General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Is it better for you to listen to a book or read it?

Asked by Ltryptophan (9108 points ) February 24th, 2013

Bonus: If you want to read it, is it better to read it in the smallest or largest print available?

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21 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

Read it. Regular (medium-sized) print.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I prefered reading. My nephew always liked listening. I think we’re both cool and well educated. Whatever floats your boat.

AshlynM's avatar

Reading it. Bigger print is preferable for me.

Bellatrix's avatar

I prefer to read books (normal sized print). I had eye surgery a couple of years ago and couldn’t read for about three-four months. I downloaded books to listen to but I didn’t like it. I like to imagine how the person is saying the things in the book and having someone else’s inflection was distracting to me.

I have downloaded Trainspotting to listen to because reading all that text written in the Scottish accent was driving me mad.

chyna's avatar

Reading. My attention wanders if I’m listening. And I like the bigger print.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You old geezers like the big print.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Can’t wait to be an old geezer! I remember President Truman.
While commuting audio is GREAT, otherwise regular print or off my mobile from Nook or Kindle.

JustJenn's avatar

I think it depends on the type of literature. I prefer audio for the classics.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Depends. Generally I’m for reading the book (medium sized print) but there are some cases where the audio book is much better IMO. These cases are when the narrator gets really into the roles of each character and does different voices and maybe some sound effects are added. Its a different experience all together, but I enjoy it. The two cases I can think of where I enjoyed the audio books more were Harry Potter narrated by Stephen Fry and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy narrated by Douglas Adams (with Fry doing the last book in the series)

RandomGirl's avatar

It depends on how your brain is wired, I’ve found. I’m pretty left-brained, detail-oriented, methodical, organized… you get the idea. I have to see it in print to get a hold on the material and retain it. I might be able to loosely follow a story line if I’m listening to a book, but only if it’s really engaging and then not very well even. I’ll listen to a few words, and then my eyes will wander and I’ll see something that’ll make me think about one thing, and then another, and then pretty soon I’ll be baking something when I realize that I’ve been “listening” to a book in the background, and I have no idea what’s happened!

I’m a very visual person. This goes for all aspects of life – when you want me to really hear what you’re saying to me, you email me. It drives my family up a wall because anything I’m taking in with my eyes takes precedence over sound.

I’m sure there’s a name for this type of personality. I’m just glad I’ve figured out how my brain works, because now I can study effectively.

Unbroken's avatar

I like both.

Classics are better to listen to Mostly. On occasion my mind does wander but I go back and listen to it again.

Sometimes they have an awesome soundtrack.

I also love reading. I don’t care so much about size. If I am using my nook I usually go medium. But if my eyes are tired large. If my hands are busy… I go small.

gondwanalon's avatar

I like to read books with big print on my ipad but when I’m driving in my car I just let my ipad read the book to me.

gailcalled's avatar

I do both. They serve different purposes. During my waking hours I read in the traditional manner, with a real book whose pages I can turn. At present Im enjoying a book about a bee keeper in the Ozarks, by Sue Hubbell (from a recommendation by @syz, for which, “Thank-you.”)

At night, to fight insomnia, I always listen to audio books on CDs after I get into bed and turn the lights out. I take the CDs out of the library and use an old-fashioned Sony Walkman.
At the moment, I am listening to the biography of John Adams, by David McCullough.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m an old geezer, and I hate the big print. I read books printed on paper. I do like hardcovers better than paperbacks, but most of my reading is paperbacks because that’s what there is. I need the visual in order to absorb the content; I’m not primarily an audio processor.

But I do love having my husband read aloud to me. Some books don’t work so well this way, so we’re pretty careful about our choices.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Jeruba I think reading aloud to each other is a beautiful thing to share. Lucky you. My husband isn’t comfortable reading out loud.

Tiesha154587's avatar

I say, it’s better to read, so i can see it in my head clear.

Unbroken's avatar

I like reading aloud to my cat. She likes it too as long as I continue to pet her as welll.

Jeruba's avatar

@Bellatrix, we’ve been doing it once a week for more than 14 years. During that time we sure have covered a lot of pages, from J.K. Rowling to Daniel Dennett, Margaret Atwood to Neil Gaiman.

citizenearth's avatar

To enjoy the best of literature, you gotta read it. If you don’t have this option (e.g. blind or sight problem), then listen to audiobook would be the best way.

josie's avatar

Reading. Although I listen to books in the car, I think listening to a book is sort of like watching somebody else exercise, and imagining you will get in shape.

citizenearth's avatar

Of course read in the largest print available – easy on the eyes and more relaxing too.

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