Audiobooks – Is Listening REALLY Reading?

Excerpted from Mercury News

Audiobooks illustration
Rick Nease/The Detroit Free Press/MCT

Audiobooks: Folks say they’re the perfect solution when they love nothing more than to curl up with a good book — if only they had time.
While books on tape or CD have long been popular with commuters, smartphones have opened a whole new world of possibilities to when and where you can listen to literature. With access to what’s now a broad choice of fiction and nonfiction titles through commercial downloading services, or with the library’s free program called OverDrive, sales of adult audiobooks jumped 38 percent in 2015 alone.  So – is it REALLY reading when you listen?

University of Virginia psychology professor Dan Willingham said research that breaks down how people learn to process written language suggests that once people master reading, their comprehension is the same, whether they are absorbing printed or narrated texts. And, in the end, he said, what does it matter how you absorb the information? “For leisure readers, the idea that audiobooks are somehow ‘cheating’ is kind of funny,” he said, adding that he regularly listens to audiobooks while driving or exercising.
Read the article for more details, and keep reading – or listening!

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