Everybody knows that the subject of physical books vs. audiobooks (not audio books) is a closely debated one. So closely that most comparisons result in either a stalemate or one winning over the other by mere preference. I’m neutral as far as which is best, but here are a few reasons why I believe audiobooks deserve your time if you’re one of 59% of Americans who have never listened to one.
1. Books on the Go
The most obvious feature is that you can listen to a book while you’re doing just about anything else. Instead of driving to your favorite radio station, why not listen to that book you’ve been meaning to read? While you’re in the gym, why not listen to your favorite book? Why not listen to the latest book from your favorite author while out for a morning jog? Listen to your favorite book while brushing your teeth, shaving, or even laying down in the dark. Try all that with a physical book.
Actually, don’t do that!
2. Great for Short Attention Spans
Speaking of on the go, I sometimes have trouble staying still and focused, whether it be on watching movies, reading books, or — you guessed it — typing new articles for this blog. It can be difficult for me to sit or lay down in a quiet place and read a book because my attention span often goes crazy and wants to do everything else. Listening to an audiobook helps me maintain my focus on the book.
In fact, one of the reasons why the physical vs. audiobook debate is so… debatable is that some people have an easier time paying attention to audio, and some people work best with physical books. The best choice on this subject depends on the individual. About 4% (8 million) of adults have ADHD, including business coach and speaker Bryan Dodge. Reading is a popular obstacle for people with the disorder, so audiobooks might be helpful for most of them.
3. You can Quickly Expand Your Read List
This reason also ties in with number one. The year I began listening to audiobooks (2014), I completed more books than any other year of my adult life. That includes books that I didn’t care to finish reading, like Think and Grow Rich. I also managed to retain more of the content I heard in those books than what I’ve read in most of the books I completed that year. That is another argument of why some people are skeptical about audiobooks; some people retain information best when reading.
4. So Many Books and Styles to Choose From
There is a vast library of audio versions of books of all genres. 2015 alone saw 43,000 releases. The narration often goes beyond just some random person reading. Some books are read by the authors. Some narrators use a different voice for each character. Some even scream, whisper, and muffle their voice to match the character’s mood and actions.
I discovered some amazing books through browsing the audiobooks on Amazon and YouTube. A couple of years ago, I listened to my now favorite Law of Attraction book, The Attractor Factor, by Joe Vitale. Joe himself was the narrator.
A few weeks before writing this article, I had completed an amazing trilogy — soon to be quadrilogy and possibly beyond — called Meta, by Tom Reynolds. It is a captivating superhero novel series about a teenager named Connor who finds wristbands that give him superpowers. A decade prior, there were quite a few people with wristbands like these, but the bands suddenly disappeared after a fight between two superhumans. Naturally, Connor’s discovery leads to more people finding wristbands of their own and kickstarting the second wave of superhumans. The series offers a realistic and thought-provoking take on a world where superhumans exist. The story, characters, action, and twists were all so amazing, I was actually upset when I finished it. No book has ever brought that feeling out of me. Yes, this was an audiobook.
In July 2015, it was reported that 41% of Americans listen to audiobooks, up from the previous year’s 22%. If you’ve never listened to an audiobook or have doubts about whether they can be just as great as physical books, I hope the reasons shared here will encourage you to help those statistics grow.
Make a nice day!