18 Pros and Cons of Audiobooks to Help You Decide!
In recent years, an interesting alternative to reading is becoming exceedingly popular among book lovers. The alternative is Audiobooks. These books are easier and more convenient to consume and have many other benefits over conventional reading.
If you are a book lover or if you have an interest in audiobooks but you are confused whether it will be a good choice for you or not, here are 18 pros and cons of audiobooks (10 pros and 8 cons) that might help you to decide whether you should go for it or not.
TWO IMPORTANT UPDATES (November, 2019)
Update 1 : Currently, Amazon is offering Audible membership at just $6.95/month instead of $14.95/month to new Audible members on first 3 months. This is a limited-time offer. Here’s the link to this offer page.
Update 2: Amazon is also offering 3 Free Audiobooks to new Audible members (Those who haven’t taken the free trial before) during the free trial. You will get 1 Audiobook of your choice and 2 from the Audible Originals! You can keep those books for lifetime, even if you cancel your trial membership!
Here’s the link to the free trial offer page!
Pros of Audiobooks
Audiobooks have many advantages over reading physical books. Here are some of the most notable ones:
1. You can multitask
One of the best things about audiobooks is that you have the freedom to multitask. You can continue listening to your audiobook if the other tasks do not require much of your attention.
Many people love listening to audiobooks in gym, or while going for a walk, or while carrying out other daily commute be it driving, cooking or even bathing. We cannot do these things while reading, can we?
2. You can start listening immediately after you buy the book
If you come across a book which you really want to read immediately, audiobooks can help you do that.
For a physical book, it might take time to get delivered after you order it online, or you will have to go to the bookstore to get it. But for an audiobook, it gets delivered to your device immediately after you buy it and you can start listening straightway!
3. Narrator(s) can make the book interesting
4. You can listen at night without any lights
This is one of the best pros of audiobooks. If you are someone like me, who loves reading at night but at the same time gets irritated by the lights, audiobooks can be the best alternatives. You don’t have to worry about keeping the lights on. You can listen even with your eyes closed, can’t you? 😉
5. Audiobooks have a fixed time limit
You know from beforehand that how many listening hours it is going to take to complete the book. You don’t have to estimate the amount of time that you need to allot to the book.
6. It’s more convenient to use
You don’t have to turn pages or hold a book. Just press the play button, place the device wherever you like and start listening! It is as simple as that. If you want you can also lie down and close your eyes while listening to the book.
7. Audiobooks are more durable
Audiobooks can last forever if you have a proper backup. That is not the case with physical books especially paperbacks.
The more you read a physical book, the higher is the chances of it getting damaged due to page-bends, broken-spines, or other physical damages. Physical books require good maintenance, unlike audiobooks.
8. It does not occupy any space in your room
I love seeing books on my bookshelf, but there’s a limit to the number of books that I can keep there. Audiobooks, on the other hand, require no physical space in your room. You only need to have a device with memory that can store your audiobooks.
Audiobooks are environment-friendly as they do not use any paper, ink or chemicals. Moreover, if you have to remove any audiobook, you can simply delete it from your device and it will be gone!
9. Highly beneficial for people with visual impairments
One of the most notable benefits of Audiobooks is their role in the life of people with visual impairments.
Audiobooks are blessing for people with visual impairments and other reading disorders such as dyslexia, hyperlexia, etc. In recent years, audiobooks have contributed immensely to the literacy development among differently-abled individuals.
Cons of Audiobooks
Though there are many pros of audiobooks, they still do have some cons. Here are 8 of them:
1. It is technology dependent
You need to have a technological device like an android, iPhone, laptop etc. where you can store and listen to audiobooks. Besides, you also need to have access to the internet to download audiobooks or surf audiobooks websites online.
2. Difficult to follow if distracted
One of the basic downside to audiobooks is that it is very common to get lost if you are distracted by something. You may miss vital plot points even if you are distracted for a while and you will have to go back and re-listen.
3. Scanning and skipping contents become difficult
Unlike physical books, you cannot simply scan the book and skip some contents that you may feel are not required. If the narrator is explaining unnecessary details or something that is boring and you want to skip that part, you may find it difficult to do that with audiobooks.
4. What if you don’t like the narrator?
It is possible that sometimes you may not like the narrator of the book. Maybe you don’t like his/her voice, or the way he is narrating or maybe he/she is unable to bring life to the book the way you expected it.
It can be a big turn off from the book and you can’t really help it. You will either have to turn to a physical version of the book or continue listening to that narrator even if you don’t like it.
5. You need a bank card for online purchase
For purchasing audiobooks online, you need to have a debit or a credit card as there is no option for cash on delivery. (That is pretty obvious, isn’t it?) 😉
6. You cannot highlight lines that you may like
Many of us have the habit of highlighting or underlining important or catchy lines while reading a book. You cannot do that with an audiobook. You will have to manually make a note of those lines and that may take some extra effort and time.
7. Confusion with spellings of some characters’ names
Though it’s not a big deal, still it may bother some of you. While listening to books, no one is going to tell you the spellings of the names of the characters or other difficult words. What if a character’s name has a silent letter? (Like Phoebe, Murielle, etc.) If you want to write a review of the book later, you will have to cross-check the spellings separately.
8. Difficult to go back if there was something you didn't understand
While listening to an audiobook, sometimes you may come across some confusing plots or critical details which you may have missed at first. It is much more difficult to go back to it and listen again because you may find it hard to locate the part where the details were first told. With a physical book you can do it conveniently by turning pages and scanning, but with audiobooks, it may take more time and effort.
These were some of the pros and cons of audiobook according to me. However, the best way to understand these pros and cons is to experience it yourself, isn’t it?
And that is where these free trials from the top audiobooks service providers come in handy! You can try them absolutely free for a month and see for yourself how much you would like or dislike them.
Where to try Audiobooks for free?
There are many apps and websites that provides audiobooks services. Here’s the most popular one that gives you the best of audiobooks experience.
And also, this service gives you a 30-day free trial which I think is more than enough to find out whether you would like listening to audiobooks or not.
I have been using audible for over a year now and I have absolutely loved its services. It has a huge library of audiobooks to choose from. Besides, Audible provides many amazing benefits for their members. Here are some of the top features of Audible membership.
- Audible gives you a 30-day free trial. After the free trial ends you will be charged $14.95 (USD). And again, you can cancel anytime and you will not be charged at all if you cancel before one month.
- It has the largest library of audiobooks with over 200,000 titles.
- You get 1 free credit which you can use to buy any audiobook of your choice.
- Apart from the free audiobook, you will also get 2 audible originals (Produced exclusively by Audible for the audio format. You won’t find them anywhere else)
- You can keep your free audiobook as well as the audible originals for lifetime even if you cancel your membership.
- One of the best features of Audible is that if you don’t like your Audiobook for any reason, you can return it easily and your credit will be refunded immediately. You can then use the credit to buy another audiobook.
This is the best audiobooks service that I have used so far. If you haven’t tried it yet, I would highly recommend you to try it and experience it yourself.
By only using the service yourself you will better understand the pros and cons of audiobooks. So, give it a try and see for yourself if you would like audiobooks or not.