Reading has been an important part of people’s lives for centuries. Whether it’s an educational book or a fictional story, there are a tremendous amount of benefits. As time went on, new advances came along with it, such as audiobooks. Audiobooks are recordings of paper books so people can listen instead of reading. With this huge advancement, many disadvantages, as well as benefits, have come from listening to audiobooks.
Audiobooks are a tremendous technological advancement, which benefits many people. To begin with, audiobooks are easy to listen to on the go. Whether you are driving or on some type of transportation, a person can just pick their book and put on headphones. Listening can also be a benefit for understanding books like Shakespeare. An article in the NY Times states, “People who hear Shakespeare spoken out loud tend to glean a lot of meaning from the actor’s delivery.” Listening to the audio instead of reading a book allows one to experience the book from many different ways at once. Similarly, time management is much easier to control with audiobooks. Before a person begins a “book,” it says how much time it will take to read it. So a listener will know how long it will take to complete a book and essentially be able to finish more books. Likewise, audiobooks can be listened to at any time of day. Normally reading requires light, which could be extremely inconvenient at some times. With audiobooks, a listener does not need any light. All in all, audiobooks are a good tool to have access to.
Audiobooks, like everything else, have their drawbacks. For starters, audiobooks will never be the same as reading a book. When a narrator reads a book in an audiobook recording, it closes the room the author leaves open for interpretation. This is because normally when reading a book, people can choose their own tone of the book, and emphasize certain words over others, based on how they interpret it. On the other hand, when the narrator reads the audiobook, they determine how the book “sounds” to them.. Although listening is something humans have done for eternity, it’s extremely easy to block something out and miss important details. Studies show that reading something in the traditional way, instead of listening, is a huge advantage. Research shows that “Compared to the readers, the listeners scored an average of 28% lower on the quiz—about the difference between an A or a D grade, he says.” With audiobooks, people tend to attempt multitasking, so when reading something important, the information will not be as encrypted in the brain. Lastly, sometimes in books, there are things with more emphasis, and it’s much harder to analyze when listening to an audiobook.
All in all, audiobooks are a good alternative depending on the situation. Each person is different in their own way. Audiobooks can be an advantage for people that have trouble staying concentrated while reading, while some people lose all their focus when listening. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages and is entirely dependent on the user.