Reasons I Like To Listen

I love listening to audio-books and I share this passion with teachers, students, and anyone else who listens in on their morning commute or daily treadmill slog. Many rejoice at the merits of audible media while others condemn and besmirch the rise of the podcast. This draws parallels with the issue over screen versus print media. Many people old and young cheer for the tactile qualities of paper over the glow of a device. Similarly, people of today engage in a debate over audio versus visual forms of media. Should we look at the advantages and disadvantages of audio and visual media the same way we look at virtual and print media?

I think the role of audible media when you are developing as a writer can not be undervalued. Audio can stimulate the imagination and open doors for more creative endeavors. Ever Since I was a kid audible media has played a role in my development as a writer. Every night my mom and dad would play books on tape for me to help me when I was having trouble falling asleep. While later In high school I continued that nightly ritual. Later still during the summer in my last years of high school I worked on the grounds crew at a golf course on the lake. Every morning when I would go out to mow the greens and fairways I would listen to audio-books to pass the time. This had the benefit of spicing up an otherwise monotonous job and helping me to complete my summer reading for some high school literature classes. Nowadays I like to go on long runs on the many trails in Duluth, but when the cold gets to be too much and I am forced to run on the miserably small indoor track, a good audio-book always helps to take my mind off the things that trouble me.

Dan Kraker and his career in radio contribute to a world where a reader has a myriad of media to choose from, and this can sometimes be difficult. Of course, radio, audio-books, virtual text and traditional print media all impact the way we remember what we read. People often complain that they can’t concentrate on an audio book or podcasts. I think this is simply do to the fact people are often more likely to be multitasking while listening to audio-books than while reading regular print or virtual media.

I listened to both articles by Dan while cleaning my apartment and doing laundry. I struggle with multitasking in most cases, but I have never found it difficult to listen to something while working with my hands. I get too antsy if I’m not somehow occupying my hands or body. I asked my roommate who is also a prolific podcast consumer.

“I listen while I Exercise or walk to class,” he said. “I also listen while driving and wasting time on the internet. Occasionally, I’ll listen to one while I’m getting ready in the morning.”

Is listening really the same as reading? It seems for me that when you are doing some sort of mindless work that requires just enough physical effort to keep you from being able to read, an audio-book can add mental stimulation to an otherwise unstimulating experience. While it isn’t clear whether or not it is advantageous in the sense that it is better at all times. It seems that in certain ways, it is a valuable way learn and grow as a writer.

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