Most of my friends, for different reasons, have joined the we-love-audiobooks club. I have tried it a couple of times, first with The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, then with Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin. Both times I didn’t succeed. Without any warning, my mind went on thinking about what to do the following week, what my mother had told me the day before or what I felt like eating for lunch… My brain was doing anything but listening to the audiobook.
The article Audiobooks: Are you ‘cheating’ if you listen rather than read traditionally?, by David Rothman, jumped in front of my eyes while I was browsing on TeleRead for a digital media/e-publishing news to write about.
In the article, Rothman explores pros and cons of audiobooks versus the traditional book. He also discusses whether or not listening to an audiobook rather than reading it traditionally is cheating.
I don’t see any reason for rivalry or cheating. The truth is that different people like different forms of media. What works perfectly for one doesn’t necessarily have to work for the other. I personally don’t switch a good, old friend book by an audiobook. It doesn’t matter who is making the voices on the audiobook; I have accepted that I have a hard time listening to audio and work much better when I read.
I don’t think that people who listen to audiobooks are cheaters. The same way people can skip a book and jump to its end, audiobooks offer the same option. To me, it’s not the format that the book is delivered that matters. All that matters is whether or not it’s a good story.