From time to time, I have installed (and deleted) Audible on my smartphone and have tried giving audiobooks a try. I have been struggling to listen to some audiobooks but my limited attention span wouldn’t allow me to stay hooked on a book for longer than five minutes!
With audiobooks, I feel my eyes aren’t focused on anything in particular like they are while reading a paperback or an e-book which allows my mind to wander easily and think about trivial stuff. While reading a book, the mind is more focussed on the words, their spellings and enunciations(if they are relatively new words), and how some phrases are used. The mind is constantly engaged in imagining stuff and making memory trees of characters and their emotions or even making lists of useful tips from self-help and other non-fiction books.
Somehow for me, the eyes and the brain coordinate better than the ears and the brain. For this reason, I usually prefer listening to fictional audiobooks that have an engaging story so that even if my mind isn’t engaged in the story for a few seconds, I am not missing much. Sometimes I change the playback speed to 1.5x-2x if I feel I can catch up easily. The audiobooks are putting my listening skills to test and honing them gradually. I have also felt that for listening to an audiobook or a podcast, you need a quieter environment than usual so that you don’t miss out on what the author/narrator read and honestly, skipping a few seconds back to catch-up has not been a fun experience for me.
As of now, E-Books have been my favourite format for reading books. Reading on a Kindle has been an absolute joy. It cancels out all the cons of a paperback and adds the pros of audiobooks. They are not as heavy as paperbacks/hardcovers and at the same time give you time to digest what you have read. Being able to read an e-book at night without a lamp has been an incentive to read for a few minutes every night rather than use my phone.
However, there are some books that can be enjoyed only in print. Some paperback-lovers might argue that it is impossible to recreate the same experience of reading a paperback/hardcover than reading its e-book print and they would not be completely wrong about it. The touch of the paper, its feel… and apparently, the smell: all remain the pros of reading a physical copy of the book.
When it comes to reading, I have been lucky to inculcate all three modes in my reading routine: Paperbacks in the morning, Audiobooks/Podcasts around afternoon sometimes and E-Books on Kindle at night. Have you tried listening to audiobooks or podcasts? Do you feel the same struggle while listening to audiobooks? And which audiobooks do you prefer to listen to? Let have some deep discussion in the comments below.