Thursday Tea Time- Yes, Audiobooks Do Count As Reading

Posted February 6, 2020 by stuckint in Thursday Tea Time / 3 Comments

Goodmorning everyone! We are so excited to welcome all of you back to another Thursday Tea Time, where we here at Stuck in the Stacks discuss our strong bookish opinions. So grab your beverage of choice and come with your thoughts ready because today we’re talking about Audiobooks and addressing the question: does it actually count was reading.

Science Says… Yes!


Emily shared a recent article with me from Discover Magazine. It reporter on a study carried out by neuroscientists who examined brain activity while people read books and listened to their audiobooks. Their conclusion? The brains of subjects reacted with exact same with with equal intensity!

“[This] most recent study, which compared brains when they were listening and reading, showed that wordstend to activate the same brain regions with the same intensity, regardless of input.”

Obviously more work needs to be done, but the next time uncle Ted tries to tell you audiobooks don’t count as reading, be sure to cite your source!

As Readers We Should Be Inclusive


Alright, real talk everyone. Putting your foot down on this issue and claiming that audiobooks don’t count alienates a lot of people. There are a lot of reasons different readers cannot read from physical books from physical impairments such as vision loss to economic difficulties that make print books hard to come by.

As a world wide community of readers we should be exercising our empathy muscles and building bridges, not walls! The bookish community is one of our favorites and everyone deserves to feel included and valued, regardless of the medium through which they consume books.

Remembering Reading Time?


I’m sure we all remember in Elementary school when our teachers would read aloud to us while most of us put our heads down and listened… or napped. School curriculums count that as reading time. Arguably, audiobooks are the exact same experience, just a different narrator every time. Oh and let’s not forget that children first learn to read by listening to other do it. If it’s good enough for developing minds, it’s good enough for me!

But Ultimately Why Does It Matter?


In the grand scheme of things I think we need to ask ourselves: why does it matter so much? We each read for enjoyment and it is up to each of us whether we are going to consider audiobooks as reading or not. Honestly, it’s not really our place to decide whether another person should count audiobooks as reading or not.

What About You?

What are your opinions about audiobooks? Are they a regular part of your reading life? Do you count them toward your yearly goals? Let us know in the comments!

3 responses to “Thursday Tea Time- Yes, Audiobooks Do Count As Reading

  1. Cori

    Audiobooks absolutely count and sometimes I think an Audiobook makes the overall book even better! Daisy Jones and the Six was a fabulous audiobook. Last night we had book club. The people that listened to Nothing to See Here, liked it better than the people that read it. The narrator’s voice helped improve the overall book!

  2. Rebekah

    I think it does count! I choose to read myself from a print or Kindle book most of the time because I’m a visual learner and retain information best if I read it myself, but others retain it better via audio or, as you say, are unable to read print books. Different strokes for different folks. I also personally love that science has confirmed they’re equal.

  3. Rebecca

    I count my audiobooks. Of the 150 or so books I read each year, 30% are audiobooks!! Sometimes the narrator can really make the book. I recently listened to Red, White & Royal Blue and as I was listening to it I decided I would not have enjoyed it near as much without the English accent for Henry that the narrator was able to portray for him. It was brilliant.

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