When I was younger I would listen to stories on tape in car trips, usually something by Robert Munsch, who I just learned has the same birthday as me!
When I got a little older I was given Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on CDs, read by Stephen Fry. I had already read the book myself but I liked listening to the story read aloud and seeing how it was brought to life by another.
Since then, I haven't been exposed to many audio books. They were something I saw tucked away in nooks of stores. Maybe an entire shelf devoted to them in the back, but every once in a while I would think, Have they gone extinct? I presumed the answer was yes. I was wrong.
With technology constantly evolving, it is so easy to carry around music, news, a movie. Audio books are just as easy. Recently I have begun to see that people review audio books. Fantastic! The audio book is back.
How many audio books do I own? The answer is...none. It's a little of a hesitancy with me. A part of me feels that I need to read the book. It is a silly but I feel listening to a book makes me lazy or like I'm cheating.
A real problem is that I find that a lot of audio books are abridged. I do not like that. Just like I don't like it when I see that they have cut bits of an episode out in a television airing, I don't like to feel cheated on a story. Even though there are plenty of times where I read a book and think, I wish they'd cut that part out, I don't want it to be taken from me without my knowledge, only to feel like a fool when I glance at the story in text.
I do think there is a wonderful added dimension to books when read aloud. I love reading out loud, so why shouldn't I listen to books being read? The ability to give characters a voice, to fuel the tension and subtext, and be the sole actor for an entire tale – it's great. A well read book is most gripping. If you read a book aloud to someone, you are far more likely to rope them into the story.
I think if the opportunity to give an audio book (unabridged please, please, please) a go comes my way, I'd love to plug myself in and see where it takes me. I look forward to it.
Do you listen to audio books at all?