Audiobooks in Readathons

Novels are the best way to get lost in your own world.

I just wanted to say that Readathons that have prompts that specifically require you to read an audiobook are starting to get more frequent. I am not going to name or call any out but I have noticed it happening in maybe 1 in 4 or 5 Readathons that I have looked at, am currently a part of and it isn’t exactly fair. The reasons listed below.

Firstly the last thing that I want to do is cause any arguments so please take this with a pinch of salt and understand that I have nothing against audiobooks or people who read them. You are more than welcome to read audiobooks if that is what you want and are able to do.

Number One: Not everyone can, or is able, to read audiobooks. I know that I for one can’t. I have to concentrate more on them as I have to listen and when I read I need silence or I just can’t focus. Listening to audio makes me have to focus more and as a result gives me really bad migraines. It’s happened every time I read audiobooks and so now I don’t read them and Readathons that say you have to listen to an audiobook to complete a prompt mean that I just no longer take part or am forced to skip that part of the Readathon and in some cases can’t complete certain prompts at all.

Number Two: It isn’t always easy to get access to audiobooks. I don’t have a Kindle or anything other than my phone that is able to get audiobooks. So listening to them literally drains my phone battery and if I get a message or phone call then it pauses the audio or I have to try and manually stop it to answer the call and then go back a page because the ringtone stopped me hearing what was said.

Number Three: This sort of ties into number one in that audiobooks give me, and I know a few other people in the book community, headaches and in my case that headache can come in the form of a mind crippling migraine. The reasons for this include, but are not limited to, having noise constantly in your ear and having to actively listen to what is being said, focusing more as you don’t always have access to the words and therefore have to pay more attention

I know that for some people none of the above is the case and they eat up audiobooks for breakfast, some people even read nothing but audiobooks.

However, there are those of us who can’t read audio for either the reasons listed above or for other reasons like they are deaf, have hearing difficulties or any number more reasons.

Therefore it isn’t fair for anyone hosting a Readathon to force anyone into reading a specific format. There are multiple ways to get around this and prompts could instead be worded differently. Here are a few that I thought of, yes it might be implied that you read audio but having the option to bend that needs to be made a thing, to take people’s health and abilities into consideration

  • Read a book that includes audio/audio format – This could mean a book that is literally an audio book, it could be a fictional book that includes bands, music or musical instruments as part of the plotline. It could also be a biography or autobiography of a singer or songwriter.
  • Read a book (or part of) out loud – I will argue through my teeth that this counts as an audiobook. It can be literally heard and there are multiple children’s books that take five minutes to just read out loud to yourself or to someone else.
  • Read a book in a format you are not familiar with – That can mean if you exclusively usually read novels maybe try a manga or graphic novel.
  • Listen to a book/ chapter of a book read by a friend or family member – Again it fills the prompt and doesn’t force you into having to listen to an audiobook but it has the aspects of audio in it.

Of course there are more ways you can word the prompts. I am sorry this got a little ranty in part but it does just really annoy me when I am forced to read an audiobook and then end up having to battle with a migraine for the next 24 or more hours.

A little thought and consideration goes a long way and even a few people will respect you so much for it. Again sorry for the rant it’s just a small topic that really does grind my gears so much.


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