I`ve gone through most of my adult life without audiobooks, but the deeper I get in the bookish community, and when discussing books with friends, I’ve swiftly learned that audiobooks are a major part of the literary world.
Naturally, as a form of media becomes increasingly popular, opinions are bound to diverge. One such topic of debate is the validity of considering listening to an audiobook, as reading.
On one hand, It could be argued that audiobooks don’t count. Why you ask? Well for one, would you say that you have read the lyrics to a song when you have only listened to it? Probably not, so why would it be different for a book? Further, when we read, we strengthen our ability to decode the written language but, we do not use that part of the brain when we listen to an audiobook. Thus it could be described as a form of “cheating”.
Yet from speaking with friends and based on social media it’s clear that the majority of people do consider audiobooks as “reading”, by counting listening to an audiobook in their Goodreads yearly reading challenge.
And why shouldn’t it count? Through the ages, stories have been passed down through word of mouth, not through books, which until recent centuries were too expensive and inaccessible for the majority of people. The whole premise of reading is to learn and to enjoy a story, and yes listening to an audiobook is taking the train, whereas physically reading is more like walking, but the destination/story is the same.
Personally, I think that it’s completely down to personal choice. Both forms of media present the same story, so to me they are both valid forms of obtaining a tale. I personally wouldn’t count an audiobook in my Goodreads challenge. However, If you do then that’s great too, as the choice is ours and there is no wrong answer to the question, Do Audiobooks Count as Reading?
Let me know your opinions down below …
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