Let’s get this out of the way: I love audiobooks. Since reluctantly trying them earlier this year, I have found I cannot get enough of them. I listen to them all the time. They have become part of my daily routine.
But as I listen to more and more audiobooks—sometimes as many as two a week—I find myself feeling a bit shameful. When someone mentions a book and I offer that I recently read it, I rarely mention that I actually listened to it. I feel like I’m hiding a big secret.
In my view, despite the fact that the content is identical, audiobooks are not the same thing as books.
When I read a book, it’s the only thing I am doing in that moment. I’m not looking at my computer, I’m not texting, I’m not walking anywhere—I’m just reading.
When I listen to an audiobook, however, I am never just listening to it. I am always doing something else, be it taking the train, walking somewhere or exercising.
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