A&E: Students discuss whether they prefer to read using physical books or audiobooks


Amelia Howell

Students enjoy listening to audiobooks or reading physical books.

After a long day of staring at a computer screen for distance learning, students spend some of their free time outside of school reading. Freshman Amelia Tai reaches for one of her paperbacks as she feels that physical books allow her to connect with the story better than an audiobook.

Definitely books. The image you perceive about the story or specific event is completely up to your imagination, and if you’re really passionate about it, emotion is brought out,” Tai said. “It’s kind of like comparing it to a movie. I cry much more over books than movies because the tragic character death, for example, is imagined much sadder in my mind.” 

Tai believes that she can get more of an image in her head when reading a book on her own instead of it being read to her. 

“I think the sense of imagination you can perceive from a book trumps the advantage of multitasking while listening to an audiobook,” Tai said. “For audiobooks, it comes with a reader or voice, and even though sometimes the voice can help with your imagination, it usually disrupts it for me.” 

Similarly, freshman Addison Deboe favors physical books so she can read at her own pace. 

“I like that I can go at my own pace and take my time imagining what’s happening in the story,” Deboe said. “I feel like reading it myself ends up conveying more emotion. Especially when the voices in my head sound more like the characters than the narrator.” 

On the other hand, sophomore Evelyn Montes is a fan of audiobooks. For her, the narrators provide more passion. 

“I would probably say audiobooks do convey more emotion because there are often different narrators that can be really expressive and enunciate the text,” Montes said.

Like Montes, sophomore Aminah Hedges likes the practicality audiobooks provide for multitasking. 

“It’s easier for me to finish audiobooks because I can fit them into my schedule easier, like when I’m baking or walking my dog,” Hedges said.

Similarly, Montes believes that audiobooks are good for on the go. They also hold her attention span much longer than a regular book. 

“When I’m short on time or busy, I can listen while I do another task. I get through books faster that way. I also find them more affordable than paperback or hardcover books,” Montes said. 

Tai likes how practical audiobooks are as well, along with Hedges and Montes.

“I still enjoy audiobooks because I can multitask. You can listen to them and, for example, draw, cook, do homework, and more,” Tai said. “Reading kind of takes all my attention, and though I prefer it, audiobooks have their advantages too.”

Both books and audiobooks have their own qualities that people enjoy.

“Audiobooks make the book more accessible to people. If the narration is done well, it can add a lot to the story. I find it quicker to read a physical book,” Hedges said. “They can be a lot easier to use, especially if I’m somewhere without my phone.”