One word for "listened to the audio version of"

I want to say, “listened to War and Peace on CD” without all those extra words.
I heard War and Peace?
I listened to War and Peace?
I audioed War and Peace?

You read it.

I use read and listened interchangeably.

I would say read as well. If I wanted to specify that I heard it rather than read it, I’d go to the effort of saying, “listened to the cd”. Cost of speaking an isolating language.

It seems like a bit of a fib to say I “read” a book I never actually laid eyes on. Maybe that’s just my age showing.

‘listened to’ is truthful and accurate.

Well, for what it’s worth, Grant and Martha who run the A Way With Words radio show (a miss manners for language, if you will) see nothing wrong with using read for describing consuming a book in audio form.

I’ll say that I ‘talked’ about something with someone even if we only ever emailed about it. I don’t see why we can’t do the same sort of transference here.

I think “listened to” is both accurate and clear.

Thanks, all. Now if someone asks me if I have read War and Peace I will unguilitily say, “yes”.

Agreed. I think my main problem is that the verb “read,” when applied to audiobooks, applies to what the narrator is doing. It overloads the word to apply it at the same time to what the listener is doing.


The author’s words are streaming into your brain, complete and unabridged. Why does it matter that it’s via your ears and not your eyes?

Read. Youve read it. The problem with “listened to a book” is that you often speak with people who don’t immediately think about audiobooks, so it requires a certain amount of explanation when they are confused by the use of the verb.

And quite frankly, as someone who enjoys books both through the ears and through the eyes, I sometimes have trouble remembering which one I used. Just the other day I surprised myself scanning my library in search of a copy of Game of Thrones I don’t own.

Same here - when I’m listening to a well-performed book, I actually see the words scrolling past my eyes.

I’m visually impaired. I can still read electronic books on a tablet with colors set to light-on-dark and somewhat large type, but it’s slow and tiring. Most of my reading for pleasure is done through audiobooks.

It’s not quite the same experience to listen to someone else read a book to you. “Re-reading” a complex bit of prose is a bit of a pain (David Foster Wallace essays on audio require quite a bit of concentration, and I’m not even going to attempt Infinite Jest), what with rewinding being an inexact science. Also, I often don’t really have any idea about the spelling of proper names, especially in science fiction and fantasy where they are constructed specifically for their exoticism.

That being said, I still call it reading.

If you are trying to make the distinction though, I think “listened to” is more specific and clear.

That to me just seems odd. I don’t regularly listen to audio books, but when I have, I generate the same mental images that I do when I actually read. Those images are played out like a movie in my brain. No words.

I worry about that too. I might add “on tape” - which is clear, but anachronistic. More accurately it would be “on my mp3 player”, but, then again, that’s a lot of words.

I think there’s a small but tangible difference, because the recorded reader of the audiobook will be placing emphasis on different parts of sentences , especially in dialog, than the words you might emphasize in your mind if you were looking at the words on a page. There’s a certain level of interpretation that is being done for you, that is different from the interpretation your mind would be making otherwise.

I listen to audio books quite often on my commute, and sometimes I imagine the sentence the reader spoke as words on a page, and realize I might have read it myself a little differently.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, and certainly not a big thing (to me), but I think it makes the experience different in a small but tangible way.

This is entirely true; but by the same argument, there is at least potentially a difference between the experiences that two different people have reading the same book. (And here I do specifically mean reading as opposed to listening to.)