I’ve really been loving audiobooks lately. They’ve given me relief from listening to too many political podcasts. Instead, I can enjoy an engaging biography or practical book on business.
Moreover, since there are just so many books to read out there, and not enough time, audiobooks can really help you fill the gap. Whether you’re commuting, working, or talking a walk, an audiobook can satisfy your reading needs without having to carry around a paperback.
But audiobooks can’t replace paperbacks, and vice-versa. Each offer their own unique reading experiences. Depending on what you’re looking for, one may be a better choice than the others. Here are some factors to take into consideration in the paperbacks vs. audiobooks debate.
Carrying around a paperback can be a hassle. Sure, it’s not heavy or huge, but it isn’t something that can fit in your pocket. An audiobook on the other hand is simply built into your phone.
Now, if I am going to be sitting on a train for 30 minutes, then I don’t mind bringing a paperback with me. And on longer trips I no doubt will. However, you can’t expect to carry around a paperback every time you leave the house. And what if you forget the book? There’s definitely a higher chance of that happening than you forgetting your phone.
At first glance, audiobooks are definitely more expensive. Physical audiobooks (i.e. CD’s) can cost upwards of $30-40, whereas on Amazon it is a bit cheaper. Paperbacks usually cost around $10-15, but can easily be bought second hand for a few bucks.
However, there is a free way to get audiobooks: Through your local library! Most libraries these days should offer a selection of audiobooks online that you can download to your phone. The issue here though is that you would be limited to the audiobooks on file, and can’t pick and choose whichever ones you want.
Perhaps my biggest gripe with audiobooks is the inability to highlight and take notes. It’s really not practical to be jotting down notes while listening to an audiobook. Doing so really undermines the convenience of audiobooks too.
With paperbacks you can take as many notes as you want. You can mark pages and write notes in it that you can come back to as needed. This is an easy choice…
“Motivation” and Feasibility
For a lot of people reading books can be intimdating. When that book is 1000+ pages, like the recent autobiography of Robert E. Lee I recently read, most people don’t even bother trying to read it. That’s because holding a monstrous book in your hand makes the idea of reading it simply daunting. With an audiobook, you don’t have that!
Listening to a massive audiobook instead of reading it will help you work your way through it without being overly intimidating. You can listen to it for an hour or so a day and knock out these massive books in a month.
Paperbacks vs. Audiobooks: What’s the Winner?
I of course recommend that you utilize both audiobooks and paperbacks. Each offer their own unique benefits and when combining the two you will be able to access books throughout the day.
That said, I am partial to paperbacks. If there is a good book out there I will not hesitate to buy it in hardback or paperback. Audiobooks are more for occupying time than really digging in to a subject.
If you are interested in getting new audiobooks every month, you may be interested in Audible. You can check out my review here or go straight to the Amazon page (If you’re on a desktop you can also click the image to the right in the sidebar).