Friday, July 22, 2016

Is Listening to An Audiobook Still Considered "Reading"?

I'm a book lover, a bibliophile. So in other words, I'm a nerd. And what do most nerds do? We obsess! The obsession varies from person to person. Some book nerds obsess over knowing the most about a single author, while others obsess by reading the same book or series over and over again until they can practically quote every line from the story. And then, there are the annoying book nerds who pride themselves over being extremely well-read, like that's some kind of great accomplishment. These are the book nerds who often raise their nose to you and say, what do you mean you've never read (Insert obscure, out-of-print book here)? It's a classic. I have a copy. Wait right here.

Unfortunately, I'M this kind of book nerd. :(

(Image taken from:

I'm not saying that all well-read book nerds are like this. In fact, most aren't. If you were to ask, which book do you recommend, these book nerds would be able to pick out a wide assortment that they think fits your taste. These are the cool book nerds., the approachable ones. These are the book nerds who make reading sound fun. But unfortunately, while my favorite part of reading is the actual reading part, another thing I love about reading is seeing just how many books I've read. One website that all book nerds use is Goodreads. The great thing about the site is that you can monitor how many books you've read, as well as join groups with fellow readers (If you're into that sort of thing). At one point, I thought I'd read over a 1000 books. I mean, I'm constantly reading, right, and I've been reading all my life. But when I put in the number of books I could think of, I ended up in the 400 range. That's it! I was stunned.

If you want to see a truly pathetic person, just look at somebody who thinks they've accomplished more than they have and show them the figures. It got to the point that I started putting Goosebumps books on my list of "Read" (I mean, I did read them, right?) just to up my number, but it's still way lower than I would have liked.

So, what's the answer? Well, reading a book takes time, especially with a baby. And reading sometimes hurts my eyes. I get floaters already at the tender age of 32 in my right eye, so if I read for long periods, I start seeing a little dot scrolling along the page back and forth like a fly reading with me. So, again, what's the answer?

That's a good question, and somebody once gave me a legitimate answer--Audiobooks. At first, I was like, listening to an audiobook is not reading, dude, and then he asked me, why not? You're still getting the same story, and it's usually read in a very theatrical manner. Hell, Stephen King does his own book readings, so it's almost like from the lips of God to your ear (Or was it the other way around?). So how is that not reading?

(Image taken from: here: Man listening to The Old Man and The Sea

He has a good point, but, I don't know. It just doesn't feel like reading to me. I teach in a middle-school, and sometimes, I read to the students, but I don't feel like they're actually reading. In fact, if I look on the state standards, I would qualify that in the "listening" category of the skills I'm meeting. Reading, for me anyway, is an entirely different skill that engages other parts of the brain. I can definitely fall into a story listening to it, but it's not the same as when I actually scan the page with my eyes and absorb the text. Like I said before, it just feels different. But what do you think? Is listening to an audiobook the same thing as reading it? If so, I can definitely get to 1000 books before I reach my deathbed since I can listen to books at any time. Please clear this up for me, fellow readers. It would really mean a lot.

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