18 July 2017

Bookishrealm Discussion: Are Audiobooks Cheating?

Hello to my BookishRealm readers!! I know that I haven't done a discussion in a while and this one is getting posted later in the day than expected; nevertheless, I AM HERE! : )

So today I'm interested in discussing a very interesting aspect of my reading experiences. In my day to day life as well as at my job I often encounter or hear people say that they aren't sure if audiobooks are "real" or if they "count." As a huge proponent of audioboooks I'm always shocked and surprised that people don't believe in either a) using audiobooks or b) they don't believe that audiobooks truly count as reading. For those who are not convinced about audiobook let me give you a couple benefits to utilizing audiobooks:

  • Audiobooks are great for those who have long commutes or down time at work. For example, I listen to audiobooks during my 30 minutes commute to work and my 30 minute commute back home. I also listen to them whenever I have down time at work. 
  • They are also great for individuals who have visual or physical handicaps. Just today I encountered a woman who suffered from severe arthritis and couldn't manage to hold a book at all. She loved the fact that we offered books on CD as well as playaways which are miniature MP3 players for books. 
  • Audiobooks are also a great way to get through long and challenging books especially if it's narrated by a good reader. 
  • Audiobooks are also great for road trips and a way to bond the entire family. I work with families every summer in helping them choose audiobooks for their road trips. 
  • Audiobooks do count!!!  
In support of that last bullet, I went looking online for some resources, specifically psychologists, to see their opinions on audiobooks. According to psychologist Daniel Willingham, there is no cognitive difference between reading a physical book and listening to an audiobook. I won't go into the specific details of the actually psychology behind it; however, I will leave the link. The psychologist concludes that ultimately there isn't any difference between the two and while people claim that they are more likely to have their mind wander while listening to an audiobook, the same thing is likely to happen when reading a particularly boring passage of a book. After reading this article, I was reaffirmed in my belief that audiobooks are just as good of a resource as reading the physical books and I think it is unfair to say that they don't count especially to individuals who are unable to read physical books. If you're interested in reading the article here is the link: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/08/listening-to-a-book-instead-of-reading-isnt-cheating.html

If you're interested in finding some great audiobooks here are a couple of my favorites:

  • A Game of Thrones, Narrated by Roy Dotrice
  • Whatever After Series, Narrated by Emily Eiden
  • I Am the Messenger, Narrated by Marc Aden Gray
  • Nooks & Crannies, Narrated by Susan Riddell
  • Wonder, Narrated by Diana Steel, Nick Podehl, & Kate Rudd
  • The Mastermind Series, Narrated by  Ramon De OcampoKelly Jean Badgley, & Tarah Consoli 
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Narrated by MacLeod Andrews & Nick Podehl 
  • Harry Potter Series, Narrated by Jim Dale
  • Outlander Series, Narrated by Davina Porter
Let me know in the comments below what you think about audiobooks!! : ) 


  1. I love audiobooks and no, I don'd think it's cheating to listen to audiobooks... Like you, I posed a similar question on my book blog in 2013 titled "Do Audiobooks Count as Reading?" (See Link: https://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2013/09/do-audiobooks-count-as-reading.html)

    I've actually become a 'lazy reader' as I now prefer audiobooks over reading books in most cases. The only exception would be if the audio quality was poor for an audiobook an/or it had a bad narrator. In fact last year I listened to 42 audiobooks and many this year as well...

    I'll have to check out your favorite audiobooks... I am a fan of the Outlander series and am behind in this series, so perhaps listening to the audio edition would work out better for me.

    This year I've enjoyed listening to the following audiobooks the most:

    Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera
    Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame

    1. Oh wow that's a lot of audiobooks! But I'm just like you I've slowly become addicted to them.

  2. I used to be such a reading purist. I never considered listening to an audio book as reading. I wasn't necessarily anti-audio book but I was convinced they weren't for me. In the last year or so I've done such a turn-around. Now I almost always have an audio book downloaded and I listen on my daily commute. Sometimes I download one specifically for my husband and I to listen to together. (We've listened to the entire Others series by Anne Bishop together over the last couple months.) For books by my favorite authors and/or ones that I'm truly excited for, I will always actually read the book. But for others, ones that I'm interested in but might otherwise never get around to, audio books are a great option!

    1. Ahh that's so cute that you guys do that! I would love to hear what some of your favorite audiobooks are!

    2. Our favorites so far have definitely been The Others series by Anne Bishop. They are incredibly well done on audio!