"I prefer that they read!"

United States
November 13, 2010 12:25pm CST
My kids actually do love to read. The older 3 read at levels far above their current grade level.. and the younger 2, who actually can't read yet, always ask their older siblings or me to read books to them. We visit the library often to give them a wider variety of books to read. My middle son (going to be 8 next Friday!) loves the Magic Treehouse books. He's read almost all of them, and it only takes him a couple hours to read the entire book. He usually gets 2 or 3 of them each time we go to the library, and can finish them all off in a single day. So yesterday we go to the library.. and he's looking for Magic Treehouse books, of course. He found numbers 34 and 35, but could not find 33, and insisted he could not read 34 and 35 without 33. I happened to notice on the shelf a Magic Treehouse audio book.. which happened to be books number 33-36! He was so extremely excited! None of my kids had ever heard of audio books before.. it wasn't anything we're big on, I enjoy taking the time to read a good book, not have it read to me. But when the other kids saw this book on CD they each wanted one too. My daughter grabbed the only other audio book in the section.. which was a Junie B Firstgrader thing.. she's actually not even into this series of books but she was just that excited to get an audio book. So then my 13 year old starts looking for an audio book.. and the only place I can find more of them is in the front where it's mostly adult type fiction novels on CD. So I ask the librarian if they keep other audio books around.. like more geared towards teenagers. Before I could even finish the question she cut me off "No.. I prefer that they read!". Well hmmf!! I personally think anything that gets kids interested in books is a good thing.. and hearing an audio book is certainly better than watching mindless cartoons all day! And it's not like my kids are ONLY ever listening to books.. they each borrowed 2 books on top of their audio books. I mean what the heck! I just thought it was a little rude.. she could have been helpful and pointed out a few teen type audio books.. which my son did eventually find one he was interested in. What do you think? Was she just a bit rude? Are you opposed to audio books? Do you see anything wrong with a kid being interested in an audio book?
3 people like this
13 responses
@Angelwriter (1956)
• United States
19 Nov 10
I think she was rude. First, for interrupting. Also because you didn't ask her opinion on audio books or whether she thought children should listen to them. You asked -or started to- ask something that only required a simple answer. And why does she have them at all if she wasn't going to help people find them? If the material is available and there aren't any restrictions on them, then it's not up to her to say who can take out what. She should have simply pointed out where the audio books were. There are ways to get people interested in reading, but not by refusing to help them find the material they're looking for. As far as my feelings about them, they're not my primary form of getting a story. But, I don't see anything wrong with them. I've listened to some excellent audio books (I think it often depends on the person doing the recording and their ability to make the words come to life) and went back and got the print book or read other books by the same author. And of course, audio books are good for when you can't read. I mean in cases where you need to be aware of what's going on around you. I also think audio books can, in some cases, nudge people towards reading. Same way that parents are taught that reading to kids can build a love of reading. You still get the story in word form, rather than being acted out like in movies and tv (not to knock that form of entertainment). So I think the shift from audio books to paper books isn't a great leap. The main reason I prefer print is it's easier to go back and forth to my favorite sections. Also, sometimes a really good story can seem bad if you have an untalented person doing the reading. Reading for yourself lets you hear the characters voices the way they're supposed to sound to you.
• United States
19 Nov 10
I agree. I have many reasons for choosing to read a book, usually because it's relaxing to sit and focus on nothing but the book. With listening to the book there are too many other things that can distract your attention.. but with reading you're totally absorbed into the book, and if you get distracted the story will not continue without you. Also if you need to you can re-read certain parts as often as you want, but with an audio book it's not as easy to find the exact part you want to hear again.
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
14 Nov 10
I would prefer that they get their hands on anything! She was kinda rude making this decision for everyone....though I am sure it's part of her job. At least they are interested in going to the library and in reading....she should smarten up!
• United States
14 Nov 10
Makes me wonder how she feels about borrowing videos and movies! LOL
@tylerlou (67)
• United States
14 Nov 10
I believe she was a little rude. If I were you I would have reported her but that's just me. As to the audio books I with you on it, whatever gets your kids interested in books is a good thing. It's great to see that your kids are interested in books at such a young age and a audio book now and then wouldn't be bad.
• United States
14 Nov 10
Well my kids are an exception because they love reading no matter what. But there are kids out there who do not like to read.. I think for them audio books are a wonderful idea.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
14 Nov 10
Personally myself I am not a big fan of audio books. I just prefer to read straight out of the book. However, there is really nothing wrong with them. As long as they are supplemented with regular books. I just never really liked audio books, because I found myself forever pausing them, because I enjoyed to soak in the story at my own pace and really get into the story as I wish to. Still I would not begrudge someone if they want to use an audio book. As long as they have a love for any kind of book, then they have an advantage over many children who will not touch a book of any time, rather it be audio, E book, traditional, or any kind of book for that matter. Still an audio book is not my cup of tea personally but people will like what they want to like.
• United States
14 Nov 10
There are certainly advantages to reading on your own.. but each person has their own preference. As long as the child is capable of reading, I don't see the harm.
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
14 Nov 10
I would say that she was being very condescending to you - not actually rude. There is nothing wrong with audio books.They stimulate the imagination and help so much with grammar, sentence construction and the way words are pronounced. The beauty of then is that children can be doing other things yet still listening. For example playing with ego or doing a jigsaw puzzle etc. Or colouring. Pre television as kids our main delight was to listen to the serial stories that came on radio once or twice a week. This taught us to listen and my mother would sew or knit whist listening to the stories during the women's hour on radio each day. We need a kinds of skills in life and I have told you before - they are a interested in reading and this is another skill for them to enjoy. Shame on her
• United States
14 Nov 10
I hadn't even thought about those advantages of audio books. I should find a few read along audio books for my preschooler!
@inedible (771)
• Singapore
14 Nov 10
The librarian was definitely very rude. The point of reading isn't to enjoy how pretty the ink looks on paper. The point of reading is to enjoy the story in the words, or to absorb the knowledge from the books. Whether the books are ink on paper or audio, the content would not change. I personally prefer paper books myself (or ebooks) but I don't see any problem with encouraging children to pick up audio books as well.
• United States
14 Nov 10
Yep, that's pretty much how I feel about it too.
@bunnybon7 (36490)
• Holiday, Florida
13 Nov 10
i think anyone interested in audio will obviously read also. ive always been an avid reader but still love audio. in fact, my one grandson started out listening to Harry Potter audios that i sent him when he was 9yrs. and continued on to collect and read each new one when it came out before it was put on audio. i like to think this is what made him an avid reader. you are very lucky. i only had one kid out of 5 take this after me and 2 grandkids (so far) out of 8!! so yes, she was rude and doesnt realise reading to a person, causes them to want to read theirselves.
• United States
13 Nov 10
I don't think it matters whether they want to read it or want to hear it.. they're still using their imagination which is extremely important. Some kids just aren't readers. My sister is not a reader. She is capable of reading, but doesn't enjoy reading books. My mother has tried everything to get her to read, it just doesn't happen. My kids are interested in books.. I see nothing wrong with listening to them. Books are books.. and the point is to get a story and use your imagination and escape from real life for awhile.. so whether it's by reading, listening, or watching.. what's the difference?
@SaraM5 (17)
• Canada
13 Nov 10
Definitely not! She should be there to encourage any sort of interest in books! I had several audio books as a child and would follow along in the book as I listened. An excellent way to learn to read, especially if your parents are busy! I thinks its wonderful that your 13 year old has an interest in books, no matter the form :)
• United States
13 Nov 10
I also had a book that came with a cassette that I could read along while listening to.. it helped me learn to read on my own. However the audio books I borrowed for my children are not that sort.. they're just CD's that do not come with books. Either way it's nice and keeps them occupied for awhile, which is the whole reason I bring them to the library. Whether they're reading, listening, or watching movies I want something that occupies them for a little while so I can either relax or get things accomplished around the house!
@GardenGerty (99319)
• United States
13 Nov 10
Audio books are okay, but I do not enjoy them personally. Some people in my family like them, I just get distracted. They really are great to get others involved in books and I see nothing wrong with them. Yes, your librarian sounds just a bit snooty. My first husband was the librarian in her small town for very many years. She had a huge table in the back, about four by eight, piled a foot deep in comic books. Some people did not like that at first, but she said, basically, whatever got kids to start reading was okay with her. The tradition continued as long as she was librarian in the town.
• United States
13 Nov 10
Very true.. reading is reading, it doesn't matter if it's a chapter book, comic book, or newspaper.. it's all the same! I think if it gets kids interested and excited and actually reading, then it's worth while. As I said, my kids love reading so I see no problem with them having the story read to them sometimes when I can't sit and read through a whole chapter book.
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
13 Nov 10
Children of all ages should be encouraged to read. the knowledge that is gained through reading will stay you throughout your life. The more children read, the more they can absorb into their lives. they can only be enrichened by reading.
• United States
13 Nov 10
So.. you're opposed to audio books then?
@dawnald (84147)
• Shingle Springs, California
18 Nov 10
A bit judgmental, yep. I'd rather they read print, but I"m OK with audio books.
• United States
17 Nov 10
Yes, that was really rude of her... but I kinda agree. I would prefer that people read instead of listening to books. Personally, I don't particularly enjoy audio books because I can read faster than whoever they've got reading the book for me. I only listen to audio books when the paper version isn't available or I'm doing something like driving or jogging and can't hold the book infron of me and read. But still, audio books are better than watching cartoons all day. She could have pointed out some audio books, after all you made a request and it's her job to help you with that. As long as your kids are still reading, I don't think it's a problem.
@ersmommy1 (12600)
• United States
16 Nov 10
Have to say I agree with you. There is something comforting to me about actually holding a BOOK. Here is hoping it doesn't die out completely like letter writing!