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Podcasts & Audiobooks – the new way to read?

Podcasts & Audiobooks – the new way to read?

Podcasts and audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular, which is also affecting how much people read. In this article you will find many pros and cons of audio formats and whether they are serious competition for books

Podcasts – learn something new every day

A podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series.

Podcasts are usually original programming, but many are repurposed from existing radio broadcasts or public affairs shows. Radio programs that become popular may be edited to fit the time allotted for podcasts, and new hosts may be brought in. Sometimes, music is played between segments. Despite their name, “podcasts” do not need to be restricted to Apple’s iPod and can be played on any brand of portable media player or computer.


The great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere and at any time that suits you – whether you’re cooking dinner, out for a run or even doing the ironing! You can also easily pause them and resume listening later if you need to – unlike radio which keeps going whether you like it or not!
Podcasts are usually free too so they won’t cost you anything beyond a bit of time to download them (and maybe some battery life if you’re not plugged into the mains).
You can listen at different speeds according to how much time you have – 1.5x speed is often about right for me when I want something informative but don’t want it to eat into too much of my day.


While podcasts are fantastic in general there are of course downsides depending on how exactly you like to consume your content:

If your sole source of entertainment/information comes from visual sources such as TV then obviously podcasts won’t suit as they rely purely on audio content (although this could open up an entirely new world for those with visual impairments who don’t otherwise enjoy these types of sources). In this case audiobooks may be more your thing?

Audiobooks – reading with your ears

Audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the advent of smartphones and other portable listening devices. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of audiobooks to consider before your next purchase.


  • You can “read” while doing other things: Audiobooks are great for multitaskers who want to be able to read while driving, cooking, exercising, or doing other tasks around the house.
  • Audiobooks can be less expensive than print books: If you take advantage of free audiobook downloads or Sign up for a subscription service like Audible, you can save money compared to buying print books.
  • They can help with reading comprehension and fluency: Some research suggests that listening to audiobooks can help with improve reading comprehension and fluency skills. This is especially true for young readers or struggling readers.
  • You can try before you buy: Unlike print books, which you have to purchase before knowing if you’ll like them, many audiobook platforms allow you to listen to a section of the book before making a commitment. This is a great way to make sure an audiobook is right for you.


  • Not all books are available as audiobooks: While an increasing number of titles are being released in audio format each year, not every book is available as an audiobook. So if there’s a particular title you want to read but it’s not available in audio, you may be out of luck unless you’re willing to read it in print form instead.
  • The production quality of some audiobooks can be poor: Since anybody can produce and self-publish an audiobook these days, the overall quality isn’t always great. There have been reports of poorly recorded audio , robotic narration ,and background noise . Try downloading a sample from any platform where you plan on buying an audiobook so that you know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand .
  • They require a time commitment: Audiobooks usually take longer to get through than print books since they typically range from six hours (for shorter works) up to 60 hours (for lengthy epic fantasy series). So if you don’t have several hours to dedicate to listening intently, an audiobook might not be right for you.

In conclusion, podcasts and audiobooks offer both pros and cons compared to traditional printed novels. It really depends on your personal preferences whether or not they would be a good fit for your reading habits.