I love reading. I've loved it since I was a young child, always reading ahead of my fellow classmates. Over the last eight years or more, when audiobooks started becoming more popular, I became a convert. I haven't looked back since.
There seems to be a debate as to whether this is considered 'cheating.' They say it's the lazy and inauthentic way to read. Some look down their noses at us cheaters, but I think it's a great thing. Just think of the time it saves - you can now drive, clean the house, exercise - all while reading! It also widens an author's audience...those that may not have considered reading before are now listening.
I've noticed since I'm used to it now, that if I do actually 'read' the occasional book, I'm a 'skimmer.' I skim past those very same descriptive passages I find so enjoyable while listening. It's an odd phenomenon to me.
I've gotten a friend to start listening now. She was never a reader before but now finds herself addicted as well. After all, who doesn't like a good story told to them?
The narrating is very important - it can seriously make or break a novel. There's a real art to it. I have my favorites, and it's got an element of acting to a certain degree. There are plenty of famous actors that narrate now.
So....are YOU a cheater? I proudly admit YES!