Thursday, August 02, 2007

Is listening to a book cheating?

The New York Times seems to be on a tear with articles of interest to librarians recently. Today's entry, "Your Cheatin' Listenin' Ways," focuses on the controversy in some book clubs over listening to audiobooks as opposed to reading the text.

Before I go any further, full disclosure: NetLibrary, an OCLC division, currently markets Recorded Books products to libraries.

That being said, I am an unabashed fan of audiobooks. I was an audiobooks reviewer for AudioFile and Booklist for many years (until OCLC, NetLibrary and Recorded Books got together), and I find them to be a wonderful way to find new material, gain new insights on the written word, and hear wonderful performances by terrific voice artists and actors. Hearing Frank Muller read Pat Conroy, or Jim Dale read JK Rowling, or Barbara Rosenblat read anything this side of a grocery list, is a transcendent experience.

But stay away from the abridged books, OK? Even a pragmatist like me has to draw the line somewhere!

1 comment:

K.G. Schneider said...

The industry blog Galleycat pointed out how stale this article is (and sexist, too). But better than that was Mitch Wagner of Infoweek mocking the Dateline "expose" of iPod theft. It's sad when the Fourth Estate is so far behind...