Does listening to the audio book count as reading?

Back in January I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, mostly because of all the buzz surrounding the movie. I enjoyed it a great deal, although it was, at times, a harrowing read. I probably won’t be seeing the movie. Still, it was a moving and thought-provoking tale, artfully told. I enjoyed it so much, that I decided I would try to read a book a month this year, but have become somewhat distracted by listening to the audio book of Steven King’s Under The Dome.

I love listening to audio books, (hands, eyes free for knitting!) and Under the Dome has been no exception. Steven King is still a master storyteller. But I’m torn as to whether or not I can count listening to a book as “reading” it. When I read a book, I become gripped by the momentum of the plot and tend to rush through, especially as the story nears the end. But in listening to the book, I’m at the mercy of the reader’s measured pace, forced to slow down and savor the story.

Moreover, I’ve found that I can’t listen to the book in place of reading it because there are places and situations where audio books just don’t go, like into the bathtub with me or over my morning coffee. This is why we’re just past the middle of February, and I’ve only listened to about a third of the book. Perhaps I need a hard copy of the book, in addition to the audio version?

ATTN PUBLISHERS: please include hard copies with your audio books from now on! kthxbai

What? I’m allowed to fantasize, aren’t I? lol

What are you reading (or listening to) right now?

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3 thoughts on “Does listening to the audio book count as reading?

  1. Audio books count as reading for sure. Just like taking turns reading aloud with someone counts.

    And while we’re dreaming, can publishers also include e-books free with every purchase, too? (LOL – at this rate, even paperbacks will start costing $15+…)

  2. with #4 getting older (she asked to sit on the potty today and peed!!!), I might get a minute here and there that I can actually hold a real book. The only reason I’ve read anything in the last year and a half? Kindle for iPhone app. Fantastic! One click buying on Amazon (I don’t buy real book on Amazon because I HATE waiting three weeks for them to decide to put them in a box even when we pay for the shipping), a lit up screen (totally necessary when nursing a baby in a dark room and one finger tap page turns all make for a wonderful reading experience.

    None of this helps you decide if listening is reading, huh :) I say, Hell Yes!!! It’s reading! But then, the numbers and I love to listen to the Harry Potter books on long drives so maybe I just call it reading to make it sound like we are being all “schooly” while driving :)

  3. They totally count!! :D I add them to my Shelfari just as judiciously as my hardcovers and paperbacks! Right now I’m reading some good YA sci-fi/fiction and also listening to “Don’t Know Much About Mythology” which is long but fascinating!

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