Print vs Audio – Join the Debate!

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At the end of 2019, I finally discovered audiobooks! Previously, I had always thought they were too expensive – it was only when I discovered BorrowBox, which allows me to borrow audiobooks from my library (completely freeee!) that I was truly won over.

Listening to audiobooks has revolutionised my reading life. However, they are not without their limitations, and I have seen them criticised on some platforms as not “really” reading.

This has got me thinking about today’s debate topic – can audiobooks ever replace print?

The Issues: Pros of Audiobooks

  • Multi-tasking

I will search for any excuse to listen – on the bus, walking even for 5 minutes, doing housework, putting my makeup on… Now I look forward to menial tasks as an opportunity to take time out of my day to become absorbed in a story.

  • Relaxing to have someone read to you

After a long day studying at my laptop, my eyes are often tired, and it’s more relaxing to have someone do the reading for me! It also brings a sense of comfort reminiscent of childhood bedtime stories.

  • Trying new genres

Having more than one book on the go at once means I make an effort not to be reading similar stories, which could lead to confusion. For example, I might have a fiction book and non-fiction audiobook at the same time. This means I’ve become more experimental in the books I listen to and plan to try an even greater variety of genres!

  • Read more

For me, this is the biggest advantage of audiobooks! I always have an audiobook on the go to listen to when I’m not in a position to easily read a print book. I’ve only been listening since the end of 2019 and already I’m seeing a massive acceleration in the number of books I read.

The Issues: Cons of Audiobooks

  • Cannot highlight as easily or save favourite quotes

As someone who loves book quotes, one drawback of audiobooks is that it’s difficult to save those words that really strike a chord with you. I know there is software available that lets you take clips, but it’s not as easy as print or ebooks.

  • Narrators

Personally, I’ve liked listening to the narrators of the three audiobooks I’ve read so far. However, as readers, we can be fussy, and it’s just another factor that may make or break our enjoyment of a story.

  • Prefer physicality of book, especially for special books

Having an audiobook just doesn’t feel as ‘real’ as owning a print book. Particularly if a book is one of my favourites, I love to have a physical copy to put on my shelves.

  • Reduces imaginative effort

I think audiobooks still create space for our imaginations, but in fixing how the character sound we are less free to ‘hear’ their voices in our minds.

Audiobook Debate Pros and Cons Infographic

Now it’s over to you! Do you prefer print books or audiobooks? Do you think audiobooks will ever replace print? Please feel free to share your opinion in the comments, I would love to hear from you!

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13 thoughts on “Print vs Audio – Join the Debate!”

    1. Thank you for the kind comment! I’ve not tried reading along with an audiobook yet – I’ll have to give it a go 😊 X x x


  1. Oh I hate audiobooks so much….. I just find them much too passive and any time I’ve tried them I’ve invariably been sent to sleep or just gotten too distracted by the other task I am doing.

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    1. Yes, that can be a problem! I can only listen to them while doing something completely on auto-pilot – if it requires any thought I get distracted. I’m definitely not a multi-tasker! 😊 X x x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love audiobooks. I’ve only had trouble with a handful of narrator’s and that’s mainly because they had heavy accents that I’vehad trouble understanding. I like to read along some books too while listening to audiobooks. I tend to to this with bigger books. 🙂

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    1. Yay, I’m glad you like audiobooks as much as I do! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get into them. And thank you for the tip, I will try reading along with an audiobook next time I tackle a heavy tome! ☺️ X x x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the comment Jess! You should definitely give them a try, even if it’s just to satisfy your curiosity! I’ve not read many so far so I only have one recommendation – Educated by Tara Westover is a great listen. But I’m sure other bloggers have plenty more ideas to help you dip your toe in! Let me know what you think if you do give audiobooks a go ❤️📚 X x x


  3. Great post! I’ve only listened to one audiobook, and it was honestly a struggle to keep track of what was going on. It’s so easy to get lost, and I prefer having a physical version (or ebook) that I could go back in and re-read, rather than rewinding the audio version and trying to listen again. And yeah, narrators play an important role too. Lol, I originally thought audiobooks would be like movies (different narrators for each character) without pictures and sound effects. I was so disappointed when I found out it wasn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you! 🥰 I think I will always prefer print books too, but I do enjoy audiobooks for entertaining me through mindless tasks. And I have heard of some multi narrator audiobooks but I’ve yet to try one – I’d really like to! X x x

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