June 5, 2017

How I Feel About Audiobooks

So I occasionally (read: like only four times in the last five years) have participated in Booking Through Thursday. (And yes, I DO realize this is a Monday.) I happened to notice this question from a couple years ago and my mind started spinning! :)

I’m guessing most of you like reading (or why would you be here), how do you feel about audio books?

For me, “reading” means using my eyes, not my ears. As much as I acknowledge their usefulness while doing chores or using your hands, I only ever use audiobooks for the rare long drive–listening, no matter how pleasant, is not READING, yet people persist in telling me they like to read and that audio books are their favorites. Am I the only one to feel that’s just not the same thing?
I admit that when I finally got around to trying audiobooks a few years ago, I never even considered whether I should count the book as actually read or not. I just counted it and went on! But then I periodically started noticing fellow bloggers talking about how they counted them as books read or they didn't and all the reasons why or why not. So thinking about it more in depth, I have officially come to this conclusion:

Whichever way I read the story makes no difference to me, I'm still counting it on my list of Books I've Read.

Now! I should clarify that both sides have lots of great reasons for why they count them or why they don't. And I even agree with lots of those reasons! But my personal reasoning is simply this, audiobooks consist of having someone else read the story to you, no different than when I was a child and my mother read to me before bedtime. Perhaps I didn't physically have book in hand and my eyes reading the actual words, yet I still know the story. I know exactly what happened and who did what and said what. In fact, I have figured out that by listening to a story versus reading it, I can sometimes gain a deeper appreciation for it.

Take, for example, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I listened to the audio before I read the book and the narrators did such a fantastic job that I fell in love with the story immediately. I figure I would've loved the story regardless, but the experience of hearing the different voices and accents make the story more pleasurable than just me reading it in my head (where I can't do justice to those lovely accents, for the record!). I would say the same thing about The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien. The actual books intimidated me, so I thought listening might be easier and it was!

I read this post that stated it was more a question of how you define "reading" and I think the writer has a point. All that being said, I am, by no means, saying that my opinion is Right or Correct. It's just my opinion and there you have it.

The most important thing of all is that stories are taken in, providing a sense of connection in the reader, and thoroughly enjoyed! Regardless of how it's consumed. :)


  1. Yes! Audio books definitely count as reading. It takes just as long or longer to listen to an audio book as it does to read it. I'm not sure why some people think listening doesn't count. I just don't get it. Listening or reading you still have a story in your head that wasn't there before.

  2. Audiobooks totally count as reading!!!! I'd like to listen to them more than I do, but I seem to get caught up in a story I'm actually reading and stick with it instead. I'm a 1-story-at-a-time person. I can't hardly read 2 books at once, unless one is a classic!

    AND, I'm super picky about audiobook narrators. I've found a few to be annoying in tone or too boring (just not animated enough), and I end up not listening to those. So for me, narrators can make or break an audiobook.

  3. I definitely count my audiobooks as 'read'. I started with audiobooks because I had a Trollope novel that I just couldn't get through. I find that listening to the big classics as audiobooks allows me to enjoy them more, while reading them, my mind often wanders. And, on the plus side, you can totally 'read' audiobooks while doing other things, like dishes or biking or gardening!


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