Do you read or listen to books?

49 thoughts on “Do you read or listen to books?

  1. I much prefer reading over listening. My aunt listens to audio books while doing routine tasks, like gardening, so maybe I need to try something like that.

    I have another book by Lisa See on my to-read list, I think called The Island of Sea Women, but I haven’t read anything of hers yet.

    • That’s one of Lisa See’s books I haven’t read yet. I’m trying to decide which book of hers to read next. I’m back to reading real books. My experiment with Audible is over, except for our car trips. Then the challenge is choosing a book my husband and I both like.

  2. I don’t know how to say this any other way than to admit that I don’t like to listen to people talking…which I know sounds odd and not really accurate because I love IRL convos with friends, family, interesting people, etc. I don’t however find it enjoyable to listen to a book being read that I can physically hold in my hand and read for myself- letting my own brain and emotions tell me when to pause, to re-read, to stop and contemplate or question, to underline or make notes… I think short story telling is an art and there has to be a mood set that goes along with bringing the story to life. I don’t think that concept works with a novel. Too much, too long, too impersonal for me.

    This topic actually causes a bit of anxiety for me as I’ve often wondered about adjustments I would have to make as I age if for some reason my sight began to fail and I was unable to read. Or even cognitive decline where I simply didn’t remember or understand. Morbid thoughts I know, but reading for myself means so much to me. It would be so very hard if I couldn’t do it well, or at all.

    • I totally agree with you that it seems impersonal to listen to a book rather than physically hold and read it. I should put in context that I had minor surgery so I thought I’d give the Audible a try while I recovered. Like I said, it worked with the first book. The second book I could not stand it. Maybe it was because I was feeling better and didn’t need the help?

  3. I might suggest this for our Book Club. It sounds like something our Leader would like.
    I prefer to read verses listening. I like the actual turning and book marking of pages. Plus, it’s easier to get back to where I left off.

  4. Thank you for ALL of this. I haven’t figured out how to listen to books yet…and make it work without getting distracted by what I’m doing in the moment. (Sort of like Deb’s great post this week about listening to music while trying to get stuff done…especially writing.) You’ve given me encouragement on two levels! One — to try listening again and Two — fab book recommendations. Thank you, Elizabeth! 🥰

  5. I used to do both. I will listen to books when painting a room. I prefer to read books. E-Books have fallen out of favor with me. Just a mental thing. I feel like they take 3 times as long to read. All becasue I cannot get my mind to recognize progress when reading. I am just finishing The Handmaid’s Tale. I can see there are only a coule pages left. I feel the anticipation. I read Red Mars as a e-book retanl from the library (question, who goes to libraries anymore – ME!) It was obviously building to a conclussion but I feel like it simply ended.

  6. Just as I don’t like digital scrapbooking, I don’t like listening to books either. I can’t focus. I need to feel the pages and hold the book. I don’t even like using my iPad to read although I do if that’s the only way I can get the book. I don’t use my phone to keep notes either. Pen and paper planners for me!

  7. I did try to listen to a book a decade ago but I’m an impatient listener and they were talking their time, so I downloaded the book and read it instead. 😅

  8. I read books. Listening takes a different skill than reading. While I’m a great listener in real life, when it comes to pleasure time I like to read, pause, read, muse, read at my own pace.

  9. I like Lisa See, too. I’ve read Shanghai Girls and Snowflower and the Secret Fan. Both so good! I’m adding the Tea Girl to my list. I have an Audible account, but I seem to miss more with my ears. If I space out (which happens a lot), it’s easier to go back and reread. If the language is especially poetic, I appreciate it more in print.

  10. I really liked The Island of Sea Women and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I’ll haven’t had a chance to listen to the Tea one yet. I enjoy the audios too. HOWEVER, I have to like the voice of the person reading… and of course, the story line, but if the voice is not engaging, I immediately move on.

    • The voice makes a big difference. You named three of Lisa See’s books that I haven’t read. I’m going to read Snow Flower next. I’m thrilled there are so many Lisa See books left for me to read.

  11. What an interesting question you’ve asked and all the different answers. I prefer reading because it’s faster for me. But I like audiobooks as well because I can do them while driving, working out or gardening. However, I don’t do as much of that these days so I’ve replaced audiobooks with listening to podcasts. The Lisa See book sounds wonderful. Thanks, Elizabeth!

    • I listen to podcasts in the background while I write or have things to do around the house. An audiobook takes all my attention. I’d rather read a book, when I’m doing nothing else. If I’m interrupted, I can stop and reread or pick up where I left off.

  12. Years ago when I did a lot of driving (and cars still had cassette and CD players) I listened to a lot of books. I haven’t listened in a long time. On my long drives I prefer music or an occasional podcast.
    Once, though, I listened to The Lacuna read by the author, Barbara Kingsolver. She really brought it to life. Other people who read the book didn’t seem to like it as well.
    Personally, I’m going to stick with print (best) or ebooks.

  13. I only read books, preferably paperbacks. I’m on the screen enough, so reading on a kindle is too much for the eyes. 🙂 And I love the feel of a physical book. But audio books are a great option to those whose vision isn’t the best and for long road trips. Thanks for the great recommendation.

  14. I read, but I think that I would enjoy listening to certain types of books. Maybe books on subjects I’m not as interested in. My husband isn’t a reader, but he listens to audiobooks while driving for work.

  15. I’m adding that book to my list. I do a combination of audiobooks and print books because I’m also on the go a lot and love to have stories in my ear. Some books are made for being read aloud! The voice actor makes all the difference, I’ve found.

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