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Audiobooks eBooks Comic Books and more—Theyre All Real Books. We’re here to help answer this question that’s been popping up recently in various literary corners: do audiobooks, eBooks, comic books, and other alternative forms of storytelling “count” as reading? 
#Audiobooks #eBooks #ComicBooks #PictureBooks #ChildrensBooks

We’re here to help answer this question that’s been popping up recently in various literary corners: do audiobooks, eBooks, comic books, and other alternative forms of storytelling “count” as reading? 

Yes! Of course, they do!

Somehow along the way, the validity of these formats has been called into question. There are arguments, discussions, and articles debating whether listening to a book, or looking at the pictures, or uploading a story to a digital device is the same as holding a physical book in one’s hands and turning the pages. 

Here at Cardinal Rule Press, we love books. We LIVE books. But we’re not interested in becoming arbiters of the rules of reading–no one should! Everyone experiences stories in their own way, and all are equally valuable. 

The first, and unfortunately often forgotten, point of the matter is that alternative forms of storytelling are much more accessible to a wider range of audiences. It’s a positive thing that more and more books are recorded as audio books, sold as eBooks, and adapted as graphic novels. 

While it’s easy to look at these as trendy new media types, technology has only helped a more expansive range of readers consume stories more widely. 

Different formats are also good for young readers and their growing brains. When children listen to audiobooks, they’re hearing proper pacing, intonation, punctuation, and vocabulary usage. This helps them in their own independent reading. 

Additionally, studies have shown that the brain understands a story just as well if it’s read in print or listened to. 

Do you have your own favorite book format? Get this free Book List that encourage reading and read on the format you like!

Do you have your own favorite book format? Get this free Book List that encourage reading and read on the format you like!

There’s also something stimulating about engaging with stories in a variety of ways. Some books are an entirely different experience when they’re read aloud over audiobooks. We hear the pitch, pacing, and rhythm of a story in a different way than if we visually see the words on a page. Graphic novels and comics, with their immersive illustrations and tight prose, can create a singular mood and tone to a reading session, which printed books may not be able to offer. 

Have you ever tried listening to a book after you’ve read the print copy? Or have you started a physical book, only to finish reading it as an eBook? These are ways to boost your reading experience, bringing creative twists to a favorite hobby. Once you’ve done this, write about how the different formats felt. What did you pick up from the story in one format, and what did you miss in another?

This is a great exercise for any book, but picture books are especially well-suited to multiple reads across formats, because of their short length. Many picture books are even available as eBooks. 

The question of whether certain types of reading “counts” forgets that we, as readers, change over the course of our lives. For most of us, our first experiences of books involved being read aloud to and gazing at illustrations. 

While some people are busy wondering what “counts” as reading, we should be thinking about these questions instead: “what did I get out of this story?”; “how did my perspective of the world change because of these characters?”; “who was inspired to pick up another book, because their reading choices were validated?”

Here’s our challenge to you: go consume a book in a format that’s new or different to you. Listen to a picture book, read a comic, pick up a novel in verse, check an eBook out from the library. We’re big fans of this reading of Lila Lou’s Little Library: A Gift From the Heart by author Nikki Bergstresser with ASL translation by Heather Dew and Dazzling Travis read by Hannah Carmona and ASL Interpreter Seth Field. You can find more read-alouds of our catalog of books on our website.

Kids, and readers of all ages, have a lot to gain by experiencing stories in whatever format works best for them. 

Don’t forget to GET this FREE Book List that encourage reading and read on the format you like!

Christie Megill is an editorial and marketing intern at Cardinal Rule Press and she spends most of her spare time reading children’s books. She has experience as a writer, elementary school teacher, curriculum developer, and literacy specialist.

Cardinal Rule Press

P.O. Box 930237 • Wixom, MI 48393
info@cardinalrulepress.com