Audiobooks Count as Reading (And They're Better Than Books)


Audiobooks have become quite popular in recent times.

Audiobooks have, in fact, divided the reading world into two sides. There are a few who think that audiobooks are not the same as reading, whereas some others think they are.

This raises the question, do audiobooks count as reading?

I will today answer this question in great detail. Once you go through the post below, it will become easier for you to understand the right among the 2.

Do audiobooks count as reading?

Audiobooks are basically the same as reading a book. They impart you with the same knowledge as reading the book. Audiobooks are usually a better alternative nowadays because they can be consumed even on a hectic schedule.

While this is the true answer in short but without going into the same details, you cannot understand why listening to audiobooks is the same as reading. That is why I will share with you my reasons below.

Why listening to audiobooks give you the same benefits as reading books?

Listening to audiobooks certainly provides them the same benefits as reading those books. While this might sound strange to some, there are concrete reasons why listening to audiobooks provides you with the same benefits. I will highlight these reasons below.

1. Easier to complete the book

You can benefit enormously by reading any book if you complete it. Just reading a few pages in between will not do the trick. In that case, you will not get the benefits from reading the book.

When you’re switching over to audiobooks, it becomes easier for you to complete the book. That is because you have to just hit the play button and continue listening to the audiobook. That is much easier than sitting dedicatedly and flipping through the pages of the book.

It is easier to complete the audiobook because listening to one is beneficial as reading a book. Sometimes even more.

2. Proper engagement

Reading books can be monotonous at times. Especially when you’re dealing with books that do not have diagrams or any kind of pictures in between.

If you’re interested in the topic, you might end up completing the book. However, sooner than later, you will come across a book that seems monotonous. No matter how knowledgeable it might be but you might suffer from monotony.

When you’re dealing with audiobooks, you will not have to worry about the same. The narration is done in such a way that the narrator is speaking with you. When that is the case, it is tough to get bored. You will not suffer from monotony.

The level of engagement in audiobooks is much higher. When the level of engagement is higher, you will pay more attention to listening to the audiobook. In that case, the excellent engagement can provide you with the same benefit as reading a book.

3. Higher comprehension

Comprehension depends on the level of engagement. As I have highlighted above, when you’re listening to an audiobook, the level of engagement is the same or higher than reading a book. Due to the same, the comprehension is also on the higher side.

Most of us read books to learn something from them or to know the storyline of the book. With the help of higher comprehension, you can easily achieve these goals.

Due to these three reasons, listening to audiobooks is the same as reading books.

In some cases, listening to an audiobook is even better than reading the book.

I will highlight the reasons why below.

Why is it even better to listen to an audiobook?

The advantages of audiobooks are numerous. When you consider these advantages, it is easy to understand why preferring an audiobook over reading a book is a good idea. I will highlight these advantages below to provide you with a detailed explanation of these advantages.

1. Convenience

The primary advantage of an audiobook is, of course, the convenience. These days, most of us have our smartphones with us all the time. You can listen to audiobooks on smartphones consistently.

You might think you can read a book anywhere as well. While this is true to a certain extent but when you’re on the train or in your car, it is not always convenient to read a normal book.

In that train, the vibrations and the shakes might not allow you to focus. In the car, you cannot take your eyes off the road.

During the daily commute, it becomes really inconvenient to read a book.

On the other hand, when switching over to audiobooks, you can listen to them everywhere. In the car, you can just connect it to the car infotainment system. On the train, you can use your earphones to listen to audiobooks. Irrespective of the vibrations, or any other disturbance, you can listen to the audiobook.

In a nutshell, the convenience that audiobook provides you is almost unparalleled.

2. Higher retention

Another advantage of audiobooks is that the retention is much higher.

Just imagine this, someone is speaking with you at a personal level about the problem you have.

On the other hand, you read a page explaining the solution to your problem.

Which one are you likely to remember better?

Of course, when someone is speaking with you on a personal level.

Listening to an audiobook is just like listening to someone speaking with you. Since, of course, you will be choosing a book depending on the issue you are facing or the topic you want to learn more about, it is like someone solving your problem personally.

Due to the same, the retention level will be much higher.

In this regard, audiobooks are certainly better than reading books.

3. More engaging

When you’re reading a book, it is up to you to imagine things. If you just continue reading in a monotonous fashion, you will not imagine things the right way.

On the other hand, when listening to an audiobook, the burden of imagining is half on the narrator. You have to just listen to the narrator intently to get the gist of what he/she is trying to say. That is because of the two reasons which I will highlight below.

• Varying tone and pitch

Many narrators vary the pitch and tone according to the storyline of the book. While reading the book, you have to do so on your own. While listening to audiobooks, the narrator does that for you.

The variation in the tone and pitch can certainly keep you hooked to the book. It can make an audiobook much more engaging as compared to reading the same book.

• Emotion induced narration

Professional narrators are experts at inducing emotions in their narration. Emotions can convey the message of the book in a much better way than just reading it. Also, every reader can't induce their own emotions while reading a book normally.

When the narrator does that for you, the book becomes more engaging and entertaining.

Due to these two reasons, listening to audiobooks is much more engaging than reading books.

4. Time-saving

How many days does it take to finish a book?

Depending on the time which you are devoting, it can take you anywhere between 3 days to 14 days to complete the book.

The duration of most audiobooks is between 3 hours to 9 hours. Even if you spare 90 minutes daily, you can complete the book in 2 days to 6 days.

It means that you can save a significant amount of time when switching over to listening to audiobooks rather than reading them.

Moreover, since you can use your commutation time and any free time to listen to your audiobook, the amount of time which you can devote to it on a per-day basis is even higher. It means that you are likely to complete the audiobook much sooner than reading the book.

The time-saving nature is one of the primary reasons you should opt for audiobooks rather than reading the books.

5. Affordable

New books can easily cost you upwards of $25. On the other hand, audiobooks cost around $10 or less. Moreover, if you've subscribed to an audiobook service, the cost can be even lower.

If you want to reduce the amount of money which you spend on books, audiobooks provide you with that opportunity. It is another benefit of switching over to audiobooks rather than reading physical books.

6. Helps you with pronunciation

Books can certainly improve your vocabulary. The problem with reading books is that they can let you know the context and the meaning in which you can use these words. However, they cannot guide you regarding the pronunciation.

If you really want to imbibe your words into your vocabulary, you need to know how to pronounce them. Only then you will use them regularly.

This is where audiobooks score over normal books. They not only teach you the context, meaning but also the pronunciation of such words. When you’re familiar with these words' pronunciation, you are likely to use them on a day-to-day basis. When that happens, it becomes easier for you to expand your vocabulary at a rapid pace.

Due to these reasons, it is better to listen to audiobooks rather than read physical books.

I will now answer some of the other questions related to audiobooks to get a holistic view of why you should switch over to audiobooks.

Can I say I read a book if I only listened to it?

Yes, you can say you read the book if you only listen to it. That is because you can gain the same knowledge and teachings by listening to a book as by reading it.

In fact, in many cases, due to higher retention, you’re likely to benefit more from listening to a book.

Are audiobooks faster than reading?

Yes, as I have explained above, listening to audiobooks is certainly faster than reading. You can easily save 33% to 50% of your time when you’re resorting to listening to audiobooks rather than reading them. It is one of the primary advantages of switching over to audiobooks.

So, audiobooks do count as reading. The numerous advantages which audiobooks provide make them better than reading physical books. The next time you face this question, you will know the answer to this question and why audiobooks are better.

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