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to ask if audiobooks are "cheating"?

(25 Posts)
YouDoTheMath Mon 01-Aug-11 10:24:24

I've recently taken to listening to audiobooks, as I have a small DD and very little time to read. I listen to them when she's asleep, and I can get on with the housework etc at the same time.

However some people seem to think it's "cheating", as you're not investing the same amount of energy as you would into actually reading a book.

What do you think?

Mitmoo Mon 01-Aug-11 10:27:49

I think they're a fabulous idea, when I was at university I got many of the books I had to study on audio, so I could multi task, listen to them in the car and get on with other stuff.

I just couldn't juggle sick mum, autistic son and high reading list. I will happily listen to them now for fun.

Scholes34 Mon 01-Aug-11 10:30:41

We've done all Harry Potter on CD. All the family has listened together. None of us have speed-read any of it, so have all the details firmly lodged in our heads. Have enjoyed the films immensely and totally understand all that's going on. Audio-books aren't cheating, though it's still good to read the occasional book.

bruffin Mon 01-Aug-11 10:31:58

DS wouldn't read novels until he was nearly 13 because of dyslexic problems. But he would listen to audio books, thankfully our library had a huge range. His english teacher said it was fine because he still was access literature.
It was audio books that actually finally got him to reading, bought him a set of Alex Rider and a new book came out which wasn't on audio, he was so desperate that he read it, then became a book worm.

Sassyfrassy Mon 01-Aug-11 10:32:26

Not at all cheating. I do the same as you and listen to books while doing housework. I'm a fast reader and find that it takes me a lot longer to listen to book than read it, so really I am investing more time. Also, I find that when you listen to a book you actually need to pay more attention than when reading as you can't just go back to the bit that you read while thinking of something else.

carriedababi Mon 01-Aug-11 10:32:27

they are great when doing long boring jobs like painting too

bit annoying that the library charge for them though!

FreudianSlipper Mon 01-Aug-11 10:35:55

no but i do think it is important to read too

i listened to a lot of audio books when ds was a baby i was too tired to read and it was a lovely way to relax

cuddlysmurf Mon 01-Aug-11 10:36:47

YANBU - they are fab for blocking out the fact that I'm doing boring household tasks. I can't find time to read a book for pleasure at the moment, what with family, work and study for a new career, and this is the only way I get my much needed "fiction fix"

RevoltingPeasant Mon 01-Aug-11 10:42:14

YANBU. I am a uni lecturer in English and I listen to audiobooks all the time.

IMO, they are often really interesting interpretations of the text - because they are read by professional actors who have really thought about what the narrative voice should sound like, and how each of the different characters should sound. I teach a lot of Dickens and Austen, and listening to an actor's reading of a novel I already know very well often makes me think differently about the tone of a particular sentence - maybe an actor will it ironically instead of 'straight' for example.

Also, yes, they are fab for doing housework with - I am listening to Moby Dick at the minute and it makes the ironing much more interesting. And you do have to pay attention; unlike reading, you can't space out and then just pick up again where you left off - you have to stay engaged.

catgirl1976 Mon 01-Aug-11 10:43:06

YANBU - I have the Lord of Rings on audiobook and it is fab with the different voices!

coastgirl Mon 01-Aug-11 10:49:56

I was reading a book (can't remember which one - but one of those about the decline of society!) that lambasted people listening to audiobooks as doing something very passive, holding it up as a sign of the general laziness of people "these days". But everyone I know who listens to them does so at a time when you couldn't read a book anyway - at the gym, driving a car, doing housework etc. I used to listen to loads when I commuted on the train and had a longish walk to and from the station, and they're brilliant for long runs when you don't need music to pump you up, just something to keep you going.

SenoritaViva Mon 01-Aug-11 10:51:11

YANBU at all. What so because our lives become so busy and we find it difficult to sit down and read we should ignore the fact that there is a wonderful resource where one can get the housework done AND make it more enjoyable. Horror of horrors that one might be able to do things more enjoyably! I've listened to them on long car journeys and frankly it has been wonderful. They are simply great.

FeelingaBitSick Mon 01-Aug-11 10:58:35

Not at all. Friend's DH is a postman so audiobooks are great for him when he's doing his rounds.

They are brilliant - my late mum had a condition called Ataxia and she couldnt read as it made her feel ill - she loved reading beforehand and these audio books were a godsend to her.

Mishy1234 Mon 01-Aug-11 11:36:32

I LOVE audio books and think they are a good idea for children too (in the car etc). Perfect for fitting into times when it's just not possible to read a book (driving, walking etc).

I don't see it as cheating at all, just a nice way to enjoy books in another way.

HPonEverything Mon 01-Aug-11 11:58:57

YANBU, they're great but I can't get on with them - I find it so hard to take in stuff that is being said to me at the best of times blush. I've tried but I found that 30 mins down the line I literally had NO idea what I'd just heard for the past 30 mins.

I can concentrate on a book for hours at a time, but audio and video I have zero concentration span.

fedupanduptheduff Mon 01-Aug-11 12:04:23

Audiobooks are a great thing - DH has a 45 minute drive to work and back and has listened to loads of books he wouldn't necessarily have the time to read. Not cheating at all.

slug Mon 01-Aug-11 12:07:30

We found them invaluable for DD when her reading skills weren't up to her intellectual level. All the books she could read herself were simply too childish for her. It was putting her off reading. The trigger for her was listening to "How to Be a Pirate" then wanting desperately to know what happened in the other books, none of which at that time were in audiobook form.

Now she's over the hump and a good reader, she still likes the occasional audiobook, especially when on holiday.

nickelbabe Mon 01-Aug-11 12:15:29

they're definitely not cheating!

they've been proven to increase vocabulary, as you/your child are subjected to a story that has more difficult language in than can be tackled by reading (even if you're a competant reader, you're still likely to slip up on longer words, and that doesn't help your DC to learn those words)

it also means that if you're less confident with reading, your DC still gets a decent story, and you'll be able to listen to longer stories together than if you were reading them yourself

also, kids' audio book are more likely to have extra noises and the reader doing voices that you might not be able to do.

I'm not saying only use audio books, because the participation is a huge thing, but it's definitely a good plan to use them.

ZZZenAgain Mon 01-Aug-11 12:16:05

no, not cheating, just something different. Only have one for myself- Gibbon: Decline and Fall etc which tbh I have never listened to. Dd has some and she likes them on in the background whilst she draws or builds with lego or whate ver othe mysterious things she does in the bedroom.

nickelbabe Mon 01-Aug-11 12:16:26

blush just realised that you meant you were listening to them, not listening to them with your DD.

still not cheating - bloody good way of catching up with reading when you don't have time to read.

Bonsoir Mon 01-Aug-11 12:43:24

Of course audio books aren't "cheating". It is a different experience to listen to a book being read aloud to reading a book silently to oneself, but there is no moral superiority in reading to oneself. Indeed, in the past people used to read aloud to others a great deal more than they do today - listening to a book being read is a very normal experience.

YouDoTheMath Mon 01-Aug-11 13:26:48

No problem nickelbabe - I was interested in opinions all round. I've listened to them since childhood so will definitely introduce DD to them at some stage.

iscream Tue 02-Aug-11 05:59:25

I like audio books, when I can't sleep. Not cheating, it is someone reading the book out loud. Unlike a movie, which often isn't the same as the book.

msbuggywinkle Tue 02-Aug-11 08:29:14

Not at all. DP has severe dyslexia and finds actually reading hard work, he loves audio books.

DD1 also really enjoys them, she can put them on herself and likes that she can be independent in getting stories even though she can't read yet.

I'm hearing impaired so don't get on with them (can't lip read like I can with TV!) and I like the feeling of holding an actual book anyway.

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