Is listening to an audiobook the same as reading the book? Can I say I “read it”?

19 thoughts on “AudioBooks

  1. Absolutely—and I read an article a few years ago with science to back up that claim. I do about half my reading this way. Remember that stories began as part of an oral tradition. Listening to them is a part of our cultural DNA as humans.

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  2. Agreed.
    Although for the author, it’s another book sold. For the listener, another story heard. Continued exposure to other ideas.
    In the past, I scoffed at people who said they ‘read a lot of books’ and it turned out they listened to them.
    But you know what? They get jobs done and exercise in, while I’m lost in a book, on the sofa, feeling guilty, ignoring chores, getting chubbier 🙂

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    1. Aw, I wish sometimes I would just sit and pick up a book. Do you know about the Giveaways on Goodreads? I have won probably 45 books, in print and kindle combined, but don’t take the time to read them.

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      1. Wow! I record my books on Goodreads. Set my goal 🙂 But this year I got too busy toward the end of the year and didn’t put the last few in, so I’m short. And I don’t think I can go back in and add. I should suss that out. But I already buy too many books. Large piles of unread 🙂

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  3. I was reluctant at first, but since my husband recently shifted to audio books, I have come to appreciate them, especially because they make for a good drive.

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  4. An ongoing debate at my house. I feel the answer is no but Sparky is convinced it is a yes. It is kind of the same as watching a movie – does that count as reading the book?? But that’s my opinion and doesn’t carry much weight!

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    1. Watching a movie and listening to book are kinda different experience i would say. Except the eyes , The senses engaged in reading and listening to a book are all same. Its all your world to build. No matter how you consume the lines. Movies interpret stuff a certain way and you are bound by someone else’s imagination. Audiobooks doesn’t have those boundries.

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      1. Its funny but I just needed some confirmation that I was on the right track. I am a teacher and always allowed audiobooks but as a “regular adult” I guess I was unsure. Lol.


    2. I see what you are saying but one of the comments I just received made a good point. They said that if you watch a movie you are getting someone else’s interpretation but with an audio book you still have to take in the information and make sense of it. Well, that was paraphrasing but….


  5. I read over 100 audiobooks per year at this point. Reading text requires more focus, hence the feeling that it’s harder to focus on audiobooks. Focusing on audiobooks is more of an art than anything, and is HIGHLY valuable if we are reading something that we will need to reread to comprehend (think of why universities use lectures to complement the text books that essential contain the same info.)

    According to some studies in neuroscience, reading text requires 30% of our brain power (focus) but listening only requires 3%, so it’s more efficient, but that efficiency FEELS like it’s harder to focus… at first. It took me about a year to get good at reading audiobooks, but I didn’t have any reading habit to compare it to, I assume it would have been even more demoralizing to transition from a reading habit of the written word. This is the same reason people often quit “diet lifestyles” and opt in to limited time diets.

    I’ve been learning to have a written word reading habit as well recently, and have been feeling the same blow to my confidence trying to get through one book for over a year now. But that was also the case for starting my reading habit with audiobooks over 5 years ago… there were a handful of books that took me years to finish.

    Options are great. Physical books are good for sharing and following instructions or taking social media snapshots. Ebooks are great for highlighting and note taking and copying quotes for digital media. Audiobooks are a great alternative to music and having podcasts or the TV on in the background, and they are really good for long drives, walks, and cardio… not to mention, they are great for helping us to become more focused and better listeners! Dread having important conversations over the phone or face to face? Find yourself telling people to email you or “write it down”? Audiobooks are the exercise to not get overwhelmed while listening, they also help us become better orators and writers (think of that scene in Finding Forrester where the kid is forced to focus on writing until he can write in a flow of consciousness, that is the same Discomfort audiobooks give us).

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    1. Thanks for stopping in and commenting. You make a lot of sense. I find myself envisioning the scenes just as I would if I was reading with my eyes. Its still putting in the effort to comprehend what is being said and continue. I just finished a 13 hour book and I can’t stop thinking about the entire thing.


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