Through the SHARP-L mailing list I learned about a recent BBC radio programme about audio books. It’s just under half an hour long, and worth listening to for anyone who reads books in this form, or is interested in book history in general. Issues covered include the practicalities of recording audio books, and the long history of audio books and readers’ experiences of them. It also touches on the continuing debate about whether listening to an audio book is an equivalent form of reading to using print books.
The only major downside for me was that there was no input from contemporary listeners of audio books giving their own experiences, with far more focus, for example via Germaine Greer’s example, on authors and how they viewed their books being turned into audio books. Though Dr Matthew Rubery provided academic coverage of some reader experiences, helping redress things somewhat. I’m planning to follow up some of his writings on this subject.