Audiobooks or REAL Books?

I’m getting ready to make the drive from LA to Phoenix today and I just loaded Donald Millers audiobook ‘A Million Miles in A Thousand Years’. I had some great chats this week at Catalyst with Michael Hyatt, Carlos Whittaker, Stephen Brewster, Kyle Zimmerman and Anne Jackson about the preference between audiobooks and real print books. As the digital age moves ahead what do you prefer (Audio or Print) and why?

I’ll give my answer in the comments section later…but…I want to hear what you prefer.


13 responses to “Audiobooks or REAL Books?

  1. I’m all about the real deal. I’ve bought some audio books, but only after reading the physical copy. I go back to mine over and over to re-read them. You can’t underline an audio book. But you can’t read a physical copy while you’re walking your dog… without looking silly.

  2. I’m all for audio books…and printed books. I think they both serve great purposes. There are certain books I could never listen to on tape. I don’t know if I could every follow a fiction novel while driving. But a lot of non-fiction especially like books like “Good to Great” or “Freakonomics” are perfect for audio digestion.


    When someone asks you if you’ve “read” a book and you’ve only listened to it on tape, can you answer “yes.” I mean technically you did not read it. I don’t know the answer. What do you guys do?

  3. I love the ability to underline, take notes, and make the book part of my personal story. I am sure that as ebooks grow, I will end up taking the plunge 100% into the medium. Currently I’m about 80% physical 20% digital. I do love how technology will make ebooks more interactive, that will probably be the push point into 100% digital reading.

  4. I just finished recording the audio version of my book and found it really challenging! I prefer reading books (rather than listening to them), so it was a less familiar format for me. After messing up this one sentence about four times, I let a cuss word slip – which I’ve been told can be edited out. 🙂

    The advantage to reading a physical copy of a book, for me, is that I can underline things and return to passages that meant a lot to me. Sometimes I have to read something a few times over before it really sinks in.

    My guess is that a lot depends upon whether a person learns better by listening or learns better by reading/viewing. There’s not a right or wrong – but if you want to get the most out of a book, I’d say the best approach is to read it if you are a visual learner and listen to it if you are an audio learner. (There are probably more scientific terms for these learning styles – but what do I know, I’m just a writer!)

    Good question.

  5. I am all about real books. I have tried audio and ebooks and just cant get into them. I love to underline and make margin notes because it helps me to retain what Im reading. Plus since most of the time Im reading when the kids are up and moving, I wouldnt be able to devote my attention to an audio book. 🙂

  6. Plus I think for fiction reading, especially younger kids, it is great to expand your mind creatively to be able to read and imagine the story. I love getting lost in a good book! 🙂

  7. As the digital age moves ahead, the “this vs. that” mentality of the past is fading away. If you’re taking a road trip, you’ll load up an audio book from iTunes or Amazon and listen while you drive. If you take a plane trip somewhere, you’ll pull up an eBook from iBookStore or the Kindle Store and read it on you laptop or eReader.

    What’s great is that there will be even more options than these (and some are already).

  8. both…but i lean towards real books, but i listen to an audiobook once or twice a year… :]

  9. Real books all the way. I thought I’d “read” more with audiobooks, but it wasn’t the case. When I have a real book, I can carry it around…focus on it…and let it be a constant reminder that I need to finish it.
    I’m not a reader naturally…I typically don’t read for fun. I know…lamesauce.

    I agree wth brewster…I could see myself taking the plunge with ebooks on something like the iPad….where I can ‘multitask” and listen to instrumental soundtracks while reading.
    With interactive visual books coming out, it could get even better.

    When my eyes are fixed on something and it causes me to think, very few other thoughts enter my mind.
    When listening, my mind wanders and minutes can go by and I don’t even know what the author just said.

    Im so ADD.

  10. I like books being read to me. Especially ones with pictures in them, before I go to bed. What does THAT mean??!! 🙂

    Good hanging out this week. So fun to get to know you and Promise. You guys are ahmazingly lovely!

  11. Yes…

    What I mean is I like them all. I’m in seminary and the reading load is horrendous. Therefore, if I can get a book on audio, I listen to it while driving, mowing the lawn and even sometimes while I’m taking a shower just to get through the work load.

    I use ebooks from kindle or ereader whenever I can because they’re cheaper and take up less space in my bag.

    Hard copies look nice on your bookshelf and are easier to loan out. Also, there’s something about having a hard copy of your Bible that’s special. You know when you’re trying to tell someone about a passage but you can’t remember the address. You know that its about half way through, on the upper left hand page…

    Different mediums for different settings I guess.

  12. Real books – I am an underliner & highlighter. 🙂
    But I can see myself (in the future) having a digital copy of books especially for traveling, but for now I’m still buying print.

  13. I rock the Audible audio books in my car. Love it! If it weren’t for Audible, I would “read” 90% fewer books.

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