Are Audiobooks As Good As Physically Reading?

The age-old question that always comes up when chatting about how you read: “Audiobooks don’t count as reading,” or “Audiobooks aren’t as good as reading a physical book.” We’ve heard it all before, so let’s dive into why we think audiobooks are as good and if not (dare we say) better than simply physically reading a book.

What are audiobooks and how do they compare to physical reading?

Audiobooks are digital audio recordings of books that can be streamed or downloaded and listened to on a variety of devices. Audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer readers the convenience of being able to listen to their favorite books while doing other activities, such as commuting or exercising. But how do audiobooks compare to physically reading a book?

Audiobooks offer many advantages over physical books, including the ability and convenience to listen at your own pace and in any environment. Additionally, audiobooks help with increased engagement with the material, and they are generally more accessible and can be helpful for those who have difficulty reading due to vision impairment, dyslexia, etc.

What are the benefits of choosing to listen to an audiobook vs physically reading a book?

Audiobooks are a great way to learn new information and gain knowledge. They allow you to multitask, listen while doing other activities, and can be used in any setting. Audiobooks also help you engage with the material more deeply as your mind can focus on the content without being distracted by other visual elements. With audiobooks, you can easily access a wide range of topics and learn at your own pace. You can also find audiobooks that are specifically designed for language learning, which makes them an ideal choice for those who want to improve their foreign language skills. Audiobooks provide an engaging and convenient way to learn new information and expand your knowledge base.

While physically reading is a great way to get lost in a book and escape reality, it also has some drawbacks. Reading physical books can be time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to store or transport. Additionally, physical books may contain outdated information if they are not regularly updated. Furthermore, physical books are less interactive than digital formats such as e-books and audiobooks which often include multimedia elements and allow readers to interact with the text. Finally, physical books may require more effort for readers to take notes or highlight important passages.

How do audiobooks help with memory retention while reading?

Studies have shown that audiobooks can help with memory retention in a variety of ways. Research has demonstrated that people who listen to audiobooks are able to recall more information than those who read from a traditional book. Additionally, studies have found that people who listen to audiobooks retain information better over time compared to those who read books in the traditional way. This indicates that using audiobooks is an effective way of helping people remember more of what they read or heard.

Quick stats:

● 85% of what we learn is learned through listening
● Students can listen and comprehend 2 whole grades above their reading level
● Audio improves comprehension by 76%
● Listening increases reading accuracy by 52%

Via The Audio Publishers Association

Can audiobooks really replace physical reading?

With audiobooks, readers can enjoy their favorite books while on the go, without having to carry a physical copy of the book. But do audiobooks really replace or complement physical reading?

This question is one that has been debated by readers and authors alike. While some argue that audiobooks provide a convenient and immersive experience, others believe they cannot replace the feeling of flipping through pages and engaging with text on paper. At, we’re a little biased because we looove our audiobooks, but we would never claim that they could fully replace the experience of physically reading. Audiobooks are a great alternative reading option that can benefit a multitude of people from many walks of life and for those tried and true physical readers, audiobooks can help complement the reading experience as well.

The future of audiobooks – how are they changing?

We have no doubt that audiobooks and their popularity are only set to grow in the future. With the rise of streaming services and availability, audiobooks are now more accessible than ever before. As technology advances, so too does the way we listen to audiobooks. From voice-activated devices such as Alexa and Google Home to apps (like ours!) that allow you to customize your listening experience with speed control, bookmarks, and track navigation there are a variety of ways for listeners to get the most out of their audiobook listening experience. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovative ways for people to enjoy audiobooks in the future.

Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.

New to Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Summer Listens for Pre-Teens and Teens

According to, “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” Listening to audiobooks increases reading accuracy by 52% and improves comprehension by 76%.

Why not promote learning by choosing a fun story below that your children can listen to. You can listen to a sample and read the descriptions below to chose the right book for your child.

Great Listens for Pre-Teens

The Lifters by Dave Eggers, narrated by Dion Graham

Publisher Summary:

Journey to an underground world where adventure awaits and heroes are made in this middle grade novel from the bestselling, Pulitzer-nominated author of The Monk of Mokha and Her Right Foot.

When Gran and his family move to Carousel, he has no idea that the town is built atop a secret. Little does he suspect, as he walks his sister to school or casually eats a banana, that mysterious forces lurk mere inches beneath his feet, tearing up the earth like mini-hurricanes and causing the town to slowly but surely sink.

When Gran’s friend, the difficult-to-impress Catalina Catalan, presses a silver handle into a hillside and opens a doorway to underground, he knows that she is extraordinary and brave, and that he will have no choice but to follow wherever she leads. With luck on their side, and some discarded hockey sticks for good measure, Gran and Catalina might just find a way to lift their town–and the known world–out of danger.

In The Lifters, critically acclaimed author Dave Eggers establishes himself as a storyteller who can entertain and inspire readers of any age.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Whispers by Greg Howard, narrated by Robin Miles, Kivlighan De Montebello

Publisher Summary:

A middle grade debut that’s a heartrending coming-of-age tale, perfect for fans of Bridge to Terabithia and Counting By 7s.

Eleven-year-old Riley believes in the whispers, magical fairies that will grant you wishes if you leave them tributes. Riley has a lot of wishes. He wishes bullies at school would stop picking on him. He wishes Dylan, his 8th grade crush, liked him, and Riley wishes he would stop wetting the bed. But most of all, Riley wishes for his mom to come back home. She disappeared a few months ago, and Riley is determined to crack the case. He even meets with a detective, Frank, to go over his witness statement time and time again. 

Frustrated with the lack of progress in the investigation, Riley decides to take matters into his own hands. So he goes on a camping trip with his friend Gary to find the whispers and ask them to bring his mom back home. But Riley doesn’t realize the trip will shake the foundation of everything that he believes in forever.

Read more and sample the audio →

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, narrated by Adam Grupper

Publisher Summary:

This stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

The One and Only Ivan was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon, demonstrating it is a true classic in the making.

In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Oddmire: Changeling by William Ritter, narrated by Jonathan Todd Ross

Publisher Summary:

The first book in an action-packed fantasy adventure series featuring witches, shape-shifters, and other creatures of fairytale and folklore, including two brothers-one human and one a goblin changeling-on a life-changing quest into the Oddmire.

Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind-a newborn changeling. But when the fateful night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong. After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted from his task. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart. Not knowing which to bring back, he leaves both babies behind. Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. Then when they are twelve years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic. The boys must leave behind their sleepy town of Endsborough and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, crossing the perilous Oddmire swamp and journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and discover who they truly are.

Read more and sample the audio →

Great Listens for Teenagers

Eve of Man by Tom Fletcher, Giovanna Fletcher, narrated by Josh Dylan, Charlotte Ritchie

Publisher Summary:

She survived against all odds. The first girl born in fifty years. They called her EVE.

Scythe meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this gripping new dystopian trilogy written by UK-bestselling authors Tom and Giovanna Fletcher.

On the first day, no one really noticed. All those babies wrapped in blue blankets–not a pink one in sight. On the third day, people were scared–a statistic-defying abundance of blue. Not just entire hospitals, not only entire countries, but the entire world. Boys. Only boys.

Until Eve. The only girl born in fifty years. The savior of mankind. Kept protected, towering above a ruined world under a glass dome of safety until she is ready to renew the human race.

But when the time comes to find a suitor, Eve and Bram–a young man whose job is to prepare Eve for this moment–begin to question the plan they’ve known all along. Eve doesn’t only want safety, and she doesn’t only want protection. She wants the truth. She wants freedom.

Read more and sample the audio →

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen, narrated by Dominic Hoffman, Sullivan Jones

Publisher Summary:

Every life has a price in this sci-fi thriller—the first in a trilogy—that has the nonstop action of The Maze Runner and the high-stakes space setting of Illuminae.

What would you be willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune?

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.


Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

Read more and sample the audio →

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian, narrated by Lauren Ambrose, Vikas Adam, Michael Crouch

Publisher Summary:

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance…until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart-and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.

This is a bighearted, sprawling epic about friendship and love and the revolutionary act of living life to the fullest in the face of impossible odds.

Read more and sample the audio →

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, narrated by Kim Mai Guest

Publisher Summary:

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger-management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem–that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.


Read more and sample the audio →

New to Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!