The Digital Renaissance of the Audiobook as lit-to-go.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

In this paper we wish to analyse the audiobook as a technological, aesthetical/perceptual and sociological medium and discuss some of the social and cultural changes that may follow from the increasing use of audiobooks due to digital technological development in the last decade. The sonification of the written text is inscribed in the general transformation and mediatization of the printed book these years but offers radically different affordances than visually percieved e-books. New portable, digital audio media changes the act of reading, moving it towards fields of social practice where reading has not been common before: the gym, the bicycle ride, resting in the dark, doing gardening etc. From being a medium typically associated with children, visually handicapped or dyslexic the audiobook has developed to be a popular phenomenon, which we argue has as much in common with distracted music and (talk) radio listening than with reading printed books. We pose an open question regarding the extent to which the use of audiobooks can and should be studied as a new type of literary experience, and/or as an example of mobile listening related to the everyday experience of, for example, commuting or exercising. In our approach to the audiobook, we will involve both research into auditory culture and a literary examination of the voice in relation to narrative discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year9 Aug 2013
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 9 Aug 2013
Eventnordmedia 2013: Defending Democracy - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 8 Aug 201311 Aug 2013


Conferencenordmedia 2013: Defending Democracy

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