Audio"books" for Running, not Reading

I have some serious issues with audio"books." Let me just say it: listening to a book on CD/iPod is NOT THE SAME as reading.

Let me explain. So, if you listen to Water for Elephants (it seems like everyone is) during your busy commute and then tell people at work or wherever that you read it you're a liar. Liar. Reading requires eyesight and word recognition (unless you're blind; always an exception), while listening the ears and a different area of the brain for processing. I'm not saying listening to a novel is easy, since it still requires concentration and comprehension, but it's not reading. What you're doing right now- reading. What you do when the radio is on in the car- listening.

Personally, I have never listened to anything on CD and have never played audio for my high school students (I'd have my elementary students listen to stories, but only after they had read the text). I can't imagine substituting sound for the actual experience of reading a book. I enjoy the process of reading, and this is how I best comprehend information (don't even try reading directions to me). I also appreciate the option to go back and reread paragraphs if I need to or check a fact from the beginning of the text, both difficult things to do when you are trying to rewind on an iPod. It's just not the same.

Okay, let's review. Reading: great. Listening: fine. Saying you read when you listened: bad.

The reason why I bring this up is because I have read several things recently about banishing running boredom through audiobook listening. Lately I've been extremely bored while running, both outside and the treadmill and am getting desperate. I'm scheduled for something like six half marathons for the rest of the year, so quitting really isn't an option in regards to finances, pride, or how my jeans fit I know it's a rut and I'm trying to break out of it, so I suppose I'm considering an audiobook.

The issue is that there is no way I'd listen to a book that I'd ever consider reading, which is making this difficult. Purchasing a fiction audiobook is absolutely out of the question- I won't give up the reading experience and I don't want to spend money on some shitty author I wouldn't read in the first place. So now I'm considering some sort of biography or a health/fitness/diet text. The other issue I'm having is that the whole process of downloading a book seems a little too closely related to eReaders, which I loathe with every fiber of my body. I'm trying to justify an audiobook purchase with the fact that it will be for something I'd never purchase in book form to begin with. In essence, audiobooks really aren't books in my world.

It just all feels a little dirty. But, sometimes being bad is good.


  1. Have you checked out your local library? They usually carry books on CD and for MP3 players and that way it won't cost you anything.

  2. i could never imagine being able to listen to a book whil i run. i think i might actually fall asleep running

  3. I listen to audiobooks all the time while driving on my long trips. I have to travel for work and sometimes I'm in the car for 4-5 hours at a time. The audiobooks are actually enjoyable and keep me engaged. I didn't think they would but I tried and liked them. I've listened to probably over 20 books the last few months and there has only been one book I had to turn off because it was boring and I found my mind wandered (not so different from some boring books I've tried to read). There is some added fun to an audiobook that I didn't realize and that is that sometimes the person reading it has a certain accent or they have different voices for different characters and it adds to the story a little. Try checking out the audio books at the library. I've not purchased any.. I always get them from the library. Try it... you might like it... and remember to keep an open 'ear'!

  4. Funny you say that because in Read 180 there is a whole shelf they give us that have audiobooks. That'll train 'em to read eh? Luckily they hate listening to it and opt to read it instead...or try to read it...or look like they are reading it. You know how that goes.

  5. I loathe audio books. I can never seem to pay attention. Plus I love BOOKS. I love turning the pages, highlighting, etc. That's why I'll never get a nook.

  6. What you're doing right now- reading. What you do when the radio is on in the car- listening.projector service toronto