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PM_ME_YOURPRIVATEKEY t1_j6lfvtz wrote

So if someone asks me "have you read x" you're saying that you expect me to respond with "oh no, but I have listened to the audiobook." Instead of just saying, "yeah" and getting into the actual conversation? Seems dumb. Whats the functional purpose of differentiating between the two in a conversation?


Tokenvoice t1_j6lh5pq wrote

No I don’t, my mate listens to audiobooks, I read yet quite often he will use the terms he has read. In a conversation it doesn’t matter if you’re replying, does a bit if you’re starting it which you would say hey I have been listening to this book, have you read it.

Though I would say sometimes the distinction is important because you want to talk about a specific facet of either media. Like the illustrations and maps in the book, or the way the person narrating the book pronounces names.


Character_Vapor t1_j6nuiq9 wrote

>So if someone asks me "have you read x" you're saying that you expect me to respond with "oh no, but I have listened to the audiobook.

"I listened to the audiobook" is exactly how I respond, and then we get on with talking about it. Doesn't seem that strange to me.

Anytime you sit down to read a book, you are making a bunch of internalized decisions as a reader: the pace at which you move through the prose, how you imagine each character sounds, the tone and rhythm and inflection (akin to the "performance" of an actor) of how dialogue is delivered, the emphasis (or lack thereof) you give to different elements of the text, etc. This is the interpretive work between a reader and a text that actually constructs the narrative in front of you.

When you listen to an audiobook, you are still of course experiencing that text, but you're handing over the interpretive work of its construction to a third party. You are listening to someone else perform the book, and that person is the one making all of those interpretive choices I described above. This is not inherently inferior or "lesser" a process, but it can lead to fundamentally different outcomes, because there's an additional outside element being brought into a process that would otherwise be pretty insular. I've listened to audiobooks that I've hated, only to then read the book and have the complete opposite reaction. Conversely, I've tried to read books that I couldn't stand, only to then listen to an audiobook and have everything click into place, because the narrator was offering me a way "in" to the book that I couldn't quite find on my own.

These are all interesting and worthwhile things to consider when we're talking about the experience of literature. Clarifying the specifics of each experience is not some sort of value judgement on the so-called "validity" of each format, it's just a way to approach things with more nuance and hopefully generate further discussion.