Advantages of Audio Textbooks for Students

May 4, 2011

These days it seems like everything has moved towards technology.  People don’t get set up on blind dates by their friends anymore; they undergo a compatibility match at an online dating site.  Plans are made via text rather than phone call.  And personal letters have gone the way of the Pony Express as people email, chat, and Skype instead.  As for books, they may soon become a thing of the past.  EReaders like the Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad make it possible to carry thousands of books in a tablet that weighs less than a pound in most cases.  But technology isn’t always the best way to go.  In fact, students who are looking for an alternative to carting around heavy textbooks may be better off going with audio books rather than eBooks.  Here are just a few of the advantages to choosing the former.

For one thing, audio CDs are even lighter than a tablet.  At less than an ounce, they’re easy enough to cart around (especially since many backpacks come equipped with a pocket of stacked sleeves to house them).  You may be wondering about the heft of the device needed to play them, which will almost certainly add to the weight.  But the truth is, you don’t really need an extra device.  You’re probably taking your laptop with you anyway, so they can be played on that.  Or you can transfer the music files to your MP3 player.  It’s not only lighter and smaller than any other gadget you own; you can probably put more audio books on it than you can put textbooks on an eReader.

In addition, choosing eBooks over regular textbooks won’t reduce the eyestrain you’re probably suffering due to hours of looking at white boards in lecture classes and then subsequent hours of staring at a page.  You might actually exacerbate the problem by switching over to a bright, glowing screen.  Although studies have been unable to prove a connection between extended monitor-gazing and eyestrain, you know how your eyes feel when you’ve been looking at a screen for a few hours; they’re dry, unfocused, and they feel like they’re going to pop out of your head any minute.

Audio textbooks can solve this problem for you.  All you have to do is sit back, hit play, and let the knowledge sink in.  In fact, you don’t even need to sit at an uncomfortable desk for hours on end.  Instead, you can stretch out on your bed and lounge while you learn.  Plus, if you throw on a pair of headphones, you can totally block out your snoring roommate and the “woo” girls down the hall.  If you’re an auditory learner, this is even better than reading text (which you might have to do over and over to get the gist of the section you’re reading).  And if you happen to be more of a visual learner, you can simply take notes as you go (something written is something remembered).

So if you’re tired of killing your back and throwing off your alignment by lugging around tons of textbooks, but you simply don’t see the merit of straining your eyes over what really just amounts to more visual input, then think about audio textbooks as a workable alternative.  They can provide a lot of advantages that other formats are lacking.

Sarah Danielson writes for Go College where you can find helpful information on graduate student loan consolidation and on campus jobs.

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