Poll

Does listening to an audiobook "count" as reading a book?

Of course it does! It's the same!
 
  425 votes 42.6%

Maybe, because you're not focusing as much.
 
  232 votes 23.2%

Abolsutely not: listening and reading aren't the same.
 
  203 votes 20.3%

Not really: if you sit down and read that's a commitment.
 
  138 votes 13.8%

998 total votes

Poll added by: Vaughn



Comments Showing 1-50 of 75 (75 new)


message 1: by Empress (new)

Empress I like that poll. I've posted a link in my group, hope you don't mind.


message 2: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Ellie [The Empress] wrote: "I like that poll. I've posted a link in my group, hope you don't mind."

go for it!


message 3: by Empress (new)

Empress I really like that question. I am in two minds about it. Maybe "reading" is not the correct word, but neither is just "listening" because a lot of mental activity is involved [in my case]. I can listen to a music and have a conversation, but I can't listen to a book and do anything else productively.

Vaughn wrote: "go for it!"

Thanks. :]


message 4: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Ellie [The Empress] wrote: "I really like that question. I am in two minds about it. Maybe "reading" is not the correct word, but neither is just "listening" because a lot of mental activity is involved [in my case]. I can li..."

Good points on this--if there's an audiobook on I have to do something else. I think it's because my eyes are unoccupied and when you're listening it's to free-up your eyes. I don't know. It's still up in the air for me.


message 5: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Ellie [The Empress] wrote: "I really like that question. I am in two minds about it. Maybe "reading" is not the correct word, but neither is just "listening" because a lot of mental activity is involved [in my case]. I can li..."

Good points on this--if there's an audiobook on I have to do something else. I think it's because my eyes are unoccupied and when you're listening it's to free-up your eyes. I don't know. It's still up in the air for me.


message 6: by Grace (new)

Grace i commute to work and listen to books, the radio gets really old. this way i can listen to and also read the same book if i own it on audible.com and on my kindle.


message 7: by Karen (new)

Karen I'm with Grace on this. An audio book is really good for keeping me amused when I'm travelling - there are some books that just lend them selves to this The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) by Douglas Adams being a good example of this.


Anaya  ♪♫ So bright the sun is ashamed to rise and be    ♪ ♫ If you are listening to an audiobook, you are basically watching tv without the pictures.


message 9: by Momentisimo (new)

Momentisimo Well, there are different types of books... Perhaps, there are different listenings as well. Many stories have been told since the beginning of time, not so many of them are written. Reading is an effort, it is relatively new and comprehensive ability to "visualize". It is a skill that enriches itself with practice. The written text is a concentration of time, it is something developed. Last, but not least, it is more open to interpretations. Listening on the other hand is basic, it is "the first media" (for socialization), and it seems to give a "better picture" on almost any subject. But most audiobooks are compilations of the actual text, aren't they?


message 10: by Debbie (last edited Oct 03, 2013 08:03AM) (new)

Debbie I think each person has to make the decision for themselves. I consider them the same. The purpose of reading is to experience the work. To feel the play of words wash over you. Suggesting that audiobooks are somehow less is, imho, myopic.

For Anya, I would guess you don't really listen to audiobooks if you think that. Audiobooks, unless they are abridged, are the voice of someone reading the book out loud. For some books the voice or voices add a richness that you will never get reading the book in the "quiet" of your space. For those who want to experience this, I recommend getting Watership Down. I enjoyed it so much as an audiobook that I will never again read it with my eyes.

How many of us loved being read to as a child? We started reading on our own because we wanted to have more, more, more than we could get with just being read to.

Which is why I listen to audio books. Not just to fill space, but to enrich my experience with books. On all levels. More, more, more!! Print books, electronic books, online books, audio books. More, More, More!


message 11: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Momentisimo wrote: "Well, there are different types of books... Perhaps, there are different listenings as well. Many stories have been told since the beginning of time, not so many of them are written. Reading is an ..."

I agree, and I'm still debating whether or not it is worth listening to an audiobook (mostly because I miss things). Thanks for your input!


message 12: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Debbie wrote: "I think each person has to make the decision for themselves. I consider them the same. The purpose of reading is to experience the work. To feel the play of words wash over you. Suggesting that au..."

You know, that's a good point, we listen to the books first as children & then as we age we read them. Perhaps making the experience of listening to an audiobook better would be to have a full-cast version. I don't know, still debating.


message 13: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Ford I'm visually impaired, so audio is reading! :]


message 14: by Martina (new)

Martina It's not the same, since it depends on the narrator, but it counts almost the same


message 15: by Martina (last edited Dec 23, 2013 03:31AM) (new)

Martina Vaughn wrote: "I don't know, still debating."

I started listening to Dresden Files, because my brother had the audiobooks and I didn't want to wait another month for my book to arrive to the shop (they don't sell it in original in here unless you ask them for it). James Marsters was a great narrator, but since I read a few books myself, I didn't agree with his interpretation of Thomas - but it was still better then reading it myself, since James got the rest the same as I did and since he's a guy and Dresden Files are 1st person books it was better to listen to him then to my mind trying to sound like a guy while reading it.

The next audiobook I "read" was Ryiria Chronicles. I was sick and bored, but couldnt focus my eyes on any text, so I got an audiobook. It was very well narrated and since then (after I got better) I found out that it's easier to listen to books on my way to school than it is to read them (it requires more focus and the bus isn't exactly steady).

The success of an audiobook is dependant on the narrator. I'm quite sure I wouldn't get that far into Artemis Fowl (there are some aspects I hate in a book) if it wasn't read by Nathaniel Parker. But then again, I might have gone farther in Halfway to the Grave if it wasn't read by that annoying woman.

Another Fine Myth has a great audiobook.

I plan to listen to The Lord of the Rings, because I really want to read it, but sometimes I get stuck on some parts when it drags. It's easier to get through those parts in an audiobook.

Oh, and another pro audiobook statement - you can't read while mowing or cooking... (especially mowing, since I get a bit zombie-like when I listen to the sound of mowing for a prolonged period of time)


message 16: by Krishna (last edited Jan 03, 2014 08:27AM) (new)

Krishna Kanth I've listened to two books last year (both written and read by Malcolm Gladwell), and I had the same feel from the experience as I would've had if I'd read them.

So, I would say it's the same to listen or to read. But the reader of the book should be good, most probably if those books are read by their own corresponding authors, then it's the best to listen to, because they know how to mold their voice according each character and each situation, after all they are the persons who created those all books in the first place, ain't it!


message 17: by Joey (new)

Joey For my money, the experience is certainly different, but if you can absorb a book well enough to discuss it intelligently after listening to the audio version, it should count as reading it.


message 18: by Paige (new)

Paige Mcburney Books are stories. Before books stories were spoken.


message 19: by Megan (new)

Megan To me, it depends on the person. If they ONLY listen to books, then no. They are probably listening because they don't like to read. If they read normal books as well then yes, because they are probably listening so that they can fit more books into their life while they drive or something like that.

I hope that makes sense. I know that's a kinda stupid way to think about it, but its how it works in my mind.


message 20: by Paige (new)

Paige Mcburney Megan wrote: "To me, it depends on the person. If they ONLY listen to books, then no. They are probably listening because they don't like to read. If they read normal books as well then yes, because they are pro..."

I totally agree with you. I don't have to time to read right now because I'm working on an art portfolio so I'm listening to books as I paint and reading from the book when I have the time.


message 21: by Mrsgeo (new)

Mrsgeo Megan wrote: "To me, it depends on the person. If they ONLY listen to books, then no. They are probably listening because they don't like to read. If they read normal books as well then yes, because they are pro..."
Seems a bit harsh. What about people who have a disability and can't read?


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

A very controversial question. Loved it :)


message 23: by Megan (new)

Megan Sheena wrote: "Megan wrote: "To me, it depends on the person. If they ONLY listen to books, then no. They are probably listening because they don't like to read. If they read normal books as well then yes, becaus..."

I didn't mean it to sound harsh. And if they have a disability that's different, of course. I just know people who love to read and use audiobooks because they just love books/reading so much. I also no people who hate reading and use audiobooks to avoid reading the real book. Thats the difference, I think.


message 24: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Bale But if they're consuming the same content, the same words, and participating in the same story, what is the difference? I think the argument that one method of passing on stories is superior to another is both classist and ableist -- some people struggle with reading but still love stories. Are they somehow less worthy of your respect if they listen to the audiobook?


message 25: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Wow, I didn't realize that so many people would be interested In commenting. It really does depend on the person and what he or she needs. Some people can only get into a book by listening to it, which happens some are more auditorilally inclined, but it's still a debatable for those who are more visually oriented. Lord knows I still question it, and even tries it once with a difficult book, which I still had next to me as I listened because of the things I missed. Oh well. Glad you all like the question!


message 26: by Jayson (new)

Jayson I do both. It may not be the same but the experience is close enough for me.

Audio books help with your ability to listen. Which i think we neeed more of in our world.


message 27: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Jayson wrote: "I do both. It may not be the same but the experience is close enough for me.

Audio books help with your ability to listen. Which i think we neeed more of in our world."


Good point! Thanks for contributing!


message 28: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Jayson wrote: "I do both. It may not be the same but the experience is close enough for me.

Audio books help with your ability to listen. Which i think we neeed more of in our world."


Good point! Thanks for contributing!


message 29: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa To me it's the same and I usually say read rather than listened to because then I have to explain it was a podcast or professional audiobook and that's sometimes more info than the other person cares about or needs to know.


message 30: by Nadia (new)

Nadia It's one of those scenarios where I have double-standards. If someone else wants to count having listened to an audiobook as having read the book, that's fine and I will happily consider them to have read the book. On my own account, I KNOW I don't get as much out of an audiobook as I do out of actually reading the book, so I don't count it.


message 31: by Hákon (new)

Hákon Gunnarsson Nadia wrote: "On my own account, I KNOW I don't get as much out of an audiobook as I do out of actually reading the book, so I don't count it."

Speaking for myself I listen a lot to audiobooks and I get a lot out of them. How much depends quite a bit on the reader. There are some books that have actually been better as audiobook than as printed books. That is rare, but does happen. I have also listened to really bad ones, but I always count listening to audiobook as having read them. Still it's not completely the same experience reading a book and listening to it.


message 32: by Ava (new)

Ava Maleki Listening and Reading are 2 Totally different things! They require 2 different senses, hearing and looking!! Of course they are not the same thing!


message 33: by Aya (last edited Apr 13, 2014 01:58AM) (new)

Aya I would would like to say 'Of course it does!' but I'd have to disagree with the 'It's the same!' So I abstain.


message 34: by mj (new)

mj It's silly because some people can't see, and braille isn't exactly super available everywhere, so are blind people not actually absorbing the same information people with eyesight are?!


message 35: by Ava (new)

Ava Maleki Emma wrote: "It's silly because some people can't see, and braille isn't exactly super available everywhere, so are blind people not actually absorbing the same information people with eyesight are?!"

If you think about it, no. When you are reading you are using your eyes.


message 36: by mj (new)

mj Ava wrote: "Emma wrote: "It's silly because some people can't see, and braille isn't exactly super available everywhere, so are blind people not actually absorbing the same information people with eyesight are..."

That's my point... Audiobooks are generally someone reading out loud from the text, so it's the same thing, just a different way of going about it. To say one form is superior is awful because not everyone can use their eyes.


message 37: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Emma wrote: "Ava wrote: "Emma wrote: "It's silly because some people can't see, and braille isn't exactly super available everywhere, so are blind people not actually absorbing the same information people with ..."

I never said it was superior, it was just a quandary I've had simply because it's something I've been curious about. No need to read further into it than that.


message 38: by mj (new)

mj Vaughn wrote: "Emma wrote: "Ava wrote: "Emma wrote: "It's silly because some people can't see, and braille isn't exactly super available everywhere, so are blind people not actually absorbing the same information..."

I wasn't talking to you :)


message 39: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Emma wrote: "Vaughn wrote: "Emma wrote: "Ava wrote: "Emma wrote: "It's silly because some people can't see, and braille isn't exactly super available everywhere, so are blind people not actually absorbing the s..."

But I'm talking with you; it would be worth re-reading and reconsidering the comments.


message 40: by Bri (new)

Bri I would say they are different but essentially equal depending on the consumer. People absorb things better in different ways (blindness, dyslexia, etc. aside). Some people read better; others listen better; a lucky few can do both well. If a person listens to an audio book and really experiences it fully, then I see no reason that it should be any less than reading. It is on some levels different, but ultimately just as valid. If a person "listens" to an audio book by putting it on in the background while their attention is completely elsewhere (playing on the computer or writing a paper, not necessarily things like driving, knitting, doing hand stands, etc.), then that activity is not equivalent to reading in my opinion. It's similar to putting a book in front of your face and running your eyes over the lines without taking it in. Comprehension and absorption are the key elements to me.

Personally, while I love a good audio book in the car or in a similar situation that doesn't require my higher brain functions (like books do), I am extremely picky about them in general. There's something slightly intrusive about someone else's voice reading something to you. If the reader's style doesn't appeal to me, I cannot listen to the book.(Brilliance Audio readers are dreadful, imho.) There are some stories that have something to be gained by being read, though. (Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane is delightfully read by the author, for instance.) Ultimately, I will always choose a traditional book over an audio, but I have no qualms with people enjoying literature whatever way is best for them.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Of course it does. But I prefer reading. I can't concentrate on audiobooks as good as on books and I enjoy reading.


message 42: by Josh (last edited May 29, 2014 07:10PM) (new)

Josh Anaya ♪♫ I'm ☢, ☢ ♪ ♫ wrote: "If you are listening to an audiobook, you are basically watching tv without the pictures."

LOL, That was almost the funniest thing I've heard this week.

You just equated every written book that is also an audiobook (just about every book nowadays) to a manuscript.

Obviously reading the book is the larger commitment in terms of attention requirement. Because you are limited to what you can do while you read obviously, but what about those of us that actually enjoy the slower voice acting in many books. I read faster than any audiobook could ever come across at 1x speed. How is my taking that extra time as an alternative to the commitment of a book any less valuable?

Come on guys think outside your box sometimes.


message 43: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Josh wrote: "Anaya ♪♫ I'm ☢, ☢ ♪ ♫ wrote: "If you are listening to an audiobook, you are basically watching tv without the pictures."

LOL, That was almost the funniest thing I've heard this week.

You j..."


A component of this poll was time, e.g. how long it took to read a book, but that was minimal. This poll is more about what it means for one to "read" a book and how one defines it. Not sure what you mean in terms of "manuscript," (an unedited body of work, I'm assuming is what you mean, because all books were once manuscripts) because this is mostly about how one defines "reading" and how one feels about reading.

One can "read" via audiobook and have just as large a commitment as one who's reading it, and vice versa. A person can also be listening to the audiobook and reading at the same time. It all depends on the person, and, typically, the enjoyment, the understanding, and the experience of either reading or listening to a book comes before taking time to read it. Time actually looks to be at the bottom of the list--after reading the comments again--and not as important as the question of what it means to read.

Also, the phrase is actually "think outside the box," because if a word in a phrase is... "modified," for want of a better word, it doesn't make sense. For example, "let the big cat out of the bag" sounds strange, because what does the "big" have to do with the phrase?

Other than that, this question is more about opinion and one's perspective rather than problem solving or thinking creatively, which is what "thinking outside of the box" is about. It's not really kind to say that these opinions aren't as "creative" as one had hoped. Anaya is making a good analogy that can help define an audiobook experience because it's using a more modern medium, a television, to explain the difference between a visual and auditory experience.


message 44: by Josh (last edited Jun 01, 2014 02:24PM) (new)

Josh Good poll, bad analogies.

Prosody, look it up.


message 45: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Josh wrote: "Good poll, bad analogies.

Prosody, look it up."


The study of poetic meter hasn't anything to do with the poll on how one sees reading. Perhaps the analogies aren't bad, the unnecessary criticism is. Opinion need not be judged or criticized, but considered, unless unruly and uncalled for. Please consider the tone of your criticism in the future, for example, if it is constructive then use it, but, if not, it would be better to leave it as is.


message 46: by Josh (last edited Jun 01, 2014 05:25PM) (new)

Josh Ok last comment let me lend you some context from my point of view. Maybe then you'll understand.

Many people who read can often times use negative connotation in reference to TV. Since the analogy was very specific about TV and not radio, and also used the expression about pictures. Which most books don't have aside from the cover and perhaps some simple artwork. I kind of picked up a small poke at people who enjoy audiobooks, but still consider it reading.

So perhaps I was mistaken, but you wrote a few paragraphs dissecting my response not actually addressing my main point until the last few sentences. So look in the mirror and embrace that this is the way we are built as people or continue to distract from the fact that you were just defending someone who agrees with you. :p

It's not personal obviously, just good old fashion arguing.

Edit: case in point prosody has multiple meanings so to speak. You chose one that had nothing to do with the conversation and used it.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosod...


message 47: by Erica (last edited Jul 10, 2014 11:12AM) (new)

Erica Jacob Very interesting discussion! I listen rather intently when "reading" an audiobook. If I miss something said, I rewind and reread, similarly to the way I would if reading a difficult or memorable passage in a hard copy. When reading, I often read to myself out loud; it helps me to pay attention and to absorb the words (I'm the type that needs to read every word).

The one drawback to listening is that I can't as easily mark pages to go back to, especially since most of my audio book "reading" happens while I'm driving. But I would definitely say that I have as strong a sense of the work, if not moreso, from listening to the book.

And yes, it definitely depends on the narrator. But I think that applies to hard copy texts as well. If I don't like the narrative voice, if I can't get into it, it's hard for me to read. I've certainly put down both hard copy texts and audiobooks because the voice didn't gel for me. That said, I wonder if listening to a book that I previously couldn't get through by just reading it would make it more palatable.

So for myself, since I feel equally engrossed by audiobooks as with hard copies, I would definitely have to say that listening can count as reading. I've had many great conversations with friends about books I've listened to, and they have read, without feeling like one or the other of us has missed something crucial about the text.


message 48: by Josh (new)

Josh Erica your last paragraph says it all! Thanks for that.


message 49: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Josh wrote: "Ok last comment let me lend you some context from my point of view. Maybe then you'll understand.

Many people who read can often times use negative connotation in reference to TV. Since the analog..."


I dissected response because of the comment "think out of the box sometimes," wasn't the politest of comments. There are people here who agree with the poll and people who don't, which happens, and the different ideas are welcome. The point was, a comment like the one above for example, is better left unsaid. It doesn't add to the conversation, or "argument," and it can even be discouraging.

Obviously prosody, like many other words, have many definitions, but it's rare and can be supercilious to use the second or more definitions. Its use there in the above sentence was simply unsuitable as the comment remains unclear. Thank you for posting.


message 50: by John (new)

John Humans acquire a natural language effortlessly at birth. For most hearing people, that’s spoken language. We speak and listen. Reading and writing is a technology many of us have learned to use, but it’s not our native language. When the technology was in its infancy, relatively speaking—well into the Common Era—people, even when reading alone, would speak the words aloud.

Some studies show that reading interferes with the visual pathway to the brain, making it harder to visualize the stories depicted as they happen. There are those who like to stress how different people are ‘visual learners’, ‘auditory learners’, etc. I think much of this is blown out of proportion; there’s still no getting around the fact that none of us were born readers, while we acquired natural language from infancy.

I’ve seen comments that audiobooks are not enjoyable because they go too slowly—one can read faster than one can listen. My perspective, on the other hand, is that if it’s not worth getting every word of a book, it’s not worth reading at all. A personal experience: I was reading a (print) book, and liked one passage in particular well enough to read it aloud to a friend. In the span of one page, I had found two or three humorous lines that I had missed before when reading it silently; my eye and brain had glanced quickly past them. Even when I read silently, I want to get as much as possible.

There are of course some types of literature which are better read. Reference works, for instance. Scholarly works never intended to be read aloud, particularly those with footnotes and many parenthetical comments. But some works were never really meant to be read silently (e.g. Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets), and yet that is what many people do all the time.

The observation that it’s harder to mark portions to go back to is well founded. However, I find that even when I mark portions in print books, I rarely actually go back to them. I’m more likely to read the whole thing through again (which isn’t very likely considering all the new books I want to read). With audiobooks, on the other hand, you can rate portions of books, even shuffle playback based on which portions I’ve listened to least or which I liked best.

I only recently began to read Harry Potter (late to the game!) and I wouldn’t have passed up the experience of hearing Stephen Fry read it to me. It was wonderful. In fact, I think the book must have been meant to be read aloud. There are passages of suspense (the countdown till Harry’s birthday, for instance) that would be utterly spoilt by a straying eye.


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