The digital market not only has revolutionized the way in which we consume certain products, but also has modified our reading habits. When considering the limitations of reading physical books, modern technology offers several options that enrich the bookish experience; thus, converting words into vessels that carry sensations and emotions. This is the case of the so-called audiobook. This format constitutes an excellent alternative for culture and entertainment for many people. Let’s see why.
In the first place, as suggested by Ekaitz Ortega,1 audiobooks are not to be mistaken for the robotic voice of automated computer programs. Audiobooks are recorded with feeling and, occasionally, with special effects that contribute to the storytelling, in order to avoid a rather passive listening experience. In other words, audiobooks are told by professional speakers and edited by specialized companies whose objective is to create a whole reading experience (similar to a theater performance or a music concert), and, better yet, they offer educational value.
According to Sofía García-Bullé,2 students with visual impairment, attention deficit, hyperactivity, or dyslexia, face an even greater challenge when their learning resources are text-based. Audiobooks are useful tools for pupils that live with a learning issue. Audiobooks represent an effort that strengthens the message within the book contents and enables a deeper reading comprehension that is beneficial, as well, for students without learning issues.
The author points out five educational advantages of audiobooks:
- Increase the exposure to vocabulary in a friendly way, since the recorded format resembles how we learn our mother tongue.
- When reading and audiobooks are combined, they provide double learning stimuli.
- Help students with memory problems, as audio makes recollection easier and enhances reading comprehension.
- Aid in strategy development for students with dyslexia or visual impairment, as they can be used on their own and, along with the printed format, confirms the written words.
- Help to create a feeling of independent learning, for students are able to listen to them anywhere, anytime, and at their own pace.
That being said, we should add that audiobooks allow us to enjoy its content while doing something else. Lola Santos3 thinks that this format fits our current lifestyle, and it being audio permits multitasking. According to Storytel data, 60% of audiobook users listen to them on their way to work and 54% while they work out.
Lately, the audiobook has been the fastest growing electronic book format. On the one hand, it adapts to our contemporary lifestyle. On the other, it is a valuable learning tool for students with learning issues, such as dyslexia. In the next post, we explain why the audiobook is a great educational and entertaining alternative within the context of the so-called “new normal”.
Whether we use them for educational, cultural, or entertaining purposes, audiobooks are a new way to enter the world of reading, and also a way to improve our learning skills. Given the present context of global confinement, the audiobook seems very useful and rewarding. So, let me ask you: What book are you listening to?