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Turns Out, Listening To Audiobooks Is Just As Good As Reading Them

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Alright, all you book snobs — which used to be me years ago. A study shows that listening to audiobooks stimulates the same part of your brain as physically reading a book.

All audiobook fans just did a collective, HAHA!

UC Berkeley just finished a neuroscience study on reading. They scanned the brains of people reading physical books and those listening to audiobooks, and the results were pretty interesting.

(They) found they were virtually identical. They also found that words activated specific parts of the brain depending on whether they were visual, tactile, numeric, locational, violent, mental, emotional and or social.

The Telegraph

I started listening to audiobooks five years ago, when I had a two-hour-drive to work. I blew through SO many audiobooks, and I finally decided they were great!

I had guilt over listening to the audiobooks at first. I struggled with telling people I had “READ” the books, since I had actually listened to someone else reading them.

Turns out, thanks to the UC Berkeley study, my guilt was unfounded. I was, in fact, virtually reading the book. JUSTIFIED!


At a time when more people are absorbing information via audiobooks, podcasts and even audio texts, our study shows that, whether they’re listening to or reading the same materials, they are processing semantic information similarly.

Dr Fatma Deniz

You should no longer feel inadequate to those book readers if you enjoy listening to your books. Go on and keep doing your thing!

If you still enjoy reading a physical book, that is great, too! Bottom line — just absorb the books one way or another! Whether you listen to your books, or you read your book, both stimulate your brain, and that can only be a good thing!

Start your kids reading — or listening to books, too. Here are 60 Favorite Books From Your Childhood That Your Kids Should Read.

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