By Luann Anderson, editor at YWAM Publishing
There’s one item I never forget when packing for summer vacation: a good book. In fact, I usually bring a whole stack of books when I travel. My husband Dorr loves to read as well, and so together we enjoy uninterrupted times of reading in between playing, eating, and resting. Never mind that I rarely make it through my stack—whatever I end up reading is gratifying.
Reading can be a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. This was the case for me last week on vacation with my husband and my stack of books. “Listen to this,” I said as we sat facing the morning sunshine on an isolated island peninsula.
The passage I read went right to his soul. “Read more,” Dorr said. And so I backtracked, starting from Chapter One. We took turns reading that same book aloud to each other over the next several days. Did I mention how fun it was to stop and share what we were thinking at the end of each chapter? This is why we love books.
Listening to books is certainly different from reading silently, because the processes of listening and reading use different parts of the brain. So does listening to an audiobook count as reading? Absolutely. If the purpose of reading is to understand the content or theme of a story, then listening to an audiobook certainly qualifies. Most readers find listening to well-narrated, quality literature to be a transformative experience. Remember as a young child how it felt when a parent or teacher read to you? Those unforgettable stories often went straight to your soul.
Thinking about reading and listening reminds me of YWAM Publishing’s growing library of audiobooks, including Abraham Lincoln, Corrie ten Boom, and Eric Liddell. Audiobooks have traditionally been used in schools for special populations like second-language learners and struggling readers. But these books are meant for everyone. Whether you’re interested in courageous stories of our American forefathers or triumphant tales of global missionaries, consider listening to an audiobook this summer.
Like me, maybe you’ll initiate a stimulating discussion with someone you care about. Maybe you’ll bond with family members as you listen together on a commute. Or perhaps you’ll simply listen alone, lounging in your backyard with ear buds comfortably tucked in. However you spin it, may all the stories you hear this summer reach straight to your soul.