Is Audible a good alternative to reading? It can be. Let’s examine this service closely and see if audiobooks are as good as or even better than reading.
Is Audible a good alternative to reading?
Most people are already familiar with the immense benefits of reading books. With audiobooks rising in popularity, a fierce competitor to print books has emerged. Hence, the never-ending audiobooks vs. reading debate aiming to determine whether you should read written words or listen to their audio version.
As a major player in the audiobook market, Audible is often viewed as the main alternative to reading. But can a monthly subscription to this audiobook service actually substitute physical books? Let’s find out.
What is Audible, and how does it work?
Audible is one of the most popular audiobook services. The platform is owned by Amazon, which uses it to produce and sell audiobooks. Since Audible also produces audiobooks, you’ll be able to listen to exclusive titles on the platform. Besides audiobooks, you can enjoy other forms of media, such as podcasts.
When using Audible, you can purchase individual audiobooks without a subscription. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the service and borrow a specific number of audiobooks for streaming monthly.
If you choose the subscription route, you’ll have two options: Audible Plus and Premium Plus.
The Audible Plus plan allows unlimited access to over 10,000 titles in the Plus catalog. However, this catalog rarely contains new books and current bestsellers. To access them, you’ll have to subscribe to the more expensive Premium Plus plan. This plan allows you to purchase one premium title monthly and keep it in your library.
Which subscription plan you should choose depends on the following:
How frequently you consume audiobooks
What kind of titles you’re looking for
Whether you want to keep the books in your library
Is listening to audiobooks as good as reading?
In 2016, Beth Rogowsky, an associate professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, conducted a study into the effects of reading and listening on comprehension.
During the study, three groups of participants consumed the same non-fiction book, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. However, the first group listened to a section of the book, the second consumed the section as written text on an e-reader, and the third read and listened to it simultaneously.
The study found no significant differences in how each group absorbed the material. This study is one of the many proofs that listening to audiobooks is as good as reading.
That said, there is one notable difference between listening and reading comprehension. The difference comes from how our brain decodes the presented information.
Decoding spoken and written language takes part in different parts of the brain and involves a few different processes.
Although language processing is done differently depending on the medium, the result is the same: reading and listening provide similar brain benefits and comprehension.
Of course, these findings refer to consuming books for pleasure. Things aren’t as clear-cut when it comes to consuming books for learning and studying. With these activities, it all boils down to the complexity of the study material and your preferred learning style.
How audiobooks benefit the listener
While reading and listening have the same effects on our brains, audiobooks have unique benefits that might make them a better choice for consuming books, such as the following.
Audiobooks elicit a more emotional response
You can usually hear different voices and vocal nuances when listening to audiobooks. Hearing other humans speak elicits a much more emotional response than reading words on paper. With audiobooks, you can immerse yourself in the story more and connect to its characters on a deeper level.
Audiobooks allow multitasking
As beneficial as reading is, not everyone has the time to sit down and read a book. Audiobooks resolve this issue by allowing you to multitask. You can play the audio version of the book you’ve been dying to read and go about your day. While listening to an audiobook, you can do various other activities like chores, working out, cooking, and walking your dog.
Audiobooks are more flexible
With audiobooks, you don’t have to lug around a bunch of books when traveling. All the books you could possibly want are just a few clicks away. Also, audiobooks allow you to adjust the reading speed. This way, you can go through a book faster if you’re in a hurry. And finally, it’s easier to share audiobooks than physical books with your friends and family.
Try Speechify as a different audiobook service
If you don’t like Audible as a service, try Speechify. A relative newcomer, Speechify has taken the audiobook market by storm.
This audiobook service boasts an impressive collection of titles, including hundreds of free audiobooks. The audiobooks are broken into specific categories, so you can quickly find your next listen. Each audiobook page features extensive details and reviews, allowing you to determine whether it’s the right choice for you.
Once you find a title you like, you can purchase it individually. Alternatively, you can subscribe to Speechify to receive monthly tokens that you can exchange for some of the best audiobooks on the market.
Speechify also offers an excellent audiobook app available across all major platforms, including Android and IOS devices, so that you can listen to your favorites on the go.
Try Speechify Audiobooks for free today and get rid of the limitations of reading physical books.
Can audiobooks replace reading?
Audiobooks can replace reading. It all depends on the book you’re consuming and your personal preferences.
Will audiobooks help you achieve your reading goals?
Audiobooks can help you achieve your reading goals since they’re more convenient to consume. You can listen to audiobooks while doing other activities, allowing you to go through more books than you would by reading.
Is Audible worth the cost?
Audible is worth the cost if you listen to audiobooks frequently. The Premium Plus plan is good value if you want to keep the audiobook after listening and have a wider selection of titles.
Do audiobooks help you learn?
Audiobooks can help you learn, especially if you prefer the auditory learning style.
Can you read and listen at the same time?
You can read and listen at the same time. You can listen to an audiobook and read its physical copy simultaneously to improve retention and comprehension.
What are Audible alternatives?
More notable Audible alternatives include Speechify, audiobooks.com, Chirp, and Scribd. You can also purchase audiobooks on platforms like the Kindle Store and Google Play Store.