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Are Audiobooks As Good As Reading Paper Books?

When it comes to reading books, some people prefer audiobooks over physical books in their hands. But, are audiobooks as good as reading? 

Well, we all know about the countless benefits of reading books. Do listening to audiobooks provide us with the same benefits? Being a reader and having experienced both ways, I will give my two cents on this subject.

In the first half of the write-up, we shall discuss why reading books is better than audiobooks. Later on, in the second half, we shall shed light on why some people prefer audiobooks over reading and how it benefits them.

3 Reasons Why Reading Paper Books is Better than Audiobooks

Reading a book in lieu of listening to its audio is far better given the following added pros.

1. Reading Gives Us Time To Process What We Read While Audiobooks Don’t

Books are not just meant to go through them. We should absorb the ideas behind the lines completely. This way books will truly be able to serve their purpose.

When we read a book, we have the liberty to stop and process the idea and learn. We can repeat a word, a sentence, or a passage for better understanding.

However, stopping, rewinding, and repeating an audiobook is a little unsettling. Thus, we can get a better understanding by reading rather than listening to audiobooks. 

2. You Miss Out on Valuable Quotations in Audiobooks

A book contains multiple life-changing lessons, quotes, ideas, etc. that a reader would want to keep with him forever.

One can easily take such content out of a physical book. However, collecting such things from audiobooks is a little challenging. While in an audiobook, we may not be able to take them out word by word or in the same manner as the writer has discussed.

Hence, reading book is better than audiobooks as we have the advantage of collecting such things without effort. 

3. Reading Helps in Vocabulary buildup

One of the most important benefits of book-reading is that it helps in building our vocabulary. We come across multiple new words, idioms, as well as phrases while reading. So, a book reader has always a sound command of a particular language.

However, if you are not a native speaker, listening to audiobooks won’t improve your vocabulary as much as reading would. This is because we often fail to understand or recognize a word, an idiom, or a phrase with its correct spellings & usage while listening.

In that case, reading a book is preferable to listening to its audio.

2 Reasons Why Audiobooks are as Good as Reading Paper Books

As we have discussed a few cons of going for audiobooks rather than listening, that’s not our final verdict. We are going to highlight some areas that make audiobooks as good as reading or in some manner even better than reading.

1. We can Listen to More AudioBooks in Lesser Time Compared to Book Reading

Finishing a book usually takes more time by reading it and less time by listening to its audio. One can complete a book of 300 pages in 2 to 3 days by listening to it. Whereas, a book of such volume will easily take a week or two to complete if we read it.

This is simply because one can listen to an audiobook while cooking, mopping, walking, jogging, or doing any other task. Whereas, we cannot read a book while being involved in another task. 

“So many books, so little time.”

Frank Zappa

Hence, with respect to the time taken by both versions of the book, audiobooks have certainly an edge over the physical one.

2. Audiobooks improve our Speaking Skills & Make us Speak like Natives

When it comes to speaking, reading alone does not make us good speakers. Rather, listening is more important than reading in this regard. This is because our mind is capable of learning and reproducing whatever input it takes from our senses.

Taking this aspect into consideration, audiobooks are certainly better than physical books in hand as we learn the proper accent and colloquial style of native speakers.

Moreover, audiobooks polish our comprehension skills. In short, listening to audiobooks makes us better listeners as well as better speakers.

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t matter much whether we read a book or listen to an audiobook, what matters is we should never stop our connection with books.

Based on the above analysis, we can safely conclude that audiobooks are as good as reading books. While reading can help us in being more focused, learn more words, and collect useful content; listening to audiobooks makes us good listeners and speakers. Moreover, we can complete more books in a short time.

In short, we learn in both ways. 

Also Read: Is Reading Fiction A Waste of Time?

About the author


A versatile human being with a passion for reading and writing - always striving for growth, living in the moment but trying to keep pace with the evolving world.

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