Books are still better than audio

Jesus Andrade, reporter

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Imagine you find yourself in need of a book to read, but don’t have the physical copy. You don’t want to go out, so you decide to either buy a pdf of the book or an audiobook. But you know Audible has a 30-day free membership and a free audiobook.  Meaning you wouldn’t have to spend any money at all, but was it worth it?

The truth is reading a book/pdf is much better than listening to the same text as reading the text helps with memory retention.

While one would argue that listening to the books would be better for people with dyslexia who have trouble reading, and better for those with sensitive eyes but that is only to select few people.

Proof of this can actually be found by a small experiment done by David Daniel a psychology professor at James Madison University. He had students choose whether to listen to a podcast or read the text. He had them all perform a comprehension quiz, he found that “listeners scored an average of 28% lower on the quiz a difference of an A or D grade”.   Most students had wanted to be in the podcast group, but when asked what their choices would be now most selected the text group.

I personally had a decision to make on my choice of how I was going to get through a book. I had decided to go ahead and listen to an audiobook. It was about European history, I needed to understand it so that I could complete an assignment for school. I did, in fact, complete the assignment but when it came around and I took a quiz about the book I did not do very good. I received a below 75% and while it was not a failing grade, it was not a grade I expected to receive after listening to the complete book and completing the assignment.

This is why I believe that people should stick to reading texts rather than listening to them. Whether you’re reading from the physical book or you’re reading it digitally does not matter. You’ll still be able to remember more of what you have learned that if you were to have been using an audiobook. It’s not to say that they’re ineffective, they’re some things that can only be done with audiobooks such as multitasking.  But if you’re looking to remember what you read, you’d be better off reading the text.

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