The idea of audio-books did not enter my universe easily. The reason was not a certain romantic idea about the need to feel and smell the paper. When the Kindle entered the market, I was more than happy to use it because I correctly seized the opportunity to save money and space for more books. My reluctance against the audio-books is purely of practical nature: very often, I use the musical/sound-related background when I am doing boring editing and, in general, activities that do not require a high level of concentration. Consequently, my choices of audio books are significantly narrowed: most probably will prefer books in languages that I want to improve and that will create a certain familiarity with the words.
But, due to the fact that many sites and blogs posting free books were closed or decided to shut down by themselves following the controversies around ACTA, the chances to find free books decreased. I know the pros and cons of the free books and I am tempted to support a middle position: free books should be allowed if the author wants to. On the other hand, the author should be aware that such a policy will encourage more readers to pay for the other titles if the first (free) impression was positive. Anyway, the alternative to free books are the audio books and there are some interesting websites offering free audio books. When no other solution possible, why not giving a try to the audio books? It is what I’ve done this evening, but I am still trying to get used with the system. Literature is a different category of reading and in comparison with, for instance, a lecture that you listen to refresh information already knew, for understanding correctly a novel or a short story, any word is important. The conclusion, at least for the next ten years to come, is that I will use the audio variants only when no other possibilities available. I continue to be a grateful follower of the written word.