Before I get into my reasons, I’d just like to say that I do appreciate audiobooks. They are definitely helping so many people who can’t read physical or e-books. As someone with only one functioning eye, I would be the happiest if I still enjoyed listening to them. However, I kind of fell out of love with them over the last year. There are a number of reasons for that, which I’ll discuss in this post.
1. My lack of commuting
I graduated from uni two years ago, which means that I no longer need to travel back and forth from dorm to home. Which is how I did most of my audiobook listening, as it was so convenient to use my phone, meaning I wouldn’t have to carry an actual book with me. Otherwise I just didn’t know in which circumstance should I listen to them, as I never liked sitting/laying and doing “nothing”, just listening to something. (Now this changed, as I sometimes have to rest my eyes, and so I listen to a podcast or music.)
2. The drawbacks of multitasking
As I said, I mainly listened to them on the train, meanwhile I was looking out at the scenery. However, there were some times when I did other things, like drawing, doing chores, playing video games, and even scrolling my phone. This means I was multitasking, which is – in my opinion – not good for anyone. I mean, if you are able to give your best while doing two things, kudos to you. But I couldn’t, and it meant I wasn’t really paying attention to the book. This is not ideal, as if I don’t care enough for the book to really commit to it, then why would I want to read it in the first place? It also meant that I wouldn’t even remember the story, which also makes me wonder why did I read it.
3. I need to see names and certain things
Even though I’m also an auditory learner next to being a visual one, I need to see the text in order to fully comprehend it, especially if it’s a nonfiction or a more complex book. And if I’m listening to it, then this wouldn’t happen.
4. It kind of feeds into hustle culture and toxic productivity
I noticed while I was watching multiple booktubers that the majority of their readings were audiobooks, and this made it possible for them to finish fifteen, or even more books per month. And here I am, pondering if they actually remember anything from them. I love that here we are, bookworms, whose worlds are revolving around books, but why should we constantly read? Even if we – God forbid – are in a slump. And I know that some people are really busy, and they can only listen to audiobooks while doing other stuff, but is it that important to never just do one thing at a time? Wash the dishes while having no other distraction? Have a walk outside with only our thoughts? And believe me, I know that sometimes these wandering thoughts can be unwanted, but if we are in a great mental headspace why is it that people rarely choose silence? Why is more always better? Why can’t we be unproductive once in a while? It is actually beneficial to sometimes just let our minds wander, because new ideas can only come up if we leave time for our brains to process all those information that we are bombarded with.
What are your thoughts on audiobooks? Do you listen to them, or do you prefer physical books and e-books?