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Audiobooks vs Print vs Movies

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    We are lucky to live in a time where there are numerous ways to entertain ourselves. Used to be where the whole family sat around a wooden radio set in the living room, and listened to serials. Glad those days are over. Audiobooks have come a long way. I remember audiobooks coming in a sizable cardboard boxes with 4-plus audio cassette tapes inside, and the pain of having to flip the cassette once one side was done. Now all we have to do is tap an app on our phones and we are off. So how do they stack up against other forms of media such as reading and movies? Let's dive in.

    Audiobooks vs Print

    Personally, I enjoy both reading and listening. Like most folks who enjoy audiobooks, I don't have time to sit down and read a book. Purists will say that it's "cheating" or lazy, but I beg to differ. I can accomplish many of my daily tasks while listening to a good book. It's a perfect way to get my mind off of menial tasks such as washing dishes or driving. Another plus side to listening over reading is that I find myself consuming more books over the course of a year. Also, I notice that I retain the information just as well as reading it. Don't believe me? I found something interesting that supports my argument.

    In 2016, researchers at the Gallant Lab published their first interactive map of a person’s brain after they listened to two hours of stories from “The Moth.” It’s a vibrant, rainbow-hued diagram of a brain divided into about 60,000 parts, called voxels.

    Coding and analyzing the data in each voxel helped researchers visualize which regions of the brain process certain kinds of words. One section responded to terms like “father,” “refused,” and “remarried” – social words that describe dramatic events, people or time.

    But the most recent study, which compared brains when they were listening and reading, showed that words tend to activate the same brain regions with the same intensity, regardless of input.

    Audiobooks vs Movies

    I enjoy both immensely. I still think that audiobooks get the win in the productivity/versatility category. You get the benefit of not having to keep your eyes glued to a screen. Audiobooks, aside from music are some of the best forms of mobile entertainment. Another thing that should be addressed is the book vs the movie argument. It's an age old debate that movies have been losing. How many times have you read or listened to a book then watched the movie and were disappointed? I have many times. I would say 7 out of 10 times the movie never does the book or story justice.

    Examples:

    World War Z

    The Shinning

    I heard that the Atlas Shrugged movie was a bummer.

    Who agrees? Do audiobooks stand toe to toe with print and movies? Also, feel free to throw in some other disappointing movie adaptations.

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    I find it really hard to sit down and read a book ever since I discovered audiobooks. I've consumed dozens, if not over a hundred audiobooks over the last decade or so, but only read a physical book from cover to cover like 10 times, 20 max.

    I agree its the ease of being able to multitask. For me its driving and going for walks. But also I spend so much time taxing my eyes on the computer that a lot of times the last thing I want to do to unwind is do yet another thing that involves straining my eyes, which reading does for me. That's not something I have to worry about with audiobooks.

    The cons to listening over reading are you don't ever see the character's names written down, so you often have no idea how they are spelled. That's just a small thing I have noticed. But an even bigger one is, at least for me, you don't get the same value of learning from how to write well by reading. You miss out on seeing and learning from good writers' sentence structure, punctuation and a lot of other stuff that helps readers in turn write better.

    But I do think I remember the books just as well as when I read them. If not better because I am not stumbling or having to worry about staying focused. Especially if the voice narrator/voice actors are good. That makes all the difference too.

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    NeoLogic Wrote:

    The cons to listening over reading are you don't ever see the character's names written down, so you often have no idea how they are spelled. That's just a small thing I have noticed. But an even bigger one is, at least for me, you don't get the same value of learning from how to write well by reading. You miss out on seeing and learning from good writers' sentence structure, punctuation and a lot of other stuff that helps readers in turn write better.

    But I do think I remember the books just as well as when I read them. If not better because I am not stumbling or having to worry about staying focused. Especially if the voice narrator/voice actors are good. That makes all the difference too.

    That's a good point. I haven't thought about the spelling of names issue before. One remedy to that would be to listen to a book on a kindle. Many books have both the narration and the print.

    I totally agree that you do miss out on a writer's style and technique. Although, I'm a very auditory learner. I tend to pick up a lot on pacing and overall flow more by listening.