Week 11 Prompt

In some ways, whether a book is an ebook or an audiobook shouldn't affect the appeal factors too much. The book itself--the words that were written--don't change between formats. However, realistically, how a reader ingests a book is going to make a big difference in their experience with it.

I think this is more heavily affected in audiobooks than in ebooks, though. Because an audiobook is produced by a group of people, their decisions of a narrator and/or cast, music, and direction are integral to the quality of the reader's experience. As Kaite Mediatore says in "Reading With Your Ears: Readers' Advisory and Audio Books," "a poor match between the pace of the story and the pace the narrator uses can cause a reader to stop listening to an audio book. Clyde Edgerton's Walking Across Egypt is narrated by Norman Dietz. Even though the book's southern setting and small town characters warrant a narration slower than that of a thriller, Dietz is too slow in his reading." I don't listen to a lot of audiobooks, but I know in my own experience that I've stopped listening to one because the reader's voice grated on me. I've also powered through a narrator I didn't like much in the beginning because I had gotten so invested in the book itself, though. I also imagine there are people who will completely write off a book because they don't like the audiobook, though that is not something I've done. I seek out another format if the audio isn't working for me. Things like music can do a lot to affect the tone of the book, so when music is used, I pay a little extra attention to it.

There is the obvious appeal of an audiobook in that you can do other things while you're "reading." People who say they're too busy to read don't have an excuse when it comes to audiobooks! I've never understood the argument that listening to an audiobook doesn't count as having read a book. Does my listening to a lecture in class mean that I didn't learn the material? Not necessarily, especially if you're someone who remembers much of what you hear.

On the other hand, I think ebooks have the potential not to affect a reading experience at all. In the case of length, I absolutely think the inability to have the feel for a book and how much you may have left or have read makes a difference in your momentum. When I feel like I'm making a lot of progress quickly, it feels like I'm flying through the book, that it's a page-turner, and that it's something I'm really into. However, I know people who couldn't care less about how long a book is and don't even care how much or how little they have left--they just want to read it!

The sheer convenience of ebooks are a huge argument in their favor. You have millions of books at your fingertips in mere seconds, and the ability to bring an entire library along with you even to places where you can't bring much and don't have any internet. Personally, I bring a few physical books on any trip, but make sure I have my iPad as well--where I must have 200 books in my Kindle library, unread. So no matter the mood (and I am very much a mood reader) I have something to read!


  1. Wonderful prompt response! You bring up lots of valid points, especially about how much audiobooks can alter a books enjoyability. Full points!


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