Why We Need to Stop Hating on Audiobooks

“I only read REAL books”

“I can’t read if I can’t touch the book”

“You didn’t really read it if you only listened to it”

Sound familiar at all? I have heard this from a stream of people over the years when I mention that I occasionally listen to audiobooks. It usually comes from casual readers who think they are special because they managed to read one thing on the best seller list.

I get annoyed when people hate on audiobooks, and not just because I enjoy them. Hating on audiobooks and dismissing them as a form of reading is alienating people who don’t have the ability to physically read. When you say to someone that their enjoyment of a book doesn’t count because they listened to it you are potentially discouraging them from picking up a book ever again. Think about that, your comment could stop a potential reader from never enjoying a book again.

I have spoken to quite a few people who rely on audiobooks for literature. Hell, I once built an entire book playlist for people with learning difficulties. Many of the young people I worked with wanted to read the likes of Harry Potter or the classics but had difficulties reading. Audiobooks gave them the ability to enjoy books for the first time. This can also apply to people with ADHD, dyslexia, Tourettes, visual problems or people who simply do not have English as a first language. Audiobooks can unlock the world of literature to all of those people.

Reading should be accessible to everyone. Whether you listen to audiobooks while at work because you simply don’t have the time to sit and read, or you spend all day pouring over the battered pages of your favourite novel, you are reading. So next time you ever feel the urge to say that an audiobook isn’t a real book think about who you are talking to. Maybe there is a reason why they are listening to it.

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4 comments on “Why We Need to Stop Hating on Audiobooks

  1. Yes exactly!! I recently did a discussion post on my blog about this. I was on the app books Amino where this girl flat out said that it doesn’t count as reading if you “listen” to it. Her point was that someone is reading it to you and you’re not reading it yourself. My blood boiled and I was literally shaking! It shouldn’t matter how you consume a book. Point is that you’re spending time on that book and taking in the authors words. I love audiobooks and usually listen to a few a month 🙂

  2. I just started giving audiobooks a new try since they didn’t work for me before and now I love having them.
    I think it is stupid to say that you don’t read a book just because you don’t do the literal thing. You still get the same words, just spoken to you but that doesn’t change the outcome of it.
    I now listen to audiobooks when I’m working out since it helps me get through the workout. I couldn’t read at that time of it wasn’t for audiobooks.

  3. Strangely I rarely hear audiobook hate, although I’ve heard the ones you’ve mentioned – it’s against physical books a lot of people make jabs at too. Annoys me to no end.

    I’m not a big audiobook personal by personal preference, but am slowly listening to one now that helped me out a lot with the 24 hour readathon. It’s a lifesaver with stuff like that especially!

    • The Spine Cracker says:

      Really?? You have heard that about physical books?? I have heard it about ebooks as well.

      Audiobooks are not my personal preference but they have their uses, especially if you are juggling multiple reads at once or doing a readathon.

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