Now Reading
Audiobooks versus Reading: Which is Better?

Audiobooks versus Reading: Which is Better?

Audiobooks versus reading

Audiobooks versus reading? What are the differences and benefits? More and more people use audio devices while they exercise, commute, or do chores around their home. You may be surprised to know that many of them aren’t listening to music but are enjoying books in audio format.

You can enjoy a good book with audiobooks without having to sit down and look at printed material. The popularity of audiobooks has grown substantially throughout the past few years. The internet and the technological advancement of audio devices are the main reasons for that.

But are audiobooks better than reading? This post will try to make a comparison of audiobooks versus reading.

Is reading a book the same as listening to an Audiobook?

A Woman with Audiobooks and Books

Research in 2010 showed the retention and comprehension scale of students who learned through two primary sources. One group used Audio through podcasts, and the others used text from regular books.

After a quiz about the matter, the group who used Podcasts as the primary source had performed more poorly than the students who read the text.

So Audio is not as effective as a text for delivering primary content. But it can enrich course-related material.

With that said, it can also be that the way we are used to learning new or complex things is by reading a text as we are not used to Audio for learning. But if you use Audio as leisure, not for work or study, the difference between reading and Audio is not that big.

Reading gives a better comprehension of new or complex matters. Audio used for leisure has the same understanding and retention levels as reading from books.

Are Audiobooks the new way of reading?

Books in a Bookcase
@Nelia L/

Audiobooks may look like a new way of reading. But audio recordings go back to the early days. They were often utilized as an educational medium seen in libraries and schools. They were recognized as talking books and sold in physical forms through vinyl records and cassette tapes.

Due to the 4th Industrial Revolution, all kinds of new technical developments and innovations have opened new ways we could have never imagined before.

A massive collection of audiobooks was made accessible online through various sources, like, e.g., streaming, cloud services, etc. These audiobooks are now easily accessible through mobile devices and applications. Or better known as Apps (software run on mobile devices).

What are the benefits of Audiobooks?

Easy listening
@Africa Studio/

It is very cool to have access to so many titles and work now. But what are the upsides of Audiobooks compared to regular books?

1) Hear the correct pronunciation.

You can still get the pronunciation wrong even if you know how something is intended. Audiobooks can help in that aspect by articulating each word for you.

2) Have more stamina.

You’re inactively listening. Therefore, you won’t get exhausted quickly. Meanwhile, reading causes much brain activity and can get you tired quickly.

3) Get a more vivid experience.

Audiobooks use real narrators who give life to every line, making your reading experience much more mesmerizing.

4) Enjoy multitasking.

Audiobooks let you listen to the story while cooking, washing the dishes, or driving. It turns lots of your time into reading time.

Should You Consider Reading Instead?

A Woman reading a book
@Andrii Kobryn/

Reading is a vital aspect of our culture. Experts agree that society only started it when the first writing system was made. That would take you back to 5.200 years. Therefore, you can say that reading is an old art form, which was mastered throughout the ages.

1) Take notes.

You can write down essential parts if you like to review them later.

2) No charging time for batteries.

You don’t need to charge any device. You can bring your books anywhere with you any time you want.

3) Leave room for creativity and imagination.

You can have your vision of how the story is telling.


Audiobooks versus reading have their own set of unique pros and cons. Reading gives a better comprehension of new or complex matters, where Audio used for leisure gives you the same understanding and retention levels as reading from books.

It will now depend on you which one you choose. But nothing stands in your way to use both of them.

Did you like this article? Have a look at these as well:
What is an Audiobook, and are they worth the listen?
Free Audiobooks on Spotify, Audible, and other sources.
Apps for Library Audiobooks for hours of listening.
What is an Audiobook, and are they worth the listen?