Audiobooks vs Reading: Which is better?

By Stacy Porter | Blog

Aug 29

If you ask people about why they read, many will answer that they read to retain information because that’s what they taught you to do in school. But that isn’t reading. That’s called studying.

In reality, you read to train your mind the same way working out trains your body. Only instead of breaking down your muscle fibers by applying pressure and growing them back stronger. You are rewiring the neurons, the fibers of your brain, into a stronger more aligned version of yourself. A version that is more capable of lifting the weights life provides.

The misconception about reading is that its boring and has very little benefits. But this is the one habit that you should be doing consistently. Reading can open your mind to ideas, inspirations, ways of thinking and mental fortitude that will bring you to success that will allow you to achieve your dreams.


As technology has progressed throughout time, it has given us an alternative to traditional reading known as audiobooks. Audiobooks are voice recordings of the text of a book that you listen to rather than read. They can be exact word-for-word versions of books or abridged versions. Audiobooks can be listened through many mediums like portable music player, cell phone, computer, tablet, home speaker system or through streaming audio in cars. They can be downloaded from digital music stores and you can also purchase them from online bookstores or download themfor free from public domain sites.


Audiobooks may seem as a relatively new way of reading, but their origins may be traced back to the 1930s. They were often used as educational medium and could be found in school and libraries. They were referred to as talking books and were sold in physical forms on analog cassette tapes and vinyl records.

Due to the advent of the internet, an extensive collection of audiobooks was made available online through many different sources.


  • Multitask: You can listen to it while driving, washing the dishes, cooking etc. It turns so much of your time into reading time
  • Faster: You can go through an audiobook faster than regular books by jacking up the narrator speed.
  • Narrators: They are real actors who give life to the lines and make your reading experience more immersive.
  • Stamina: You are passively listening so will not get tired easily. Reading causes more brain activity and that can get you tired more easily.  
  • Pronunciation: Even if you know how something is spelled, you can still get the pronunciation wrong. Audiobooks can help immensely in that department by pronouncing the word for you.


  • Distractions: If you are multitasking while you’re listening to an audiobook, it’s very likely that you will get distracted.
  • Rewind: It is harder to go back if you missed something. For example, your GPS can interrupt your audiobook while you’re driving and you have to pull over to go back to what you missed.
  • Spelling: Sometimes you wonder how a character’s name is spelled and you can’t see it through the audiobook.
  • Passive: You are not fully engaged and thus can easily miss things.


Experts say that when you are reading something, you are looking at symbols on a page and you brain is busy filling in all the blanks. The sound of the voices, the scene, the inflection, the deeper meaning, the plot etc. This can make physically reading a book a more personal experience because your inner voice is responsible for creating everything that’s not on the page from only the words on the page.


Reading is an integral part of culture as most experts agree that society only began when the first writing system was invented. That would take us back to some 5200 years. Hence you can say that reading is an ancient art form that was perfected throughout the ages.


  • Leave room for Imagination: You can have your own vision of how the story is unfolding.
  • Potable: No need to charge. Take them anywhere with you at any time.
  • Taking notes: You can note down the important sections if you want to review them later.


  • Can get heavy: It can be cumbersome to carry around heavy textbooks
  • Waiting period: You have to order online or buy from a bookstore. Waiting too long for a book you need for class can get you in trouble.
  • Can create a mess: If you have limited space and collect books, you can clutter up a room quickly.

About the Author

Hi! My name's Stacy and I've got a deep love for books, both reading them and listening to them! I try to provide the best quality information on the available services out there and share my knowledge with others!

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(1) comment

Manny March 9, 2019

Such an interesting concise comparison of both. At this point I have to say that the yin yang effect that they both share is quite interesting to me, and I truly love how you let us “your reader” see the differences and to make conclusions for ourselves. I personally would opt-in for both. 😀 Thanks for timing the time to do this comparison.

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