Chat Between Chapters: If You Listen to Audio Books, Do You Read the Book, too?

September 28, 2014 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 24


 Do you still read the book after listening to the audio book? Do you listen to the audio book after reading the book?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

I don’t think I’ve ever read the book after listening to the audio version. I tend to let the audio version be the version I read and move on to the next. I’ve said before I don’t re-read very often. However, I have listened to a few books after reading them in their print or electronic counterparts if I choose to re-read. This typically happens right before a movie comes out for a book I read a while ago. Some examples are the Hunger Games and Catching Fire books. I re-read those on audio in anticipation of seeing the movie. So I gotta get to listening to Mockingjay now, huh? Another example is The Fault In Our Stars. I absolutely loved the audio of that one, and I really think re-reading just before going to see the movie helped make the movie better.

Rose review avatar Rose:

If the book is good, I will read it again. It is as simple as that. I do find that I retain what it is I have read if I read it in print first rather than just listening to the audio book. I find that often times the two can offer two quite distinct experiences. Reading a book and listening to a book offer different rewards. I like with a printed book, I can slow down the action by reading slower and more carefully. However, with audio books, sometimes the narrators does such an outstanding job (thank you, Kate Rudd!) that listening to the book is 1000 times better than reading the print. I have listened to the Outlander books more times than I can count. However, recently I have been fantasizing about re-reading the books in print. I think I catch way more detail when I actually read the book. I miss so much while listening, but maybe that is why I enjoy listening to my favorite audio books again and again. Good thing, as they are super expensive! 

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24 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: If You Listen to Audio Books, Do You Read the Book, too?”

  1. Maria Behar

    The only books I’ve listened to in audio versions are the ones in The Twilight Saga. I read the hardbacks first — “Twilight” and “New Moon” in 2006, “Eclipse” in 2007, and “Breaking Dawn” in 2008. Sometime in 2007, I think, I then listened to “Twilight”. The following year, I listened to the rest of the books.

    Since this series is one of my favorites, I’ve read it three times, and listened to it twice!

    Although I did enjoy listening to these books, for me, audiobooks are an enhancement of, and not a replacement for, reading a book. Also, I prefer printed books to ebooks.

    • Rose

      When I first began listening to audio book, I felt the exact same way, like listening was an enhancement to actually having already read the books. Now, i feel like both are equally authentic. However, I still remember more if I read the print version as opposed to reading the ebook or listening to the audio

    • Rose

      That’s a great idea. I think listening to classics is a wonderful way to experience literature.

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Well, I’m only on my second audio book so… I did think while listening to the first one that I’d like to read the rest of the series. This second book I’ve been listening to I have really enjoyed but I don’t think I’d read it after I finish. But with other books, who knows? Actually, I think I might go the other way…read a book and then listen to it. I’ll have to get back to you. LOL
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Jumble Your Genres Review ~ Exposed: Just One Night Part 2 ~ Kyra Davis**

    • Rose

      Yes, I think at first, I read books then listened to audio, but lately, it seems that I am the opposite for some reason. Maybe because I am listening at work one 2X speed… i feel like I miss details…

  3. Rae

    So far, I only listen to the audio version of books I’ve already read in print. I’m too afraid of missing a crucial detail as I listen…!

    • Rose

      I used to feel the same way, but I think you get used to it and pick up more details as you listen more and more. Sorta like, you develop an ear for it…

    • Rose

      I have ALOT of time to listen to audio as I have a long commute and I can listen at work for several hours per day… that being said, Audio book are expensive and so I feel like I HAVE to re-listen to get my money’s worth lol.

  4. April @ The Steadfast Reader

    I agree with both of you! Though, it had never occurred to me to use the audio to refresh my memory before a movie comes out – great idea! I don’t normally re-read after listening to the audio – but I DEFINITELY agree that they are two distinct experiences. I’m considering the Harry Potter audio for this purpose because I’ve heard the narration is SO. GOOD.

    I primarily use audio (a little shamefully) to listen to books that might (probably) wouldn’t get through the actual book – Dickens comes to mind as does ‘Ulysses’ and the book ‘Rebecca’. …or sometimes just trashy novels for roadtrips. 🙂
    April @ The Steadfast Reader recently posted…Music Monday: Beatles with an A: Birth of a Band

    • Rose

      I do this, too. I can typically get through the audio version of a book that I am not that into but I probably would never finish it if I had to read it in print.

  5. Skye

    So far, our primary use of audiobooks is in the car with our kiddo, either on long car trips or in 20 minute chunks on the way to school. There’s been one so far where I can definitely see myself reading it in book form later, and kiddo just checked out one of the books that we listened to last summer. I guess we are a “listen and read” family!

    • Rose

      ok GET OUT OF MY HEAD! so first you talk of Miss Peregrine’s book and now you are talking about Code Name Verity, which is the new audio book I just started listening to last week! I also bought the paperback because I was like, “Ohh this is really good. I want to read it in print, too.” Que creepy music. lol

  6. bookmammal

    Stopping by from Steadfast Reader–I just started listening to audiobooks this year during my commute to and from work. I’ve never simultaneously read/listened to a book, but I have gone back to re-read a book that I especially liked via audiobook. I find that when the language is especially wonderful, I want to actually read it to experience it again.
    bookmammal recently posted…Friday Finds–9/26/14

    • Rose

      i think that is why I reread my favorite books. I just want to experience them again and again. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Sarah @ Sarah's Book Shelves

    I came across your blog on April at The Steadfast Reader’s Spread the Love meme. I’m impressed you have listened and read the same books occasionally! I just started listening to audio books while I’m training for a half marathon and am struggling with retaining what I’ve heard. I’m a much more visual person and reading is much better for me. I almost wonder whether it’s even fair for me to review n audiobook! It might be interested for me to read and listen to the same book – just need more hours in the day!!

    • Rose

      Interesting. I always want to exercise, for instance, walk my dog a couple of miles, while listening to audio books, but I am super freaked out about not hearing approaching would-be rapists/murders, so I don’t tend to stick earbuds in my ears… nevermind that I walk with a 90 pound ASSERTIVE male Doberman… I really shouldn’t be so worried about people approaching me. Most cross to the other side of the sidewalk to avoid us. ha! But when I drive and listen to audio books, I find that I began to associate places with what I was reading. For instance, a certain intersection is always where Jamie tells Claire why he wed her or my favorite Taco Bell is where one of my favorite characters died… talk about ruining a favorite place for me!!! I wonder if you begin to associate the places you run with events in the book if you will retain the plot better that way…

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