A good friend and I often argue about this subject. Do audiobooks count as reading? There’s something about reading a book, making notes, tagging pages etc that makes it more real to me (I’ve been on a mission to read more  this year). Idly listening to a book makes it far easier for me to switch off, or have those moments where you suddenly realise you’re not paying attention anymore. 

And so, the conversation continues. Trying to figure out whether audiobooks count as reading. 

Listening or Reading? 

Whether you listen or read, ultimately you’re digesting the content. So there is a clear argument to be made for it being “the same”. It makes sense to say if someone reads the book to you that you’ve in fact read the book. 

But what about when the subject matter is more complicated, or more challenging to digest? At that point, is it best to read or listen to the content. 

I make a lot of notes whilst I’m reading certain types of books. I want to understand, remember, and highlight the important parts that I want to come back to. As a result, listening to an audiobook just isn’t the same to me. 

Audible by Amazon 

I’ve used Audible for years. I love listening to books whilst I’m travelling, or when I’m going for a walk. It’s a great way to be able to consume more content when reading a book wouldn’t be practical (don’t go for a jog and try to read a book at the same time). 

I have a variety of books on Audible, but the vast majority are fiction and fantasy novels. Something that allows me to listen in the evenings just before bed and to fall asleep too. As I fall asleep, the content disappears into the background and as a result, I don’t think of this as “reading”. 

Do Audiobooks Count as Reading? 

I really don’t have an answer to this. I guess it depends on what you listen to and what you’re doing at the same time. What I will say is this. I love being able to continue to consume content, whilst doing other things and being able to maximise the time and effort of both together. 

Whether I go “as deep” or not with an audiobook compared to a physical book is another story. 

What do you think? Does listening to the audiobook count as reading? Let me know in the comments. 

Chris Bruno
Chris Bruno

I’m Chris Bruno, Founder and CEO of Social INK, a community-driven, social-first, digital marketing agency. I'm also the host of the All About Digital Marketing podcast. I'm passionate about marketing, travel, food and continual development.

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