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Does Listening to an Audiobook Count as “Reading a Book”?

Is listening to an audiobook the same as physically leafing through the pages or reading on a Kindle?


Reading is a skill most of us learn at a young age, and one that’s exercised as we grow up. Books used to only be available in a physical format, but that’s not the case anymore. Now, you can opt for a digital book or an audiobook for convenience instead. But do these modern book versions offer the same benefits as a physical book?


Buying or Renting Physical Books

Woman browsing in a bookstore

There’s nothing quite like buying a physical book, flipping through its fresh pages, and knowing that it’s all yours. However, buying books is an expensive hobby, especially if you’re a hardcover snob. Plus, physical books take up a lot of space, even if you have dedicated shelves for them.

Enter: a magical place called the library. You still get the wonderful experience of reading a physical book, but without shelling out cash or space for it. Visiting the library on a regular basis also shows support for a great resource in your community—plus libraries also offer access to music and movies you might not have known about.

Choosing Digital Books and Audiobooks Instead

lady sitting in a comfortable chair reading a kindle

If you travel a lot, digital books have an unmatchable appeal. You can buy digital books or rent them for a small price from popular services like Amazon, or sometimes for free from your local library. Reading a digital book still exercises reading comprehension skills, even though the book is in a non-traditional format. But what about audiobooks?

Listening to spoken words in an audiobook may not leave you with as many reading comprehension skills as reading words in a physical or digital book. However, it can easily be argued that listening to audiobooks still counts as reading because you’re still consuming the content. You’re following the book’s plot and character development, learning new vocabulary words, and spending your free time how you want.

You could make the argument that it’s easier to hear the words of an audiobook without fully processing them. But this is also a potential pitfall with books, where you can read the words without properly digesting them. Either way, it’s on you to pay full attention to the story.

Is an Audiobook the Same as a Physical Book?

At the end of the day, a book is a book. There are plenty of people who read physical and digital books, and listen to an audiobook while commuting or doing chores. You can mix and match as you so please, and no one will judge you—or at least, they shouldn’t!

But what do you think? Does listening to an audiobook count as reading a book? If someone told you they had read 10 books this year, and you discovered this meant they listened to 10 books through Audible, would you judge the accomplishment any differently?

Entertainment,Poll,Audiobooks,Opinion & Polls,Ebook

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