I think Autobiographies are much better on Audio (depending on the person I guess) listened to Alan Partidge's books recently. Hearing Steve Coogan read the book in character is a delight.
I find that when I think back to a book I sometimes can't remember if I read it or listened to it.
I agree that Autobiographies are often enhanced by author readings. Roger Daltrey's 'Thank's a lot Mr Kibblewhite' for example becomes more of an extended series of personal anecdotes delivered first hand.
Listening to Orwell's 'Homage to Catalonia', read by Jeremy Northam, I found myself visualising things every much as if I were reading the printed page. Its all about pace, pitch, and tone, I guess. Sometimes though, the reader can present a barrier if they are less than 100% involved with their assignment. I always check out the samples on Audible before choosing, for this reason, and not the subject matter.
So if you read an abridged copy of a book, you consider that not reading the book?
Personally I would never knowingly read an abridged version of a book. I would feel I was missing something and not getting the full experience. Others may take a different view but, rightly or wrongly, that is how I feel about it.
I wouldn’t either, but I also wouldn’t say that the person who read the abridged version didn’t read the book.
Abridged versions are adaptations of a book, in that they are based on the abridger's subjective opinions on what is important and should be retained and what is less important and can be discarded. So in that sense they are more like a TV adaptation. Just because abridged versions are (unlike a TV adaptation) in the same medium as the original does not make them any less of an adaptation. However, it's not totally black and white - if the abridger is the original author and it has been done for creative reasons then we get into a grey area ... Also I recognise that in reality a lot of books are not all that good and an abridged version may well be the "better" version, in the sense of being a more entertaining/enjoyable read, plus abridged versions may in some cases be the only version available.
However I think it's ultimately down to the reader. If someone reads the abridged version and feels satisfied they have "read" the book and got close enough to the experience of reading the unabridged book ... well then I am happy for them and am not going to start calling them names like "lazy" and "superficial", even though that is what I secretly think. I personally would feel an abridged version was only providing me with a second-rate, substandard experience and do not consider reading an abridged version to be the same as reading the original.
Well, maybe, but does it talk about the various incarnations/adaptations? Is it all the original text or is it abridged. Is it one reader, or several, does it have extra sound effects and music or is it just lots of words.
There's some discussion of reading books versus audio books in this podcast, though that's not the only thing they talk about. There's a transcript on the page, scroll down to "Chapter 3" to read the part about physical books versus audio books. (They also spend some time toward to top of the podcast pushing Mozilla's article curation app, Pocket, which I tried and hated; got rid of the plug-in and turned off Pocket auto-suggestions in Firefox, but to each their own, I guess.)
Physical books versus audio books seems to be a hot topic these days.
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