To Read or To Listen?

Thanks to the dawn of “The eBook Era,” reading is becoming more accessible (if not necessarily more popular – thanks still to television).  If you have an iPad or Kindle (or one of the many eReaders in the marketplace) or simply use another mobile device, ebooks are literally in the palm of your hands.  These devices allow the user to carry a catalog of books that would fill a backpack (and then some!), making it easy to carry around whatever books you’d like to have at your disposal.

But what about audiobooks?

Formerly known as “books on tape” these are still popular in that you can absorb the story while driving or commuting in some other fashion.  If you’re exercising you can have them at the ready on your MP3 player of choice.  Basically, they fill a similar gap as podcasts – only they’re a “tad” longer.

Productivity and self-development books are massively popular in both formats.  You can even buy them in (gasp!) actual printed book form should you choose to.  In terms of brushing up on these skills and systems, which do you prefer – reading or listening…or a combination of all formats?

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Mike Vardy an editor on Work Awesome. We could tell you where his personal productivity parody site, Eventualism and all of his other projects reside on the web, but you'd be best served going to and following the trail of virtual bread crumbs from there.


  1. Andrew on the 24th May

    Well, I can’t ever get through a whole productivity book. i can only stomach those in bite sized chunks (like Work Awesome).

    I ride my bike in to work every day as it wakes me up without the need for coffee, and gives me time to relax both before and after work. My longest uninterrupted time of the day is on my bike, and audiobooks are great for this! They also keep me motivated: if I only listen on my bike I have to keep riding to hear what happens next.

  2. Eric Granata on the 25th May

    I love audiobooks! I started listening to fiction while in college when driving across the state to visit my girlfriend. Since then I’ve expanded to non-fiction, productivity, business and self improvement genres. I’ve managed to keep a long commute to work since leaving college and it provides plenty of opportunity to get in some “reading.”

  3. Ana da Silva on the 25th May

    I just started listening to audiobooks and I’m loving it! Well, I’ve been listening to David Sedaris so it’s easy.

    As a writer I need to read a lot and audiobooks allow me to “read” while exercising, which tends to fall by the wayside sometimes.

  4. Simon MacDonald on the 25th May

    I like reading to non-fiction books in the audio book format. I tend to get a lot of informational, productivity or biography books “read” while driving to work.

  5. John Braine on the 25th May

    I’m obsessed with audiobooks at the moment. i just finished reviewing 9 on my own blog just this minute. Indeed the fantastic thing about them is the ability to carry out any chores while still enjoying a book, they’ve been a new lease of life for me.

  6. dawn on the 4th June

    You mention a combination of formats. My son absorbs information while listening and reading at the same time. Are there audio books that also display the text on an e-reader while the audio plays?

    • Mike Vardy on the 4th June

      Apparently the Amazon Kindle read to you as you go along. Haven’t seen anything for the iPad or any other e-Readers yet.

      Likely the closest thing is what the Kindle offers right now – but it’s bound to come to other platforms as they become more popular.

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