Remember when I made a commitment to read a book a week this fall? Well, I have a qualifying question for you. Do audio books count as reading?  I had the opportunity to do large amounts of yard work this past weekend and I see much more yard work in my future and instead of listening to music or the buzz of a mosquito in my ear, I decided to try listening to an audio book.

Now, I have tried listening to audio books in the past, and I just couldn’t get into them. I found my mind wandering, requiring me to skip back many times to catch what the reader was saying. Or, I couldn’t stand the voice of the person reading the book. So, I gave up on audio books. But, with my new adventures in the outside world in front of me, I decided to give audio books another chance. Since I didn’t want to rent one from the library, transfer it to my computer, and then transfer it to my ipod, I decided to just go through itunes. I knew that I had to preview the voice before I even considered downloading the book. And do you know what I discovered about my listening preferences? I really enjoy a reader with an English accent over a boring old American.

After listening to about a dozen previews, I choose my book (I’ll fill you in on the details of the book in a later post), downloaded it, and headed out to the yard. And let me tell you, I have not been disappointed. I am actually looking forward to the next opportunity to listen to it! But, I do have to say, by listening to someone else read the book, I feel my role in the story is very inactive. The person reading the book has decided the pronunciation and tone of everything in the book. So instead of me trying to figure out “how exactly do you say that girl’s name?” or “was he really that mad?”, I just have to sit back and listen to someone else’s answer to those questions. In fact, those questions never even come up because I assume that the reader is correct in their inflections and tone.  Although there is still some imagination, I miss the entire imagination package that comes along with reading a book.

But, I want to know what you think. Does listening to an audio book count as reading? I have added a poll to the bottom of this post, so you can just quickly answer the question anonymously. What is your experience with audio books?