Vanity Fair is now on audio at Downpour, read by the editor Graydon Carter and others. The July 2014 issue features articles on the movie The Fault of Our Stars, a piece on Molly Bloom, a piece on the Dubai International Airport, the life of Claire Boothe Luce, Jeff Koons, and Thomas Piketty. No time to sit and read long articles? Listen in your car or while doing other things.
An article in the Wall Street Journal discusses the rise of audiobooks, due in large part to the availability of titles and the fact that smart phone users have instant access directly to their devices, much like ebooks. The article, by Alexandra Alter, is titled "Can You Hear Me Now? The New Explosion of Audio Books." (For those of us in the industry, "audiobooks" is not two words; however the emphasis here is that reading patterns are changing from print books to downloadable titles.) Sales are up in multiple digits to $1.2 billion. Some points made in the article are:
* Publishers are spending more on production, including with multiple (famous) actors (as with World War Z which included Alan Alda, John Turturro, and Martin Scorsese as readers.) Colin Firth, Anne Hathaway, and Annette Bening are profiled, but film actors do not rate as highly with listeners as do professional storytellers (Scott Brick, Juliet Stevenson, and George Guidall are profiled.)
* Some film actors have switched more fully into audio production, not just as part time projects between films. (Stacy Keach, Alan Cumming, etc.)
* Some novelists are bypassing print and writing directly for audio. (David Hewson, Orson Scott Card.)
* Since Amazon owns Audible, there has been a crossover technology where the ebook and audiobook can be read (or heard) alternately. You pick up on one device where you left off on the other.
* People are doing research into how people are affected by listening as opposed to reading. One finding is that men are more emotionally engaged by listening to an audiobook than by reading a print book.
If you haven't tried audiobooks, you're missing out on an experience that can enrich you life while saving you time. Whether you listen in your car or while walking or washing dishes, or just at the pool with your eyes closed (while others face eye strain), you're exercising your imagination with an audio movie (something that a Hollywood movie doesn't exercise.)