This struck me as out-and-out snobbery. So long as the audio book sticks with the author's words, what does it matter what format the book is published in? In a previous life I was a teacher, and one thing I learned is that not everyone learns and retains knowledge in the same way. Some people learn better from listening, some from seeing. Why judge one as better than the other? One size does not fit all. It's not like they're reading the Reader's Digest Compressed version for crying out loud. One reason people don't read as much any more is they don't have time. If they make time by listening to books in the car on their way to work, isn't that better than not reading?