Is Listening To An Audiobook Same As Reading ? Audiobook Vs Reading

audiobooks vs reading

Some people prefer reading books rather than listening to them but some do not. Audiobook vs reading, this debate comes in public since the age of audiobooks. Audiobooks are the new ways to read books, which challenges the old style of reading books.

If you consider this confusing then hope this article will help you. We will discuss the pros and cons of audiobooks and reading books by some permeates.

These are the 10 difference between listening audiobook and reading book.

  1. Which gives better understanding:

“I was a fan of audiobooks, but I always viewed them as cheating,” says Beth Rogowsky.

Usually, our understanding of the plot and meaning of books is the same by listening and reading books. There is plenty of research which confirms that. When we are reading something our mind first decodes the language so our mind can understand the meaning of symbols then creates images of the situation. And in the case of audiobooks, our mind listens and creates situations. So it is easy to get something by listening rather than reading.

Research says our eyes move 10% to 15% forward and backward during reading. Which makes reading a challenging task for our minds. So does this mean listening to audiobooks is cheating? The answer is simply NO because the motive to read or listen to a book is always a way to get the knowledge, idea and entertain yourself which is completed by both reading and listening to audiobooks. It is only a choice, imagine you are going to your office, now it does not matter if you use your motorcycle or car to reach the office.

  1. Speed

Generally, by listening to audiobooks we can finish a book quickly. Does this mean audiobooks are faster ways to read a book? Not really. The reading speed of different peoples are different, some people read faster than others and can finish a book in less time than audiobooks.

  1. Memory

We have temporary memory and permanent memory, and we store important information in permanent memory and non-essential information in our unconscious mind. Our minds work with both eyes and listening to store the information or make an image of the situation. 

Research shows that our minds can remember more things by seeing than listening. So we can clearly say that reading a book makes the books more remembering for us than listening to the book.

  1. Educational books

Would you prefer a math book in audio or physical form, the answer is simple. Most educational books, which contain an example and problems which require practice and repeated review. In physical books, we can easily turn pages backward and review or read what we have missed. But in the case of audiobooks, backward audio is a bit of an uneasy process, which makes audiobooks more away from educational books.

Assuming a math problem requires a pen and paper to solve and a repeated review of the question then physical books are the best option for this kind of education book.

  1. Emotional response:


It is a well-known fact that listening affects us more than reading. Plus audiobooks are recorded with the pace, emotion, and sarcasm required for books. Just like your grandmother telling a story on a moody night. Audiobooks give the feeling like talking to a person or listening to the conversation of our favorite characters. Some audiobooks come with a special touch of the author or famous personality, recorded by them, Which makes them special and feels more relatable.


Reading has a special effect on our mind, we can control our pace and emotions as we want. It connects us strongly to character and the storyline of books. Remember your childhood days when you read comics all day, and you change your voice and persona every time you change character in comics. Reading gives a depth in character by filling gaps between silences. Movies and series on any book or novel give different feelings by reading the same book or watching the same book based story, similarly audiobooks and reading books give a different experience.

  1. Privacy:


We use an electronic device like a smartphone, tablet, and laptop which secure your privacy more than you. So definitely audiobooks are more private than reading. Audiobooks give you the freedom to listen to books whenever and in whatsoever situation without no one noticing.

It is give you the freedom to choose any kind of book without judgment of society. They are easier to arrange and collect, which require a small space in your device memory, and can store for a long time without damaging and making any difficulties for you. Audiobooks are easier to restore and the availability of audiobooks is more common than physical books. Audiobooks have some strength also. Humans evolve themselves by listening to sounds and by getting information by hearing, which makes it easy to get information, evidence, and arguments by listening rather than reading. Here audiobooks come ahead of reading.


“Never judge a book by its cover”

Usually, we try to understand the book’s content by its cover and a reading book always has a cover that will make it public. If you are a person with intimacy and want your life private, then reading a book is only possible indoors for you. Sometimes reading a physical book reduces your choices to choose a book. Buying books in-store and reading books in the open can be difficult for someone. Physical books are more difficult to arrange and collect, as books consume space and time to arrange.

  1. Pronunciation:


Ever experience something dumb like me, that you have read the whole book with pronouncing the main character’s name wrong. Reading books encounter the same problem usually. But at the same time reading books makes you pronounce strong. Reading a book is an act of engagement, you have to concentrate on pronouncing words and focus on every line of a paragraph. If you are learning stuff and want to improve your English or any other language than reading a physical book is always the best option, because by reading we learn new words in our memory and reading comes with the speaking ability by pronouncing, which makes it a double combo.

Different countries can have the same language but can have different accents, which makes audiobooks difficult to perchance and select. But physical books do not have any problem with different accents. Rather this is the beautiful thing about physical books, books are read by different peoples in their accents and which makes books versatile and gives personal experience and emotions to communities and peoples.


Audiobooks have advantages in pronouncing words right. But audiobooks give you another problem, it does not give you an image of the word so you easily forget the words and names of the character. Audiobooks are an easier way to read a book, sometimes audiobooks force-feed you a story. If you want to improve your listening skills then audiobooks work best for you. Studies show that students who are listening to audiobooks have performed 25% less in reading comprehension tests than the students who read books on their daily bases. This can make you clear about audiobooks and reading physical books by your preference as if you are a student or a working man/woman. After the research, many students who listen to podcasts or audiobooks turn their minds and convert toward books.

In audiobooks, a little lack of concentration makes you lose the point of the paragraph. 

  1. Own voice:

Some audiobooks are recorded by authors or celebrities, which makes them special in listening to a book. It is best, that an author read his/her book for audiobooks, which gives audiobooks correct emotions and feelings for books. Celebrity’s voices are familiar to us, which gives the feeling of talking to the celebrity.

  1. Multitasking:

Multitasking is only possible with audiobooks. As you travel, jog, and cook, you can just put your earphones or headphones and get lost in your book. But this trick doesn’t work all time; sometimes the plot is too twisty to laxity and needs full concentration. But audiobooks are the best for multitasking when you don’t need more care. 

On the other hand, I only multitask when traveling and waiting for someone. Reading books needs full concentration and proper or slightly proper place. Reading and listening to books is also recommended according to your time. If you have enough time to give a book fully focused one or two hours, reading a book is fine for you or if you are a busy scheduled man/woman like me then audiobooks work great for you.

Some books need more focus and concentration than others, which makes them harder to listen to than reading. Like, I have listened to audiobooks by Yuval Noah Harari, which has many arguments, evidence, and arguments, which was harder to get by listening. So in some cases, audiobooks fail to tell proper ideas and arguments of books. But in some cases, like listening to Mark Manson and Chetan Bhagat’s audiobooks, we do not need deep concentration. In such cases, audiobooks work great, better than reading books.

The main difference between audiobooks and reading is that reading a physical book is a work done by you, and listening to audiobooks is something that happens to you.

  1. Sharing:

Sharing a screenshot, quote, and photo of books is always a cool thing in our social life. Sharing any specific quote and line of any book is easy in a physical book, as compared to audiobooks.  Sharing books make us feel better by sharing our felling about the book gets recommendations from each other. Sharing books makes a community where we find a person with a similar mindset and emotion. Both audiobooks and reading books are sharable and make a community with a similar ideology. I think the best part of reading a book is when we find that another person feels the same feeling about the part or particular scene or the whole book. 

Nostalgia is connected to reading, before audiobooks or for most of us till now only a physical book is the only way to read the story, entertain, or educate ourselves. Wherever we think about any famous quote and emotional line, we hit with an image of the page in our mind, because reading makes things more memorable and nostalgic.

  1. Collection

Collectors have a different space for a physical book in their hearts. Collection of unique and heritage books are more common than audiobooks collectors. If you have an old and unique book, then it has chances to be worth a hundred or thousand times more than its original value. This attracts collectors and wannabee collectors toward physical books.


In the end, we can say both audiobooks and reading books have their pros and cons.

The whole idea of reading or listening to a book is to get an idea, knowledge, a story, and know the characters from the book, which are fulfilled by both audiobooks and reading books. You say potato, I say tomato, both are the same things with different materials. Both are different paths which lead us to the same destination. Only narration makes an audiobook different from physical books.

Reading or listening is subjective for every person, which makes their opinion different. It only depends on what makes it easy for you to read a book by reading a physical book or listening to audiobooks.

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