General Question

2davidc8's avatar

Is the content of an audiobook identical to that of its printed version?

Asked by 2davidc8 (9650points) January 8th, 2020

Obviously, photos, diagrams and charts cannot be in the audio book, but otherwise, are all the words there? Or is the audio book abridged? Is the audio book just an extended abstract?

If there is a diagram or chart that is explained in the text, is the audio book edited so that it all still makes sense?

Has anyone done the comparison?

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9 Answers

Sagacious's avatar

I haven’t bought any since they became unavailable on cassette but it seems that I remember the packaging used to say if the audio was verbatim.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Depends on who is making it. The good ones (Audible, Recorded Books) are word for word the same.

Some manufacturers do an abridged edition.

Caravanfan's avatar

Word for word.

cheebdragon's avatar

What kind of books are you referring to? If it’s an Abridged audiobook, it’s a shortened version of the original book.

2davidc8's avatar

@cheebdragon Will it state from the outset that it is abridged?

Here’s an example of why I’m asking this question: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
Amazon says that it is 416 pages long. The Audible version is 11 hours long. That’s 1.6 pages per minute, if verbatim. Is it really possible to read, aloud, that fast?

I would like to try audiobooks, but I’d like to know that I’m getting the whole thing before I buy it!

longgone's avatar

Yes, it would certainly state that it’s abridged if you’re buying from a reputable seller. Often, the audiobook will come with a free pdf containing charts, self-tests, etc. And for what it’s worth, I just timed myself reading a page of Quiet by Susan Cain – to an empty room, which seems apt – and I got through 80% of the page in one minute.

2davidc8's avatar

Wow, @longgone, thanks for your reply and for your test run. Good to know.
Of course, I’m sure that it also depends on the size of the type and the size of the page.

longgone's avatar

Yes. The word count on that page I read was 344, which seems to be on the high side of average for non-academic books. And it took me four minutes and six seconds to count the words. No matter what you say, I won’t be counting the letters.

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