Read or listen to a book? Two different sensory experiences to enjoy

The benefits of reading are multiple and irreplaceable. Today, in addition, technology allows us to listen to books and diversify the learning experience.

The brain, the most extraordinary organ of the human being, is a muscle and, as such, it requires to be exercised. Do you know what is the best way to do it? Through reading, of course. A habit that we can all develop and offers multiple benefits at any age. If we were aware of them, we would be inveterate readers. 

For example? 

1.- Increases emotional intelligence. Through the books, we meet characters with different personalities, interact with them, love some and hate others. It teaches us to see the facts from a different perspective and to develop empathy 

2.- Enriches the vocabulary. Any book that passes through your hands allows you to learn not only new words, but cultured expressions, typical of other places. Then, as if by magic, you realize that he uses them in your conversations or your writing. 

3.- Strengthen your general culture. Reading gives us the wonderful possibility of knowing places, the world, through the eyes of another, through the emotions of another: the author. You learn about history, gastronomy, the customs of other countries, other ways of thinking 

4.- Reduces stress and relaxes us. Since the mind focuses on reading, for a while it forgets about the worries and urgencies of daily life. In addition, it transports us to the imaginary scenario proposed by the author and provides us with entertainment. 

5.- Develops the imagination. As you read, your brain engages in the story, interacts with the characters, and experiences their adventures. Through visualization, emotions, imagination flies and allows us to live incredible experiences. 

As you can imagine, there are others, but these are the most important. Reading is also one of the most profitable habits we can acquire. The best, you know what is the best? According to specialists, it does not matter if you read a printed book or on a digital device (text or audio), because the brain remains active and enjoys all the benefits. 

Reading, on the other hand, is one of the greatest acts of freedom and rebellion of the human being. You choose the genre you like, the author you connect with the most and read as much as you want: 10 minutes, a couple of pages, whole hours. And you can also read a book once, twice, five or ten times, because each reading experience is unique and unrepeatable. 

Reading, likewise, is quality time for you, time that makes you appreciate and appreciate life. It teaches you to enjoy solitude and allows you to achieve a powerful connection with your interior. Through reading, you strengthen skills such as attention, concentration, the ability to express yourself orally or in writing, and the ability to interact with others. 

Alive and kicking 

You may remember that at the end of the 90s, with the meteoric appearance of the Internet, the disappearance of the printed book was lapidarily announced. And you know what? It is a species that has become stronger. In fact, a survey by the Statista.com portal established in 2022 that books in physical format are still a good business, a very profitable one.  

Unexpectedly, against all odds, the traditional book knew how to adapt to changes. He was hit hard, it's true, but then he found a place in the ecosystem and discovered new roles. It learned to live with its digital versions (printed and audio) and found distribution channels to reach more readers, in different formats. 

The logical question is: printed or digital book (text or audio)? It's one of those never-ending debates that seems to make no sense. Why choose? Why not enjoy them both? Knowledge and entertainment are not exclusive, so their use, their practice, should not be either. Less, when there is so much help available. 

Why choose? Why not enjoy them both? In fact, the users also adapted. According to a survey by the Statista Global Consumer Survey, with a sample of 7.600 people between the ages of 18 and 64, it was established that reading consumption, whether through printed or digital books, is very similar. There is no winner, there is no loser. 

The human being, surely you know, is a wonderful creation. He has the ability to adapt to the most difficult circumstances, to the most exciting challenges. The book is the best example of this: it has been a tool for knowledge, entertainment and company for centuries and it is created, produced, distributed and enjoyed in various formats. 

And it also pays tribute to him. Since 1995, Unesco established World Book and Copyright Day to pay tribute to the memory of great writers. April 23 was chosen because on that date illustrious personalities of literature were born or died. It is also about creating awareness and encouraging the pleasure of reading, its contribution to learning. 

In recent years, the rise of audiobooks, podcasts, and audioseries has helped fuel the reading habit. It is not a trend, a passing fad, but a sustained behavior over time, according to the study Spanish Audio Markets Growth Report (2017-2022), prepared by DosDoce.

These are the conclusions: 

1.- Booming market: more than half a million users pay subscription services to audio content platforms. The number is constantly increasing 

2.- Booming offer: more than 25.000 audiobooks and 100.000 podcasts in Spanish are available to consumers. And every day there are new titles to enjoy 

3.- Investment booming: paid audio platforms have invested more than 5 million dollars in the last 60 years to create and disseminate the Audio category in Spanish 

4.- Dynamic market: Growing competition and high demand have led to a market with more options, better conditions, and different payment models. 

5.- Artificial intelligence: the irruption of artificial voices is here to stay. It is a model that gradually becomes popular and serves to produce at lower costs. 

The speed of growth of the audiobook market in Spanish is such that experts believe that it will multiply by 5 in just a decade. While in 2020 the industry had a turnover of 4.000 million dollars, it is expected that in 2030 it will exceed 20.000 million. It is also expected that the listening average per month will also grow. 

Reading (on paper or on screen) is not the same as listening: the brain behaves differently depending on the format, it activates different areas. Each format creates and generates complementary reading experiences, memories and emotions. The important thing, ultimately, is to consume the content, to acquire the knowledge, regardless of the format. 

According to Drs. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke of the University of Texas, reading and hearing results, while different, are essentially good. That is, neither is better or worse than the other. The only thing is that the brain processes information differently. And the benefits of each reading experience are different. Let's see the case of audiobooks: 

1.- Improves pronunciation and fluency, by perceiving the way words are pronounced 

2.- Enhances mental health, by reducing stress and anxiety levels 

3.- Helps improve time management and allows you to perform more than one action at a time 

4.- Develop critical listening skills, such as analytical skills 

5.- Improves focus and concentration capacity, in the short and long term 

6.- Improves memory, because the brain records what it hears more easily than what it reads 

7.- Develops critical thinking and improves comprehension skills 

8.- Listening helps to create mental images of the situations described in the text 

9.- The audiobook is much friendlier for the visually impaired 

10.- Helps develop empathy, through the connection with the narrator of the content 

Doctors Markman and Duke point out that an essential difference between audiobooks and reading is that the former provoke a more emotional response to the content. Because? Because it resembles a social experience, being able to hear different vocal nuances that indicate sarcasm or irony, typical of a conversation between people. 


Whatever format you choose, the printed book, the digital or the audiobook, what really matters is that you cultivate the habit of reading. A book, in any of its presentations, is an inexhaustible source of knowledge and gives you an unrepeatable experience. Why choose? Why not enjoy them both? That is our invitation. 

Of course, we suggest you take some precautions depending on the format you choose: 

- Don't strain your eyes, especially when reading on a screen or a digital device 

- Preferably, use glasses that help you protect your eyes (we recommend the Gunnar, which have the endorsement of the medical community) 

- If you prefer audiobooks, make sure you have headphones that guarantee a positive experience (we recommend our brand Skullcandy

- If you are going to read on a digital device, such as a reader or a Tablet, do not forget to protect it in case of an accident or you want to prolong its useful life (products NCO they are an excellent choice) 

- Understanding an essay or a scientific text just by listening to it can be more complicated. The format you choose determines the quality of the experience and learning 

- Again, no one format is better than another: it's all a matter of your brain adapting to the type of content you've chosen. 

If you liked this article you can share it on your social networks

You can leave us your comments here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



International Women's Day: much to do and reflect

International Women's Day: much to do and reflect

At IOCA Group, every day, but especially on International Women's Day, we feel very proud of Ana María Carrasco, our CEO. Through her example, she honors the memory of unsung heroines and extends her legacy. Do you want to know more about the origin of the commemoration?
We show you on our blog

Read more"
A %d bloggers like this: