Sunday, March 20, 2011
Happy Sunday! Since I've been kind of a lame reader this year the Sunday Salon topics seem to be evading me as of late. I've only finished three books so far this year but I've listened to six, which if added together doesn't make my total quite as pitiful. In many ways, though, I have a tough time treating audiobooks the same way that I do a book I've physically read. I don't keep track of the books I've listened to, I don't add them into the yearly count, and I don't typically post about them. Perhaps this is partly because of the way I process audiobooks so differently--more akin to watching a season of a TV show or a miniseries--but should I feel differently towards audiobooks than paperbooks?
Going to jump the gun with my questions before continuing.
Do you listen to audiobooks the same way you read a book? Do you review these media in the same way? What differences do you see in your reaction or process or perception? If you do review audiobooks differently than regular books, what are the differences and do you have any tips on how to write about audio (aside from the obvious discussion of reader)?
Back to this analogy of listening to an audiobook like watching a TV series. A TV series typically has more than a dozen episodes over the course of several months. Sure there are underlying themes to the season and things that continue to carry through, but let me use the TV show Chuck as an example. Chuck is an ordinary geeky guy who has a special quirk called the "Intercept" that makes him a kick-ass spy. At the beginning of the season he lost the intercept and struggled to be that kick-ass spy. Now he has the intercept back and is the kick-ass spy again, but trying to remember what Chuck struggled through at the beginning of the season seems like eons ago. Maybe Chuck is a bad example because it's fairly predictable within each episode what will happen, but the point I'm trying to make is that an overarching theme throughout the whole season of a TV show isn't always evident.
I tend to view audiobooks in this same episodic way--some more so than others of course--but perhaps because I usually take two weeks to listen to a book all the way through, audiobooks feel more to me like watching an entire season of a TV show where the events are stretched out and cannot be summarized in a simple plot summary. Does this make sense to anyone else? Ha! Basically, the struggles that I have with audiobooks--particularly when I've finished listening--is that it doesn't feel like I've read a cohesive compact book.
I keep thinking that one day I'll magically be able to talk about the books that I've listened to. My biggest struggle is not being able to really put my finger on what the book is about. I can tell you what happened (although probably not concisely), but I have a tougher time with the more textural and thematic things or even just how a book made me feel. And maybe one day I'll figure it out, but until then...I feel stuck. I don't know where to start. And maybe it's as simple as trying to stop thinking about audiobooks in the same way I think about regular books?
What do you think? Am I alone? I know many of you have expressed here and there that you don't listen to audiobooks or that you also think about them very differently--perhaps because you're usually not giving the audio 100% of your attention like a physical book or because you're a more visual learner rather than auditory learner, but as I continue to listen to twice as many books as I read, something's gotta give!
Wow...didn't mean to write so much. So much for sitting down without anything to say. :P
No plans for this week. Maybe a rambly post or Wordless Wednesday for Wednesday. I read and loved Looking for Alaska but don't know how to write about it without spoilers (have I just forgotten how to write about books completely?!?). We'll see how the days go. I'm hoping today, at least, will be a relaxing day!
Happy Sunday to you all!!