My companions: Audiobooks and graphic novels

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Abdulrahman Saleh Alotaibi

MOST people are fond of books and wish they could read more. Books are the best companions; they educate, entertain and inspire across generations. These bound pages are usually the result of a lifetime experience and or are built on previous literature. Millions of books of fiction and non-fiction are available for readers in various formats. They are easy to acquire, refer to and considered to be a great gift. It’s difficult to find an alternative to books that provides the same depth and comprehensiveness of subject matter.

You may not always have the time to read books, yet, consider reading one chapter at a time, a summarized version of the book, or only the parts that interest you. While the most common forms of books are on printed pages or in digital format, illustrated and audiobooks are other interesting forms in which books are published to provide a different experience for consumers.

Audiobooks are recorded by a narrator who reads the written book in a way that appeals to listeners, like a radio show or a podcast. Listening is convenient especially while commuting or traveling which consumes a significant part of our lives. With the use of smart phones, audiobooks are becoming more accessible and with an average listening time of five hours, they can be completed over a road trip from Riyadh to Dammam.

Even while exercising or when involved in activities of a routine nature that do not require a high level of attention, listening to a narrated book will make the time spent more pleasant.

Illustration is powerful, especially when presented artistically. Comic books, comic strips, graphic novels and illustrated technical books are appreciated for being easier to comprehend and requiring less time to read.

In an ordinary novel, the author will use written words to describe the surrounding environment, the action taking place, and the dialogue of the characters, while in a graphic novel, only the dialogue is written in words while the environment and the action are illustrated in art. The role of artists in graphic novels is similar to the narrators of audiobooks. They provide the reader with the context in an alternative way that expands the reach of the book.

Movies, TV shows, plays and even educational courses are usually spinoffs of written books; however, the cost of producing them is high. With this in mind, authors and their audience should consider audiobooks and graphic novels as spinoffs of their written work. Having an audio or illustrated edition of the book requires a smaller investment than screen productions. In some cases, popular movies and TV shows are based on graphic novels and their origins and sequels are available in the graphic novel edition. These illustrated books are not limited to fiction as there are graphic novels and comics for biography, memoir and even for business.

To authors, publishers, artists, voice actors, educators and investors, I would like to draw attention to the wonderful stories of different genres in our literature that would be interesting to see in graphic novels or listen to in audiobooks. This could also lead to new creations intended for these formats in different languages.

Abdulrahman Saleh Alotaibi

The author can be reached via email: otaias0y@gmail.com and Twitter account @otaibi3w

The role of artists in graphic novels is similar to the narrators of audiobooks. They provide the reader with the context in an alternative way that expands the reach of the book.

Even while exercising or when involved in activities of a routine nature that do not require a high level of attention, listening to a narrated book will make the time spent more pleasant.

Audiobooks are recorded by a narrator who reads the written book in a way that appeals to listeners, like a radio show or a podcast. Listening is convenient especially while commuting or traveling which consumes a significant part of our lives.


1650 views