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My philistine ears

In defense of audiobooks.

Audiobooks are "Reading Lite"? There's a stigma against audiobooks? That's what I learned from The New York Times this morning.

This strikes me as snobbery for snobbery's sake. I don't quite understand the argument against audiobooks, which, unfortunately, the Times doesn't explain. I can't help but wonder: is there really a stigma? I suppose there is now, since The New York Times says there is. But really, if you're going to mock someone in your group for being lowbrow because they listened to He's Just Not That Into You rather than read a paper copy, you might want to check your irony detector.

I suppose you can "tune out" while listening to audio, but then again, audiobooks work against skimming . (I gave up on the audio version of The Fellowship of the Ring because I decided I wanted the "songs about my sword" and similar sections to pass by a bit faster than the rest of the narrative.) I've benefited greatly from using audio Bibles devotionally, in large part because they focus my attention on the narrative. (Many times I've found myself sitting in the driveway engrossed by the audio version of The Message.)

Maybe the argument is against abridged audiobooks? I can certainly understand the argument there (it's like watching the film version of a book, only without pictures). But unabridged copies of book-group-friendly novels? Which often take much longer to listen to as they would to read? What's the problem?

If you're a CT reader who's eager to stick it to the man by listening to audiobooks, I heartily recommend ChristianAudio.com. There are other good Christian audio outlets, but Christian Audio focuses on thoughtful, intellectually stimulating volumes, many you won't find elsewhere. It also offers several free first chapters and classic titles. (Disclosure of sorts: I think our parent company might have some sort of partnership with this company; I'm recommending it because I actually use it.)

And speaking of ChristianAudio.com, cofounder Dave Bruno has an article on our site today about the Bible and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

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