Physical Book v Audio Book: Which is Better?
I have always been a ‘physical books are the best’ type of person and until recently I never thought of reading books in any other way. I was determined to inevitably have my life taken over by books in all corners of the house. But then I came across a free trial on Audible on Amazon and with the trial, I could get a free audio book, and who can say no to a free book?
So, I took the plunge and for my first audio book I selected what could possibly be the longest of all time – It by Stephen King. Coming in at an amazing 44 hours and 53 minutes, which at first I thought ‘oh that’s less than 2 days worth of time, that shouldn’t take long‘… I could not have been more wrong. When I first got my audiobook, it was around a time when I was using trains a lot for University and I always found it hard to read a book whilst travelling. That was the big advantage of an audio book for me, that I could now listen to my book whilst on my (normally very boring) commute.
I used to think that I couldn’t connect so much with the story if I wasn’t physically reading it, but oh did It change my mind. I was fully gripped straight away and still felt like the story was coming to life with room to let my mind wander, imagining each scene, as the story was described to me. The narrator taking on all the characters with different characteristics and the voices helped a lot with making a connection to all the different characters and being able to feel the events from their perspective. Also, the choice of narrator is always fun to discover!
Although this was a very long book, I do think that if I had read the physical copy I wouldn’t have made it through. Having someone read to me felt very relaxing, and if I was particularly tired that day I could close my eyes and just let the story surround me, unlike a physical book where you have to concentrate on the writing on the page. The thing I most enjoy about audio books is the ability to listen to them whilst doing other things. I am particularly fond of listening to my books in the bath, whilst getting ready, cleaning or baking, all the things which you cannot do with a physical book.
Still, there are some things missing with an audio book which I love about the physical copy. I love having a full bookshelf, and there really is nothing better than the smell and feel of a new book. I really enjoy the feel of turning a page and seeing how much closer to the end I am getting and the cracked spine of a well-loved book. Because of these reasons, I will never be able to give up on physical books and they will always be my number one choice.
But now I also have a special place in my heart for audio books and I always have one of each going at the same time. Currently, I am physically reading Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness and am listening to Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (after taking over a year to finish It according to my Goodreads account), both of which I am loving, and I enjoy being able to so easily switch from one to the other. I already have my next two audio books lined up: The Shining by Stephen King and The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman, and I can’t wait to start them.
So, when it comes to the question: Which is better? I say…both!
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