Our cultural anxiety about audiobooks may have deeper roots in media and educational history, dating as far back as the beginning of the Enlightenment period, when the West made a general shift towards the privileging of sight over the other senses. After all, oral storytelling predates print and writing by thousands of years. While stories such as Beowulf and The Iliad were being orally recounted to listeners as early as 750 bce in Europe, silent private reading only became widespread in the second half of the 19th century, when the printing press made books more accessible. Slowly, serialized novels in newspapers and lending libraries popularized the habit of quiet reading. In terms of the history of storytelling, that makes silent reading a fairly new activity, and one that is, funnily enough, incredibly close to the invention of sound recording and the first recorded books—Thomas Edison’s phonograph also arrived in the second half of the 19th century—flipping the idea that reading print is the “traditional” form of consuming stories on its head.