December 9, 2018

The difference between reading a book and listening to an audiobook.

Analyzed by a psychology professor, Daniel T. Willingham (who wrote "The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads"), in the NYT:
Although writing lacks symbols for prosody [the pitch, tempo and stress of spoken words], experienced readers infer it as they go.... But the inferences can go wrong, and hearing the audio version — and therefore the correct prosody — can aid comprehension....
That assumes a good narrator. I listen to many audiobooks, and I've found mistakes in prosody. When someone else is imposing their understanding of the meaning of the words, you have the added task — if you bother to do it — of judging whether the reader is getting the right meaning.
It sounds as if comprehension should be easier when listening than reading, but that’s not always true... Although students spent equivalent time with each format, on a written quiz two days later the readers scored 81 percent and the listeners 59 percent.... When we focus, we slow down. We reread the hard bits. We stop and think....
You can pause an audiobook (and rewind and relisten). If the material is difficult, you really should. I usually get the Kindle version of a book and add the audio version, and I listen to the audio while walking but I often then go to the text to find parts I want to experience in the visual form and to think about more (or blog about!). With an audiobook, you might treat it more like music and relisten. If the reader's performance is excellent, it can become like a favorite song. I have some audiobooks I've listened to a hundred times.
So although one core process of comprehension serves both listening and reading, difficult texts demand additional mental strategies. Print makes those strategies easier to use. Consistent with that interpretation, researchers find that people’s listening and reading abilities are more similar for simple narratives than for expository prose. Stories tend to be more predictable and employ familiar ideas, and expository essays more likely include unfamiliar content and require more strategic reading.

This conclusion — equivalence for easy texts and an advantage to print for hard ones — is open to changes in the future. As audiobooks become more common, listeners will gain experience in comprehending them and may improve, and publishers may develop ways of signaling organization auditorily....
The article begins and ends with a focus on something that I think is a silly concern: Whether it's "cheating" to listen to an audiobook.

61 comments:

mockturtle said...

Audiobooks don't cut it for me. When I read, I like to re-read passages and often skip back to earlier sections for clarification.

rhhardin said...

I'm listening to Wittegenstein in morse code. The effect is seeing him actually write the words. Philosophy benefits from the lack of prosody.

Prosody was illegal in Georgia until 1997.

stevew said...

This reading versus listening argument is bogus, neither is universally better or worse. I am similar to mockturtule in that I can't do audiobooks, I always end up distracted and miss lengthy segments.

Ann Althouse said...

I used to read books while walking outdoors. It's a little dangerous.

Now, I'm listening to an audiobook about a woman who reads books while walking outdoors!

Paco Wové said...

"You can pause an audiobook (and rewind and relisten)."

You can, but then you spend a bunch of time fiddling with your electronic device, which goes against much of the advantage of the audiobook concept in the first place.

I listened to a huge multi-part tome once, and I greatly missed the ease with which I as a physical book reader could skip back and remember what a given character had done.

Simpler and shorter stories are okay, though.

The real point of the story is to reassure the NYT's readers that they aren't intellectual lightweights because they never read real books.

David Begley said...

While there is no audio book, I highly recommend “The Daemon at the Casement or Frankenstein, Part II” by M. Reese Kennedy.

Ann Althouse said...

If I'm sitting around inside, I would rather read looking at text. Right now, it's very hard for me to read with my eyes, because I need cataract surgery and won't get it until February. I don't notice the problem as much when I'm on the desktop computer in the morning and I'm reading to write and writing a lot. But at night, on the iPad, the vision impairment makes it such a distracting struggle. I don't even attempt to read paper at night. But I find it difficult to just sit and listen to a book! It's much easier to look at text and read than to pay attention to an audiobook and do nothing else — if you can see the text. If you can't see the text, you have to listen, but it takes a lot of patience. I don't know why it's presented as easier. I have to play solitaire on the iPad at the same time to pay attention.

tcrosse said...

Whether it's "cheating" to listen to an audiobook.

It's "cheating" to pick a guy up in a bar and bring him back to the house.

MikeR said...

My problem with listening is that I always do something else while I'm listening. And then I find out that I wasn't listening.

Paco Wové said...

Listening to actual lectures is great, though. Multiple thumbs up for the Great Courses offerings. Just finished a history of WWI, which included a bunch of material on the end of the war on the Eastern Front that I knew nothing about (in brief: it was chaotic).

Annie C. said...

Audio books are too slow for me. The time listening just drags.

However, as someone who grew up reading voraciously and watching very little television, I find myself mis-pronouncing word far too often.

Ann Althouse said...

"You can, but then you spend a bunch of time fiddling with your electronic device, which goes against much of the advantage of the audiobook concept in the first place."

My set-up is an iPhone with earbuds that have a clickable microphone on one wire. I can answer phone calls or summon up Siri with that button and I can also pause the audiobook. I haven't figured out a convenient way to rewind, but I do pause when I want to think about something.

In the car, Apple Car Play displays controls that make it very easy either to pause or to do a 10-second backup to replay anything you want. There's no "fiddling."

Ann Althouse said...

"Audio books are too slow for me. The time listening just drags."

True if you're just sitting. As I said above, I can barely do it, even when I want to read and I don't have the option of using my eyes to read.

But audiobooks aren't slow if you are walking. They go really well with walking, and they can be too fast if they trigger thinking. I love to walk and think about things, and the audiobook supplies material. I often pause and think about ideas I get from the reading. Sometimes I use Siri to take notes that I speak aloud while walking. Anyone passing me by would assume I'm doing a telephone call.

Another thing you can do is double or triple the speed. I have not tried that strategy.

Ann Althouse said...

"However, as someone who grew up reading voraciously and watching very little television, I find myself mis-pronouncing word far too often."

Some audiobook readers mispronounce words!

The New Yorker switched its reader a while back and he would make ridiculous pronunciation mistakes. I couldn't believe it!

rhhardin said...

Morse code is perfect for bike riding.

Dumb Plumber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have difficulty with audio books for a couple of reasons.

First if the narration is not great or is jarring I get distracted by the voices. The biggest example of that was when listening to a book narrated by Samuel L Jackson and he read the dialogue between a lawyer and a little girl. Jackson trying to emulate a little girl speaking was just too much. I laughed and turned it off.

Second if the narration is really great, I get visually (in my mind's eye) distracted by being immersed in "seeing" the scenes, the characters to the point that I am, literally, zoned out and unaware of my physical surroundings. Kind of dangerous when driving.

Printed books are better. You can rewind the passage by just re reading it.

Plus...if the book is for a class or I am studying something, I can bring the printed words back up in my head to review. Either by an actual visual picture of the words....or by just better remembering in association with other parts of the printed page like photos, charts or illustrations.

And BIGGEST PLUS to printed books. You don't need batteries, software or devices. It can sit on the shelf for years and years and still be useful :-)

Ann Althouse said...

"It's "cheating" to pick a guy up in a bar and bring him back to the house."

"Cheating" implies a game with rules.

When you're looking at someone else's behavior, don't assume you know what their game is. Even when someone is married, they may have their own rules with their partner. One reason not to have unusual rules in marriage is other people will judge you based on the rules of a conventional game that might not be yours.

In that NYT essay we were talking about yesterday, which I didn't read carefully, I think the original couple had lost the sexual dimension of their relationship but chose to continue living together in a friendly, nonsexual relationship. You are allowed to do that if you choose. Are you only allowed to do that if you adhere to a regime of no sex with a partner ever? Or are you allowed to make new rules? If you have agreed-upon rules, it's not cheating.

Francisco D said...


We process written and oral information much differently.

Most of us are more effective comprehending and remembering written information. However, I worked with business executives who were unusually good at processing oral information. That is a valuable talent that seems unrecognized.

I wonder if Trump has that skill.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

business executives who were unusually good at processing oral information.

Hmmmm. My husband accuses me of having that talent. He claims that I never forget anything he says. I claim it is because he never remembers anything he said.

/wink

Mary Beth said...

Some audiobook readers mispronounce words!

The readers probably learned those words through reading and hadn't experienced them in conversation to hear how they really sound. Or, heard them and didn't recognize them as the same words because they didn't sound the same as the ones they "knew".

Still, there should have been someone producing/managing the recording who would catch the mistakes and correct the reader.

Original Mike said...

"on a written quiz two days later the readers scored 81 percent and the listeners 59 percent"

I believe this. Almost all of my reading is nonfiction; something I want to learn. I bought the audiobook Crossing the Craton (John McPhee) for a road trip out West last year because I wanted to learn something about the geology I was driving through. I found myself hitting the rewind button constantly and besides the discontinuity of doing that, the fixed length of the rewind was awkward. I don't think much of audiobooks. They do allow something approaching reading when actual reading is impossible, but I'm not sure they clear the bar of 'better than nothing.'

David Begley said...

“, I think the original couple had lost the sexual dimension of their relationship but chose to continue living together in a friendly, nonsexual relationship.” Those three loons were living together completely contrary to human nature. The husband is a worm with no self respect.

Original Mike said...

Another problem with audiobooks. There's a section of the book I listened to last year that I would like to review now, but the task of finding it again seems impossible. With a real book I could find it again fairly quickly.

And another thing. I'm sure I bought three McPhee audiobooks for that trip last year, now there are only two on my iPad. The other is lost in the aether, apparently. I've "lost" real books before, but they always turn up eventually.

Narayanan said...

I have not listened to a book so far.

Q: when is it easier to figure out word salad ? Visually or orally.

What is the reading comprehension of news presentation persons.

Marcus said...

I'm glad to have listened to Jordan B. Peterson's "!2 Rules...." on Audible. It wouldn't have been the same without his narrative.

I read two-three books at a time (not at the _same_ time) and one or two Audibles and some podcasts, the listening while I am walking on the beach. I subscribe to two Audible titles a month and am enjoying it.

THEOLDMAN

Darrell said...

DBQ said-- He claims that I never forget anything he says. I claim it is because he never remembers anything he said.

The happiest married couples I ever met shared this dynamic. Also the partner that never remembered rarely got upset about anything.

Unknown said...

Personally I am far more concerned about our next wave of kids that seem solely interested in writings limited to 200 characters or less. Audio rendition Twitter mean tweets read by the celebrity targets themselves does resonate so prosady clearly has a use. Maybe that will be the way I bring up reading and or listening subjects of consequence with my mid 20s children over Sunday dinner.....

Oso Negro said...

@ Althouse - I see no one has asked: I’m going to. So please, ma’am, unless it’s too personal, what audiobooks have you listened to “a hundred times”?

Darkisland said...

I started listening to audio books from Books on Tape back in the 80s. Probably listened to 150 or so over 15 years. During that period I was spending a lot of time driving and listened mostly in my car.

I loved Books on Tape. They had a paper catalog that was several hundred pages. Lots of great books and great authors. I've tried Audible but never liked their formatting or their approach to acting out the book rather than a straight read.

10-15 years ago I found librivox.org which is an audible version of Gutenberg and I am pretty much always listening to something from them. Currently Jack London's "Burning Daylight" for the 4th or 5th time.

I agree with Ann that a great reader makes a better experience. But even a mediocre reader is OK if the book is good. Librivox is volunteers, some professional, some really amature, one lady with a Russian(?) accent so thick I can hardly understand her.

I tried another company, back in the 90s, Blackstone Audio Books. They specialized in more thinky books. Thomas Sowell for example. I found this kind of book was hare for me to follow in audio. When I read someone like Sowell, I need to be able to do it at my own speed, stopping and pausing for reflection, going back and forth and so on.

Most of what I read with BOT was history, biography, stuff by George Gilder and novels.

I certainly don't see audio books as cheating. I do see it as a very different experience. I've read a number of books in both audio and visual though generally not at the same time.

I do think abridged audio books, or abridged books of any kind, are cheating.

And don't get me started about whether reading on a tablet counts as reading a book. It absolutely does. People who say it doesn't strike me as the same type who claim that a typewriter makes one a better writer than a word processor. Fuck them. To each their own, just don't go all holier than thou on me.

John Henry

gilbar said...

since it's fall, i'm re-re-reading The Lord of The Rings
(Frodo is alive, but captured by Orcs!!)
I couldn't even imagine listening to that story; it'd be almost as bad as if someone tried to make a moovie of it. If I like a book, i want to be able to read; Out Loud! the good phrases that make it good, and i want to be able to read that sentence as many times as i want (plus, i want to be able to think about the underlines and comments i wrote last century).

On the Other Hand... Audio books are Perfect for driving across nebraska to go fishing in Wyoming. Nothing makes the trip from Sioux City to Valentine pass, like listening to Maj Gen John Pope's excuses for the 2nd battle of Bull Run

Virgil Hilts said...

Have listened to audiobooks for years, but find it hard to listen (concentrate) with non-fiction. For something tremendous - Seveneves or the Passage Trilogy - I both read and listen to the entire book (not at exact same time - jumping back and forth).

Darkisland said...

I don't listen to that many books in the car any more. I mostly listen to long-form podcasts. Generally an hour or more though sometimes as short as 30-40 minutes.

I and others have mentioned Dan Carlin's Hardcore History https://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/ which tend to run 3-4 hours per episode covering such things as the invasion of the Huns, Ghengis Khan, the US/Philipine War, WWI & WWII, Ancient persian history and more. Current podcast is WWII from the Japanese view.

Usually in multiple 3-4 hour episodes. Always fascinating.

Another is Madison's own Mike Duncan with his 100 (or so) part history of Rome and his 150 (or so, so far) Revolutions series https://www.revolutionspodcast.com/

It covers the English, American, French, Haitian, South American, French/German and currently Mexican revolutions. Weekly, about 30-40 minutes per show.

And then, for the icing on the cake, a couple months ago I found a podcast of Dan Carlin and Mike Duncan spending an hour or so riffing on Mike Duncan's history of Rome. I wet my pants when I found it.

And now, looking for the link, I find that it is on YouTube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNB4P_i-Ph0

The podcast is here https://dchhaddendum.libsyn.com/rome-through-duncans-eyes

John Henry

Francisco D said...

Hmmmm. My husband accuses me of having that talent. He claims that I never forget anything he says. I claim it is because he never remembers anything he said.

LOL!

In my experience, that is the eternal dynamic between husband and wife. Perhaps, women are genetically programmed to remember and men to forget.

My neuropsychologist ex-wife had a terrific memory for things I said. She even remember things that were never said.

My fiancé forgets what both of us have said. I like that except when she tells me the same story for the fourth time. I would NEVER do such a thing. :-))

Darkisland said...

Blogger Dust Bunny Queen said...

he read the dialogue between a lawyer and a little girl. Jackson trying to emulate a little girl speaking was just too much. I laughed and turned it off.

That's why I don't like Audible.

John Henry

DavidD said...

I would say that someone who gets his information aurally is more likely to make significant spelling and even word-usage mistakes than that someone who gets his information visually is to make significant prosody mistakes—although for a long time I thought calliope rhymed with antelope....

wild chicken said...

My damaged ears can't take much from earbuds. Yet I will need audio books for sure because I have macular degeneration.

Anyway, ebooks are all I'll read now. No more worrying about tiny text and bad light.

I only wish my mom could have lasted long enough to get "large print" books via Kindle! And my computerphile father just missed the world wide web for that matter.

Darkisland said...

Blogger Original Mike said...

I believe this. Almost all of my reading is nonfiction; something I want to learn. I bought the audiobook Crossing the Craton (John McPhee) for a road trip out West last year because I wanted to learn something about the geology I was driving through.

Another big McPhee fan here. I, on the other hand, listened to a number of McPhee's books on BOT and had no trouble with them.

I have no particular interest in geology. I found it very interesting when McPhee wrote about it.

Recently bought Draft #4 his book on writing and The Patch, his latest book which is a collection of unpublished stuff. I am finding Draft#4, about the way he structures his pieces, very interesting. Perhaps not for everyone as it is a bit technical.

OTOH, it's McPhee. If he publishes a book of recipes, I'll read it cover to cover.

McPhee also got me onto Edward Abbey who I also read via BOT as well as in paper.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

Blogger Original Mike said...

I believe this. Almost all of my reading is nonfiction; something I want to learn. I bought the audiobook Crossing the Craton (John McPhee)

Whew! I thought there was a McPhee book I had not read and went to Kindle to buy it.

It is actually a section from his book Annals of a Former World so I have read it, though I don't remember it.

Annals of a former world is, sort of, a geological history of Interstate 80 from NJ Palisades to San Francisco. Now that would be a great book for a drive across the country! As long as it is, perhaps across and back.

I was in Las Vegas on 9/11 and could not get home. I did have a car and decided to take a road trip to my daughter's in Joliet IL. I had a BOT reading of One of Griffin's Brotherhood of War books, the one where the guys go to Africa to fight Che Guevara. I probably listened to it 4-5 times on the drive.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Roadside Geology Books availble through Amazon are pretty nice for a layperson's introduction to geology as you are traveling through the country.

I like that they follow the routes, the main highways that you would be traveling upon. Have photos of the various formations and locations that are visible from the road. Plus descriptions of areas of interest that you might like to see on a side trip.

I usually have a book relevant to any of our road trips and make my husband stop (if he is driving) or pull the car over myself to really get a good look at an interesting formation. Discuss the geological history of the area and in general hold a short geology class for my husband. Maybe pickup an interesting rock or two.

(I have a 15 pound piece of serpentine from a trip to the North California coast in my rock garden area.)

My husband is a VERY patient and understanding man!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Added. I wanted a much larger piece of Serpentine, but he balked at putting "that boulder" in the trunk of the car. Ah well, you take what you can get.

Maybe next trip.

rcocean said...

To me, the better the prose, the better the audiobook.

Listening to a great novel is much more enjoyable than reading it.

Unfortunately, it works the other way.

Also, some novels don't work well in audiobook form. Catch-22 for example. LOTS of repetition and standard phrases. No problem, reading it on a page - that's why Heller wrote it that way. But listening to the repetition is fucking annoying.

rcocean said...

To me, the better the prose, the better the audiobook.

Listening to a great novel is much more enjoyable than reading it.

Unfortunately, it works the other way.

Also, some novels don't work well in audiobook form. Catch-22 for example. LOTS of repetition and standard phrases. No problem, reading it on a page - that's why Heller wrote it that way. But listening to the repetition is fucking annoying.

rcocean said...

Weirdly, I can sit and read a book or watch Tv but can't sit and listen to an audiobook. I have to be driving or walking or doing something.

Ken B said...

I use audiobooks in the car and walking. Cannot just sit and listen.
Is it cheating to attend a lecture rather than read the lecture notes?

Yancey Ward said...

I dislike audio books- I am a rereader of sentences, paragraphs, and pages, and this is just easier to do with a physical book.

Original Mike said...

"Roadside Geology Books availble through Amazon are pretty nice for a layperson's introduction to geology as you are traveling through the country."

I agree. I have a bunch of them.

I'm always collecting rocks on my road trips. I take notes and pictures of all sample sites, bring them home, power wash them, usually split them in half to get an unweathered surface, and figure out what they are. Referring back to my geology library is instrumental in this.

"I wanted a much larger piece of Serpentine, but he balked at putting "that boulder" in the trunk of the car. Ah well, you take what you can get."

I brought back 10 lbs of rocks from my last New Zealand trip. I spent 2 months there collecting and purchasing NZ geology books (among other things, of course). By the end of the trip I had a lot more than 10 lbs of samples. It was very difficult to whittle that down for the trip home.

Ann Althouse said...

"“, I think the original couple had lost the sexual dimension of their relationship but chose to continue living together in a friendly, nonsexual relationship.” Those three loons were living together completely contrary to human nature. The husband is a worm with no self respect."

Have you seen the price of real estate in San Francisco?

MayBee said...

I sometimes find I can't remember if I read something or listened to it.

I know I read all the Harry Potter books- most of them out loud to my kids. When I saw the movie, it was as if I had actually seen it before. JK Rowling did such a great job writing that the visuals were in my mind clearly and stored that way.
The same with listening. I hear the story in my head as I read, so I often don't store along with the memory the means of that voice getting in my head. I often have to remember other things about what I was doing at the time I was "reading" the book. Was that book I took in while I was driving, and therefore an Audible? Or was it one I took in while sitting around at the hospital, and therefore a physical book.

cassandra lite said...

Screenwriters have for years complained about actors' line readings that completely miss the rhythm and actual point of the dialogue.
Two of my books have had audio versions. I wasn't invited to any of the recording sessions, and in both cases had to stop listening after chapter one when I received the CDs.

BJM said...

For some reason reading on a Kindle or tablet makes me antsy. I often buy the print book and the audio book so I can listen at night without disturbing my light sensitive spouse. It's a little trickier to sync them up but it works for me.

btw- some may be interested in Jean Moorcroft Wilson's "Robert Graves: From Great War Poet to Good-bye To All That (1895-1929) ".

Joe said...

I listen to audiobooks in my car. I use Librivox, which uses material in the public domain. In the past I was a voracious reader, lately not so much (every now and then I stumble across a new author who is good, but that is increasingly rare.) One thing I've found with audiobooks is that I'm willing to give them more of a chance. I've listened to books I would have tossed, though even then sometimes it's tough (the good parts of Les Miserables are great, but the bad parts are really bad and occupy most the book.)

My biggest surprise: Edgar Rice Burroughs. For reasons I don't recall, I never read the Barsoom and Tarzan series, but as audio books they're great!

I also never would have plowed through Jane Eyre, but enjoyed the audio book. I think it helped that I'd seen the various movies and wanted to compare them to the original. (As for Emily Bronte, "Wuthering Heights" is one of the few books I gave up listening too. I'm sure someone here likes it, but I thought it awful.)

fizzymagic said...

For audiobooks, the narrator is incredibly important. Last summer I listened to "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes and the narrator kept mispronouning the names of famous physicists! Like Hans Bethe (should sound like "beta"). It was distracting and I gave that narrator low marks.

But just recently I listened to two book by John Scalzi, narrated by Wil Wheaton. The narration added a lot to the text. It was such a pleasure to hear such a well-read book. His interpretation might have been better than what I would have imagined reading the book to myself.

The two modes of reading are complementary, not dichotomous.

Christy said...

The Hot Zone was one of the few non-fiction books I've enjoyed listening to, that's because it reads like a novel. I'll frequently listen myself to sleep with hisory. I know how it ends so I don't really miss anything and avoid spoilers if I wake back up before the audio is over.

I listened to Cloud Atlas and enjoyed it more than the rest of my book club. I was charmed by the sections written in patois, read to me by a voice actor, whereas they initially struggled to figure it out.

I catch myself trying to click on a word in a paper book when I need a definition or pronunciation.

Finally, audiobooks, BoT specifically, taught me to appreciate the more lyrical passages that I'd always elided when reading. Can't easily skip when listening. On the other hand, I strongly recommend reading Possession to avoid all those long passages of neo-Victorian poetry.

John Henry, thanks for the feedback on Audible. I've not tried it and had been wondering if they had bought out BoT or had gone a separate route.

BTW, most every library has audio books for download free. I like that.

John Christopher said...

Althouse, I've been listening to The Power Broker all week and thinking of you.

Regarding prosody, Tom Stetschulte is one narrator who often teases out the humor in a book that I don't catch when reading on the page.

PJH said...

"I have some audiobooks I've listened to a hundred times." Can you give examples of audio books worth listening to a hundred times?

John henry said...

Christy,

Audible did buy BoT but then deleted many of the books. Audible has next to nothing by Nevil Shute, for instance. Bot had 12—15 of his books.

I don't think they have any of Ernle Bradford's books either.

John Henry

John henry said...

Paul,

Not a hundred but at least dozens of times: "Youth" by Joseph Conrad. A great reading free from Librivox.

I suspect I've read (paper/kindle) youth over 100 times since I discovered it in 1974.

Conrad is always a good read til he comes ashore. That's still a lot of books, though. I keep a complete works on my phone and tablet at all times. I dip into it when I can't think of anything else to read.

John Henry

Red Devil said...

I listened to an interview of the woman who narrates the "Outlander" series. She talked about an error that she made in voicing one character. In the series, a woman, Claire Randall, travels 200 years back in time by going through a time warp in a Celtic stone circle in Scotland. She encounters another person who is also a time traveler, who suspects that Claire is likely a time traveler. For confirmation, he asks, "Have you ever heard of the Beatles?"

The narrator, who specializes in British regional accents, voiced the character with a Liverpuddlian accent, due to the Beatles reference (Liverpool's most famous sons). She later realized that the character was a Native American, who was simply using a cultural reference that only someone from the future would recognize, and, would never have a Liverpool accent.

Professional lady said...

For entertainment and relaxation, I now listen to more books than I read (usually while I'm driving or crocheting). I think I do this because my profession (attorney)involves so much reading and writing. However, I avoid audiobooks that say "performed by so and so." When a narrator overdoes the characterization, it ruins it for me. They have to leave room for imagination. Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators.

Red Devil said...

Scott Brick is my favorite narrator for audio books. He has narrated many of the John Grisham books. He seems to draw just the right balance of voicing characters in a convincing way, without distracting from the narrative by overdoing it.