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Ebooks VS Audiobooks

Ebooks VS Audiobooks

“When you read a book, the story definitely happens inside your head. When you listen, it seems to happen in a little cloud all around it, like a fuzzy knit cap pulled down over your eyes.” – Robin Sloan

Reading has never been limited to just visual interactions, but also through audio. Being 2 different mediums, they represent varying degrees of advantages and disadvantages in the hand of the reader or listener. We’re covering this in this post and feel free to share your ideas in the comment section.

1. Navigation


Unless you have proper input devices like a mouse or keyboard, navigating through a digital timeline can be troublesome, more so if you happen to miss out the point where you started losing your focus. Seconds or minutes in audiobooks can hold different and various kind of information but an ebook’s page can have a fixed part of a story that you’ve missed out which you can go back with ease.

Ebooks 1 – Audiobooks 0

2. Voice


Let’s face it, the quality of an audiobook is very dependent on the voice actor behind it. No matter how good a title is, the voice behind the story dictates whether the audiobook is worth listening to or not. Ebooks in the other hand, do not have such dependency and in comparison, the closest form of items that would affect readability in this case are formatting, font size and probably spacing. Additionally, audiobooks support additional ambient sounds that could potentially enhance the listeners’ experience, which are great.

Ebooks 1.75 – Audiobooks 0.25

3. Commuting


Some commute for long hours everyday, which ultimately giving them with the gift of time. Reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks can be done with ease in this situation, but taking into consideration different scenarios where a seat is unavailable on a public transportation, or where your hands and eyes are occupied while you’re driving, both ebooks and audiobooks can play different beneficial roles. With this in mind, we find that both are great in a lot of different situations.

Ebooks 2.25 – Audiobooks 0.75

4. Speed


A simple and straightforward assessment would conclude that reading is definitely much faster than listening to an audiobook, more so if you’re a seasoned reader with a fast reading skill. Listeners to audibooks would be at the mercy of the voice actors’ reading speed, but can be manipulated to suite your preference. It’s recommended that in the event that if a narrator speaks too slowly, a playback increase of 1.3x is the best recommended solution.

Ebooks 3.25 – Audiobooks 0.75

5. Multitasking


Ebooks involve more bodyparts than audiobooks do, hence a direct computation would say that audiobooks allow a wider range of activities to be performed simultaneously while an individual is listening to one. Ebooks require our hands, eyes and a substantial amount of our concentration, limiting the type of multitasking tasks that can be performed.

Ebooks 3.25 – Audiobooks 1.75

6. Costs


A comparison made with few titles taken from and show that audiobooks are on average, 3x more expensive than ebooks. The price difference is perhaps justifiable considering the amount of work involved reading out a whole book, not to mention quality control and additional post production enhancements. But of course let’s not forget there are free ebooks & audiobooks as well, so if we jump into this no-cost bandwagon, than this issue wouldn’t be any issue at all.

Ebooks 4.25 – Audiobooks 1.75

7. Conclusion


Ebooks 4.25 – Audiobooks 1.75

Ebooks are the obvious winner in a straight on fight. Nonetheless this should not be a definite guide on what to venture into. Both ebooks and audiobooks have their prominent strengths and weaknesses, but could potentially be beneficial if we know how to take advantage of these mediums.