No, it’s not cheating. Listening to an audiobook is just as worthy a pursuit as reading a print book, say librarians.
“In the library world, there is definitely the belief that you’re ‘reading’ when you’re listening to an audiobook,” says St. James Episcopal School librarian Catherine Word.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, 20% of Americans reported regularly listening to audiobooks in 2019, up from 11% in 2011. Audiobooks can be the salvation of commuters and busy people who listen while they exercise, work in the yard or do housework. They’re also helpful to struggling younger readers, who can benefit from listening to a book while reading it, Word says. If you’re new to audiobooks, Word advises a few tips.
Select a popular narrator
Fans of audiobooks are often as drawn to specific narrators as they are to particular authors. For example, Word says she loves to hear books read by Julia Whelan, who has narrated popular titles by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Gillian Flynn, Tara Westover and many other best-selling writers.
Try a memoir read by the author
Certain books lend themselves well to the audio format, especially modern memoirs read by the author. A good one to sample is actor Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights, Word says.