Measure Me a Medium

I’ve always been a reader, but school does take up a lot of my precious reading time. Before the pandemic, I would commute 90 minutes to and from school three days a week, so I decided to go the alternative route and use audible. It’s amazing how much “reading” you can do when you aren’t the one reading. I blew through The Game of Thrones series in a month and a half and used my commuting times to catch up on books that I was missing out on. 

Last year over the holiday season I received a subscription to the Book of the Month Club. I got to pick a new release book every month for an entire year, and it was all free. Of course, I couldn’t read them as fast as they were coming with all the reading I was doing for school, so holidays and breaks gave me a nice reprieve to catch up on those titles as well.

Recently I realized that I was listening to an audiobook version of a book I had coming for my October book club. The book is called The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I found myself torn between a physical copy and the Audible version. I started listening to the Audible version before I received the physical copy, so I’m impartial to audiobook. Surprisingly, it’s well read, which is sometimes rare in cases of audiobook recordings. There have been certain books that I refused to listen to because of the audiobook, and of course when I picked up a physical copy, I couldn’t get the reader’s horrible voice out of my head.

I’m picky about what I listen to as an audiobook versus reading as a physical book. I listen to books that I’m not sure about. Books that I may not like; books that I don’t think will resonate. I prefer to save those type of books for the physical copies. The ones I can horde onto my shelf and look at a later time and remember how incredible they were to read. Now I find myself in a predicament of listening to an audiobook that is so well read with content that is so well written that I might just have to read the physical copy once I’m finished with the audiobook.

I realize that audiobooks are sometimes looked down upon; I don’t know why, but it might have something to do with the ability to multitask, the loss of visual syntax, or the mere fact that you’re being read to. The truth of the matter is, for people who love reading but don’t have the time, audiobooks are a lifeline. And maybe you’ll discover a book like The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, where you’ll finish listening to it and pick up the physical copy to read again.

Sammy Stenzel

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