Does anyone read any more?

The answer is yes! The Audio Publishers Association of America has just released the results of two 2008 surveys that show more Americans than ever are listening to audiobooks—and these results also help debunk some of the myths about audio enthusiasts and reading.

  • Of respondents, half of the teens surveyed have listened to an audiobook, and more than a quarter of the adults.
  • Most audio listeners were college educated (88%) and unabridged audio, like that offered by Recorded Books, remains the most popular.
  • Audiobook listeners are more likely than non-listeners to read and purchase print books. A whopping 92% of listeners have read a print book within the past year, and a third of those have read 16 or more!

    Audiobooks aren’t a shortcut, they’re another way to make literature accessible to everyone in today’s busy world. And audiobook listeners do read print as well! This reinforces Recorded Books studies that have shown audiobooks are a great motivator, helping to foster a love of reading in those who already enjoy it, but also making it fun, understandable, and rewarding for those who might otherwise consider themselves “non-readers.”

    What reactions do you get from other educators when you tell them you use audiobooks in your classroom? Let us know in September’s survey at—and keep the statistics above in mind as a response!

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  • 2 Responses

    1. […] adult audiobook listeners struggle with the stigma, despite the fact that audiobook listeners are often more educated and more likely to read that those that stick to print o…. In a 2005 article from the Washington Post, we read “‘I haven’t read this much […]

    2. In a sense, listening to an audio book is bringing us back to the time when stories were experienced by listening to the community’s storyteller. Stories began in the oral tradition. Only now, rather than listening to a real human being, we listen with the aid of technology. You still imagine the characters, setting, and action of the story. Rather like old fashioned radio! But is it reading? No. With reading, we experience the story at our own pace, reading again favorite passages, taking time to ponder an idea – we probably get more out of stories by reading them. So let’s remember to read stories AND enjoy all the other options available to us – audio in all its’ new formats!

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