Though some might argue that audiobooks do more harm than good to literature, there is no denying that in this day and age audiobooks are increasingly used and incredibly useful to many. Reading a book and listening to an audiobook are not the same, and the experience is different although the content might be identical.
Both paper books and audiobooks have advantages and disadvantages, so let’s have a look at the differences and analyze the pros and cons.
For starters, let’s look at all the good parts of paper books. Are you the type of person who likes to sniff new books and get high on the smell of bound paper? Well, only paper books can cater to this quirk of yours.
For the people who like to write down notes on the margins of books, audiobooks are of no use. They would need a separate notebook to write their thoughts, but it would be difficult to connect them with the part of the book that sparked that thought. Meanwhile, a pen would suffice in a paper book.
Paper books are also great for those who are not good at remembering what they hear and have better visual memory.
However, now that there are alternatives to paper books, we can also see some disadvantages to the traditional way of enjoying books. These are linked to storage and transportation, as books usually take up a lot of space, especially if you are a passionate reader and own a lot of them.
On the other hand, audiobooks have changed the way people experience reading. Many say that audiobooks have made the stories more alive, more visual, and this is due to the fact that the text is read by professional actors with experience in interpreting text. They usually narrate the books with enthusiasm and this enhances the story a great deal.
Audiobooks are also great for saving time and multitasking. People can listen to their favourite authors while commuting to work, doing chores around the house, exercising or cooking.
Another advantage of audiobooks is that you can pace the information to your liking. You can increase the speed at which you listen without affecting your comprehension, and this is especially effective for students, for instance, or other people who want to go through a lot of content in a short period of time.
Additionally, they are versatile and convenient. With paper books, you have to carry them with you, find a quiet place to sit down and read, and be fully present in order to understand what you are reading. With audiobooks, you can carry them in your pocket, on your phone or iPod, which means they are accessible wherever you are. You can plug your earphones, pick up where you left off, and enjoy the story regardless of the time of day or your location.
Last but not least, audiobooks are environment-friendly and comfortable, as they give your eyes a break from all the digital devices you normally use.
As for the disadvantages of audiobooks, we will name just two: you need technology to enjoy them and you can easily get distracted and miss parts of the narration.