Graphic made by Evan Brooks
If you could choose to listen to an audiobook or read a physical copy, what would you pick? Now, your answer is probably determined by a few key factors, the main one being if you even like to read or not. If you dislike reading, that’s perfectly fine, but I am going to try and convince you towards trying both.
Being able to read or listen to a book and understand it is essential for anyone looking to learn and expand their minds. Unfortunately, due to schooling and the dreadful reading assignments on a subject you have absolutely no interest for, reading is often looked at as more of a chore than a fun activity. It is that conditioning that leads us to hesitate when looking at a book. It is fundamental that we change our outlook when faced with the proposition of reading.
Books provide a key to an unimaginable, vast collection of human knowledge and stories. The choice to tap into that wealth of knowledge and to be lost in those stories will alter your way of thinking and your life as a whole. There is no question that reading is important; it is deemed so imperative to our society that we fund public libraries, allowing them to be free to all. We know the positive economic impact you gain from a literate and knowledgeable society, but what does it matter if you read or listen to a book?
For those that are done with the idea of reading, don’t have the time to read or just prefer having stories or information told to you, audiobooks could be the solution. I say they “could” be the solution because it is completely up to the individual. Gaining information from books, whether you read or listen to them, is a good idea. Right off the bat, if you had two people that read the same book, they would most likely have differing opinions on some of what was communicated. Different people pull from differing experiences when trying to understand a similar point.
So, it would be unfair to say that someone who reads will have a different learning outcome from someone who listened to the same book — because even if there wasn’t that difference of how the book was transferred to our brains, we would still have differing opinions on what was read or listened to, anyway.
Reading is probably preferable to those that have the time to sit down and read a book, even if it is just 15 minutes a day. It is also probably better for those who like to go at their own pace and turn the words on each page into a slideshow of images in their minds.
Audiobooks are better for those who rather learn while doing something mundane, like listening to a book while driving instead of listening to music. Audiobooks are also helpful for those who like to hear someone else tell the story or teach the lessons.
With either choice, you are gathering information from the same source, just in differing ways. Both are good options, and just because you may pick one does not mean you cannot also pick and benefit from the other. Everyone learns in unique and different ways; it is up to the individual to choose which is best for them.
Above all, it is necessary to learn from books in whichever way you choose, but make sure you take the time. Books allow you to have mentors that are long gone, learning from their mistakes and successes. They allow you to be a part of stories, sparking your own creativity in everything you do.
If you do choose to read or listen to a book, choose something that truly interests you. It is not necessary to read everything because you can’t use your time wisely. Lastly, when you start a book, finish it. You will learn to better see things through.
Evan Brooks is a third-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civic and Professional Leadership EB0916132@wcupa.edu.