Why audiobooks are better than physical copies



It’s not too late to make reading more one of your goals – audiobooks are a great way to learn and read on the go.

ABIGAIL SAATHOFF, Opinion Columnist

Throughout my childhood, I loved reading. Every night I spent the moments before I fell asleep with my nose in a book, taking in every single detail before I got so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Even before those times when I could read independently, my parents would read to me – anywhere from Junie B. Jones to my personal favorite, Little House on the Prairie. These special moments, where I was able to leave the world I was in and escape to a new and beautiful place were always part of my life. Then, when I reached high school, and my schedule became even more packed than before, that time to read before bed seemed more like a burden and less like an award. The trend continued in college, and I read four to five books a year, usually in early January or the summer. That was until I discovered audiobooks. 

Audiobooks are voice recordings of reading a book. This means that instead of sitting down to read a physical book, you can clean, walk and more all the while listening to your favorite book. For me, this made all the difference. I listen to a book while I’m walking to class, working out, doing the dishes, cleaning my room, and even during times when I just want to rest my eyes and relax. Audiobooks have made it so that reading feels less like a chore. 

These audiobooks are also much easier to engage with, as rather than forming your voices in your head, it comes pre-made with one. According to Ron Jaworski, “It helps that audio is among the most immersive media formats that trigger memorability, trust, and connection. It’s certainly far more immersive than text, where reading requires you to actively participate and read the words that are laid out in front of your eyes.”Even sometimes with physical copies of books, I struggle to remember the words I just read. Sometimes I end up re-reading the same words a couple of times to fully comprehend what they are saying. With audiobooks I don’t have that issue, it is much easier to understand, and I don’t have to intensely focus to do so. 

In an article by Emily Laurence, “Listening to an emotionally-driven storyteller engages emotional circuits in the brain and can heighten the intensity and imagery of the episodes, leading to a deeper processing of the narrative and greater enjoyment of the material than experienced by reading a book.” This idea couldn’t be more true, I have listened to a few audiobooks over the past months and years, and I can distinguish each of them with a clear image of the events in the books. In a conversation with my dad the other day, we couldn’t figure out if we had listened to a book, or seen a movie because the image was so clear in our brains. 

Even more so, audiobooks can have some extremely cool narrators. I am currently listening to a book with Star Wars star Daisy Ridley as the narrator, and just finished a book that had a whole cast of narrators including Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer and Pablo Schreiber. It is incredible to hear your favorite voices reading your favorite books. 

Overall, though some people are opposed to audiobooks, claiming that they are cheating or not real books, they are a helpful resource for those of us who struggle to crack open a book and feel we have little to no free time. So the next time you go to buy a book, maybe get an audiobook instead.