Do Audiobooks Count as Reading?

This may be a no brainer to some people and a head scratcher to others, but the debate about whether or not audiobooks count as reading still lingers.

Our first memory of experiencing a story is when a book was read to us. We weren’t doing the actual reading, but we were still experiencing the story. Consuming the narrative through every word. As we got older understanding audiobooks was just as easy as reading print books, maybe even easier! But do we get all the benefits of reading while listening to an audiobook and vice versa?

You can hear clues in the narrative easier through audiobooks just as you understand the speech of a person’s voice better than in a text message. However, the information is still the same. Think about it in terms of your everyday communication. Is receiving information through text messages different than on a call? I told you… this could be a head scratcher!

The research is also out there. As audiobooks become more and more popular people want to know the facts, benefits, pros, and cons of investing in the format. 

Here are a few of my favorite articles.




I know there are some very visible arguments to consider when thinking about audiobooks as reading or not- especially being that there are no actual words to look at. I also think there is a whole other branch to the argument when putting education to the test. In terms of learning, audiobooks could lack the cognitive skills needed to teach students the fundamentals of spelling and grammar. However, audiobooks could be more accessible and enjoyable for people with learning disabilities and the visually impaired. It is a whole universe of alternative reading that really has some interesting benefits to consider. 

Where do you stand? There will always be a back and forth between the two, but your preference is your own! And we can all still enjoy the value of a story. 🙂 

Share your thoughts with us!

Happy Reading!

3 thoughts on “Do Audiobooks Count as Reading?

  1. KDKH July 10, 2020 / 2:53 pm

    I read paper books and audiobooks voraciously. Some, I prefer in one format over the other. If I need to ruminate, think about the topic, return to certain sections to re-read, etc. then a paper book is a must. For other types of books (mainly fiction), audiobook is preferred. An audiobook experience is different, but it still counts as reading!

  2. TA Sullivan July 14, 2020 / 9:48 am

    While I don’t care for audiobooks, I still think they count [as reading]. After all, the person still absorbed the story. Although, the term ‘reading’ appears to apply more to the seeing of words and sentences, I believe the meaning of the word needs to be stretched to include those who prefer to listen.

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