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Young children are always told to read more books to increase their performance at school, as well as help with their cognitive development. Reading books is a hobby that inculcates creativity, vocabulary, patience and concentration, however, in today’s fast-paced world, it might be a little hard to completely devote some time of the day simply to reading. Therefore, today, it has become almost a novelty to own a large collection of books and more importantly, to have the kind of time to actually read them all.
This is understandable, of course, because reading is an intensive exercise that requires undivided attention from our minds and at the same time, needs our eyes and ears to be focused on that one aspect only. It is only natural that most people today may not find that kind of time and space in their everyday lives. If find yourself looking for a break from reality from time-to-time to drown in a story, audiobooks may just be what you are looking for.
In very simple terms, audiobooks are simply voice recordings of stories from physically written books. These are available on numerous apps and websites and can be heard from any digital device like a laptop, smartphone, tablet or iPod.
The debate surrounding the nature of audiobooks vs physical books focuses on whether this new innovation aims to take away from the habit of reading. A lot of people who love to read consider audiobooks as a “cheat” escape, meaning that these are not nearly as good as actual books but can perform the same functions. In light of this, it is important to point out some very important ways audiobooks have been more accommodating when it comes to our busy lives.
Audiobooks have become very popular because they sync so perfectly with our busy lives. However, other than the obvious argument about how convenient it is for people to actually integrate it, there are many other benefits for relying on these, even for young kids. Some of these include:
They don't deteriorate your vision
One of the main problems with reading from books and tablets is that it gives a lot of respite to the eyes. For a lot of people with vision problems, reading can be very stressful to their eyes, despite reading from devices that do not give out any glare. Audiobooks do not require any visual reading and therefore, they are an ideal choice for people who especially suffer from vision problems.
They don't take away from sleeping hours
Glare from tablets and other devices can not only affect the eyes but also affect the circadian rhythm, which in turn affects sleep patterns. Therefore, audiobooks will also help you get a restful night of sleep. A lot of people use audiobooks as ASMR as well, since this can lull them into sleeping more easily.
Audiobooks can help with time management
Since audiobooks are designed to gel perfectly with our daily lives, they do not require people to devote time separately to simply listening to them.
These can be listened to at any point of time, while driving, or having a bit of a break at the office, in between classes, while taking a walk or just while lazing around. This helps people who have very little time at hand and therefore cannot indulge in reading because they feel they will squander away whatever little free time they have.
Moreover, if audiobooks are enjoyed while doing mundane everyday jobs, the experience can become more enjoyable. For example, you may dislike doing the dishes, but if you make it a point to listen to an audiobook while you do your dishes, you will find that you no longer feel like the task is a compulsion, and you will get it accomplished much faster.
Audiobooks can help with pronunciation
One of the prime requirements for being an audiobook narrator is having a soothing voice with flawless pronunciation. While this is a relatively less-explored advantage of listening to audiobooks, one has to agree that they help in pronunciation and developing a better vocabulary. This is very useful for young children, who can learn new words and correct pronunciations by listening to audiobooks. Migrants and people learning a second or a third language will also reap the benefits from this since continuously listening to audiobooks will directly help them with learning the language better.
Audiobooks are just as helpful as reading physical books
Numerous researchers say that the same parts of the brain are stimulated while reading a book or listening to an audiobook. The same cognitive and emotional responses have been noticed irrespective of the kind of medium they are read/listened to. This means recollection of information is the same regardless of the medium.
It can be more emotionally intimate
A lot of us like it when someone narrates a story to us. In this case, we can be the third person who witnesses the interaction between all the characters. This is why a lot of people connect better to audiobooks than they do with reading.
It is a more affordable solution
One of the reasons a lot of people steer away from reading is because books are not necessarily cheap, and they also require a lot of space and maintenance.
For example, for those who have a hobby of reading, you may invest in a glare-free device or in lots of books, which is not always the most affordable solution. Therefore, audiobooks are an affordable alternative, where you can simply use the device you are already on, without having to buy more books and keep looking for space to store them.
Other than these, a lot of people have affirmed that listening to audiobooks has been very helpful for them in dealing with mental health issues like anxiety. Reading a book might feel like a huge task that takes up time, but when it comes to listening to an audiobook, a person can feel that they are multitasking, as they are not necessarily squandering away their time and also engaging in a hobby simultaneously.
Therefore, one can see that audiobooks suit our busy lifestyles so that we can enjoy a few minutes of quiet retreat without necessarily feeling unproductive. This in no way implies that reading books should no longer be followed, of course. However, for people who might feel like they are getting distanced from their hobbies, audiobooks can be a great way to rekindle that relationship they once had with stories.
While a lot of websites offer audiobooks in different languages, at Gaatha, we specifically focus on bringing back the lost taste of Indian classics from the likes of Premchand, Amrita Pritam and so on. We aim to bring Indian literature to all sections of society and our audiobooks range from stories, poems and motivational speeches.
Also published at https://gaatha850.medium.com/audiobooks-how-have-helped-our-busy-lives-by-gaatha-9aa3de919e2a
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