Part of the reason why libraries are so magical to me is because I love holding books. When I read, it is a complete experience, I love the smell of the books, I love holding the book in both hands, I love turning the pages, I love marking my page with a bookmark, I love tracking my progress throughout the story. I even love the sight of a book on my bed side table or next to my fireplace.
But I also love to listen to audiobooks. I travel a lot and the radio bothers me, so audiobooks are a perfect alternative to channel surfing and solution to increase my reading time. In my previous post (Your Brain on Books), I talked about how great reading is for your brain. But have you ever wondered if audiobooks are the same thing? or even e-books? I have heard audiobooks described as “cheating”, and I hoped it wasn’t true.
Turns out, holding the book in your hand and seeing how much you have read is pretty important. Humans love stories and having a tactile cue of where you are in the story gives you important information regarding the “arc” of the narrative (TIME article). E-readers and audiobooks attempt to do this by showing you page numbers or percentages, but for me, it’s just not the same.
Also, people tend to zone out when they read. When you zone out while reading a book, it’s easier to find your place and refocus your attention. When you are listening to an audiobook, it’s much harder. Thus, reading comprehension suffers (TIME article).
Obviously, reading on an e-reader or listening to an audiobook is better than not reading at all! So really, it doesn’t matter how you read, just read.
What are you reading right now?