Is listening to a book reading?

I was lying in bed last night, listening to a couple of chapters of a book on my ipod when I suddenly remembered something from Dean Shareski‘s talk with us last Thursday. I started wondering if, by listening to this book, I was reading. Typically, when I think about reading, I think about reading the words on a page. However, I had some interesting thoughts I wanted to share. First of all, obviously looking at the words on a page is reading, but is visual reading the only kind. I couldn’t decide if listening to a book was reading. Then I thought about being blind. When you are blind, you can’t see but you can still read. You do this by using Braille, in essence, feeling the words rather than seeing the words. Therefore, I came to the following conclusion. If you can read by feeling the words, just as much as you can by seeing the words, why can’t you read by hearing the words. Thus, I have decided that, yes, listening to a book is reading. It is just reading using a different sense than what I normally would.

I would like to know what other’s think. Do you feel the same way as I do, or differently? Why or why not? I am interested in hearing what other’s have to say on this topic so please drop a comment below.

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Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reading is only one type of literacy and reading incompasses a lot more than just the words on the page. It takes into consideration comprehension, meaning, and text to self connections. When you read to a class, they can’t see the tiny words on the page in front of them, yet we still consider that as reading. Or those students who read wordless books, they are creating that meaningful story in the minds, but we still consider it reading. I think that as long as there is meaning and comprehension behind the literacy you are involved in, it can be considered a way of reading.

  2. I’ve become a podcast junkie, and have come to especially love the short story podcasts (Selected Shorts by PRI, New Yorker Fiction Podcast, The Guardian Fiction Podcast are my current favs.) I had the same thought; am I really READING these short stories? Well…. I AM keeping up on literature!

    Good post!


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