Is reading or audiobooks better for remembering books?

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    Is reading or audiobooks better for remembering books? We’ll explore the answer right here by comparing the two methods.

    Is reading or audiobooks better for remembering books?

    Many activities require you to memorize books. For example, you might be working on a book project, so you must have a profound understanding of the content. Alternatively, you may simply want to remember a great story and share it with your friends.

    Audiobooks and physical books are your two options. Let’s compare them to determine which provides better retention.  

    Audiobooks vs. reading for memory

    Many neuroscientists have found that listening to podcasts or audiobooks and reading activate different parts of the brain.

    On one hand, listening to audiobooks engages the part of the brain responsible for processing a language. However, reading physical books activates the area of the brain that performs visual processing.

    Both methods can improve retention and memory, but each technique offers distinct brain benefits.

    The benefits of audiobooks for retention

    A lot of people prefer listening to audiobooks for retention. Here’s why:

    You’re immersed in the book’s world

    The greatest benefit of audiobooks is that they completely immerse you in the content. They allow you to imagine and visualize your thoughts, enhancing cognition and retention.

    Several recent studies suggest that imagining what you read can boost your memorization by activating the front part of your brain. This area is responsible for most of your learning process and memory formation.

    Therefore, audiobooks are generally better than printed books regarding immersion.

    Audiobooks are more convenient

    Another reason audiobooks are popular for retention is their convenience. Physical books often require undivided attention and quiet settings. By contrast, you can listen to audiobooks practically anywhere, making them ideal for multitasking.

    For instance, you shouldn’t have trouble squeezing an audiobook session into even the busiest schedule. You can tune in while doing housework, cooking, driving, or working out. Just put on your headphones, press “Play,” and immerse yourself in the recording while staying productive.

    Hence, you don’t need to worry about your environment, which can’t be said for reading.

    Audiobooks work better for those with reading difficulties

    Language processing isn’t straightforward for everyone. If you’re a learner with reading disabilities, such as dyslexia, reading Kindle or physical books might be inconvenient. You may have trouble focusing or making out the written word, so you need a different medium.

    That’s where audiobooks come in. These assistive platforms are perfect for keeping up with other students. They allow you to digest content at your own reading speed, enabling you to customize the experience.

    Additionally, the recordings can help you elevate your listening skills. Many platforms play audiobooks in different intonations or inflections, which is essential for decoding and comprehension.

    You’re less likely to get distracted

    You may get easily distracted when reading physical books or content from e-readers. Social media and other forms of entertainment are tempting, especially if the content isn’t engrossing. Consequently, you lose concentration, impairing your reading comprehension.

    The chances of being distracted are much lower with audiobooks. As previously discussed, audiobooks offer more immersive input than their physical counterparts, making you less likely to lose your train of thought. Plus, it eliminates the need for re-reading.

    The benefits of reading for retention

    Auditory content is incredibly beneficial for learners of all ages and disabilities. That’s not to say you can’t improve your retention by reading books. Here’s what can make physical copies suitable for memorization:

    Reading is faster than listening

    On average, you can read between 250 and 300 words per minute. The number of words you can understand when listening to an audiobook is about 40% lower. This means you can absorb more content when reading written materials.

    If you’re on a tight schedule and need to finish a book project fast, reading might be your better option. But before buying a physical copy of a mystery or nonfiction book, consider that audiobooks allow you to do other things while digesting the content in real time.

    You have more control over how quickly you absorb the material

    Reading could be better than listening if you want to control the speed at which you digest the materials. You can read at any pace you want to maximize comprehension.

    In contrast, some audiobook platforms have narrators who talk too fast. Consequently, you can miss out on some of the messages if you can’t keep up.

    Audio recordings are also prone to distortion and inaudible sounds when background noise occurs. Additionally, the speakers might have unfamiliar accents, which can prevent you from decoding the audio.

    That’s why you should consider supplementing your listening with reading. Having a written transcript can make all the difference in terms of retention.

    Reading requires mental focus

    Information retention is complex. In some cases, your potential to memorize a book hinges on your ability to focus on the subject matter.

    Reading might be better in this regard because it requires you to sharpen your focus. Namely, you can’t gloss over certain pages of a book and memorize the content. By forcing you to focus, you can sometimes learn a lot more than by listening to audio.

    Speechify Audiobooks – Absorb yourself in audiobooks

    Physical books have a lot to offer, but audiobooks are superior, especially in today’s tech-driven world. So, the only question is, what audiobook platform should you choose? Speechify Audiobooks is a reliable solution.

    The library is home to over 100,000 immersive titles. There are works of acclaimed authors, such as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dan Brown, and Oprah Winfrey. Your first premium title is available for free, and the same goes for hundreds of classics.

    Don’t hesitate to test Speechify Audiobooks now.

    FAQ

    Is reading or listening better for memorization?

    In most cases, listening is better for memorization because it’s more immersive.

    Do audiobooks help you remember more?

    Audiobooks can help you remember more through compelling narration and appropriate pacing.

    Are audiobooks as effective as reading?

    Audiobooks are as effective, if not more effective, than reading when it comes to memorizing content.

    Is there a significant difference in the amount of time it takes to read a book or listen to an audiobook?

    Reading a book is generally faster than listening to it, but Speechify and some other platforms let you speed up your recording to make up for the difference.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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