I have several pastor friends who quit reading. Not completely. But if I recommend a book, they respond, “Is that available as an audiobook?”
They tout the benefits of audiobooks. Listening to a book allows them to multi-task. The daily commute becomes an opportunity to learn. Time on the treadmill doesn’t just strengthen their bodies but their minds, if they listen to an audiobook at the same time.
But does listening to an audiobook yield the same benefits as reading a book?
As someone who has take the time to read her own books in a studio—and yes, it takes about two days, 213 cough lozenges, and 3 gallons of water, to read one book, I recently did a little research.
Lots of people have opinions on this subject, but I wanted to see what more scientific studies revealed.
One study divided participants into two groups. One group was asked to read a 2000 word essay; another was asked to listen to a 2000 word essay. In the end, both groups were able to summarize the content with equal accuracy.
According to Forbes, another study found a strong correlation between reading comprehension and listening comprehension. They go hand in hand.
Yet many people claim advantages with reading a book over listening.
But one psychological professor, Dan Willingham, is committed to debunking this myth.
He suggests that even though people may feel like they learn through one medium more than another, such as a podcast versus reading a magazine, the fact is they rarely take into account the surrounding activities affect comprehension. In other words, that multitasking while reading an audiobook may be taking more of a toll than realized.
But on the flip side, people tend to be more like to stick with a book they’re listening to than reading. So that can lead to more learning and comprehension overall.
The verdict is out.
But if you, like my pastor friends, prefer audiobooks, know that Scouting the Divine, The Sacred Echo, Hungry for God, and The Organic God are all available as audiobooks—and yes, I took the time to read them all myself. Sorry for the stumbles, and clicking cough drops, and oopsies along the way.
But for all of you who still love the printed page or electronic page, know that I’m right there with you. I love to see the words, too.
We want to introduce you to seven DVD Bible studies that small groups, Bible studies, and Sunday School classes around the country have been using to grow in their faith, knowledge of the Bible, and love of God. Email email@example.com and we’ll give you access to the complimentary DVD Sampler from Margaret Feinberg.