Is Listening to an Audiobook Similar To Reading It? Redditors Share Their Thoughts

When Prince Harry’s Spare came out, I kept bumping into snippets of his audiobook on my Tiktok. I have not listened to the whole of it to date, but the short videos of him narrating his book sounded …intimate.

I have read and listened to Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, and there is something incredible about well-narrated audiobooks. To me, what really matters is the consumption of the story, the medium should not really matter; Trevor led me to this conclusion- the benefits of reading apply when listening to books as well.

But there is a Reddit user who has a dilemma…

They made a post on the “NoStupidQuestions” subreddit, wanting to know what they should say if they have listened to a book and not read it.

The original poster says they have ADHD and prefer to listen to books rather than read them.

So, they have joined two book clubs and attended their first.

They, however, are in a dilemma on what to say before giving their contribution. If they say they read a book …it would be dishonest. However, if they choose the truth and say they listened to it, it may sound like they are over-explaining everything.

Now, their problem is whether they should explain themselves or should they just jump into the conversation.

The Masses Weigh In

When you say you have watched the movie, there will always be people that will come at you saying the book is better. But this is not the same case with listening to the audio, especially because many of them are read word for word. You shouldn’t even have to explain yourself even if the audio you listened to is an abridged version; what matters is that you consumed the information in the book.

One commenter said, “I’ve dealt with the same question, and I have decided it’s not a competition; you can say whatever the {heck} you want. If someone has a problem with it, tell them to get bent.”

Another chimed in, saying, “Yeah, I tend to specify that I didn’t read it; I listened to it. It’s not about superiority; it’s about specificity. I don’t think it’s ableist; if anything, saying you read it feels patronizing.”

Another had something to say about people who think audiobooks are inferior, “It also just makes it feel like they value reading so highly above audibly learning that it makes them insecure to say they listened to it. Who cares if you read or listened to it? No one. But it comes across as “I need everyone to know I read even though I don’t read,” and that tends to be what people judge about it. The person who recorded it read it out loud, and you listened to them doing so.

If they attended the lecture of the world’s most famous economist, would they say they read it too? Or if they watch an incredibly riveting documentary that makes groundbreaking connections in a highly specialized field, would they say they read it? There’s absolutely 0 shame in listening to things to learn or enjoy them, so say you listened to the audiobook.”

And lastly, “Say you listened to it, not overexplaining at all. Audiobooks are incredibly common; nobody’s going to be like, “huh???? You listened to it???? What does THAT mean?????”

What do you think? Is reading the book superior to listening to the audio? 


This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.

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