Obviously these thoughts are all my own opinions. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments below! 🙂
What’s the difference between reading a book and listening to an audiobook? Is one superior to the other? Are they the same? Are they different?
Of course they are different! Although both are good in and of themselves, they both require different skills in the taking in of information. One form communication develops reading skills in the receiver. The other requires listening skills. And both are very good skills for anyone to possess.
Everyone is uniquely made. Some learn better visually, by reading and by seeing illustrations. Others retain information better via audio. While I believe it makes for a more well-rounded person to develop all kinds of skills, reading is probably going to be the more freeing of the two, since books, articles, magazines, etc. are more readily available. Reading has long been considered a skill of intelligent minds, since it develops vocabulary, spelling, and opens the gateway to new ideas.
But audio is becoming more of an option all the time, and that is good news as well! Many people are unable to read, whether because of being visually impaired, learning disabilities, or other reasons. I don’t think the growing use of audio should be a cop out for those who are able to read but refuse to, but it might be a preferred choice for some.
There are other differences between the two formats of reading and listening to a book. In reading, the eyes are trained to make sense of symbols on paper, and the brain learns to understand what is being communicated. Is that magic or what? We learn the formation of an idea into ordered sentences, paragraphs, and conversations between characters. In reading aloud, we go deeper with our skills in that our eyes scan ahead to figure out how a character says a line. Acting and communication (the translating of ideas and feelings) are also developed.
In listening, we are free of the technical aspects of reading and our minds can just sit back and be more open to receiving. It is perhaps a tad easier for the imagination to then create more elaborately the worlds we are hearing about and they become more real to us. Many people are now tuned into audiobooks when before they may have abhorred reading. It may be easier for them to comprehend (depending on the talent of the reader), but it may also be easier for others to become distracted.
Differences aside, there are also similarities. Probably the most apparent is the element of story (if fiction), or any other type of ideas you might find in non fiction. In both listening and reading, our imaginations create another world for us to escape off to for a time, and if it is a good book, our minds will come back the better for it. Ultimately, we are busy with the entertaining of ideas, of which there are a lot of and hence the importance of choosing wisely which ideas we will entertain.
Everyone has their different preferences when it comes to reading or listening. Or both. Because who says you can’t be a lover of both? Whatever works best for you is better than a mind gone to waste because a person never utilized their imagination. No, reading a book and listening to an audiobook are not completely the same thing, and I will always prefer reading to audiobooks for myself. But we are blessed if we have the ability to do either, because then we have no excuse for ignorance. So let’s go discover a new world today, shall we?