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Reasons Why You Should ‘Listen’ to More Books

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Listening to Books

Knowing that there were so many good advantages to reading, I decided to make reading books a part of my daily life. I have to admit, the results were profound. For me, reading books is like having a cup of coffee with an author you like and picking their brains. It’s a good habit to develop.

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There are endless genres in the wide world of reading out there. Just pick a book with a topic of your choice, you can enrich your knowledge and expand your horizon. Thanks to the knowledge and effort of the people who’ve already experienced what we’re going through and record it.

But there are times you feel you don’t want to read a book. You don’t feel like adding more ‘to do’ in your list most or keep your body still just to read (unless you want to relax). Ya feel me?

That’s when I discovered audiobooks. They allow me to break free in some mundane moments and let me absorb knowledge whilst being on the move. They helped me move closer to hitting my reading goals in 2020. This is so corny but ever since I gave listening to a shot, it changed my sleeping habit. I was asleep within 30 to 45 minutes!

So what are the benefits? Let’s take a look!

Reading vs. Audiobooks: What’s the Difference?

There are two vital steps in reading: decoding and comprehension. Decoding is translating the letters into words that generate meaning. Comprehension is language processing which bridges old information to the new one.

Reading vs Audiobooks Study

Listening comprehension is strongly correlated with reading comprehension. Olga Khazan, a scientific writer proves this by stating: “A 1985 study found listening comprehension correlated strongly with reading comprehension—suggesting that those who read books well would listen to them well. In a 1977 study, college students who listened to a short story were able to summarize it with equal accuracy as those who read it.”

When it comes to understanding, research indicates that audiobooks nourishes the brain differently but just as deeply as reading. Scientists mentioned that our mental processes are the same. People who read and listen to books have an equal understanding of the passages they’ve consumed.

Moving on, retention is higher when reading because it requires focus which makes us stop and think. The audio misses a visual aspect like fonts, headings, paragraphs which obviously are more available in books.

Benefits of Audiobooks

Books are good for your brain.

Our brains go through a process of changing of neural networks through growth and reorganization called neuroplasticity.

A very interesting study shows that when researchers taught illiterate adults to read, they found that there’s remarkable plasticity through the adult’s brain scans. The act of reading changes the make-up of the brain. It also helps the brain to slow down cognitive decline. Imagine what then will happen to us if we don’t read.

It creates emotional resonance with ideas.

The voice of the narrator conveys more information through the tone and pacing. Audio provides the intonation, stress of syllables, and so on that impact your thoughts and feelings. One downside is that it lacks visual aspects like fonts, paragraphs, and headings.

It reduces anxiety.

The calming voice of the narrator brings a relaxing feeling. It lowers your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. Sometimes, when we’re too distracted we can’t focus on reading and it’s okay. Audiobooks can supply the comfort of reading.

One study indicated that listening to audiobooks reduces stress by up to 68%, better than listening to music or relaxation techniques. (Lewis, 2009). It reduces negative thinking by interrupting the pattern.

So instead of scrolling on a smartphone or social media that triggers anxiety, try to create downtime, and listen to an audiobook. Our devices emit blue light that blocks our body to recognize that its already night time. Thus, makes it harder to sleep. Why mindlessly scroll while you can engage in quality entertainment?

It develops your listening muscles.

Critical listening is like a muscle. You must use it and exercise it in order for it to grow. Try to listen to biographies and genres with no complex concepts so that you’ll be able to get the learning. You can also listen while driving, commuting, hitting the gym, gardening, doing house chores, even socializing (gathering friends and learn together).

How Do Audiobooks Work? Techniques to Grow Your Listening Habit

  • Start small. Grab a book that piques your interest. Listen at least 15 minutes a day. If you get comfortable doing it, try 30, then 60 minutes.
  • Develop a mindset that listening is for your pleasure. It should be calming, stimulating, and fascinating. Remember, it’s a choice, not a chore.
  • Keep the book, audiobook app, or e-reader where you can pick it right away. (ex. beside your bed, on your desk).
  • For bedtime routine, set an alarm one hour before sleep. Turn off all the blue lights then read/listen.
  • Once the habit is established, you can increase it by associating it with an action. (ex. read while sipping your cup of coffee, or while your in commute)

My Audiobook Recommendations

My audiobook service provider is Audible. When I want to save up, I use Google Podcasts and Spotify. Just find random books that are available and start. I listen to 2 to 3 books per month.

Free Audible Trial

Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. With Audible, customers can listen anytime and anywhere to professionally-narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres. Click the link below:

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What book/s are you listening to right now? Comment below!

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