A Web site for the campaign, TryAudiobooks.com, has sections that recommend books for groups including runners, craft enthusiasts, business travelers and road-tripping families. Users also can plug in how many hours they expect to, say, be confined in a car to a feature called the “personal audiobook assistant” to refine suggestions.

Source: New York Times

Audiobooks: Are they really the same as reading?
Source: Chicago Tribune

(Quote) “…more than 100 audiobooks later, I remain on the fence between reading and listening. Audiobooks are good. They’re enjoyable. They’re wonderfully efficient. But I wonder if the audiobook experience is quite as full and as nuanced as reading. Is the world I create as a listener as rich as the one I form as a reader?” (End of quote) – Jenni Laidman, April 6, 2012

Arnold L. Glass, a professor of cognitive psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, studies the ways in which reading and listening differ. But if one mode is superior to the other, it’s not quite clear.

Listening has one outstanding advantage over reading, his research shows. When we listen, the theater in our head is in full operation.

When we read, the screen may flicker.

Reading monopolizes the visual part of our brain, the place where we form mental images, his 1980 study shows.

He asked subjects to determine the accuracy of sentences loaded with imagery and sentences with little imagery. He found that reading slowed judgment on high-imagery sentences. But if subjects listened to the sentences instead, judgment time was the same, no matter the level of imagery.

Reading, for all its virtues, seems to get in the way.

“Reading is extremely efficient. It occurs automatically. If I show you a word, you can’t avoid reading it. Basically, that’s a good thing,” Glass says. “But it hijacks your mental machinery, slowing down and interfering with the process of understanding what you read.”

What to conclude from this finding isn’t so obvious. The benefit of listening over reading may only be important if you’re in a hurry. But remove the time pressure, “and both situations are pretty efficient,” Glass says.

On final analysis, maybe it’s foolish to rule reading better than listening or vice versa. As Katz says, audiobooks are a distinct art form. As much as listening shares with reading, it is not reading. It can be more satisfying than reading and it can be less. But with so many books and so little time, audiobooks aren’t going anywhere. And wouldn’t you say, no matter how you consume the written word, it’s all good?

Source: Chicago Tribune


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About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Audiobook Cover Designer Contest, Authors, Connectivism, Culture, Education, Reading, Reflections, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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