The New York Times offers these thoughts on the difference between listening to an audiobooks and listening to a live reader.
Consider audio books. An enormous number of Americans read by listening these days — listening aloud, I call it. The technology for doing so is diverse and widespread, and so are the places people listen to audio books
But from the perspective of a reader in, say, the early 19th century, about the time of Jane Austen, there is something peculiar about it, even lonely.
In those days, literate families and friends read aloud to each other as a matter of habit. Books were still relatively scarce and expensive, and the routine electronic diversions we take for granted were, of course, nonexistent. If you had grown up listening to adults reading to each other regularly, the thought of all of those solitary 21st-century individuals hearkening to earbuds and car radios would seem isolating.
Reading to my son was one of the great pleasures of my life. I still haven't finished
the Lemony Snicket series because he could read them himself about halfway through. He remains a serious reader.
I plead with all my student to read their work aloud to smooth out the bumps. But, I've fallen down on my pre-class reads to them.
Fall '09 resolution: Read more to classes, maybe others?