Audiobooks Are Books and They’re Also Practice

Simon Harris, writing about his love for audiobooks and the reasons he believes they can hone a skill vs. merely informing or entertaining.

Listening is a skill. One you should take seriously and one that might have atrophied in recent times. I can’t prove this change, though I think we can infer it a little from changes in media — for instance movie scenes, cuts, and dialogue have all been shortened over the decades. Generally the pacing of nearly all media has quickened. Possibly the delivery of more, faster” is the result of a too-great respect for novelty as an artistic flourish. I think these changes, and maybe others I can’t see, affect how people choose to make conversation in their daily lives, and make it shorter and faster too.

I agree with these points. I’m often saddened by the short duration of great songs today. Efficiency has infected conversation. Many folks would rather have several short burst message threads vs. one long-form meaningful conversation either verbally or in written form with a single person.

And you can practice this lengthening by listening to audiobooks.

I never thought of it as the practice of listening.

Keeping the thread of an uninterrupted narrative, holding your concentration and attention for it against all the other forces, this is a muscle worth stretching. You might find that over time you get better at it, you absorb much more, and it will make you a better listener elsewhere, too.

Having recently written about wanting to become a better listener, this resonates.

If you try to listen to them on 1.5x speed you are absolutely going the wrong way.

Guilty as charged… I may try 1x speed, unless the narrator is unusually slow paced.

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