Saying Audiobooks Don’t Count as Reading Is Ableist and Ignorant

Read Your Books However You Want.

Here’s my quick bookish rant for the month and from the title of this article, you know it’s going to be about audiobooks.

See, I love audiobooks.

Reading a book via audiobook or a physical book should not be that big of a deal.
And yet, it is a continuous debate in the book community. Does it not sound ridiculous that people are arguing over whether or not someone’s reading is valid because they chose to listen to it?

I guess drama should come with the territory of having a community. But with books? A community that is supposed to be spending most of their time with their nose in a book and minding their business?

Sure, nothing beats the book in your hand. But we need to consider the reasons behind the purpose of audiobooks: the entertainment, convenience, variety!

Whenever I decide to pick up a novel that consists of over 600 pages,
I also find the audiobook on an app like Libby or Scribd to help me get along.
Why?
Because I think listening to an audiobook heightens the experience.
Hearing other voices contribute to the imagery you’ve created in your mind about characters makes it more fun. It’s like a movie you manipulate mentally as the audio plays out in your head.

You can also multitask with an audiobook.

Some of us are adults that are too busy to take time to wind down in a recliner with our favorite teas and lose ourselves in a book for hours. We long deeply for the aesthetic of the former, but sometimes it’s hard to participate in the aesthetic when you’re asleep seconds into sitting in the recliner after working all day.
You can clean up your house or drive without necessarily putting the book down. I’ve personally found that I get more work done around the house when I’m listening to an audiobook rather than listening to music.
You can go for a run.
Listen on a lunch break.
Running errands.
You get the idea. Audiobooks create flexibility for avid readers.

Some of us can’t stare at words on a page for hours because it can cause headaches, or we lose focus when trying to follow along.

And obviously, audiobooks create accessibility to those who are visually impaired.

So why are we debating the authenticity of the audiobook? Because an alternative sense is being utilized as they absorb a story?
It is very insensitive.

And we have a name for people who share this mindset:

Ableist: You are being discriminant against and projecting social prejudice against disabled individuals, in this case, the visually impaired.

Saying audiobooks don’t count as reading is ableist and ignorant.

Would you say that to someone who is blind? That they are not accomplishing the same goal as you because they took a different route to get there?
We need to be mindful of our neighbors in this community and not shove this idea that one way is the right way for a hobby that is supposed to be enjoyed by everyone.

Consume your books however you want. Audiobooks are making the hobby more accessible to others in the community. We should be happy for anyone that wants to be apart of it.

****If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to check out my other bookish article: All Book Lover’s Should Read These Books

As always, Thank You For Reading!

-B. Ellis

Reader. Writer.Student of life. Dreamer. Storyteller. Creating a safe space for my fellow weirdos.

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