Al-Doha Magazine October 2017.
Nowadays the idea of the audio book is severely tackled, which means the transformation of written works, especially the creative ones, into audio books, via the voices of capable readers, and these books could be heard whilst driving or going through - browsing - the mobile phone which will has specified applications for the task.
Believers and promoters of the experience, ensure it is not a complete replacement of the paper or electronic book, but it is a fine replacement that could compete other book applications, which might also attract many readers, who perhaps seek to spare their eyes the exhaustion of reading, and listen to books in the voices of others, especially that the readers who record the books, must be linguistically capable, smooth ones, with pleasant feelings touched through the voice. And there might be an educational feature - as well - of the correctly / mistakes-free read books when aspiring foreign Arabic language learners listen to them.
I believe the massive advantage here, might benefit blind people, or visually impaired people, due to age and ailment, but still are fond of reading, for they will be able to listen to their favourite novels, with toned voices and some interaction.
In fact I observed these modern projects, and also agreed to transform some of my narrative works into audio books, which will be published through iPhone applications, and I await to listen to one of these read books, to determine if I enjoyed, or if I lack this ability. In a discussion session with friends, of all generations, opinions were diverse as usual, and it must occur with a new issue, which does not relate to the old method of publishing audio books by means of ordinary recording. Youth readers supported the establishment, because the audio book spares a lot of time which we exactly need, unlike the paper or electronic book which entails special reading rituals, and time, barely, specified for reading. As for our generation, it was the exact / stark opposite, where old paper, distinctive scents and book covers came savorily first, and some declined the idea of the audio book completely, and declined even the electronic book which its controversy allegedly ceased a while ago, for it became an essential knowledge source, that must be utilized even by the disbelievers*, specifically if the reader needed an unavailable valuable study resource, yet it is available on the internet amongst millions of other books.
There is yet another issue relevant to the seriousness of the audio book which some have referred to, and that is the characteristic of stressing versed poems, within the applications, for poetry has been always more audible than read, by which I mean the pleasure drawn from poetry - usually - drawn audibly, whether by the poet or by a capable poetry reader, but I see the new audio book, does not tackle poetry - in general - or does not ask the poets to supply its companies with their production, yet it does ask the novelists, perhaps because the novel has become the divan* of the Arab, and the intended audience of the audio book as listeners, is the audience of the novel not the poetry.
Generally we are awaiting the initiation of the sky-high voices of our novels, to see what happened? And what could happen?!.
* Disbelievers of the electronic book.
* "a collection of poems in Persian or Arabic usually by one author." (Merriam-Webster)