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Books on Audio CD - does it counting as "reading"?

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#1 of 32 ONLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted February 12 2004 - 05:01 AM

Does listening to books on CD/tape constitute "reading" or just another way to get through the book/material?
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#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Leila Dougan

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Posted February 12 2004 - 05:07 AM

It's not reading. It's a different method to get the same information, but it's not reading. As far as increasing vocabulary, comprehension, and language skills each has it's own strengths and weaknesses, but they are not alike.

#3 of 32 OFFLINE   Mark Sherman

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Posted February 12 2004 - 05:18 AM

Is getting a BJ from your secratary having sex? Im sorry I couldnt resist but if you read along I would say thats reading
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#4 of 32 OFFLINE   ChuckSolo



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Posted February 12 2004 - 10:02 AM

Your kidding right? I love it when they call them "books on tape." Hello............ they are just spoken audio tapes.

#5 of 32 OFFLINE   larry mac

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Posted February 12 2004 - 11:36 AM

I personally couldn't do it; I would find my mind drifting off to other thoughts and have to rewind. So I gave it up. But I know people who really enjoy it, and might not otherwise read a book. For them, I would think it's a very good thing.

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted February 12 2004 - 11:41 AM

But they are tapes of someone reading a book, as opposed to self-help, or comedy shows, etc. And no, it's not reading. But if someone asks if you have "read" the book, you could answer "sorta -- I had it read to me", or "I heard the tape".

#7 of 32 OFFLINE   D. Scott MacDonald

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Posted February 12 2004 - 11:44 AM

Books on Tape are great, especially if you are on a long trip or spend a lot of time in your car. Many of the Books on Tape that I've seen, however, are abridged, and I've found that I don't "get into" the story as much when it's spoken aloud rather than read.

#8 of 32 OFFLINE   DanaA



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Posted February 12 2004 - 12:25 PM

Exactly. Books on Tape make those long drives absolutely bearable. My first book on take was when I was visiting L.A. with my kids. Wanted to keep them occupied on the way back home. Guess what we found - the first of the Harry Potter series. That guy does an amazing job with the books - imo better even than the movies. Now, why couldn't the kids just read the book themselves on the way back - they get carsick. Now, why couldn't I read it to them on the way back? That you'll have to figure out.

#9 of 32 OFFLINE   John Watson

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Posted February 12 2004 - 09:39 PM

It's like manna from heaven for the blind.

I have an Aunt who has very good friends, one of them has even read an entire book aloud onto audio cassette so my aunt can hear a book she cannot read.

As I understand it, very little good literature or serious books have been put on tape or cd. Posted Image

#10 of 32 OFFLINE   KyleS



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Posted February 12 2004 - 10:31 PM

I wouldnt call it reading but they are great for long road trips. I purchased LOTR the Return of the King when I drove from Oregon to Idiana last Spring. Heck the book (unabridged) took up almost the entire trip considering it was on like 18 CD's. KyleS

#11 of 32 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted February 13 2004 - 04:18 AM

I bet your comprehension would be greater if you listened to the book on tape while you read the actual book. Alone though, BOT are not "reading". You do get some of the benefits of reading though. You can become more knowledgeable and you can have greater conversational skills due to the knowledge gained from listening to the book.
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#12 of 32 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted February 13 2004 - 06:06 AM

Recorded books are a wonderful thing in lots of situations: (a) as has already been mentioned, for visually impaired people (b) doing tasks where you want something more than background noise (though talking books can be distracting in some situations) However, listening to talking books is not the same as reading. There is a *lot* of evidence from psychologists and educational researchers on this topic. The psychological processes involved in the two are radically different: (a) reading carries the extra cognitive load of grapheme-phoneme translation (i.e. you've to read the letters) (b) listening is a strictly linear process (unless you keep rewinding the tape/disc); reading is far less linear than you may realise. Obviously you can re-read sections (and you may not always be consciously aware of doing this), but in addition, your eyes skip backwards and forwards over teh page rather more than you realise. © with listening, you have to listen to every word; with reading you can skip words with a high level of redundancy (i.e. words that have to be there and can be easily predicted like 'the') - how many of you noticed the misspelling of 'the' in the previous paragraph? (d) with reading, you read things in your own voice, placing your own emphasis on words and phrases. With listening, you have an interpretation inflicted on you. There is a *lot* more besides this, but it tends to get very esoteric after a while.
Unlikely - you'd probably find the audio distracting.

#13 of 32 OFFLINE   DaveGTP



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Posted February 13 2004 - 06:19 AM

I think I agree that it doesn't count as reading. Better than not reading, yes. Is it reading? No. I know that I have an opinionated viewpoint based on how I read. I try to explain to normal people like this - I absorb the book, and absorb the story. I don't read the words. It's a vastly different mental process. For some people that read each individual word when they're reading, I guess it would be very very similiar. For me, the difference between audio book and book is as the differences between a movie and a book. I think a lot of heavy readers know what I'm talking about.
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#14 of 32 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted February 13 2004 - 06:25 AM

I recently ran into a George Costanza situation where a friend bought me a book on tape to listen to during my 2 hour commute each day. The guys voice was SO damn annoying that I couldn't listen to it. Posted Image

As far as wether or not BOT are considered reading? It depends on how strictly you define the word "Reading"...

The definition of reading is:
Now with a BOT, you aren't examining the written material personally, but the definition doesn't say you have to personally examine it. Having the book read to you is a way of examining the written text, so in a broad sense, you may be able to consider it 'reading'.

But since most of us consider 'reading' to mean the physical act of seeing written words (or touching them in the case of braile) and comprehending them, then that's a different story. (No pun intended)

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Ryan Wishton

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Posted February 13 2004 - 06:54 AM

I remember this one book on tape... I cant recall the name, but the guy reading it sounded like a transvestite and a circus clown all at the same time... It was certainly a memorable experience... The problem is we were all too busy laughing to really pay attention to what was being said... It was hilarious though and certainly worth it... In general, is it reading??? No... Is it better than just not doing it at all??? Yes... For people who have terrible concentration with reading and cant retain information, this might be a good option... Those who better remember what they hear instead of read, this would be a good option... I assume it would be good for long trips, etc. for children as well...

#16 of 32 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted February 13 2004 - 07:24 AM

*The* definition of reading? There are a lot, depending upon what you count as reading. Most psychologists would dispute the 'grasp the meaning' part of the above definition, for a start. In assessing kids learning to read or adults' level of intellectual competence, then there are two things that can be basically established: (a) ability to give the right sound values to words (e.g. know how to pronounce words like 'demesne'). But pronunciation ability by itself is simply what's called 'barking at print'. Therefore, you also need to measure: (b) comprehension ability, which usually assesses memory for text and the ability to draw basic inferences. However, that is a simplification of everyday reading behaviour.For example, I can read a page of Finnegan's Wake with ease, but it doesn't mean I can understand any of it. I can also read a page of Pride and Prejudice with ease and think I can understand it, but arguably the depth of my knowledge will not be the same as another person's. So what constitutes 'grasping the meaning' in this case?

#17 of 32 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted February 13 2004 - 07:35 AM

Then how come back in our school years, we were always encouraged to read along? I have always thought that your comprehension was greatly increased this way. Much the same as "reading a question aloud so that you can understand it better" was something we were always taught. By using more than one sense to take in something, you get more out of it. Om a personal note, I always listen to music when I read. Not only do I not find it distracting but with certain books, hearing the music again will conjure thoughts and feelings about the book I was reading to that music.

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#18 of 32 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted February 13 2004 - 07:38 AM

That's interesting. I can see that. But if I can already do that, why would a BOT not be considered 'reading'? It almost sounds like we'd only consider a BOT to be reading if the person can also grasp the meaning of the text by looking at the words in a book and reading to his/her self. Wow, that's confusing. I really don't think it's a clear cut case of - No, BOT are not considered readin what-so-ever. It seems like there may be a grey area.

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   TyC


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Posted February 13 2004 - 11:50 AM

I will listen to an audiobook (books aren't just on tape, I listen to CDs, MP3s, and Audible downloads -- always unabridged) when I don't need to know every word. If I am reading, I will often reread passages for greater comprehension or enjoyment. I cannot do that easily with a spoken verison.
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#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted February 13 2004 - 12:28 PM

As one of those visually impared people that was mentioned earlier I have a lot of experience with audio books. I prefer them for casual reading or free time reading and stuff like that. Text books are a different deal though because it is a lot easier to open a book regular print, large print, braille whatever and go to a page that contains specific information that your looking for. Especially when the book in question is on tape, and most of the recorded texts for text books are on tape and not CD, which is often problematic because I've actually gotten text books for my class that contained tapes that had been erased somehow or another, because these aren't just the kind of thing you can go to Amazon and buy usually they come from a specific place most commonly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. Anyway to the original question as to whether or not it is reading there really is no clear answer to it. I put this in the same catagory as is someone that can't see able to watch TV? Given the litteral definition of the word watch probably not, but in terms of the fact that watch and TV go hand in hand together it wouldn't make much sense for someone to say that they are listening to TV, or that they listened to Friends last night even if that is actually what they did. Since it is ok for someone that has no vision at all to say that they watch Television. Its more of a figurative term in that instance. I didn't even know whether or not it was technically correct to say that or not until I sat in on a lecture last year where it was brought up and the lecturer said that it was correct to say that they watch TV. I put the audio book thing in to the same catagory accept that listening to an audio book does make sense. Here's the thing though, I don't read these HTF posts, I use a screen reader to listen to these HTF posts, but if I put that in every thread instead of I just read all of these responses and, I'd liley get the question of what do you mean you just listened to all these responses? So its just easier if not technically or literally correct to say that I just read these posts even if it were listening. Again the figurative versus literal argument. Well, I've rambled and said little, so I'm out for now.

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