“Harold Bloom, the literary critic, once expressed doubt about the audiobook.
“Deep reading really demands the inner ear as well as the outer ear,” he told the Times. “You need the whole cognitive process, that part of you which is open to wisdom. You need the text in front of you.”
While this is perhaps true for serious literary criticism, it’s manifestly not true when it comes to experiencing a book purely for the pleasure of its characters, setting, dialogue, drama, and the Scheherazadean impulse to know what happens next —which, all apologies to Bloom, is why most people pick up a book in the first place. Homer, after all, was an oral storyteller, as were all “literary artists” who came before him, back to when storytelling, around the primal campfire, would have been invented—grounds for the argument that our brains were first (and thus best?) adapted to absorb long, complex fictions by ear, rather than by eye.”
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