Why audiobooks are a brilliant alternative to reading – In Your Area

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Audiobooks are a brilliant alternative to reading, for a variety of reasons.
Audibooks are a fantastic way to relax and unwind
Audiobooks are a great way to relax and unwind, allowing yourself to forget the stresses of the day and get lost in somebody else’s narrative.
Not only that, but they are proven to be as beneficial to us cognitively as actually reading.
In a study published in the ‘Journal of Neuroscience’, researchers from the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley scanned the brains of nine participants whilst they read and listened.
After looking at the brain scans and data analysis, the researchers saw that stories stimulated the same cognitive and emotional areas, regardless of how they were consumed.
This is great news for audiobook lovers, as often they are told their listening to books ‘doesn’t count’ towards their total books read in a year.
Audiobooks are a fantastic way to keep your eyes away from screens. If you’re staring at a laptop all day, and then reading on a tablet, it isn’t great for your eyes.
All the blue light can impact your sleeping pattern and your circadian rhythm, so relaxing with an audiobook is a great alternative.
You can also set a timer on most apps so you don’t accidentally fall asleep whilst listening, causing you to miss out on the juiciest bits of the action.
Reading along with an audiobook is also so much fun. You can set your own pace of narration, and enjoy reading whilst the story is read to you.
This also means you probably won’t get confused by the storyline as you can listen, and read at the same time. Sometimes it’s easy to get distracted when you’re just listening.
Audiobooks are also great for escapism during times of anxiety or panic. A calming voice reading a book can provide companionship and a relaxing influence.

Of course, audiobooks are not infallible, and can sometimes impede your enjoyment of a book.
Whether that be because you don’t like the way it’s narrated (how annoying is it when they use a really squeaky high pitched voice for women?!) or it can be because the writing wasn’t what you expected when you picked the book up.
Sometimes, it’s really easy to get distracted when you’re listening to an audiobook too.
If you’re scrolling social media whilst listening, 10 minutes can pass and you’ve not listened to anything that’s been read – you’ve just used it as background noise.
You need to force yourself to concentrate when listening to an audiobook and remove anything which may be a distraction.
Also, sometimes it can be really difficult to find your preferred narration speed. 1x might be way too slow, but 2x is likely to sound like a cartoon character squeaking.

An InYourArea poll found that people tend to like reading for themselves, rather than being read to.
Whether you like them or not, audiobooks are such a brilliant way to make reading accessible and inclusive to those who may otherwise miss out on amazing literary worlds, such as the two million people in the UK living with sight loss.
If you can’t get enough of crime, you’re a sucker for romance or horror is your preferred genre, there are hundreds of thousands of audiobooks available on all sorts of streaming platforms.
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