Audio Books – Is That Really Reading?

How people use books, e-books and audio books, audio products, podcasts, authors, writers, speakers, trainers, coaches, Sandy Weaver Carman, Voicework On Demand

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Recently I overheard a couple of Moms talking about their kids’ back-to-school projects. One Mom told the other that her son had to list all the books he’d read during the summer.

Dilemma – he wanted to list audio books as well as “regular” books, and Mom didn’t know what to do. They had spent a lot of time in the car during the summer, driving to Disney and to see grandparents, so there were several audio books that could be included. But was that really reading?

As the Moms discussed the issues around the problem, I eavesdropped. Shamelessly! It was interesting to hear their thoughts on the subject, and to try to figure out which way the vote would go. As someone who has produced many, many audio books, my bias is pretty clear, but it’s always good to understand how others view and use the products my company creates.

They quickly came to the idea that both books and audio books should be included, but that there should be some distinction made between them, so the teacher could see how much “reading and comprehension” had been done, and how much “listening and comprehension” had happened. This approach satisfied them both, and they moved on to other topics. I ceased being a fly on the wall in their conversation.

For children, those learning to read, and those learning to read in another language than their native one, “regular reading” is important. Practicing the art of reading is necessary in order to master it. But for those who are proficient readers, there probably doesn’t need to be a distinction between “reading and comprehension” and “listening and comprehension.” Since it’s the comprehension part that’s important, you can get it either way.

That’s why it’s important to give people the choice – give them books and audio books. Give them blog posts and podcasts. Give them workbooks and audio workshops. Give your audience the chance to comprehend your material in their favorite way, and you both win!

Do you have a question about audio products? I’d love to hear it, and maybe answer it right here. Helping people monetize their content is what we do!


Sandy Weaver Carman
CEO, Voicework on Demand, Inc.

I partner with writers, speakers, trainers and coaches, taking work they’ve already done and turning it into a revenue river. Ready to get your feet wet?

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