Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Readers vs Listeners

Was anyone standing in line at midnight waiting for the Harry Potter book to go on sale? I wasn't this time--we waited until the next day to go pick it up--but we did it when the last book came out.

But speaking of Harry...

Not long ago, I had a child tell me that he had read all the Harry Potter books. It certainly appeared that he had because he knew the books (the characters, the plots, etc). Later I mentioned it to his mother, and she told me that he hadn’t actually read the books, he had listened to the audiobooks. In fact, he was seeing a reading tutor because he was struggling in school due to the fact that his reading skills were so far below grade level.

Which brings me to this question: Are you a 'reader' if instead of actually reading a book you listen to the audiobook?

Personally, I think there is a big difference between the two, especially where children are concerned. Now for an adult who CAN read...listen away. But kids need to be reading. That’s just my personal opinion, of course.

Now with all that said, let me admit to two things:

1) I’ve only read two of the Harry Potter books, and I struggled to get through them. However, I love the movies. I like the characters, I like the plots, I think they’re wonderful stories. But I don’t like the author’s writing style. Of course, there are millions of people in the world who do :) #1 Son is the Harry Potter reader in our family. He’s read each book numerous times--to the point where I have to keep replacing them because they fall apart. So, he reads the books and then tells me what happened.

2) I’ve never listened to an audiobook. I just prefer reading. People have suggested listening to them in the car, but in the car I enjoy listening to music, since that’s basically the only time I do listen to music. However, I am considering buying an audiobook and trying it.

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