I usually read with a physical book or e-book on my hand, audio books has not been my thing through my past years of reading. I began reading from textbooks which was lent by the government, distributed to us way back when I was in grade school. After years of relying in different textbooks, I began to develop interest with novels and fiction young adult novels really got me.
Before I begin with my reasons of why I’m starting to love audio books, let me share the reasons why I don’t. Also, allow me to share a brief history of audio books based on what I have researched.
Basically, audio books are recordings of stories narrated by a person for people to enjoy. In history, audio books are known as Phonographic books, it was one of the original applications envisioned by Thomas Edison to support the blind (which would speak to blind people without effort on their part), and it was also meant to support people suffering from dyslexia. Dyslexia is a disorder that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence. During 1950’s and 1960’s, phonographic books gain its popularity due to its benefits not only for people with disability but also to some institutions like schools and libraries which made way for these businesses to go ahead and take advantage of the opportunity.
Caedmon Record, one of the pioneers in the audio books business was formed in New York, 1952 by the help of two college graduates namely; Barbara Holdridge and Marianne Roney. Their first release was a collection of poems from Dylan Thomas whom was narrated by himself.
Aside from Caedmon records, Listening Library also took the opportunity to take part in the emerging industry. They are first to distribute children’s audio books to schools, libraries and other special markets. It was founded by Anthony Ditlow together with his wife in 1955 in their home in Red Bank, New Jersey. Ditlow was said to be partially blind.
Lastly, also one of the early pioneering company in audio books, was founded in 1956 by Arthur Luce Klein and his wife, Spoken Arts had produce over 700 recordings and were best known for poetry and drama recordings.
These early pioneer of audio books all benefited from LP Records, a vinyl record format which was soon considered as standard in the record industry. It plays a big help because of its capability to make longer recordings, is practical and more affordable. Indeed, audio books have been a great help in the 50’s to 70’s era and I believe till now. So, you may want to ask me why I don’t prefer using it. Though we are all aware that each of us is entitled to whatever it is that we want to use as a reading material. My reasons may be considered shallow to you but it is okay because I don’t mind it. As I’ve said, we are entitled with different perspective when it comes to our preferences in reading medium so your criticism is alright and In fact, I would be glad to know about it.
· I don’t prefer using audio books for the reason that I won’t be able to feel a physical book’s pages including its genuine scent.
· Hitting the previous button just because I was not able to catch-up to what it says or I misheard something will be a much waste of time than if I just turn a page back to read it again.
· I live in a country where internet is as slow as a turtle (most people called it “turtle-net”) so imagine I’m in the midst of listening to an audio book, playing my favorite novel or collection of poetry and then all of a sudden, it buffers. Isn’t it a great piece of interruption? Can you stand waiting for the audio to playback without the assurance of it not buffering again?
· The speaker’s reading speed. Although there is a modulation section in the app that I’m going to introduce later, this is still a factor that could affect people from using audio books, the speaker’s accent as well. Are you sure you’ll be able to understand every single pieces of word that a British speaker would say?
· It can probably reduce my reading efficiency. Why? Because I remember things better when I see them than just listen to them. I don’t know if we shared the same thoughts on it, this is how it’ll affect me.
I believe that’s all my reasons. You see, this blog is about why I begin to love audio books not mainly about why I just don’t like them and the likes. It all started just last week when I have found this audio book app on Google play store. It didn’t catch my attention at first because as I have said, I’m not into it. I don’t know, I just found myself reading its information, and how it works…etc. Curiosity, I believe. The reviews are appealing plus the eye-catching 24,000 free audio books from all-time favorite authors. The one I’m talking about is Librivox Audio Books. According to what I’ve read, the books can be streamed over the internet and can also be downloaded as a collection without any charge. It is also mentioned that you can even find books read by a favorite narrator. This app allows you to stop playback with a sleep timer, and unlimited bookmarks are available for each book. I tried this app once, yesterday to be certain and all I can say for now is that I kind of like how it was recorded, the voice that has been used on the first story, the accent isn’t that hard to comprehend. I’m just not sure if it’ll be the same on other books. By the way, the book that I have tried to listen to was the Grimm’s Fairy tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm which is a very popular classic book. There will be different speaker on every story; I’m hoping that they possess the same accent.
Overall, yes, I am beginning to love using audio books. I thank Librivox for creating such an influential app. I did state earlier my reasons why I don’t prefer audio books, right? I won’t just let this end without plotting my realizations, the advantages of using audio books and why I now prefer using it as one of my reading medium because similar to physical books and e-books, audio books also leave us with advantages that is worth giving a shot to know if it is really worth your while. Try and see for yourself.
· Listening to audio books is also one way to relaxation.
· While simply listening to it, you can do anything. Only if you know how to balance your focus to still comprehend on the story.
· I can jot down things that I find worth jotting down, sensible parts, you know and use it as one of my statuses on social media the next day.
· Just like reading a physical book or an e-book, I could go and play it back whenever I want it. I just badly need a good internet connection for this but I think a single book is enough to worth a while, right?
· I heard that many audio books are read by the authors themselves. So obviously, they know what mood or tone they were going to use when reading a certain line. Hearing a story with a good choice of mood and tone adds efficiency to listeners. Isn’t it amusing to hear your favorite author’s voice reading his/her piece?
“I’m kind of old-school and love nothing more than sitting, opening a book, and reading it. But I also love listening to audio books.” ~ Nick Cave