Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly discussion meme created and hosted by Rukky at Eternity Books! This week’s topic is about audiobooks and whether or not they’re considered reading, which is a topic that I feel like I can write a lot about!
I used to be incredibly skeptical of audiobooks, and I didn’t think they were for me. The thought of listening to someone read to me put me asleep, and I couldn’t imagine spending money to experience that. Then I saw a bunch of people talking about the audiobook for Illuminae and raving about how amazing it was, and my bookish curiosity got the best of me. I signed up for Audible, downloaded Illuminae, and now my world has been completely changed.
Before I caved and signed up for Audible, I didn’t have an opinion about whether audiobooks were reading or not. I just thought that they weren’t for me, and that was the end of my thought process. Now that I’ve given them a try, I definitely think audiobooks are considered reading. You’re taking the time to listen to a story, and you’re immersing yourself in another world, you’re just doing it via a different medium. I think that the idea of “audiobooks aren’t reading” is an ableist idea because not everyone can read a physical book and I think that books are something that everyone should be able to experience. I also think that audiobooks great for people who are on the go because they help people squeeze some reading into their busy schedules.
Another question that comes up when people are talking about audiobooks is how they should be counted for reading challenges. Personally, I think they should be counted the same as any other book because you’re going through the story from start to finish. I also can’t think of another way for them to be counted. The book was on your TBR, and now it’s not, what do we expect people to do? Listen to the audiobook and then read the book cover to cover? That’s ridiculous and defeats the purpose.
On a broader note, I also don’t think that reading needs to be a competition because reading is good. I’m always super impressed with the people who read over 100 books in a year, but I’m also impressed by the people who manage to squeeze in five books. I think reading is important, and that books have the power to turn us into better people. Whether we’re reading a hardcover, a paperback, an ebook, or listening to an audiobook, we’re still experiencing the story and learning from the characters and their experiences.