As I mentioned on a mailing list recently:
I grew up with people reading books to me. My parents read the Narnia books to me, as I sat near a fireplace. Mr. Bruce read The Hobbit to me, as I sat in a warm afternoon classroom with the doors wide open and the African sky beckoning us to come out and play. And more recently, I have read many books to my kids as they wind down before bed.
To claim that any of these are “cheating” implies a couple things. One is, that everyone is trying to work towards some particular goal, which is ludicrous. The other is that these experiences, which significantly formed my life, my love of literature, and my own writing, are somehow impure and less than valid, which is insulting.
When folks make remarks like this, it just makes me sad for them, because it means that nobody read to them when they were kids.
Right now, I’m listening to “The Life Of Pi” on my way to and from work. It works a lot better in an Indian voice than it would if I was reading it myself.