The last few years have seen a tremendous rise in the usage of both e-books and audiobooks. Print books are on the decline, although they provide the traditional irreplaceable reading experience. Instead, due to accessibility, lack of time, cost and other factors, readers now gravitate towards e-books and audiobooks on their phones. What is the difference between the two? An e-book is a digital copy of the print book, available for access on the computer, phone or other electronic devices. And an audiobook is an auditory narration of the print book. Which one is better? We say audiobooks. Here’s why Audiobooks are way better than reading on mobile?
Humans have long had a tradition of oral narratives. Folktales, myths and even epics have been handed down to us via oral stories. And hence, audiobooks naturally appeal to us. Stories that we listen to are engaging because of the auditory intonations, the voice of the narrator and a multimodal sensory approach. Print books also allow for this connect, but e-books somehow just seem distant and unapproachable.
The most obvious and practical benefit of audiobooks is the fact that you need not look at a screen because you do not use your eyes at all. With the pandemic, most of our work and much of our recreation has shifted online. We spend a major part of our day on our electronic devices and that is detrimental to our health. From eye impairment to lack of focus, sleep and appetite, too much screen time hampers our functioning. Audiobooks are an easy way out, because you can listen to them without looking at a screen.
This ties in with the previous point. You can listen to audiobooks while keeping your eyes closed, and this will in no way take from the reading experience. In fact, this will protect your eyes from burnout and strain. This is an obvious benefit over even print books. Reading on a screen is terrible for the eyes, but reading constantly on paper can also strain your eyes. But audiobooks will not strain your eyes or your ears.
One of the best things about audiobooks is that they give you leeway to multitask. Although you need to concentrate, your hands and eyes are free. So you can complete household chores, or exercise or do any kinds of mechanical tasks that you might not have time to do otherwise. E-books on the other hand require complete focus and attention, and take up time while also straining your eyes.
Staring at a screen is known to drive away sleep. It has the same effect as caffeine – it makes it difficult to fall asleep after looking at a screen for a long time. Audiobooks not only do not drive away sleep, they also induce it! Most audiobook narrators have beautiful voices and great voice modulation. Listening to them before you sleep will feel like someone singing a lullaby to you, and almost always guarantees sleep.
Research proves that comprehension is better when the material is auditory rather than visual. Even though visuals provide ‘anchors’ for your attention to get caught in, audiobooks are more effective. This is because humans have been evolutionarily trained to be receptive to oral narratives. They have been a part of our culture since the days of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and our brain centres for them are still as strong.
Reading audiobooks might be great for our brains to, because we use a different sense organ. Our listening and comprehension skills greatly improve, as opposed to just visual skills. Apart from this, reading audiobooks also strengthens speech regulation, voice intonation and other areas of the brain.
Also Read: Reading Books On Phone: Is It A Good Idea?