Are there any advantages that you have found in using one method or the other? There's certainly the advantage of making use of drive time by listening to audio books, but do you lose anything by listening rather than reading. Which mode do you prefer and why?

What about a combination of both? Listen to an audio version while you're reading the text. Could there be any benefit to the learning process in that approach?

asked 18 Nov '09, 08:20

John's gravatar image


edited 19 Nov '09, 09:21

Most people prefer one method over another, and it is largely due to the way our brains process information and language. Someone trained in the field of neurolinguistics should be able to offer some insight. The layman version is that some people are aurally stronger, which means they are able to process audio input better than others. Some are more visual, and therefore they absorb and process information better through the written word. In our basic conversations necessary for daily life, one may not be able to perceive these differences so much, but when dealing with more complex or lengthy topics like an audio book or a scientific paper, we would probably end up strongly preferring one mode of receiving information over another.

As for advantages, certainly it is good to maximise time by listening to audio books on the road - then again, the alternative (of reading on the road) isn't possible. :D

Hope this helps.


answered 18 Nov '09, 10:24

Pat%20W's gravatar image

Pat W

Good point by Pat W. I also think that the "modalities" from NLP (auditory, visual, kinesthetic) are an important factor, so it depends on the person and how their mind processes information. I'd like to add though that while most people have a preferred modality, few people, if any at all are exclusively auditory, visual or kinesthetic. So people may prefer certain media but most can benefit from all the different kinds depending on their needs.

I think I am "visual" but audio books have the advantage that I can learn while doing something else. If I really want to go deeper into something though I'd choose the book even though I am a rather slow reader. With a book I have the chance to reread a passage I like or stop to reflect on something...not that that is impossible with audio books but as I said, I rarely just sit and listen to an audio program. More often I'd be doing something else while listening.


answered 18 Nov '09, 13:30

Toshiro's gravatar image


I completely agree with Toshiro and Pat W, with the additional observation that, in order to learn something really deeply, you have to use it. We learn best by doing. We learn even better by doing, and then teaching it to others.


answered 18 Nov '09, 17:15

Vesuvius's gravatar image


I personally prefer listening to audio books rather than reading for a similar reason to Toshiro. I am usually doing something else whilst having my headphones on and listening to an audio book.

I also really enjoy listening to audio books in my car as I have noticed that when I am driving, I seem to sort of think less about things going on in my life and concentrate more on driving which almost puts me in a meditative state with a clear mind. Then, whatever I listen to sinks in quicker and makes so much more sense.


answered 18 Nov '09, 20:04

Pink%20Diamond's gravatar image

Pink Diamond

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