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Are audiobooks considered reading?
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Absolutely audiobooks are reading. Let’s think about this from a different perspective. It’s always so funny to watch arguments over paper versus electronic. Bibliophiles like the smell and feel of physical books, while others love the convenience of a library on a notebook size device. I am in both camps. The one camp I’m not full in with is audiobooks. That’s because I can hold a device or book, and have full use of my eyes.
Audiobooks have created a boon for those with visual impairments and those with physical impairments that make reading from a device difficult if not prohibitive. A lot of us don’t consider disabilities when talking about books. My perspective comes from my term as a student services secretary serving an entire state university. My office consisted of disability services, veteran affairs, and student life, as well as career services and grievances.
One of the accommodations our office was able to provide students was books in alternative formats. Sometimes that was electronic, because they could use a reader or increase the font. Other times, students needed audio. If we could get it, we would without a second thought.
Something that always struck me was the lack of electronic format books through major publishers. With all their resources they do not provide alternate formats for accessibility that customers require. Very few books were in electronic documents or accessible. I spent a lot of hours fixing this for our students. I was happy to, but I was disgusted by the publishers and their lack of concern about this issue.
To be fair, I wish I could afford to get mine into audio format, because I know I am not able to deliver my work to those with different needs. That’s very frustrating. The cost of talent and the service can be quite prohibitive to indie authors. Some use their own voice and prove they have a talent for the work. Accessing a studio to make the recording is costly, however. Then there is finding a way to publish it with your books. It’s a lot to navigate!
But none of that should prohibit major publishers from have their books accessible. For many, audiobooks are the only way to read a book. Audiobooks are just the book being read by voice talent, just as if someone came to sit in your kitchen and read a paper copy to you. Absolutely, yes. Audiobooks are reading.
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