Modern readers have debated long and hard as to whether listening to a book is the same as reading it. I’d like to share some of the benefits of audiobooks, as well as, a few disadvantages…that way you get to decide if audio books are the new way to read (or not).
Benefits of Audiobooks
If you’ve never listened to a book before, you may be leery to explore this genre, so let’s talk about a few of the benefits of audiobooks.
1. Audiobooks allows you to multitask.
Many times, the reason people don’t read more is because they don’t have the time. Audiobooks are a great medium of you want to read more books but can’t carve out a specific reading time.
2. Listening to a book may enhance your enjoyment of a story.
When we read, the characters voice is limited to the voices we can imagine but audiobooks are not limited by our imagination. There are some great narrators whose ability to use different voices for their characters make a piece of work fun to listen to. In some cases, especially with Librivox books, there are dramatized editions of a story which makes listening to an audio book a lot like listening to a play.
3. Listening to a book may be a more effective way to read on a commute.
One great way to sneak in some reading is on your commute. But for some people, reading in a moving vehicle is difficult and can make them feel nauseous or dizzy. And if you’re driving, reading is not an option for you. But, you can listen to an audiobook and reap the benefits of the narrative.
4. Audiobooks may help with the pronunciation of words.
This is especially true if you have a copy of the book that you can follow along with. When I first started reading my Bible, I had difficulty pronouncing some of the names. But after listening to an audio Bible, it became easier for me to pronounce the names when I was reading on my own.
Disadvantages of Audiobooks
I know you may not be as excited about listening to books as I am, you may even claim the disadvantages outweigh the benefits of audiobooks, so let’s talk about them.
1. It’s not as easy to re-read a section
There will be times when you want to re-read a quote or a section, this is difficult to do when listening to an audiobook. A physical book allows you to flip through a novel (you can also annotate which makes it so much easier to find parts you enjoyed). An e-book affords many of the same functions and also gives you the ability to use the search function.
A possible solution to not being able to quickly find your place in an audiobook is to make note of the timestamps. Write down the time stamp of portions you may want to revisit. It’s also possible that not being able to easily review portions of the text may improve your ability to remember what you hear.
2. You don’t get to see the words.
Okay, so they call it reading for a reason-being able to see the words changes the way you interact with a story. An audiobook does not allow for this (unless you also have a physical copy of the book in which you can follow along). However, your inability to see the words coupled with the challenges involved with reviewing a section may also prompt you to become a better listener. You will have to listen more closely to understand what is being said.
3. Listening to an audio books disrupts your ability to imagine a character’s voice.
Have you ever read a book and heard the characters voice perfectly in your mind? Well, okay, just me then. Audio books rob you of this feature because the character will sound the way the reader imagined it. (This could actually turn out to be a benefit if the audiobook reader portrays the character better than you would have imagined it.)
4. Audiobooks are dependent on the reader’s voice.
Okay, I admit it, there are some books I can’t listen to because I don’t like the reader’s voice or how the person reads. My son and I have stopped listening to many audio books because we weren’t feeling the reader. The good news is that there are thousands of audio books to choose from so you can easily listen to something else.
Why You Should Listen to Audiobooks
While there are some disadvantages, the benefits of audiobooks far outweigh the disadvantages. I hope that I’ve given you food for thought as you try to decide if audio books are for you. My suggestion would be to give audio books a try, they may not become your default choice but there are quite a few reasons to listen to audiobooks.
You may also like:
- How to Listen to Audiobooks
- 15 Easy Ways to Read More Books in 2021
- 21 Experts Reveal How The Benefits of Audiobooks Changed Their Lives