Audiobooks have been a bit controversial for a while now.
Some people think they are not “real” reading. Some people only read audiobooks. And some people do a mixture of all formats. Whether or not you use audiobooks yourself, studies have shown that audiobooks are the same as reading – just different – and offer many benefits. According to a NYTimes article from 2018 “research shows that adults get nearly identical scores on a reading test if they listen to the passages instead of reading them.” And Psychology Today says, “listening to novels and nonfiction being read aloud can help us become not just more well-read but can improve mental well-being too.”
I was resistant to audiobooks a few years ago, but as my days got busier and I no longer had as much time to sit and read a traditional print book, I realized my reading did not have to go to the back burner. Now, I listen to audiobooks while I work, drive, workout, cook, and more. I can multitask and still read all the books on my to-be-read list.
The theme of KCPL’s Summer Reading Challenge is “Read Your Way Every Day.” That means you can read whatever way you want: print, graphic novels, e-books, and, yes, audiobooks! New to audiobooks and not sure where to start? Check out the ALA’s Odyssey Awards – a book award specifically for audiobooks or the ALA’s Notable Children’s Recordings List – an annual list that shows the best audiobooks for kids.
Or maybe, just start here with a list of KCPL staff’s recommendations – for all ages! Then make sure to add these to your SRC log. Happy listening!
Written by Lisa Clark, Youth Collection Coordinator