I do believe the manner in which you enjoy a book is NOT irrelevant. For instance, I recently had to read a couple of chapters of a Harry Potter book when there was a gap in the audiobooks that someone lent me.
As good a reader as Jim Dale is, I found that reading the missing chapters was a richer experience because I was taking the story in 100% at my own pace, allowing myself to create a mental picture more deliberately and allowing my thoughts to wander between sentences instead of putting them off so I could keep up with Mr. Dale.
I habitually restrict my listening to less “important” books for that reason. I feel a legitimate part of reading is having time to reflect; I don’t want an audiobook robbing me of that pleasure.
I notice that when I’ve listened to a book, I consider myself having “read” it subconsciously, and I’ll say “read” without thinking. If I am thinking, I’ll say “listened” because I believe there’s another dimension in listening to any given book that’s worth discussing.
I know it took me a while to become comfortable telling people that I listened to books instead of actually reading them. I have gotten many people addicted to audiobooks just as much as I am.
They are a housewife’s best friend in my opinion. It doesn’t matter what I am doing, I can be reading. I don’t care much for abridged versions either. I want the whole thing! And I love to listen to the books over and over again.
There are some truly talented readers out there and I have found myself actually looking at who narrates it before I do the author or the title!
I don’t think I have actually picked up a book and literally read it in, oh my, I think maybe ten years now! Thank goodness the libraries carry audiobooks and there are many wonderful audiobook sites on the net!
The one issue I have with listening to fiction is that the narrator can convey he’s own take on characters through his voice. If he feels the main character is a bit whiney and reads his lines that way, it might create a different impression of the character than you might have generated on your own.
Beyond that, I just want to consume as many books as possible. Listening allows me to “read” more.