Food for Thought

I like listening to book reviews. One of my favorites is “Books on the Nightstand” podcast. Lately they have been having discussions about how reading is the same as listening to an audio book.

That can’t be true I thought. Then I started to remind myself of how I tend to think I know everything and shoot my mouth off when in actuality I’m the epitome of “a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Well a danger to myself.

Anyway, I decided to look at a few bits of information on reading and listening and ran across this article. It made a lot of sense to me and was very surprising.

In the blog, “Read write Now” the author wrote how reading and listening are two different things. Exactly what I was thinking. But I was thinking, because I’m reading, I would be strengthening my brain and listening to a book would make my mind lazy. Shows you what I know because In the article  it makes a case for how listening to a story or conversation strengthens your memory. Here is an excerpt from the article.

At least this would be the case if the culture that’s developing is one that would put a high premium on listening skills. …………………….. It would be interesting to figure out if people who listen to audiobooks in a regular and devoted fashion show more highly development memory capacity–either short or long term–than those of us who spend more time reading.”

This paragraph hit me right in my docent head. While giving tours of the first floor of the museum I talk about how important it was for the Alii (High Chiefs) to be able to prove their genealogy. The Hawaiians were  an oral culture. Children that displayed good memories were set apart and were taught to develop those memory skills. As adults they could listen to a long and involved chant once and then repeat it verbatim.  With this skill they could quote long genealogies that would prove which line particular chiefs came from when a new chief was born.

I read another article that concluded from an experiment with readers and listeners that ”

“Listeners recall more main ideas or do better at main idea questions, while readers recall more details or did better at detail questions.”


So what does all this mean to me? Well, I do know my listening skills are bad and I do have a very bad short-term memory. But, I don’t know if this answered my question as to is listening to a book the same as reading it. I do know this though,……

photo… Cadie not only needs a pair of glasses to read but I will now have to get her a pair of earphone too.


6 comments on “Food for Thought

  1. Jodie Gracey says:

    Enjoyed your writing and photos as always!


  2. I have always loved reading and when catching public transport I find that a good book makes the time go faster. Driving however is boring so I occasionally listen to an audio book instead of podcasts and the drive is much more interesting. Now I have research on my side and will do a lot more ‘reading’ in the car 🙂


  3. eliveleth2013 says:

    This is very interesting. I have always been a reader. When I was young I used to read a book a day. I had a 10 mile bus ride to high school with all the stops so I had an hour or more to and from school, as well as the evening to read. Now that I am old, I have a problem reading and so I depend a lot on audio on my computer. I have always understood better when I read. I can follow complicated knitting, crocheting and sewing by reading. For me it is a lot harder to understand by hearing but when you are forced to do it, you get better at it.


    • Now look how sharp you are Aunt Velta. The one article thought audio would improve short term memory and yet you were a reader and you and uncle Joe are both intelligent as you ever were. Thank you for your input.


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