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Do You Prefer Reading, Listening, or Watching Stories?

Ned Marcus

Do you prefer reading to, listening to, or watching your fantasy stories?

For me it's clearly reading.

I ask because in the critique groups I've been in, I've found that writers together are usually more likely to talk about the latest show on Netflix than the latest book they're read. There's talk about books, too, but not as much. I know that audiobooks are becoming more popular.

A few years ago, I met a writer online who said she never read, and she became annoyed when anyone suggested that it was a good idea for writers to read.

What are your thoughts?


toujours gai, archie
Everyone is free to follow their own path, so I'm not going to speak to whether others read or not.

For myself, I've been reading almost since I can remember. Then again, I've been watching stories (TV, then movies) just about as long. I like both. I don't do audiobooks because I don't like reading (hearing) a story while doing something else--I don't like to divide my attention--and I don't have the patience to just sit and listen. Lots of readers I know will do audiobooks on a commute or such, but I'm retired so there's simply not a good space for audiobooks for me. Maybe if I did have a long commute, I would. Because I love stories.

As for what writers talk about, it's far more likely that a somewhat random group of people will have watched the same show than would have read the same book. I'm not sure it's significant.


Myth Weaver
They are too different to make a valued choice, but I'm going to make one anyway. ;)
For me too often TV fantasy looks flat and boring like soap opera with extra swords and dodgy prosthetics.
Fantasy films are often too enamoured with their special effects to engage me more than once. There are exceptions but I can't think of a fantasy film since Return of the King that I've WANTED to watch more than once.
I have a few Audiobooks and they are great if I'm on a long journey. I find some Star Trek Audiobooks are especially entertaining.
But with books, the scenes and special effects and the casting of the characters are just perfect in my mind.
I think the group chat is about consumption. It only takes an hour or 90 minutes to get the next hit of Game of Fantasy Adventures [may not be a real show], and you can do other things at the same time. It might take days to read the latest book and it's a lot harder to timeshare reading.


For a long time I was doing both. Reading lots (both fiction and non fiction, especially sci-fi, fantasy and history books) and watching lots (box sets, box sets everywhere!).

Now, however, I actually find myself reading more than watching. It's a personal choice thing; I just prefer the books. Especially books that then get made into series; the books are just better.
Mostly reading and watching. And I'll throw one in that's not on the list anyways. Playing my fantasy stories. While true not all fantasy games are that great, I do enjoy the good ones that come out. Plus, I get to be the MC. It's a little extra dimension for me.


I definitely prefer reading, and have never been much of a movie/television person. (I've watched, like, three TV shows in my entire life, and I don't watch a ton of movies either unless I'm with friends.) I find there's something about the way a written work can get into the heads of a character that other forms just can't come close too, and that trumps pretty visuals every time.

Audio books are a bit weird for me--I'm almost exclusively a library reader, and I'm very picky about narration, so I don't listen to them very often, (usually when I do I'm listening to an old favorite I already love) but when the stars align, I find they can be even more immersive than a print book. It forces me to slow down and savor every moment of the story, and there's something about actually hearing the voices that just makes everything feel so much more alive.


I am torn between three types of media; TV series (including anime), video-games, and literature. I enjoy all three equally because I simply cannot decide which one I enjoy the most.

However much I partake in these three things, depends entirely on my mood. Often, if I am feeling brain-dead due to work commitments, there's nothing more I like than to lay in bed and binge a good TV series or anime (funnily enough, I can't seem to enjoy movies as much. I find myself becoming fidgety and distracted where as I can sit for hours watching a series.)

When I am feeling energetic, I opt for the gaming experience. Or, occasionally, some outdoors kind of hobby. This is also the most fruitful time for me to be creative and actually write, so this presents to me another challenge; sacrificing my gaming time for productivity.

When I sit in between those two moods, or need help in getting to sleep, I pick up a book and read. I feel as my mind needs to read and I will feel empty if I don't at least once a day, for each reading experience, whether fiction or non-fiction, will provide me with some valuable insight.


I've always been a reader, but recently I read while I listened. Fabulous experience. Expensive experience, but I'll save it for the legend books.

Miles Lacey

I've mostly read e-books from Project Gutenburg and listened to audio-books when doing the 8km round trip to and from the nearest shop on foot. I don't mind them though I hate the "This reading is brought to you by...." that marks the gap between chapters in audio-books. I've enjoyed interactive visual novels for a bit of fun. I can't afford livestreaming services like Netflix. I mostly read books that I get from second hand shops, a friend who buys me books from a book fair in Rotorua, and from a bus shelter that someone has converted into a book library where you can take books for free if you replace them with other books.
I like listening to my stories, because I can pay more attention to what I am listening than reading because I can fiddle with something in my hands while I listen.