Listening Posts by Matthew Rubery

Matthew Rubery

Listening Posts


The pandemic offered many of us an opportunity to take on classic books that we had been too busy to read during ordinary times. Half my friends seemed to be reading Proust. But while many people spent the lockdowns reading books, others passed the time by listening to them. Audiobooks offered a refuge for anyone too distracted by world events to concentrate on the page. Some of us who split our time between audiobooks and podcasts even found the two converging into a new, hybrid form of entertainment known as ‘podiobooks’.

A podiobook is essentially a serialised audiobook. Although audiobooks have been around for over a century, arguably since Thomas Edison recorded a nursery rhyme using the newly invented phonograph in 1877, podcasts are a relatively recent phenomenon. The convergence of podcasts and books was hardly inevitable, though. The most

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