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Years ago, one could only deliberate between buying a book in paperback or hardback format, but as time has moved on and technology has progressed, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to format. Readers can choose to read their book as an electronic copy, known as e-book, or to listen to a book, known as an audiobook.
Each format has its pros and cons and if you visit my blog post ‘Printed Book or E-Book?’ you can read my list of advantages and disadvantages for both of those formats. Below are my thoughts on audiobooks.
1. Eyesight Impairments
Audiobooks are a great resource for those who have a sight impairment and would rather lose themselves listening to a book rather than reading braille. I’m no expert on braille and have very little knowledge as to how available books are in braille.
2. Become Involved
Listening to an audiobook brings a whole new level to immersing yourself in the story being told. It brings a new understanding to the characters and the plot as it develops.
This one I know very well. As a mother of a toddler, I had never entertained the idea of listening to an audiobook until very recently, but it allows me during the free time I have to carry out household chores, to listen to an audiobook while I work.
4. No Space Used
Similar to e-books, there are no worries of physical storage space with audiobooks.
5. Rent Them
You can rent them, just like a book from the library. There are websites which facilitate the hiring of an audiobook. You may need to pay a membership fee, but it’s an option if you don’t want to buy.
6. Language Barriers
Great resource to those who love to enjoy a book but who have an issue with language, such as a person who has dyslexia. Also great for those who are learning a new language.
7. Contextual Understanding
This may be subject to disagreement, but I feel that hearing a word you have not heard before may be better understood when hearing it spoken. It helps to gauge an understanding when hearing it in context.
8. Relaxation – Falling Asleep
This point is both a pro and a con, but if listening to an audiobook in bed you could end up falling asleep. Pro if you’re aim is for relaxation, con, because it can be difficult to navigate to the bit you last heard before falling asleep.
9. Reduced Eye Strain
For those who work in an office and spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen, listening to an audiobook gives the eyes a break and helps reduce eye strain.
10. Reading Pace
Reading pace can usually be adjusted when listening to an audiobook, but it’s hard to beat the pace of yourself when reading a printed book or an e-book.
As you can see from my list above, there is a lot to be said in favour of audiobooks. Everyone has their personal preference or reasons for which format they choose. I have listened to a few audiobooks, I will read a printed book or I will read an e-book. I firmly believe that when possible, a balance between audiobooks and reading a printed book or e-book is necessary. Reading the words on a page or screen helps to keep on tops of reading skills.
Let me know your experiences and thoughts about audiobooks. Pop a comment on social media.