The New York Times

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

EACH IS BEST SUITED TO DIFFERENT PURPOSES, AND NEITHER IS SUPERIOR.

A few years ago, when people heard I was a reading researcher, they might ask about their child’s dyslexia or how to get their teenager to read more. But today the question I get most often is, “Is it cheating if I listen to an audiobook for my book club?”

Audiobook sales have doubled in the last five years while print and e-book sales are flat. These trends might lead us to fear that audiobooks will do to reading what keyboarding has done to

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times2 min read
4 Books For A Better Understanding Of The Border
(Newsbook) When it comes to writing about border towns like El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting Saturday, “there always seems to be something that’s a little bit off about how it’s depicted,” novelist Oscar Cásares said. “I
The New York Times4 min read
A Bawdy Novel Considers the Tragic Absurdities of Lebanon's Civil War
(Books of The Times) Standing on his balcony, Pavlov, the 20-year-old man at the center of Rawi Hage’s fourth novel, “Beirut Hellfire Society,” hears from the street below “tales of combat deaths, sniper deaths, deaths by misadventure, old age, accid
The New York Times7 min read
A Pop-Culture Glossary for 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'
Quentin Tarantino’s film is filled with references to TV shows, movies and other totems of midcentury Los Angeles. We explain who’s who and what’s what.