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  • Writer's pictureBrendan Holba

Do Audiobooks Count As Reading?

Brendan Holba

In today's fast-paced world, finding time to sit down and read a physical or digital book can be a challenge. But if you're like me, audiobooks offer the opportunity to stay well-read and invested in literature and should be considered reading. The rise of audiobooks has opened up a new world of literary possibilities. Contrary to popular belief, listening to an audiobook can be just as beneficial as reading a physical book.


Accessibility and Convenience

With the rise of audiobooks, the barriers to accessing literature have been knocked down again, the likes we haven't seen in decades. Now, more than ever, through audiobooks more people have an opportunity to foster a greater love for learning and reading. Audiobooks offer a world of possibilities, allowing readers to immerse themselves in captivating stories and gain knowledge while on the go.

Aside from assisting bookworms in their search for great prose in a time crunch, audiobooks have opened up a new world of literature for individuals who may face challenges in traditional reading formats. For those with visual impairments, audiobooks provide an accessible alternative, allowing them to enjoy books despite any visual impairments they may have. This growth has made literature more accessible to a wider audience, promoting a love for reading among individuals who may have previously struggled.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 253 million people worldwide have vision impairments, and audiobooks provide them with a means to engage with books independently. By leveraging advancements in technology, audiobooks have become a powerful tool in promoting literacy and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the powerful, life-altering magic of storytelling.

What is hands down the greatest benefit of audiobooks is the unparalleled convenience they offer. If you are like me and most others in this modern life we lead, finding time to sit down and read a physical book can be challenging. Yet, the increasingly growing variety of audiobooks provides a solution by enabling individuals to multitask and make the most of their time.

Despite the increasing flexibility of working remotely, many of us still log long hours in a car, on the train, or even in airports and on airplanes. Long commutes can be transformed though, from monotonous daily tasks to enriching experiences with the help of audiobooks. There is so much to learn in our commutes with audiobooks. Instead of a wasteful time spent getting to and from work, transform that time to learn and grow.

When I was young I would see people in the gym, typically on the treadmill or another cardio machine reading a book. It would always make me chuckle but at the same time, people who are listening to an audiobook today are accomplishing the same level of growth as those who read a physical book years ago. Exercise is great for our bodies, and reading is great for our minds. If listening to an audiobook counts as reading, and it totally does, then why not do them both at the same time?

Enhanced Comprehension

We live in an era dominated by digital media, and traditional forms of reading have evolved to accommodate our changing lifestyles. Thankfully, for those of us bookworms audiobooks have gained popularity as a convenient alternative to physical books and still offer a unique way to consume literature. Beyond the ease and accessibility they provide, audiobooks have been shown to help readers enhance comprehension and understanding in captivating ways.

One of the key factors that contribute to the enhanced comprehension of audiobooks is the skillful narration by experienced voice actors. These professionals bring stories to life by utilizing expressive voices, accents, and intonations. According to a study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, the human brain is wired to pay attention to auditory cues, making it easier for listeners to absorb and retain information when it is presented through speech. The nuances of characters, emotions, and dialogue are effectively conveyed through skilled narration, enriching the overall listening experience.

Listening to an audiobook provides a unique form of immersion that can be difficult to achieve with traditional reading. The combination of a well-crafted narrative and a talented narrator allows listeners to visualize scenes and engage with the story on a deeper level. Neurological research has shown that when individuals listen to audiobooks or any explanation of text, multiple regions of the brain associated with language processing, memory, and sensory perception are activated. This suggests that audiobooks have the potential to create a more holistic and engaging experience for our cognitive faculties.

Audiobooks offer unparalleled accessibility, allowing people to enjoy literature while engaging in other activities. Whether it's during a commute, exercise routine, or household chores, audiobooks enable individuals to make efficient use of their time. This accessibility can increase the frequency and duration of reading sessions, leading to a greater overall exposure to literature. According to a survey conducted by Edison Research, audiobook listeners reported spending an average of 5 hours and 34 minutes per week listening to audiobooks, demonstrating the potential for extended engagement with literary content.

Just like each of us is unique in our own ways, we are all unique in our learning styles as well. For language learners or individuals looking to refine their pronunciation, audiobooks can serve as valuable tools. By listening to skilled narrators, learners can hear the proper intonation, rhythm, and pronunciation of words and phrases. The auditory reinforcement provided by audiobooks can be particularly beneficial for language acquisition.

Multitasking and Time Management

Time is a precious commodity. So often many of us find ourselves juggling multiple tasks and struggling to make the most of every minute. However, thanks to the rise of audiobooks, we now have a powerful tool at our disposal to enhance our productivity and time management skills. Audiobooks enable us to engage in multitasking, allowing us to listen to captivating stories while accomplishing other activities.

With audiobooks, we are able to effectively tackle two tasks at once. Whether it's cooking, exercising, commuting, or doing household chores, a narrator like Scott Brick can transform these moments into opportunities for personal growth and learning. If you're like me with a busy life taking care of job responsibilities, my children, and the every day it can be hard to carve out time to take care of my responsibilities and read, but including listening to audiobooks in my daily routine keeps me in the literary game. amount of time.

Instead of idly scrolling through social media or daydreaming, we can engage our minds and expand our knowledge. Audiobooks give us the opportunity to learn, grow, and explore new ideas, even during our busiest days. One of the greatest advantages of audiobooks is their flexibility and accessibility. With a wide range of genres and titles available, there's something for everyone. Whether you're interested in fiction, non-fiction, self-help, or business books, audiobooks offer a diverse selection to cater to individual preferences. I also love the availability across streaming platforms to access audiobooks so that we can enjoy the literature without always adding extra strain to our wallets.

In the same vein of multitasking, the plethora of audiobooks available to us enables us to enhance our lives and strike a balance between fantasy and self-improvement. While we can indulge in thrilling mysteries, heartwarming romances, or epic fantasies, we can also explore personal development, psychology, history, and various other subjects. Whether it's the excitement of a sci-fi novel, the heart-pounding action of a murder thriller, or the empathetic life lessons explained in a memoir or self-improvement book, audiobooks provide us all a gateway to diverse genres and knowledge to ultimately make us better humans.

Accessibility for People with Visual Impairments

As an educator with a background in Special Education, audiobooks are nearer to my heart than perhaps the average reader. With all of the technology that is constantly evolving, the growing amount of literature accessible to all individuals, regardless of their physical abilities, empowers a group of society that for a long period of our literature history was left out. For people with visual impairments or reading difficulties, traditional books can pose significant challenges. As an avid reader, the exploration of alternate worlds is what drew me back to the world of books with each turn of the page and now more than ever before, individuals with differing abilities can tap into audiobooks because they offer that same transformative experience.

Without question, education is a fundamental right, and recently audiobooks have begun to play a vital role in ensuring equal access to learning materials for students of all ability levels. By providing audio versions of textbooks and other educational resources, the playing field is leveled, empowering learners of all ages in a space where before they may have felt like they didn't belong or wouldn't have success. Now, reading and school doesn't have to be a contentious space, rather differently abled individuals can enjoy the same literary experiences as others, strengthening their connection to their peers and community, nourishing a blossoming imagination, and ultimately lead to personal development by learning to navigate their emotions through books.

Improved Pronunciation and Language Skills

Whether it's for educational purposes, professional purposes or you just want to stand out from the crowd, finding effective ways to enhance language skills is a vital tool to have at one's disposal. While traditional methods like reading and studying are valuable, audiobooks have emerged as a powerful tool for language development.

An element that stands out immediately is the advantage of audiobooks and their ability to provide a model for correct pronunciation. When listeners hear words spoken aloud, they gain a deeper understanding of how to articulate sounds and syllables accurately. Additionally, by following along with a skilled narrator, individuals can mimic the rhythm, intonation, and stress patterns of words, leading to improved pronunciation. This is particularly beneficial for second language learners who struggle with mastering the nuances of a new language, as well as young and emerging readers. There are many students, who when asked what voice they use to read in their head often reference a parent or grandparent who read to them consistently, or a teacher in their primary grades who would read aloud in class frequently.

Audiobooks expose listeners to a vast array of vocabulary, sentence structures, and writing styles. So when we immerse ourselves in a well-narrated story or educational content, we naturally encounter words and phrases we may not come across in our everyday conversations or other reading materials. This exposure to diverse language patterns helps expand our vocabulary and deepens our understanding of different grammatical structures. For myself in particular I have found myself utilizing this vocabulary more when I listen to audiobooks because I know how it fits in a sentence more often than just picking up new words in a physical book.

Fluency in language is like a dance, once you have it down you are able to speak with ease, read at a natural pace, and convey your thoughts in a seamless pattern. Audiobooks offer a valuable resource for developing fluency by providing models of expressive speech and storytelling. It cannot be stressed enough, that the skills of narrators do more than just deliver the story. Listening to those skilled narrators, provides us with the natural flow and rhythm of language, assisting us in our own speaking abilities whether we are all cognizant of it or not.

Unlike our ancestors, we live in an era of pervasive change, and the ability to slow down and read a physical book may not be an option. Thankfully, whether you are a bibliophile with a TBR list a mile long or you are a casual peruser of books, audiobooks have revolutionized the way we consume literature and educational content. They provide accessibility, convenience, and a range of benefits that rival reading physical books. Whether you're on the go, seeking multitasking opportunities, or simply looking for an immersive storytelling experience, audiobooks have something to offer. So, embrace the power of audiobooks and unlock a new world of literary exploration. Happy listening, and happy reading!

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Sep 22, 2023
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Very well said


Sep 21, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Audiobooks are still reading!

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