Audiobooks vs. Reading Books

Ok, so on my quest to gain followers on Twitter & Instagram - as well as finding people to follow, I find a bit of a disconnect between those who enjoy audiobooks and those who enjoy reading. Some people go to the extent of saying on their profile page that they like 'actual' books only. Hmmm, so I wont follow you then?

There are of course benefits to both and I have to say they all give you a different experience entirely. I personally believe that we need to view Reading, Listening & Watching as totally different experiences. From my own experience, some books do not translate well into Movies, however you may watch a Movie first & then find the Book doesn't live up to the Movie. So when it comes to an Audiobook, (which is using the exact manuscript as the book), what is the reason some people just cannot get into it?

Lets look at the experience you have when listening to Audiobooks vs. Reading a physical book:

Reading a book

1. This requires you to relax, sit back and spend some of your precious time just reading and taking yourself into a different world for an hour or two. Or longer if you really do not have to worry about the ironing. Holidays and summertime are particularly inviting times to read as are cold summer nights at home in a comfy room with a fire and large glass of red wine.

2. The feel & smell of a book is actually really important. The tactile nature of flicking through pages. The smell of the ink and paper is a trigger for your brain to relax and wonder off to another realm.

3. It can be viewed as an intelligent way to spend your time. Reading will help with your language skills so those who do not regularly read books can view 'bookish' people as intelligent or the commonly known term of 'well read'.

4. Book Clubs - This is very social however I am yet to find a Book Club that specifies you can listen to the book instead of read. Yes I feel left out :(

5. You make up the voices in your own mind and decide how each word is pronounced and annunciated. You are the architect of the entire world you read in your own mind. So you can make it as real or wacky as you like.

Listening to a book

1. This can be done during any mundane task you carry out. And I do include Driving in this. I listen on every commute to work which distracts me from thinking about my day job.

2. The narrator can help you understand the meaning of a sentence or word which you may have not understood in the written word. The narrator will investigate how to pronounce words and how to convey messages within the book, which a reader of book may not quite understand.

3. It's a half way house between a movie and a book. Now this is my opinion.... but I totally feel like I am listening to a movie on my journeys to work without needing to see a screen. The narrator does the work of portraying the characters within the book and you can just relax and listen to the story.

4. It is easier to get on with our lives and plug in to an Audiobook than it is to set aside time to read a book. Sad as it may be but it is the truth for some of us. Therefore Audiobooks play a huge role in keeping us company during our daily tasks.

5. Those who are not blessed with vision. What a great way to bring a story to life for a person who cannot read it or view it with their own eyes. They can of course use their fingers to read in Brail to have the same experience of reading a book, but this is a great way to replace the actual act of watching a video.

We need all 3 versions of media to reach it's readers, viewers, listeners. We are all excited and engaged in different ways. None of these methods are better or worse than any other. They just speak to each of us in different ways. There is no winner or loser, as we all want different things in life and therefore we choose how we want to learn or consume text in the way that suits us better.

I suggest we each try an Audiobook as it offers a different dimension which is something you need to experience. If it's not for you then that is fine. But let's not compare them, they are a different media, a different experience & a different requirement. Each to their own and not one method of consuming the media is superior over the other.

I love all three, Audiobooks, Reading and watching Movies. It is me who makes each one into the epic story it is supposed to be, and not every one can be my cup of tea. That's ok... Try the book, movie or audiobook instead. It's all about whatever floats your boat. It's not a competition on which is best, just which is best for you.

A quick note before I go on a Podcast I am extremely enagaged in. The Audiobook Speakeasy is absolutely my favourite Podcast I have listened to so far. Rich Miller interviews an array of guests from narrators to engineers and adds a little fluff with the addition of a discussion on which drink he and the guest is nursing that evening. So not only do you learn a little about a cocktail or a short, but you learn so much about the Audiobook industry. If you are in the Audiobook industry, I recommend listening to Rich Miller on Podbean or i-Tunes, or whichever podcast service you subscribe to.

Visit to see more about Rich Miller. I am only on Episode 17 but there are currently 55 episodes out there. Please go check it out.

Until next time

Sally x


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