Rapid advances in technology and the world’s ever-burgeoning “Stupid Factor” are both contributing to the incipient extinction of the book in its traditional form. That portion of the public which still wastes its time reading now has a broad spectrum of media from which to choose, including traditional books, e-books and, frighteningly, audiobooks.
Reading is a personal, and often private activity. Yet increasingly, the public is abrogating its own reading responsibility, leaving the heavy lifting to an anonymous reader. Most people would feel uncomfortable letting a complete stranger blow their nose or unzip their fly, but have not even a second thought about inviting some stranger into their most personal space–their heads.
Given the recent increase in the popularity of audiobooks, it is somewhat surprising that there is so little concern among the public regarding who–or what–is whispering in its collective ear. It’s no great stretch of the imagination to suppose that the mellifluous voice coming through your headphones belongs to a pot-addled, potty-mouthed degenerate with at least one arrest for arson. It could be someone even worse.
Lastly, there’s the well-documented fact that listening to audiobooks causes bladder cancer.