This is a plea for help. Or at least a plea for understanding. I have never listened to (read?) an audiobook. But it seems like everyone else is doing it. So, I’m asking, are audiobooks worth it?
Why haven’t I listened to any audiobooks?
I love books and I love reading. At any time, I am generally in the middle of reading a book. My favorites are non-fiction and tend to be in the self improvement genre.
And I have to say, in the past I would never had read a self improvement book. I would have seen that as a weakness. However, I thankfully realized that this was akin to me avoiding personal finance because I was scared of it and burned out. In any case, now I love these types of books. (Here is a great one by the way from another doctor.)
But I’m kind of old school in this regard. I love holding and reading actual books. I don’t use electronic readers. Just can’t. Don’t like them.
And then, by extension, I haven’t bought into the audiobook trend.
I do see advantages that could make audiobooks worth it
Despite my stubbornness in sticking with material literature, I do see some advantages.
Some people argue that they can get through an audiobook faster. I’m not sure that would necessarily apply to me as I get through books pretty quick.
The biggest advantage that I see is the ability of audiobooks to convert dead time into more
productive leisure time. You will note that I specifically am not calling this time “productive.” Because that is not always the goal. Down time is necessary and good. Not something to be judged. Built-in recovery time has been a key to my personal and professional growth.
But for me, reading (or listening) to books is leisure. So, the ability to take some dead time, like my commute, and convert it into leisure time is very appealing.
But my main concern
Really, my main concern is retention.
I tend to be one of those people who read a page or paragraph. And then maybe I’ll need to re-read it again once or twice. Or I might need to close my eyes and think about how some tidbit applies to me. Sometimes I need to take a moment to let a topic or statement sink in so I can grasp it.
Traditional reading is great for this. It just kind of naturally lends itself to this type of introspection.
With audiobooks however, it would seem these idiosyncratic habits are more difficult. Right? Or am I wrong? I feel like I would have to keep pausing or rewinding to find the exact point in the recording that I need to get back to or re-listen to.
Second, and maybe this is even more relevant, I am a very focused person. But at any time, my mind (like I think anyone’s) is prone to wandering and jumping from topic to topic.
This definitely still happens when reading. But I’m more locked in so it doesn’t happen as often as it otherwise would.
With audiobooks, I fear my mind wandering would be even more of an issue.
So, what do I do?
I don’t have a conclusion here. Like I said, this is me asking for help and maybe some perspective.
So, what do you think?
Are audiobooks worth it? Should I give it a shot? Have you? What has your experience been? What books should I start with?!
Let me know in the comments below!