading time audiobooks have bought me!

    I’m finishing my audiobook now (Jonah Lehrer’s IMAGINE), and I think next I’ll buy LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR. Should be fun!

    1. i know you love you some audiobooks! and i love me some audiobooks! hoorah!

      p.s. what’s your most favorite audiobook ever. (yes, i said ever.)

      1. Wow, that’s a really hard one to answer… I think it’ll have to be all of the French Harry Potters, collectively, because the narrator is flipping AMAZING! And ok, because I love the actually books too :))

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