Podcasts have taken off as one of the hottest mediums in the media landscape. You can learn something; you can connect with the hosts; you can deep dive on a chosen subject; you can do it all while driving your car.
Why, then, have audiobooks been left on the shelf? Pardon the pun. There are mixed feelings on the audiobook, notably labeling them ‘the lazy listening option.’ Lazy? Listening to a lovingly crafted narrative full of twists and turns, analysis and reflection, and characters we keep with us forever?
Sorry, but we’re not buying it. And to prove it, we did a little looking into the benefits of audiobooks. Read on for the full breakdown.
It’s hands and eyes-free
First, we’ll get the practical perks of audiobooks out of the way because they’re numerous. When you are reading a book, you’re confined to the book, unable to multitask. While being engaged in the book’s world by reading the physical book is an often-coveted part of reading, some would like to read and complete other tasks, much like they do with music.
Whereas, audiobooks only need the use of your ears, and mind, to function. You can set your earphones or stereo speakers and get on with life simultaneously. You’re walking to work while being proposed to by Mr Darcy or tumbling down Alice’s rabbit hole while in the bath or doing the housework while exploring Mars. This makes for great time management skills. You can go to the gym and read your book, no longer having to choose and have either your mind or your body miss out on a workout.
Accessibility has become a major demand for consumers in recent years. Products and services must be convenient. What convenience is changes. For media and entertainment, it often means that the film, TV show, album, or game can be enjoyed wherever they wish. One example of how this has impacted an industry would be iGaming. When providers began releasing their services as mobile apps, they saw a sharp increase in custom. Now, leading online casino providers optimise their catalogue of games for both their web browser and apps.
It improves pronunciation
Listening to an audiobook gives you the chance to learn the aural side of a book. Understanding how words and pronounced, how they sound as art themselves. Often, this will lead to the inclusion of that vocabulary in one’s own language.
It improves critical thinking skills
Absorbing a book in any way will improve critical thinking skills, which are far more vital to life than you’d think. To question authority, for example, is a survival instinct, which books can hone and develop into skills. And don’t be fooled by the tasks you’re doing while listening to an audiobook. Doing the dishes doesn’t take so much brainpower, so you will find your mind wandering, questioning what you’re hearing in this murder mystery thriller.
It also develops critical listening skills. Improve that, along with skills like fluency, comprehension, language acquisition, vocabulary, pronunciation, and more. All of this, in turn, will improve their reading skills.
It’s a mental health boost
Everything nowadays is a mental health boost, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you were feeling cynical about this one, until you hear that the mental health boost comes from literally blocking negative thinking.
If you can get into the narrative of a good book, you are too occupied to focus on any negative thoughts entering your brain. Audiobooks in particular have a way of replacing negative thoughts with something else through the power of having someone read to us, according to Psychology Today. We’ll take it.
Markus lives in San Francisco, California and is the video game and audio expert on Good e-Reader! He has a huge interest in new e-readers and tablets, and gaming.