I know audio books are part of the whole 21st century digital ‘reading’ world, but I’m talking about the old fashioned audi books, hard copy audio books. Oldskool.
By old fashioned I mean cassette tapes and CD formats – not digital audio. The one’s you can put on a shelf, just like a book!!
As a child I vaguely remember my mum buying me some magazines that would come with a cassette tape of stories to match the content in the magazine, not that I would ever have thought of these as ‘audio books’ at the time.
Is there still anyone out there in possession of a CD player and cassette tape player, a walkman even?
It’s nice to have all options, in case modern tech ever fails us, and for nostalgia purposes – to be able to listen to old tapes or CDs stashed in the attic (or your grand/parents’ attic) and re-discovered them one day…that type of thing.
But it’s still not a book
I’ve always said I don’t count audio books as books, and I still don’t – just as I wouldn’t class a film/movie adaptation as a book either.
An audio book is like listening to a radio play, it’s a listening activity, no reading involved, no pages to turn. So if I’ve heard the audio I still wouldn’t say ‘I’ve read the book’ or leave a ‘book’ review. It’s just not the same. I’d review it as an ‘audio book’.
Nevertheless there is ‘science’ that suggests it makes no difference, it’s just ‘smarter’ reading!
Don’t Get me Wrong: I’m not ‘Anti’ Audio Books
I like them, a lot actually – after some recent indulgences, but more so for books I wouldn’t otherwise consider reading.
They’re quite a nice way to relax, close your eyes or look out at a nice view if you’ve got one – and enjoy!
I’ve collected a small stash of old fashioned audio books, most are still ‘to be listened’ to (TBL), I’ll do a round up at some point once I get through a few more – an ‘Audio Book Tag’.
I have far more ‘books’ to be read than to be listened to, by miles. How does your TBL list compare with your TBR pile?
For a long time I didn’t really entertain the idea of audiobooks, it just didn’t appeal to me at all, but that has changed, there is definitely a place for them. You’re never too old to have someone else read you a story!
What are the best audio books you’ve listened to, I’m curious….old fashioned or digital?
43 thoughts on “Audio Books Anyone? The Old Fashioned Way!”
I’m afraid I’m only listening to audio books the modern way, Bluetooth through the car stereo, great for my daily commute and when I’m pottering around in my workshop
Despite the best efforts of my friends I still can’t get used to Audio books and, believe me, I’ve tried. Nothing can beat the satisfaction of opening a new book, flicking the pages, reading the intro, the acknowledgements and even when it was first printed, and then ah, the luxury, delving into the story if it’s fiction, the history or the biography or autobiography. The only time I have favoured the audio book was when the book was super-heavy and holding it became a major problem if I didn’t want to read it at a table. And yes, I still have cassettes, CDs, a Walkman, a Vinyl record player and vinyl records (much better sound), and I’ve even got my 1980’s Bang & Olufsen HiFi set-up that has a tape to tape facility which means I can refresh the tapes when they show signs of stretching! But I love radio plays: they are not like books but use different voices for different characters and in that I think, may lie the dislike of audio books – it’s the same voice reading all the characters whereas when reading you conjure up the voices.
Ahh yes, I’ve noticed how a lot of audio books tend to use the same voice for all the characters, makes it feel a bit dull. Even where a different voice is used it still sounds a bit phoney 😏 maybe there are some good ones through.
My 70’s childhood was filled with Vinyls and cassettes. When I couldn’t fall asleep my dad played me a vinyl recording of songs and stories. This post made me nostalgic. And I fell in love with book prize winner Hilary Mantel’s trilogy set in Tudor times and focused on Cromwell, both the books and the audio books as the narrators were brilliant.
Discovered the world of audiobooks during the early days of the pandemic. They were an amazing way to get through the daily chores, happily. Keeping up with the list to hear is of course now as bad as keeping up with the list of books to be read. Can I blame Netflix for this? 😊
Lol, at least you’ll never be short of some escapism, never a bad thing really 🤗📚🎧
The only audio “reading” I’ve done is the bible and I must say that for some reason, for me, audio is the better version. I do agree though for any other book I would prefer turning the pages. Good post!
Yes, that’s probably a really helpful way to absorb the bible 😊 thanks for sharing Janice.
Kym Gordon Moore
Cherryl, I have old cassettes from back in the early 90’s that a friend of mine gave me because I couldn’t read books like I wanted to due to the amount of traveling I had to do every week. I listened to those audio books in leu of the radio. I loved it, but I am sorry, there is nothing like cozying up to a book that is just as portable and is a good companion when you’re winding down or traveling.
Once in a while, I’ll listen to the digital versions of a few books, but right now I have several piles that are waiting to be read, and waiting for me to find another matching bookshelf to go with my others. LOL 😁 Happy reading my dear friend. 📕📖📗 Great writeup BTW!!! 🤗💖😘
Good luck getting through that TBR pile, I have quite a lot waiting too – no such thing as too many books right!!📚📚☕️ x
Kym Gordon Moore
Guuurrrrrllll, you got to have something on hand to read. 📕 It seems like that is becoming such an obsolete activity these days. I am just in awe by the amount of stuff I learned about whether fiction or non-fiction. You never stop learning, that’s why we can’t stop reading! Thanks for your positive attitude. Continue spreading your light! 🦋😉✨😁👑🌞🌟
You’re so right, we never stop learning 🔆✨😊
Kym Gordon Moore
No ma’am! We don’t. It’s too dangerous to stop! Have an awesome day girlfriend! 😊🙏🏼🌟
Have a great week ahead Kym✨
Kym Gordon Moore
I sure will Cherryl. You do the same my friend! 🌞💐🥰
reading is reading – whether on paper or a screen. You process with your eyes and brain. Listening is listening. I grew up on radio shows and to me it’s similar to watching TV or a film with live players, not one person reading aloud.
Yes, listening and reading are different, and I guess it’s good that books can be absorbed either way, via audio or visual depending on what you prefer.
I admit it, I often listen to audio books. Yes, reading is fine, but as I get older I have to take care of my eyes and audio books are a good alternative.
That’s a really good point, I agree – reading can be a strain, especially with artificial light – that’s another plus point ✨
I have found listening to some ‘talk back’ shows (providing the host is of a balanced temperament) can be very stimulating and entertaining whilst on long car journeys. We have had the need to be in the car for a number of hours of late. This is opening my mind to listening to podcasts and audio books; something I’ve really not considered before. Strange how life hands us opportunities!
You’re so right, I never thought I’d consider audiobooks but now I’m open to making room for them. Podcasts are great by the way, sometime you just want to listen 😊✨
I have never listened to an audio book before. Maybe I should try one to see if I would like it. But I love reading books. I love your posts.
Thank you Chris, I’m glad you like the blog and yes you should probably give audio books a go, just to see what you think. I still don’t feel like I’ve experienced ‘a book’ when I listen to one, it’s just a different experience. Do pop back and let me know what you think if you get around to trying them 😊💫
Okay, no worries. I’ll tell you what I think about them.
When I had two small kids and therefore no time to read and a mushy brain to boot, I turned to audio books because I so missed story. Unfortunately this was a while ago and the only ones I could find were crime – not my beloved genre, and unnecessarily gory for someone wanting to escape bodily fluids are living with young charges and their indiscriminate expulsions …
I confess to having a chest of drawers full of old tapes and a bookshelf full of vinyls, with a stack of CDs which seems to grow at each festival we go to. I’ve even got old VHS tapes! I have the equipment to play them all, and though I don’t listen to them all, all the time, it’s great to be able to grab one I’m in the mood for, when nothing else will be as good … usually prompted by reflecting on days gone by and thinking of the music I listened to at particular times.
On another note, are podcasts the new audiobooks? Does the podcast boom equate to us all listening to audiobooks and just not terming it that?
Ahh yes, there is definitely a reminiscent element to CDs, vinyl and cassette tapes, I’m glad you’ve got the equipment so you can indulge whenever the mood takes you.
When you’re busy, tired or on the go, audio formats really are are a great option. ✨
I think audiobooks were on the scene before podcasts became popular but now I guess they’ve helped push the whole drive toward ‘listening’ rather than reading, yes – and great for all the headphone, smart phone, tablet etc manufacturers as well!!
Happy reading/listening to you too, and thanks for having a read 🤗
Hmmmm, not any more. I remember that for my first music playing thing, I got an old fashioned radio and I had audio book cds on there but now I just listen to things on my phone.
I guess phones are the easiest way to listen these days – thanks for reading ✨
I never had an old school audio book, but I do remember having a Walkman haha. I definitely prefer to listen to audio books, I find them good because I can do things at the same time whereas I get bored of reading.
Yes, they’re ideal for multitasking, that’s very true, walkmans and personal CD players used to be so popular lol, things have changed so much!! 😊
I have CDs and tapes and a player to play it on (it’s a modern record player with those players too and then an output to MP3 if I ever get round to converting everything). But I don’t do audiobooks as I don’t take in information well that way, and they also make me sleepy! Having said that, my husband loves them, and we do read the same books in those different formats sometimes.
That’s a lovely contrast Liz…..when you each read the same book in a different format, do you find each you absorb the story differently?
I know what you mean about audi books making you sleepy – they definitely get you feeling relaxed and wanting to close your eyes.😴
Well I do know it’s easier for me to go back through and check something, as we did that this morning, talking about something and I just paged back through my Kindle till I spotted it! Otherwise, it’s hard to tell, as I don’t take in information aurally very well so I think that would work against me enjoying an audio book, whereas that’s something my husband finds easier.
Yes, we all absorb differently, but if you both feel like you ‘heard’ or ‘read’ the same story with the same detail then I guess there isn’t much difference, content-wise. It’s great to have all these options nowadays, something for everyone 😊📖
I do at least half my reading now as listening. It absolutely counts as long as the story in unabridged. One big difference, though, is the effect of the narrator on the story. My favorites over the years have all had excellent narrators—Harry Potter and Outlander being the best of those.
I imagine both of these being great audios, I’ve only seen them both on screen….and yes the narration can make a huge difference, on the flow and atmosphere created. Thanks Janet
I also listen to audio books on a long road trip. A few times I’ve listened to a book that I loved when I read it and found listening allowed me to interpret some scenes in a different way, something I didn’t expect. Maggie
Ah, that’s interesting, I’d like to have a go at that (listen after reading the book). I guess it really helps to make smaller details in the story sink in as well 📚 Thanks Maggie✨
My Life in Our Father's World
I love listening to podcasts or books-on-tape when we are on a roadtrip
Yes, they’re great for long journeys 👌💫
I still have one or two cd versions, somewhere there’s an old cassette – seems so effortless back then.
Lol, now they seem bulky, mechanical, but maybe they’ll come back around again one day! 😊