I read this NYT article
today and it got me thinking. I sifted the archives here and read these threads.
I'm wondering whether all the mental calisthenics we go through when we read a book such as word recognition and parsing phrases and identifying syntactical tropes and the whole eye-brain circuitry are actually overrated.
If it's accepted that this reading 'work' is a cognitively good exercise, are we just as well off indulging the practise by reading on the internet and a newspaper and processing larger pieces like novels or texts by simply hearing them through audio books and thereby allowing the possibility of increasing the input?
Are the cognitive processes of plowing through some literary work in a regular book format necessary or very important to fully appreciate a particular work? Is it true sometimes and not others? How, apart from perhaps fortifying the memory, is this so?
Who has tried audio books and found them lacking (leaving aside the quality of the narrator and perhaps the practicalities of mp3/discman troubles) and if so why? Who has read AND listened to the same work and what say you as to the benefits or detractions of each?
I guess I'm mostly looking at the cognition qualities -- the different processes we go through in reading and in listening and their associated positives/negatives. I hope this is relatively clear and not coming across like a survey. And if I'm giving the impression that I have a preformed opinion, that's not so. I'm just trying to work it out.