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How We Read: Various Ways of Engaging With and Interpreting Texts

As a teacher, I often hear about the diverse ways that people learn. I.e. some people are better at learning by listening, while others need to see the lesson in writing or experience it on a more kinetic level. In what ways do we engage with a story differently when it is in audiobook form vs. paper format?

  • I like this topic. It would be nice to add other formats like Kindle or reading from your laptop. For me it is better when I am reading straight from the pages, and it is tough when I have to read in my computer. – Andrestrada 4 years ago
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  • On a physical level, reading requires work, so it makes people more tired whereas its easier to just listen to someone recounting a story. Although for audiobooks, there is the issue of a person's voice being too high or too low, making the story hard for someone to listen to. I once did a presentation in college where I read some of my stories to the class and their feedback was that the experience brought them back to when they were young children listening to their teacher reading stories and how much they missed that magical feeling. – JennyCardinal 4 years ago
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  • This is a difficult topic due to the excellent points you bring up regarding the different learning styles of individuals. A story is such a fascinating example due to the use of the imagination in deriving the appearances of the characters, as well as the setting, and even body language. Though many of these facets are provided to the reader, we, as readers, tend to reconstruct--or, at times, deconstruct--what is written or heard. This is the reason why so many people become upset with film adaptations and the casting of certain characters; a level of disappointment arises when the character does not meet the reader's expectations. While teaching a television series in a literature course, I had students turn on the subtitles, even though the series was spoken in English. By doing so, students were subjected to the actual interactions, spoken words, and character evolutions, as well as "reading," the series as if it were a story (which, it is). I think this is a fascinating topic and I would be quite intrigued to see someone write on this, as I personally do not have a definitive answer for this topic. – danielle577 4 years ago
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  • Fantastic topic! I think it's important to also consider the ways we can judge others for their choices, ie. seeing someone reading a paper book versus seeing someone read on their phone. – LilyaRider 4 years ago
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  • This is something that I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about as well. I think, in a broad sense, we can get the same story from multiple sources (I firmly believe that you can get as much out of the film Romeo + Juliet as you can from reading the play). However, like LilyaRider said, we make value judgements based on the ways in which people engage with texts of all types. – Derek 4 years ago
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  • And there's a misguided assumption in education that after elementary school, lecture is somehow the best method of lesson delivery. When grades become indicators of success, only the auditory are valued. Our world is run by the auditory, and they don't listen to us. – Tigey 4 years ago
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  • I suspect that the audiobook form of communication provides a wider margin for distraction. The reader can attend to other necessities while gorging on the side show of the voice behind the audiobook. In the paperback form, the reader has to stop the flow of information in order to acknowledge more urgent or unexpected activity. Although both are reading time, each is unique in the path to the ultimate goal of completion and inspiration. This is a double faceted theme that will require intricate writing to whomever embarks on it. Looking forward to the finished product. – L:Freire 2 years ago
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