Why Listening to Books is as Valuable as Reading Them.

The discussion surrounding Audiobooks has been ongoing for years at this point. It feels like every now, and then the debate reignites, with different sides arguing their points for and against, Audiobooks.

We'd argue the point that there is tremendous value in listening to books, and we're going to explain why we believe this to be the case.

Accessibility

If you’re a person who is on the side against audiobooks, we want you to consider this point; not everyone likes to read. I know, the horror. There are a variety of reasons why someone might not enjoy the process of reading. They might struggle to concentrate or actually read long-form content. Whatever the reason might be, audiobooks provide them with a digestible alternative, and isn’t reading in some form better than not at all?

However, sometimes it isn’t even a matter of enjoying reading, and more an ability to do so. It’s essential to understand that people lead busy lives that don’t always allow time for reading. While you might make the time, some people simply aren’t able to, and that’s okay. Audiobooks can fill in those gaps that many people experience.

With audiobooks, you can listen to them while doing things that don’t require much thinking. So whether you’re cooking, exercising, cleaning, working, or whatever it may be, you’re able to get stuff done and get a good book in at the same time.

Improvements to Literacy Skills

There is an incredible benefit to audiobooks that can sometimes be lacking in physical reading, improved literacy. It sounds bizarre when you read it back, but it is true. While this is especially evident in the developing minds of children, that doesn’t mean teens/adults are immune.

When we listen to something, truly listen, we sometimes pick up on certain things. It could be a word we are maybe unfamiliar with, or dialects, etc. When you’re listening to a book, it’s different than listening to a conversation. You pick up on things such as sentence structure, vocabulary, and general overall reading comprehension.

You’re potentially more likely to pick up on these things through audiobooks than you might be in written form due to how the book is read. You can pick up on the way in which the words are being used and understand how they can change in different contexts.

Expanding Imagination

Brain’s are more capable of producing meaningful imagery when listening to a story than when they read one. This is because reading requires the reader to use their imagination to fill in certain gaps. These gaps can include elements like voices, accents, sounds, etc. When you’re mentally creating a picture of what’s happening, having all these elements helps to fully establish a scene more vividly in your imagination.

With audiobooks, you’re listening to a narrator tell you a story using a seasoned author’s words. With the combination of the author’s words and the narrator’s storytelling abilities, you’re given an opportunity to imagine what the author’s written in a more defined way.

Deeper Connection, Understanding, and Response

As humans, we’re conditioned to communicate auditorily. When we hear someone telling us a story, we pick up on the social tendencies and adapt accordingly. Listening to a story means we’re getting that social tendencies element infused into the story that we’d otherwise have to fill in ourselves. Art is a subjective medium and, as a result, can have varying outcomes in perception. Audiobooks vastly narrow that perception and allow us to find the resonance more easily. As a result, we’re more susceptible to a deeper appreciation of the story and the many facets of its existence.

Physical books are just as capable of producing similar results. Still, audiobooks have been found to facilitate a much more potent response.

Beneficial For All Ages

Children’s attention spans are not always well equipped to read a book. While this is not to say they’re incapable of doing so, we’re simply saying that some aren’t a fan of doing it. In addition, reading a book is often assigned homework for children, which can lead to them associating the act of reading with the chore-like qualities of homework.

Audiobooks can pull children back into the world of literature with a new sense of purpose. You can treat it as a gateway drug of sorts. Play audiobooks in the car on the way to school or whenever you’re all together. Let them listen to a bit of an audiobook before bed, and slowly start to expose them to physical books suited for their age. Even if they reject physical books, they’re still gaining countless previously mentioned benefits, and that’s what really matters.

Higher Retention of Knowledge

Beyond the emotional resonance and literacy improvement capabilities, audiobooks are helpful when it comes to retaining knowledge of almost all kinds.

Just like watching documentaries can expand your knowledge about past events or specific topics, so can non-fiction audiobooks. Whereas listening to a fiction audiobook is entertaining with secondary benefits, non-fiction audiobooks expand and develop your understanding of specific topics, lifestyles, people, or practices.

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Long before books even existed, people gathered around to hear storytellers weave their tales in person. In addition to that, while you were growing up, you attended school where teachers verbally parted with knowledge in order to teach you common knowledge and critical thinking. Audiobooks are merely an extension of age-old practices that shouldn’t be shunned, and neither should the people who devour such content.

Knowledge is power; it doesn’t matter whether it comes from a physical book or an audiobook. What matters is acquiring that knowledge and how you use it.