Are Audiobooks Cheating? Check Out These Articles on the Science of Listening

By Jennifer Rubins | December 7 2023 | Audiobook News

Are audiobooks cheating? We’re guessing many librarians have encountered this question. Whether the hot topic in a heated book club discussion, a curiosity spoken aloud in the stacks, or a whispered request for reassurance from a well-intentioned parent at the resource desk, we’ve gathered some articles that address the elephant ears in the room. Here is the science behind WHY we say audiobooks are NOT cheating:

“To Your Brain, Listening to a Book Is Pretty Much the Same As Reading It”

By Melissa Dahl
“This question—whether or not listening to an audiobook is “cheating”—is one University of Virginia psychologist Daniel Willingham gets fairly often. . . If, he argues, you take the question from the perspective of cognitive psychology—that is, the mental processes involved—there is no real difference between listening to a book and reading it. So, according to that understanding of the question: No, audiobooks are not cheating.” Read the full article.

“Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It?”

By Daniel T. Willingham
Each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior. Read the full article.

“Are Audiobooks As Good For You As Reading? Here’s What Experts Say”

By Markham Heid
“I think there’s enormous overlap in comprehension of an audio text compared to comprehension of a print text.”—Daniel Willingham Read the full article.

Check out more audiobook stats and title ideas here.