Do Audiobooks Count as Reading? – My Ity Opinion

This is a hot topic amongst bookbloggers and general readers alike. Is listening to an Audiobook as good as reading? Can you say you read a book if it was the audiobook version? I think that it’s interesting just how split I’ve seen the arguments about this over the years. I always had a pretty solid opinion before that no, listening to a book isn’t reading.

Then I became a bookblogger and found that I don’t really know what the hell I was thinking…

Audiobooks are a convenience for a lot of people. You don’t have time to sit a read a book but you can listen to one while you drive to work. Or maybe you just like hearing a book being read to you instead and that is what is more enjoyable for you. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that at all.

For me, I can’t listen to an audiobook. I don’t retain anything that is being said when it’s read to me. I have to read it myself. That’s just me and from that perspective I couldn’t say that listening to an audiobook was reading. Because technically you aren’t reading words on a page. So how can that be reading?

However there are people that aren’t like me, that can’t read words and retain things as well. That listening to a book is the best way that they can read a book because they have a harder time with physical books. Why take that away from them? Why tell them that that’s not good enough and if they can’t hold a book and read it they aren’t reading?

And why does it matter? In the grand scheme of things it’s just semantics. Whether you listen to it or physically read it you have retained that book. You’ve absorbed it and formed an opinion on it. So that’s just as good as holding it in your hands and reading words on a page. That should be enough.

I don’t understand the argument anymore. It doesn’t matter how you’ve ‘read’ it. You’ve read it, in your own way. That’s what matters. Listening, reading it’s all the same when it comes to books and anyway that you do it. You’ve done it. That’s amazing because books are the best thing to bring into your life. No matter the format.

Audiobooks help a lot of people who actually can’t read. Whether it’s because they are blind, or because they have a disability or they simply can’t read. There is always a reason that someone wants to listen to an audiobook instead of reading. So to say that audiobooks aren’t reading is to take away the joy that those that choose to listen to audiobooks instead of reading the physical book. How dare you?

Books are sacred. They pull us into a world that isn’t like our own, they feed our imagination, they allow us to escape from our troubles. They should be enjoyed no matter what format they are in. I don’t care who you are, but you have no right to take that from someone and tell them that they didn’t read it just because they listened to it instead. Be better. Spread books that you love. Enjoy an audiobook. Enjoy a physical book. Enjoy whatever thing you want because it’s 2020 people.

Just be happy! And stop telling people what they are or aren’t doing. Mind your own damn business. Give your own opinions sure, but don’t drag down anyone else just because of those opinions. That’s not fair.

So what do you all think? Love audiobooks? Hate them? Have any strong opinions one way or the other? Let’s talk about it!

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0 thoughts on “Do Audiobooks Count as Reading? – My Ity Opinion

  1. I love audiobooks! I’d be lost without them! Saying audiobooks do not count as reading is no different to me than saying reading a book in Braille doesn’t count as reading either. Saying a blind person or a dyslexic person doesn’t “read” because they aren’t using their eyeballs is crazy to me. Of course it counts as reading. And it counts when I do it, also. If someone else wants to personally not consider audiobooks as reading for themselves then fine, but imposing that arbitrary rule on others is nuts and in some situations it is kind of ableist.

    I read an interesting article on this recently. Take a peek –

  2. I actually did a post like this before as well. And you make a very good point! Some people can’t retain information from audiobook, and audiobooks help those that can’t really retain printed word. Great post!

  3. You share some really great points in this! I wish I could enjoy audiobooks as I’d love to be able to listen to them in the car – unfortunately the narration usually bugs me and then I can’t get in to the book much. I completely agree that they should still be considered reading though. Books come in different shapes and formats but it doesn’t make the story any different! Great post!

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