Audiobooks have a negative reputation in the sense that they aren’t really considered books. Even more unfortunate is that listening to them is considered cheating. The bigger contention with this medium is it doesn’t improve comprehension and memory.
But a study conducted by Beth Rogowsky, an associate professor from Bloomberg University, yielded some surprising results. She had three groups of people listen, read, and do both a section of the same book and make them take a test afterward. The result of her study showed that there was no significant difference in comprehension among all the groups.
Regardless of anyone’s opinion, there’s no denying that audiobooks are here to stay. And the consumers have certainly spoken. It turns out audiobooks are outperforming books and e-books in terms of sales growth (although printed books are still the reigning champs). That’s because more and more people and companies are finding more uses for them.
Despite the controversy, there are reasons more and more people are turning to them.
- Effective learning tool
When reading and listening go hand in hand, they can improve language comprehension. This is especially useful for kids aged 4 and even teenagers of 17 because they are still in an auditory learning stage (meaning they learn faster through listening). So really, when they’re used right, audiobooks can improve reading.
Aside from kids, listening and reading is also an effective method for anyone trying to learn another language. By reading and listening at the same time, you can expand your vocabulary and fluency.
More importantly, they help improve focus. Students are forced to really listen in order to retain information. For this reason, plenty of schools and learning institutes are turning to audiobooks.
- Great introduction to books that are otherwise labelled as difficult
Not everyone gets on board with the classics—like Shakespeare, Chaucer, Tolstoy, and Tolkien—because they find them intimidating to read. Because of that, they are limited to the kinds of books they read. Listening to audiobooks gives them a chance to expand their reading list.
Audiobooks also expose readers to new and undiscovered authors. Some authors use audiobooks as a ploy to further engage with their target readers. They do so by recording themselves reading chapters of their manuscript out loud and uploading the recorded files on their social media accounts. By releasing the book by chapters instead of in bulk, authors can gauge how well their work is received and even build a relationship with their readers.
Also, reading needs one’s full focus and attention. If you want to read a book, it’s best to devote some time for it. Whereas listening to an audiobook gives you the freedom to do other tasks. It’s because of this flexibility that readers appreciate, which also allows them the freedom to explore other authors and genres of books.
- Improve writing style
You can memorize every grammar rule on Chicago Manual of Style or the AP stylebook, but one of the best ways to know if your writing is good or not is when you read it out loud. That’s because our brains are hard-wired to process spoken language faster and easier compared to written word. Reading out loud helps authors fix which parts need to be phrased differently and even pinpoint which have grammatical errors.
Through this, authors can develop their writing style and even flesh out their stories even more. They also get an idea of how their work can resonate with readers. So, don’t think audiobooks are taking away the novelty of printed books. Instead, think of it as a platform that enhances the experience of reading. Luckily with Rushmore Press, you can also have audiobook versions of your manuscript.