The content of a book, occasionally abridged, recorded onto an audio tape, is known as a "book on tape", or sometimes an "audio book".

The best way for busy people to remain somewhat "well-read" may be through books on tape, simply because they're easy to listen to in the car. Sometimes the original author may read it, sometimes a voice actor. Occasionally a publisher makes a hideous error in judgement, and casts a voice actor for each of the characters, much in the style of a radio drama. I have yet to hear a truly good one of these. The rest of the time, however, it's nearly as good as the real thing. The real downside for me is that they take a horribly long time to finish; I average around 100 pages an hour when reading for myself, whereas a book on tape can take a couple of minutes per page. 8 - 10 hours worth of tape per book, coupled with a 20-minute car trip each way to work, means I finish a book on tape once every 12 - 15 days. I'd rather read the book, if I had the time.

Life is full of compromises.