It’s a pet peeve I can’t shake: audiobooks are not reading. They are perfectly valid and every bit as valuable, but literally they are not reading, they are listening. I feel like whatever readers did to try to make listeners feel inferior has resulted in pushback that rather than being oriented toward defending listening to books in and of itself has oriented toward bastardizing the words we have for experiencing books, which seems a weird approach when what’s at issue, after all, is the love of the things that words can make. You’ve no more “read” a book by listening to a recording of it than you’ve done so by listening to someone read it aloud to you in person; they are reading, you are listening. Reading is an unmediated act between writer and reader; listening is not, as it passes through someone in between. No one who’s been to the theater for Hamlet can say they read Hamlet; they’ve seen it. The words we use for these distinct mental experiences should reflect that there’s a difference. Don’t redefine reading books. Vigorously defend listening to them.

Hello. My name is Bix. @bix