With the amount of reading college kids do on a weekly basis we hardly have time to read something just for pleasure. I have recently found audio books and have been able to read/listen to many great books I would have never been able to before. Although it is absorbing the book word for word, is it really reading?
No, I am not sitting down by the fire curled up with a physical book watching the words form pictures as I read them line-by-line. Part of the reason books are so fantastic is you are a co-author. Tom Clancy may have written the words, but you created what the characters look like, exactly where the scenery is and their choice of clothing. You learn new words, you can skip ahead and there is a ritual to reading a book that everyone has. There is no doubt that reading a book is a special experience but is listening to one cheating?
Many people read books together, one out loud to the other. How is that different than an audio book? With my family and friends, we tend to go on adventures, which requires driving. Visiting my family is over a two-hour drive in itself. Most the places I drive to do not even have radio service. Listening to an audio book keeps me awake and interested. It gives me the opportunity to read/listen to books I never had time for. Every time I know I am going on a road trip I make sure to buy a new audio book. Listening to a riveting story makes me not want the journey to end.
Whether an audio book is cheating or not is up to the individual. I do not believe it is. It opens more doors for authors to have their story heard by more people. If I offend any authors out there I am sorry, but I will just keep listening to your words instead of reading them.