Print vs. Audio – Where Do You Stand?

I used to be one of those people who would never, I mean absolutely never listen to an audiobook. I knew I’d never have the same level of enjoyment. I loved visualizing as the words came off the page (or my Kindle) and filled my head. I couldn’t imagine hearing it. That wasn’t reading! It would surely lose much in the process.

And then . . .

I experienced a devastating brain injury that put me in the hospital for a month, and on short-term disability for nearly half a year. I lost a lot of motor function, and along with that, I learned the hard way that straining your optic nerves is really hard on your brain – particularly when it’s trying to compensate for dead gray matter.

I got headaches or blurred vision trying to read in bed at night after staring at my computer all day at the day job and all night while I’m writing. I was lucky if I could manage a page or two. It was heartbreaking. A good friend was kind enough to gift me three months of an Audible membership, and I decided to reluctantly give an audiobook a try on my hour-long commute to work.

JOY! Oh my God, it was amazing! I was loving it – and actually looking forward to my commute each day. And after I got through a few dozen audiobooks, I began looking forward to falling asleep to one of my old favorites, courtesy of the sleep timer on the app. My Theatre Degree had me thrilling to a great performance (check out Norah Roberts’ YEAR ONE trilogy on audio – the narrator is one damn fine performer and the story is so very good), and alternately cringing when a beloved book series changes its narrator part-way through (I’m glaring at you, “A Court of Thorns & Roses” – books 3 & 4’s narrator was decidedly not as good as 1 & 2 and reads like a newscaster).

I’m three years past my brain exploding, and can read for longer stretches (though not at my previous level). I actually enjoy books in all forms – print, digital and audio. Reading is reading, no matter how you enjoy it.

What about you? Do you prefer one story delivery system over another?

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