5 Reasons Why Books Beat Audiobooks

For some people, nothing will ever feel better than the sensation of turning paper page after paper page. For others, the ease and noise of the audiobook trumps the hard copy nowadays. I think a paper book is still better, though – here are five reasons why…

1. A Nod to the Original

Audiobooks may be a relatively new sensation, but people have been reading books for at least five centuries, since the advent of the printing press. There’s a sense of being part of a larger history of readers when picking up a book, a history that doesn’t translate when one simply presses play on the audiobook.

2. An Active Experience

People who read books are forced to take an active interest in the work they are reading in order to properly understand it, parsing through the words and using brainpower to better make sense of the sentences. The audiobook experience is much more passive, allowing ideas to float in and out of the mind without truly sticking.

3. Never Miss a Thing

Speaking of which, it is not a simple process to go back in an audiobook if a listener misses something. They have to try to scroll back ten seconds, no 20 seconds, a minute – it’s just incredibly frustrating. Miss something in a book? Turn back the page and read it again!

4. Visual Distractions

When people listen to content, as opposed to reading it, there are going to be guaranteed distractions. Whether it’s the need to be doing something else simultaneously or maybe driving, there will always be another focus plugging away at our brains. The same can’t be said for reading books, as they inhabit the entirety of our visual field when we pick them up.   

5. Power of Imagination

The worst part of audiobooks, by far, is they take away the power to imagine the world of one’s choosing. Books and audiobooks both require some thought about what the scene would LOOK like (unless it’s a picture book), but audiobooks take away the options of what it could SOUND like. When we read books, we get to pick the voices in our heads, which could create interpretations all our own, instead of one voice actor’s interpretation that may not even be loyal to the author’s.



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