TBU#19 Audiobooks or regular books… which are better?

Episode 19 January 10, 2023 00:16:32
TBU#19 Audiobooks or regular books… which are better?
Two Booked Up
TBU#19 Audiobooks or regular books… which are better?

Jan 10 2023 | 00:16:32


Hosted By

Rowena Mabbott Shelley Tonkin Smith

Show Notes

Regular books or audiobooks? Or put another way: reading with your eyes or reading with your ears? Which do you prefer?

In this bonus episode, Rowena and Shelley explore both listening and reading books — covering the benefits and the drawbacks of each. And they share their personal preferences too, so you can decide for yourself which is best for you — reading with your eyes or your ears.

Connect with us on social media and let us know if you have a preference and why. We’d love to hear your stories. 



Read Aloud Revival, Sarah Mackenzie

Lean In, Sheryl Sandburg

Playing Big, Tara Mohr

Think Again, Adam Grant

Chatter, Ethan Kross

The Lazy Genius Kitchen, Kendra Adachi




Audible Australia

BorrowBox Australia



Apple Books


Connect with us:

Find us online at twobookedup.com and keep in touch with Two Booked Up via email by signing up for the Two Booked Up Bookclub.

Connect with Rowena @rowenamabbott on IG and at rowenamabbott.com. You can also get Rowena’s FREE new e-book, The A - Z of Career and Life Confidence here.

Connect with Shelley @shelleysmithcreative on IG and @ShelleyTSmith on Twitter. Her copywriting business is at shelleysmithcreative.com and her writing and other musings are at shelleytonkinsmith.com.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Shelley: Hello Two Booked Up listeners and happy new year! Hope 2023 is a wonderful reading year for you. This is Two Booked Up the podcast about business and personal development books and the conversations they ignite. I'm Shelley Tonkin Smith and I am here with Rowena Mabbott, my cohost bringing you a bonus episode as we start the year on audio books and the benefits of listening to audio books versus reading printed books so let's dive into this topic, so you might think the best way to read a book is to actually read it, get a physical copy, and hold it in your hands and read it with your eyes. So there's a concept I'd like to just share with you as we approach this topic and the idea is the distinction between reading with your eyes versus reading with your ears. Both are actually still reading. You're just using a different sense to get the information into your brain. And so this is something I've picked up from Sarah Mackenzie over at Read Aloud Revival, who is a big advocate of audio books and encouraging your kids to read and us as parents reading aloud to our kids. So we've had questions about whether we physically read all the books we discuss or if we listen to them as audio books. Personally, for the majority of books we discuss, I prefer to read them as printed paper books or as eBooks. But . Rowena, what about you? [00:01:42] Rowena: Uh, thanks, Shelly. Well, I love both reading and listening to books, and , given the choice, I'd pick listening to an audio book rather than a podcast. But I also love reading actual books too, whether in printed format or as an ebook, I'm not fussy, but for the books we've discussed in season one of Two Booked Up, I read them as an e-book or as a printed paper book. So that said, there have been a number of books where I've started reading the printed version and found I'd prefer to listen and vice versa. And this is applied to both fiction and nonfiction books. So for example, There was a book called Girl, Woman Other, and I struggled to read it's fiction. I struggled to read it, but once I got the audio book of it, I loved it. So just there is, there's merit to both. So personally, I have found that I prefer to listen to some of the personal and professional development books when the author reads them. There is something extra special about hearing the author, reading their own words and enjoying hearing the phrases expressed in the exact way the author intended. Including the bonus emphasis on words or phrases that might be missed when the narration is performed by someone other than the author. So as an example for this, I struggled reading the paper book of Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg, but really enjoyed it a whole lot more. Once I started listening to it. I found similar with Tara Moore's book Playing Big. I really couldn't get into reading it until I switched to listening. And then more recently I really enjoyed hearing Adam Grant read, Think Again. [00:03:20] Shelley: Okay, so that's. Really interesting. I'm gonna jump in here because, sticking with Think Again. I really like to read before bed, but I've really been struggling to get through think Again because I try and read it before bed and I, I find just physically reading a printed book before bed is quite heavy. I prefer to read my Kindle at, at point in the day. So I think it actually makes a lot of sense to listen to a book like this in audio. You know what, I feel like Ro, it's like almost like a, a Ted Talk. It's like an expert sharing their expertise or like a wise lecturer teaching me about a topic that they're also really passionate about. So also I think the thing is that I don't listen to audio books before bed, so I listen to them when I'm more awake. So even if I'm doing something else, like right now I'm listening to an audio book, but I'll listen to it while I'm making breakfast. So I, I do feel like a more academic book to me lends itself to the audio format. And even though I am doing something else at the time, I can tune into the audio. In fact, I might burn the supper , because I'm so, so captivated by the audio [00:04:29] Rowena: Look, I agree not about burning your supper, that's not so great. But I do think that there are certain books which are better to read or listen to at different times of day. So like you, I don't listen to audio books at bedtime, yet I know many people who do. Now, I recently listened to the book Chatter by Ethan Cross, which was definitely more academic as you'd say, and I listened to it primarily as I was out walking the dog. But I did find his voice was perhaps a little too easy to tune out and kind kind of ironically, my mind would wander off into its own chatter instead of listening to Ethan read Chatter to me. Perhaps it would've been a good listen before bed. It might have popped me off to sleep. Not to say it wasn't interesting, but I just think he read it himself and the tone of voice at just, the resonance. Maybe it just worked for my brain that it was time to have a nap or drift off. I don't know. So this is a classic example of course, as if you are familiar with listening to audio books, you'll know that the choice of a narrator can be very influential on your enjoyment of the book. If the narration is great, you're enjoyment can be dramatically increased. However, if it's not good, the tone is wrong or the accent is jarring to your ear, it can completely marr your experience of the book. And again, this can holds true for both fiction and nonfiction. [00:05:55] Shelley: Oh yeah, I completely agree. The person narrating the book that voice talent makes such a difference. And I also think I prefer the author reading their own book. There's just the energy and belief that they bring to the book, it changes things completely. [00:06:12] And so, yes. On that note, we are gonna take a quick break and then after that Ro I wanna know, a little bit on the benefits of reading the book with our eyes rather than listening to an audio book with our ears. as you think about the new year, are you feeling the need to make some changes? Would you like to start a business or launch an offer in your current business? Do you need some help with planning your year and setting some goals that feel great to you? If so, we can help. As a career and life confidence coach Rowena can help you to clarify your goals and support you as you take action towards achieving them. She can also help you to plan your year or your first quarter using her Design Your Season approach. Now, I've worked with Rowena as my coach before and I can say that her calm approach and the clarity she brings us something special. You can learn more about the ways in which you can work with rowena@rowenamabbott.com, and then book a complimentary consultation call to discuss the coaching package and strategy that would be most beneficial for you. And for those of you looking for magical copywriting that promotes your business and essentially sells your offer while you are sleeping, then Shelley is the lady you are looking for. Visit ShelleySmithcreative.com to see Shelley's full suite of copywriting services, and if you're looking to launch a digital product like an ebook or an online workshop in 2023, then I'd recommend booking an Ask me Anything Call with Shelly and she'll give you individualized advice on your product and your tech so you can launch with confidence. Um, now Ro, I'd like to chat a little bit on the benefits of reading the book with our eyes rather than listening to an audio book without ears. So I know there are many personal and professional development books that are. Are much better and more enjoyable to read on paper. Like sometimes you want to go and refer back to these things and you've, or, or you want an ebook to, to actually hold and to read like that. So, the books that include like detailed graphs or diagrams, like there's just no substitute for visual support with your eyes. And there's a greater understanding that you'll get when you see the diagram or the graph or the Gretchen Rubin's Venn diagram of her four tendencies. This was actually something that I know Kendra Adachi commented on when she was recording her own book, The Lazy Genius Kitchen, and she said there were a few parts where she was like listing out examples or calling out recipes. And even she seemed to be skeptical about it, but yet people will no doubt buy that audiobook and love it in that format. I don't know, maybe like when they'll put Kendra in their ears and then they'll actually go and declutter their kitchen using her instructions. So, you know, maybe it's like a coach in your ears as you're do in this, or applying the knowledge in real time. [00:07:31] Rowena: True. Maybe people feel like Kendra is cheering them on as they declutter their kitchen Personally for books with a lot of diagrams, process charts or like a ton of references or footnotes where they refer to research or other author's works, I find reading the book is both an easier experience and more informative as I can more readily check the references as I go. Um, so I completely agree. I think for professional and personal development books. There's certainly merit in reading them as a physical, experience. And, there are also considerable practical benefits to reading the book rather than listening to it. I think, as you might have mentioned there, Shelley, it's much easier to highlight a quote or mark a page to come back and refer to you later if an idea's resonated deeply When you have like a really, a physical or a digital page in front of you. And then much, much easier as we say, to go back and find that again. So it's easier to mark it and easier to find it. It's also a lot easier to reread the paragraph if you aren't sure you completely understand what the author is suggesting, which I have to say with some professional development books, it can really be key to having a proper understanding of the argument or point is to be able to reread the way they've phrased it. So I guess what I'm really saying here is that ultimately it's personal choice. For some listening to a book will be ideal and it's a perfect way for them to read and for others, and at different times based on circumstances and specifics. Reading the book in physical format will be far better. [00:09:03] Shelley: Okay, great. So, so everybody, this contentious issue, we have resolved this. Just bring us into the UN because it's a tie. Both listening and reading books are great. So listening with your ears and reading with your eyes, you're both reading and both have their benefits. I think what's important here is almost to get intentional about going, What do I need out of this book? What's the purpose of it? And then make your choice accordingly. Um, but also experiment a little bit and give some formats that you haven't done in the, in the past to try and I think I'm thinking specifically audio books. For many of us, it's a whole new way of engaging with content. Uh, so give audiobooks a try and see if you like them. And it really doesn't matter as long as you're enjoying the process and enjoying the book. Read whichever way you like. But before we wrap up this episode, Rowena, I'd love to just have a quick chat about where and how um, our listeners can get hold of audiobooks, ideally at reasonable prices. Being in South Africa, we mainly use Audible on Amazon Audible, and then I keep an eye out, they have three for two specials. They have like bumper editions, um, where they give you like six books for one credit. They do paired discounts like with an ebook, so you can look out for those kinds of deals. Um, and then I also use Scribd. Script is great because it gives you this effectively unlimited membership and then you can listen to as much as you want of whatever they've got in their catalog, which is, you know, more limited than Amazon, um, or Audible. So I find it's actually that one is Scribd is great for browsing and experimenting with different titles, but there I have found a lot of, um, sort of different voice talent reading the book. And so, If you don't like the narrator, you're not gonna like the book. So how about you, Ro? Where? Where do you find your audio books? [00:10:58] Rowena: So look, I use Audible too being in Australia, but only when there is a special offer or a membership deal on, because I find that it's how many books I wanna read, audible's not the best value for me, but it is really good for newer releases. The plus catalog, if you do have an audible membership in Australia, the plus catalog can also offer great value if you are an avid listener of audiobooks because as long as you can find things you wanna listen to, you've got stuff to fill your ears with all day, every day. The other thing, being in Australia, and for any of our Australian listeners, I love using Borrow Box, which is accessible through our local libraries. and I think nearly every local library in Australia has a borrow box membership. And it is a brilliant resource. It has a great selection of Australian books, both eBooks and audiobooks. And you can get, because it's through the library, you can access them for free. So that's terrific. And you have them for a couple of weeks. You borrow them like you borrow a library book, but it comes straight to your device, so it's very, very easy. In addition, sometimes we can access audio books via Libby or Overdrive. So I've been, I've used both of those before, but I don't love them as much as Borrow Box, just because I'm so used to it, the familiarity of it. [00:12:15] Shelley: We, we have, uh, Libby and Overdrive here in South Africa too, but yes, I, I have also found the range is not huge, but you know, you [00:12:24] Rowena: the range is, The range is very limited, but I think for your point about browsing, if you're just after something to read or something to listen to, it can be useful if you're looking for a specific book, I think it's far more challenging with those particular platforms. I would always recommend checking out your local library's online catalog, which includes audiobooks as well as eBooks in addition to printed books. And also, look, this is a strange one, but keep an eye on iBooks. The Apple Books app as sometimes they have free audiobooks available too. Often the classics are available on there for a limited time. I know I've managed to listen to a couple of classics that way. Well, very effective in terms of cost, but also kind of fun to listen to something that I'd read previously. [00:13:08] Shelley: Nice. Nice. Okay, so there's lots of options for finding audio books. Um, so go and give it a try. Experiment with audio books if you haven't done so already. Uh, and if you more of an audiobook listener, open yourself up to reading the print edition and getting the print edition. I hope we've shown that there are benefits to both. So we're gonna wrap things up there today. We'd love to continue the conversation though, so please go and find me on Twitter at ShelleyTSmith, or you can sign up for my newsletter at ShelleyTonkinSmith.Com. And also, if you'd like to learn more about my copywriting services, head on over to ShelleySmithCreative.com. And if you aren't already, please subscribe to or follow Two Booked Up in your podcast player. And you can also visit two booked up.com where you'll find show notes with the links we've mentioned today and a transcript of this episode. [00:14:03] Rowena: And you can find me at RowenaMabbott on Instagram where I often share on my Insta stories, the books I'm reading and listening to. And if you'd like to learn more about how I can support you as a career and life confidence coach, as well as receive my new free book, the A to Z of Career in Life Confidence, head over to my online home at rowenamabbott.com. Thanks for listening to two booked up today, Shelly and I will be back with another bonus episode in a few weeks time. [00:14:31] Shelley: Bye for now.

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