Do audiobooks count as reading?
Listen now
Do audiobooks count as reading? And does it really matter? Why do some people seem to care so much about making this distinction? Where do the moral overtones surrounding reading that underlie this question come from? Arguments around this topic are often centered on the benefits of reading - and there are plenty, including educational, professional, psychological, social, and emotional. So, does the format we read in matter when it comes to the benefits we get from reading?   Whether you've found yourself justifying your audiobook listening to someone as "real" reading, or you're on the other side and you think audiobooks don't count as reading, this episode will give you something to think about.  Join us as we dive into this topic! [Note: there is some background noise in this episode (Elizabeth clacking on her keyboard), but rest assured it doesn't persist in future episodes. Thanks for bearing with us as we learn! :)]  ----------------------- Books we're reading in this episode: Love Marriage by Monica Ali Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Empire of Shadows (Throne of Glass) Series by Sarah J. Maas The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston  -----------------------  Sources (links provided when available!) listed in the order they appear in the episode: Irwin, William. "Reading Audio Books." Philosophy and Literature 33, no. 2 (2009): 358-368. doi:10.1353/phl.0.0057.Erica B. Michael, Timothy A Keller, Patricia A. Carpenter, and Marcel Adam Just. "fMRI Investigation of Sentence Comprehension by Eye and Ear: Modality Fingerprints on Cognitive Processes." Human Brain Mapping 13 (2001): 240, N. Osaka et al. "The Neural Basis of Executive Function in Working Memory: An fMRI Study Based on Individual Differences." Neuroimage 21 (2004): 623–31, Winqwist, T. "Reading with Your Ears : A comparative study of reading and listening to Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Dissertation)." (2010),, M.  (2022). "Listening or reading?: Rethinking ableism in relation to the senses and (acoustic) text." In Techniques of Hearing (pp. 102-113). Routledge.Moyer, Jessica E. “What Does It Really Mean to ‘Read’ a Text?” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 55 no. 3 (2011): 253–56. Intro and outro music: "The Chase," by Aves. Do you have thoughts, questions, or ideas for future episodes? Email us at [email protected]. And if you want to learn more about the podcast, visit our website at If you liked this episode, please consider leaving us a review to help us reach more listeners. And if you'd like to see more bookish content from Martha & Elizabeth, follow us on Instagram and TikTok @allbooksaloudpod. Read on!
More Episodes
Send us a Text Message.Is the book always better than the movie? If you had asked either of us before this episode, we both would have said unequivocally 'yes!' But our discussion showed us that this topic might actually be more nuanced than we realized. Join as we talk about nearly every Jane...
Published 05/22/24
Published 05/08/24
Send us a Text Message.Two very special guests joined us for this episode - the other half of our sibling quartet, Bekka and Mike. Listen in as we talk about our early experiences with reading, the similarities in how our reading journeys started, where our tastes differ, and how we took...
Published 05/08/24