Nanci Rathbun is the author of four mystery/crime thriller novels available in print, ebook, and audiobook format. Look for the PI Angelina Bonaparte Crime Thrillers at your favorite retailer—in whatever format you prefer.
The audiobook market has grown from forty-two million in 2013 to over two billion in 2019. But there are those who dispute whether listening is ‘cheating.’ Is it equivalent to reading? Or is it somehow ‘less’?
My personal prejudices came to a full stop in 2016, after a severe reaction to meds following cataract surgery. I spent weeks in the dark, unable to solace myself with reading, and reluctantly turned to audio to escape scream-out-loud boredom and recenter my focus outside of my painful situation.
A whole new world opened up to me during that rough patch. A world of voice acting that took me back to my childhood as an Army brat living overseas and listening to Armed Forces Radio. A world that enticed me to construct characters and settings in my head in a different way from when I read. A world that somehow activated a way of experiencing the written word as visual imagery.
I think we’re wired that way. Our ancestors gathered around fires to hear stories that educated and enlightened, as well as entertained. Wisdom stories like fables taught community values. Stories like Genesis taught the philosophy of existence and humanity’s place in the cosmos, and some stories, like the epic of Gilgamesh, used fictional narrative to exalt heroes and culture.
So are listening and audiobooks a lesser form of reading? Recent brain studies have shown that both reading and listening activate the same areas of the brain, giving evidence that they are on a par neurologically. Listening predates reading by millennia and continues to attract its own unique audience. And listening opens up a world that might not exist to vision-impaired persons and persons who struggle with learning disabilities.
And last but not least, listening to audiobooks allows us to be entertained while accomplishing other tasks that we might find boring, repetitive, or difficult: exercising—I walk farther when listening to an audiobook; cleaning—put on some Motown and get it done faster; driving—long road trips through open prairies or the Utah salt flats don’t make my chin hit my chest; and even dealing with insomnia—YouTube and sleep stories for adults (yes, that’s a thing!) have saved me from many a wakeful night.
So while reading is my choice in general, listening has captured a place in my heart as well. Like a good parent, I can’t claim one sibling is better than the other. Vive la difference!
How do our readers contact you?
Links to each book across all retailers: https://tinyurl.com/NanciRathbunBooks
Twitter handle: @nancirathbun
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/NanciRathbun
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nanci-Rathbun/e/B00E9E7QCI
I totally agree with you, Nanci. Audio books are very entertaining. I do most of my listening when I’m driving and it makes the trip really enjoyable. Having a good reader is essential. Several of my books ave been released on audio but I find listening to my own work somewhat problematic. I think you “hear” the prose one way when writing it, and sometimes it sounds different when someone else reads it. But all things considered, I think audio books are great. Best of luck to you with your series, both in print and on audio.
Thanks, Michael. One advantage for authors is that listening to the audio version before publishing the written version can really help you detect problems in phrasing or repetition. All the best to you in your writing journey.
Several of my books are in audio version and I must admit I’ve never listened to them.
I have listed to many audio books while on long trips and always try to find really long ones so they last. Great blog post!
I love, love, love audiobooks! It’s what I listen to everyday on my work commute. I don’t know how I would survive without them. LOL. But I listen to audiobooks for all my drives, walking the park, and sometimes while I am cooking dinner.
I’m going to add your books to my collection now. Thanks, Nanci! 🙂
I think you are right. I love reading but at the end of a hard day on the computer my tired eyes welcome a break. Thanks for sharing.
Great meeting you, Nanci! I listen to audio books, or BBC audible selections as I fall asleep most nights. I only have one book in audio, only listened to finished product once. Didn’t like the experience! Continued success.