From Book Riot:
Confession: until a few years ago, I didn’t consider audiobooks really reading. I know, I know, the science says the effect on the brain is the same. What can I say? I was a snob. Nowadays I’ve changed my tune so much that I would even say there are some types of books that are better as audiobooks.
I first ventured into audiobooks when I moved to a city where walking or standing on a crowded bus were my main methods of transportation. With audiobooks, I could read while I was commuting, even if I was using both hands to hang on for dear life. I could read while I shopped for groceries. I could read while I was cooking.
. . . .
Not only have I come to appreciate how listening to an audiobook engages my imagination and offers me the same kind of escape as the written word, but I’ve actually come to feel that some books are (dare I say it) even better on audio than they are in print.
. . . .
1. HUMOROUS BOOKS READ BY THE AUTHOR
This one is a no-brainer to me. Which is funnier, listening to a stand-up comic do their routine or reading the transcript of the comic’s routine? Anything that’s intended to be humorous is usually funnier in the author’s own voice, delivered with the comedic timing they heard in their head when writing it.
Audiobooks narrated by funny people are also great conversations starters. Turns out when you laugh-snort soup out of your nose with your headphones in, people want to know what you’re listening to.
. . . .
4. FICTION WITH A NARRATIVE VOICE UNLIKE MINE
Over the past few years I’ve made a conscious effort to read more diversely, particularly books in translation and works by authors of color. These books often contain words in languages I am unfamiliar with or have characters with a particular accent or cadence to their speech that I have trouble hearing in my (30-something white American female) mind.
These books are better as audiobooks because listening to these stories in a voice that matches the narrator’s helps to transport me into the setting and to get a better sense of the characters. As an added benefit, I can hear any unfamiliar words pronounced correctly rather than butchering them on my own.
Link to the rest at Book Riot
Mrs. PG recently persuaded PG to listen to an audiobook while the two of them were sitting in their living room. This was a first for PG. He must say he enjoyed the experience, but his mind did tend to wander once in a while.
Prior to this, PG’s only experience with audiobooks was enjoying them (including genres he probably would not have read in printed or ebook form) while engaged in automobile trips involving long stretches of interstate travel. Part of the pleasure was discussing the book and characters with Mrs. PG.
PG has always been a fast reader when reading for pleasure (and, long ago, when reading for academic purposes). In the distant past, whenever he checked his reading speed, it was well above average.
In his pleasure reading, PG likes to keep things happening in his mind at a rapid pace, faster than any audiobook narrator would speak. He will sometimes pause for contemplation, but not usually.
When reading legal documents, statutes or opinions of this or that court, things tend to slow down. While a small percentage of attorneys write well, most do not. In PG’s experience, judges (all of whom are former attorneys) who write well are also rarely encountered.
That said, the purpose of legal writing is not to entertain (although on rare occasion, unintentional entertainment does appear), but rather to use precise words in precise sentences so no one, no matter how highly motivated, can misread or misinterpret a legal document.
With that preamble, PG presents an exception to his observation that legal writing and entertainment are rare and strange bedfellows.
Joe Hand Promotions v. Sports Page Cafe, 940 F. Supp. 102 (D.N.J. 1996).
The promoter of boxing match brought suit against restaurant and bar owners for allegedly displaying the fight for patrons without paying promoter for broadcast rights. The Judge rendered his decision (and footnotes) in verse. Here is a sample:
The genesis happened on an April night
When plaintiff promoted a boxing fight
And transmitted it live for the usual fee
For paying subscribers to watch on T.V.
The bout was between Messrs. Holmes and McCall
Whose pugilistic talents are well-known to all.
The match evoked international attention
But the outcome herein shall go without mention.
Defendants allegedly exhibited the match
In their respective taverns for their patrons to catch.
Plaintiff’s complaint is based on that section
Installed in the Code for easy inspection
Which forbids such transmissions, recorded or live:
47 U.S.C. Section 605.