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Audiobooks Continue Gaining Popularity in Education & Entertainment
Is the era of the physical book coming to an end?
12:27 01 November 2022
The short answer is no—just ask any avid reader, one of the greatest pleasures in life is holding a physical copy of a beloved book and flipping through the pages. Still, physical books are heavy, pricey, and tough to find, while it’s always easy to forget to charge an eReader.
Unsurprisingly, podcasts and audiobooks have become popular solutions for readers. Podcasters create short programs that often tackle specific topics, from breaking news to true crime to two comedians chatting about coffee. Audiobooks, on the other hand, tend to tackle heavier topics.
For example, someone who lacks the time to sit down and get through a book can turn on an audiobook. They can multitask while learning something new or following a lesson. The format has proved incredibly popular. From 2019 to 2020, Edison Research reported that Americans listened to eight audiobooks on average.
There’s only one consideration: affordability. Right now, audiobooks tend to be just as expensive as print copies. However, given the growing popularity of the audiobook movement, these prices could lessen in the coming years. Keep in mind that, depending on the audiobook, there could be a free product available online.
Organizations like Project Gutenberg and Open Culture provide free books in a variety of non-fiction and fiction genres, while Librivox and Lit2Go share audiobooks are projects that adapt free public domain books into audio format for anyone to download.
Clearly, there’s a huge push to make audiobooks more accessible. However, the format deviates quite a bit from its physical ebook counterparts. So, what exactly, are audiobooks used for? And which types of readers should look for audiobook options in the future?
Learning a New Trade
As mentioned above, audiobooks are a great way to learn a new trade. Oftentimes, non-fiction books that cover a specific topic can be dry and boring to read—no matter how interested the reader is. Audiobooks are a great way to get through the heady material without getting bored.
For example, though many would like to learn the basics of poker, it can be a tough game to master. However, there are now eight audiobooks that cover the topic and have received high ratings from readers. And, for those looking to cover poker from an entertainment perspective, there’s even a fiction book added.
Checking a Classic Off the List
Sometimes readers mean to get around to a classic, whether Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe or Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko. However, finding the time to sit down and dive into these books isn’t always easy. In this case, audiobooks are a great solution.
For example, some education programs require learners to check off multiple classics from a reading list. Sometimes, it’s not an issue of time that prevents readers from doing so, but an issue related to concentration. Some readers find audiobooks better because they can multitask while listening, which helps them engage with the material on a deeper level.
A Solution for Fidgety Learners
As mentioned above, some readers prefer audiobooks because they can do small tasks while listening. Though it may look distracting to others, this can actually help some learners concentrate on the content being played. In fact, some schools will provide students with ‘fidget toys’ to help them concentrate while listening.
Audiobooks have proved incredibly popular for these types of people—whether they’re looking to finish an assignment by listening to an audiobook or simply dive into a new murder mystery. In other words, they can handle their daily routine while engaging with the book, and this leads to a more meaningful interaction with the content.
Even for readers who don’t need to multitask while they listen, audiobooks are great ‘background noise’ while people tackle life’s more mundane things. This includes household chores, from cleaning the floors to folding laundry. It also works great for long car rides or morning commutes with lots of traffic.