Audio Books and Their Place in the Book World

Okay so there's a question that has been bothering me for some time. It's something I need answered before I even try using audio books...

When you use audio books is that considered READING?

Audio books are called books but my mind won't allow me to think that it's reading... I mean we use them in our challenges. If I were to put what I'm currently reading on Goodreads I could say I was currently reading an audio book. Then when I'm finished that would be plus one book for my Goodreads Challenge goal. That seems so wrong. I didn't actually READ the book. I only listened to it. When I think like this it makes sense to me. But, I also know I'm missing out on books that I can only find as audio books. It seems like a huge mistake to miss out on a book just because I'm not using it in the traditional way. But, it's not really reading is it? It's listening and that just doesn't seem right. 

I try to think of it like an ebook. I was totally against them in the beginning because it's not a physical book. I thought it could never possibly be the same which it isn't but it's also not a big deal. Ebooks are wonderful and I happily admit that but audio books are completely different... You don't have your own characters in your head. It's just one voice acting out different voices. It's so foreign to me especially since I don't remember the picture book years with the parents. I can go over this again and again in my head but I can't draw a conclusion. Can anyone help me make a decision on whether audio books are viable reading material or are they not as fulfilling like I think they will be?


  1. I find that it depends on the audiobook and the narrator. Most professionally narrated books are well done and the book plays out in your head almost like you were reading it.

    I love audiobooks, personally. They allow me to "read" certain books that I would never be able to otherwise.

    1. Well that's good to know that it's almost like you were reading it. Thanks (:

  2. As a teacher I read aloud to my students every day. In the course of a year we read about 8-10 books aloud and discuss them. I refer to the book as, "The book we are reading..." because the students are absorbing the words and creating visuals in their minds. The story is still alive for them because they let the words and their own experiences create the images they saw. It is a strategy to help kids become better readers because they get to make the "movie in their mind".

    As an adult- I enjoy ebooks (if the narrator is good) and afterwards I could tell someone else all about the story I read/listened to, even though I didn't physically read it with my eyes. Sometimes I think I know even more about the books I listen to because it forces me to pay more attention and slow down (I read quite fast most of the time because I am devouring the book). I think books are about stories and enjoying the story the author is sharing with us. In that way, audio books are definitely reading because the story is shared.

    I would start out trying an audio book that someone has recommended or- a book you enjoy. I love anything Jim Dale reads (especially Harry Potter). When I listen to him read to me I am transported to another world. Isn't that what reading is all about? :)

    Good luck with your decision. Just think- when you listen to an audio book you do all the work except reading the words (which you know how to do). This is different from movies where the work is done for you.

    Sorry- I rambled on a bit. :)

    1. Hmmm.. you actually helped me a lot. I like to think that there is still some work or effort for me to listen to a story. I think if it felt too easy I would automatically reject reading/listening that way. A lot to think about...

    2. Adriana- It is a lot to think about! Good luck. I think listening to a book you have already read might help you compare the two ways of reading. :)


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