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thumbnail Is Listening to Audiobooks Really Considered Reading?

by Sharon Nagel on July 16, 2018
Tags: Adult (89), teens (18), audiobook (7)

I don’t know why this continues to be an argument among book folk. There seem to be two sides to this argument. Those of us who adore audiobooks and listen to them whenever we can, most definitely consider them to be reading, and the other side who does not.

I have always been a fan of this book form, and when I discovered that I could download audiobooks free from the library about 10 years ago, I have become an even bigger fan. I listen to them while washing dishes, folding laundry, and walking to work. One particularly ambitious summer, I downloaded War and Peace, and listened to it during my commute to work. It took me most of the summer, but I finished it, and I can now say that I have indeed read War and Peace. I even enjoyed it, once I figured out who all of the characters were.

It is crucial to have a good reader performing the audiobooks. I have sometimes been turned off of a book because I didn’t like the reader’s voice. Most of the people who perform audiobooks are quite wonderful, but a bad one can really change your opinion of a book.

Another thing that I really enjoy about listening to audiobooks is that you can really appreciate the beauty of the language when someone is reading it to you. There is no opportunity to skim or pass over certain passages. There is also an emotional connection when it seems that the narrator is telling the story directly to you and you alone.

Some of my favorites include:

The entire Harry Potter series is terrific on audio. One actor does all of the characters, and he is quite amazing.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler is the story of a young woman trying to succeed in the restaurant business in Manhattan.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a YA story about a high school student whose friend is shot and killed by the police during a traffic stop.