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A Question to Ponder - When is Reading a Book, Not Reading a Book?

momo2x2018momo2x2018 Registered User Posts: 790 Member
Do you consider audiobooks 'reading' or not? I am finding that more and more these days, my 'reading' is audio! From somebody who would sometimes read as few as one book a week, and as many as three books a week, I'm finding it very difficult to get back in the traditional reading groove.
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Replies to: A Question to Ponder - When is Reading a Book, Not Reading a Book?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 5,817 Senior Member
    Super interesting question! It's funny but I have never gotten into audiobooks because I tend to read at night in bed. I don't have a car anymore and even when I did, I preferred music to talk.

    My feeling though for adults, where reading isn't something that needs to be done for learning a life skill, I feel like it is still "reading" because you are still getting the story and content.

    There are lots of articles about this being different mediums entirely almost like the difference between seeing a movie or reading the book it's based on.

    We have a strong family history of Alzheimer's and Dementia in my family so I tend to want to do as much mental work as possible so read read but I think that if you are listening for pleasure of the story, I don't think it's cheating.

    Looking forward to reading some of the other responses!
  • momo2x2018momo2x2018 Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    edited May 25
    As I sit here thinking about this, I clearly recall the time when my S was transitioning 5th grade to 6th - one of his reading assignments was 'Call of The Wild'. At that time, my S was not a big 'read for enjoyment' reader, and so I purchased the audiobook and he and I would listen to it, a chapter at a time, before bed. I'm certain my S has no memory of that now, but that is one of my cherished memories of him as a 10/11 year old, because we'd snuggle together and listen!
    I also recall purchasing the entire Lemony Snicket series for a West to East Coast road trip; that was fun 'summer reading'!
  • Midwest67Midwest67 Registered User Posts: 2,780 Senior Member
    If it’s not on audio, it’s not gonna happen.
  • MarilynMarilyn Registered User Posts: 3,670 Senior Member
    My mind would also drift with audio books; much better visual than aural learner. I’ve always been a prolific reader but once in high school, my mom suggested I read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. When I seemed reluctant, she read me the first chapter out loud at lunch one day. I guess that was my first audio book!
  • JustaMomJustaMom Registered User Posts: 2,731 Senior Member
    @momo2x2018 - your story jolted my memory...when my (now adult) D was 3 she went on a one month road trip and I spent the week before she left recording all of her favorite stories on cassette. My mom said it (figuratively) saved her life (my mom) during some of the longer stretches. Now I need to ask D if she remembers.

    I say "reading" is just that...reading.

    But I'm a fan of audio books. I'm really fond of autobiographies read by their authors - a recent favorite is Pete Townshend,Who I Am (The Who). Listening to him tell his stories was like sitting and chatting with a friend over a meal. Several times as he told a story he'd crack himself up...you just know he could see/hear the exact moment he was sharing and it was super cool.
  • maya54maya54 Registered User Posts: 2,096 Senior Member
    They are no more reading than listening to a podcast. Being read to is not reading either. Both can assist people who like to get information auditorily or to experience a story. There’s nothing wrong with them but they are not reading and I personally can’t stand being read to or audio books.
  • mamommamom Registered User Posts: 3,664 Senior Member
    Most of my "reading" is audio too. I have a horrible 2.5 to 3+ hour commute to work, round trip. I would shoot myself if I did not have a good book to listen to. I also find I do not actually read books as much anymore, although I carry my Kindle with me all the time.
  • Aug2019Aug2019 Registered User Posts: 186 Junior Member
    edited May 25
    I'm with @mamom - and use audio books for a long commute. My father enjoyed listening to some when he was very ill a few years ago. I don't think of listening to audio books as "reading" but they can be a great diversion. For me, a lot rests on liking the voice and style of the reader, especially if they're reading an author I'm familiar with. Have never tried an autobiography read by its author like @JustaMom - will look for Pete Townsend!
  • jollymamajollymama Registered User Posts: 252 Junior Member
    edited May 25
    I have come to consider audio books "reading," and they account for about half of my book intake. For me it's reading with the ears vs. with the eyes. For technical information, the eyes have it. For skimming/speeding thru dull material, eyes again. For stories that grip me, they are equally effective ways of reaching my mind, emotions, and memory.
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 11,102 Senior Member
    @bajamm, you might start out by getting some books you know really well to train yourself how to listen. I first discovered audiobook CDs from the library for road trips nearly 15 years ago. Now with an iPod I am very happy to have a book going all the time, only certain authors translate well for me, some require reading a paper book.
    I prefer paper books, and yet at night I need an ebook or large print, you know, now that I am old and cannot see as well.
    I do notice that since my eyes starting requiring readers which coincides with smart phone, I do read fewer books than I historically read. It feels like self-betrayal, I was always a library kid and had a book in the car and in every room.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,536 Senior Member
    Do you track your reading - like on an app like Goodreads or in a notebook or anything?

    If so, would you be inclined to add in an audiobook you completed? I think I would. The point to be is absorbing the story of a book - whether that is audio or visually. Once I've consumed a book, I'd consider it "read".

    I went through a short period of enjoying audio books. Now if I'm listening to something I much prefer podcasts. And to visually read books.

    How does one have time to read 3 books a week?!
  • mompopmompop Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    My mom was always a voracious reader, but due to vision problems she must rely on audio books. For her, it is definitely reading.
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