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Good Morning John, I love audio books

2020-01-23

Like I love them a LOT. And not in that like, Oh, well I dont have that much time to read anymore, and so I mostly just listen to audiobooks because that's better than not reading at all" kind of way. No, I love them on their own as a medium. I find them wonderful! I love book book reading as well! I love cascading into this story, into this physical object that has all these marks on a page that turn into this story in my mind. There's nothing in the world like that. But there's also nothing in the world like being told a story. Thats the oldest thing there is. That and like maybe music. I think it's like what made us humans. And maybe like music and stories at the same time Is every song a story Think about it and get back to me. Theres been a fair amount of talk about whether listening to an audiobook counts as reading, or if it's like "cheating." These conversations to me seem to be based in two different things. One, like scientifically, psychologically is it the same No! Like subjectively I can say that it's not the same. A narrator of an audiobook makes a bunch of decisions for me before the information gets to my brain. I might be making some of those decisions differently, so I think the story is in some ways slightly different when it's being read to me. And it seems like retention is measurably better on average when read rather than when being read to. But that's on average, and it's actually different from person to person. This to me doesn't seem like a judgment of better or worse. It seems like it's marginally different. Like not tremendously! But somewhat different. The second place that this conversation comes from, though, is I think from people who have a lot of pride in their identity as a reader or as a reader of a lot of books. Some people love reading lots of books, and they see that as part of what makes them valuable and exceptional. And I think those people are kind of just saying like, "Part of why I'm proud of myself is that I read a lot of books. And the fact that like somebody got through a lot of books in audio form isnt the same as the thing that Im proud of." A lot of people push back against this as like exclusionary, but like... All forms of exceptionality are exclusionary. We have a really hard time as humans figuring out why we matter. And there are much worse ways to find pride than, like, the length of your book list. But Im never going to be one of those people who reads a lot of books in a year. I am very mildly dyslexic. According to this staples.com reading test, I read slower than the average eighth grader. But that doesnt mean that I dont love reading. I totally do. And it doesn't mean that audiobooks are a replacement for books for me. I like audiobooks as a way to enjoy a story. To me, media is about like enjoying being a human. And loving having a good story told to me by a good storyteller is probably something that I have in common with every single one of my human ancestors. And that's... pretty cool. And it's part of why I pushed pretty hard for our new year of Lifes Library to have an audiobook option. So now you can be a part of this community of readers all consuming the same stuff and connecting about it. And when you sign up, you can choose the audio version with digital perks or with physical perks. And every time we start a new book, youll get a code emailed to you. You click on that code, and into your libro.fm account will arrive the new book. I'm curating a month of this year's Life Library. I chose a book that I have read both in book form and audio form. So I know it's good both ways. We decided to do this with Libro.fm because they are just great! You dont have to be a paying member of Libro.fm to get your book, but you can be! And if you are, you get to choose which bookstore you would like to order your audiobooks from so you can support bookstores in your community. And of course, just like with regular books, you get to keep your audiobook even if you cancel your Lifes Library subscription. So join Lifes Library! There's a link in the description, or you can just click right there. I had to put a video here because YouTube doesn't let us link to anything unless we also link to a video. I don't know why! I find it annoying. John Ill see you on Tuesday.