top of page

Is Listening To An Audiobook The Same As Reading? | Audiobook Vs Reading



For centuries, reading has been a beloved activity, allowing people to escape into different realms, gain knowledge, and stimulate their minds. Another way to consume books is through audiobooks, which have been around for a couple of decades and recently have become more readily available. Although audiobooks offer convenience, the debate persists: does listening to an audiobook provide the same experience as reading a printed book? Which one is superior? Can audiobooks truly replicate the sensation of holding a physical book in your hands? Let's explore this topic further.


When you read a physical book, you're actively engaging with the material. You're reading the words and turning the pages. You can also customize your reading experience. You can underline passages, make notes in the margins, and even create a bookmark to pick up where you left off. This active engagement requires critical thinking and helps you understand and retain the information better.


When you are listening to an audiobook, Of course, you're still learning! You're still absorbing the information, engaging with the story, and expanding your knowledge. But it's not the same as reading the words on the page. With an audiobook, you're passively consuming the information. You're not physically interacting with the material, so your mind may wander, and you're less likely to retain the information. One of the biggest drawbacks of audiobooks is the loss of control. You can't easily skip ahead, go back to a previous section, or control the pace of the reading. This can also make it difficult to fully engage with the material and retain information. You can't also make notes or underline passages the way you can do it while holding a physical book.

A recent study conducted by the University of Sussex clearly showed that reading a physical book was way better than listening to an audiobook. The study involved a group of participants who were tested on their memory retention after either reading a physical book or listening to an audiobook. To the surprise of many, those who read the physical book scored significantly higher on memory tests compared to those who listened to the audiobook. This finding suggests that the act of physically turning pages and actively engaging with the text on a page helps to better embed the information in the reader's mind. It also highlights the importance of engaging in activities that promote cognitive stimulation, such as reading physical books, which can have a positive impact on our overall mental well-being.


However, this doesn’t mean that audiobooks are all bad. Audiobooks are a convenient and accessible way to enjoy books. You can listen to them on the go, whether you're commuting to work, exercising, or even doing chores around the house. This can save you time and help you fit more reading into your busy schedule. Take the example of John, a salesperson who is always on the road. He used to struggle to find time to read, but now he listens to audiobooks during his long drives. He has been able to fit more reading into his busy schedule and has even improved his vocabulary.



So, audiobooks are great for multitasking. But this can be their curse as well. If you're listening to an audiobook while doing other tasks, it can be easy to lose focus and miss important details.


On the other hand, reading books can be time-consuming. You need to set aside a specific time to read, and it can take longer to get through a book compared to listening to an audiobook.


So, let's bring it all home! Physical books, they bring a magic to the table that audiobooks can never touch. With audiobooks, it's just about listening, and letting the words wash over you. But with a physical book, it's an active experience that calls for your full engagement and sharpens those cognitive skills. Sure, audiobooks might be a convenient way to learn new things, but they just can't compare to the power of a physical book. But hey, if you're short on time and can't crack open a book, go ahead and press play on that audiobook - it's still better than not reading at all.


That's all for today. Let us know in the comments which method you prefer and why. Thanks for being here with me. This is Bahman and I enjoy sharing with you.

3 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page