Thursday, April 21, 2016

Are Audiobooks Considered Reading?

Here's a question that I'll throw to others out there: do you consider listening to audiobooks "reading"? I ask because I was one of those people who scoffed at audiobooks and railed on them. And then I started working at Nordstrom and now I listen to LOTS of audiobooks (eg. 15-20 a month).

So I still say "reading" when talking about the books I listen to. But the other day, my dad scolded me, saying that I wasn't actually reading. 

Here's my argument: no, I'm not actually sitting and reading text. But since I've started listening to audiobooks, my comprehension has gone way up. When I was much younger, I was a "speed reader", but that actually just meant that I skipped the boring paragraphs in books. SMH. So when I was 14 and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince came out, and I finished it in 2 days for my book club, I patted myself on the back. But when it came time to discuss what happened, I couldn't remember anything that my fellow readers were talking about! This is because I skipped it all! And while I stopped doing that as much as I got older, I still skipped stuff. 

With audiobooks, I cannot skip parts. So I remember things far more clearly and get a better idea of the book as a whole- whether good or bad. I may not be able to read the book, and thus I can't always learn new words and how to spell them, but luckily my vocabulary is pretty high already so it's not like I am often encountering words that I don't know. 

Ultimatley, it doesn't really matter whether audiobooks are considered reading or not, because they're the only way I can satisfy my craving for books these days when I'm working two jobs. Luckily (or unluckily for my reading habit), those days are coming to a close. I'll keep you updated whether I stick with audiobooks or slowly transition back to ebooks and physical books. I will say this though: now that I've become accustomed to them, I really have a special place in my heart for audiobooks and hearing what the narrators come up with.