Reading vs Listening

A friend lent me his audio version of Theft of Swords the other day and I thought it was a brilliant plan. I could listen to the book like I would listen to music and do whatever I needed to do.

But while I appreciate the mobility an audio book allows me, I’m finding it rather difficult to stay focused and to follow what is happening. Every now and then I realize I’m not listening to the book when they mention something I’m not familiar with. So I’ve been replaying and rewinding one section of the story over and over again and to no avail.

It’s not because is necessarily boring but because it’s easy to forget you’re listening to something worth listening to.

I’ve listened to the last book in the Divergent trilogy – Allegiant, and stumbled across the same problem. When it occurred though, I made sure to sit down and focus on the words of the audio book.

But I find that sitting and reading also has its vantages. Reading forces you to pay attention. Sure there are times when you will drift off while reading . . . but hold on, does that only happen to me though?!

Reading also allows you to follow along seamlessly, to visually analyse the picture being painted before you. But in reading, you can’t multi-task. You can’t read and drive, you can’t read and work, you can’t read and walk to wherever you are going . . . but you could listen and do all that and more. I listened to the Allegiant at the salon, I listened in traffic, I listened while standing in line at the bank, and I made conscious efforts to follow what was being said, closing my eyes and taking it all in.

I just find it is difficult to pay attention while listening to an audio book sometimes. Very quickly it becomes background music for me, and I forget to listen completely. Yesterday I went jogging, and while I usually listen to music while I jog, I decided to try the audio book. While jogging, just jogging, a repetitive motion, going round and round the track, I found it hard to maintain focus on the story being told.  I kept rewinding that one chapter of the story.

It is very frustrating. I feel like I have to pause the audio book and go back to reading whenever I can.

PS: does it seem like the days are getting shorter?

Happy Spring y’all!



  1. No is not you one…. I tried listening at work like that, the same thing happens to me I just loose concentration on the book and delve into the book. So I wait till I’m on the road commuting or what on lunch.

    I’m able to jog on the treadmill and listen to my book comfortable, i guess because im not worried about outside elements :D.

    So ultimately anything I have to do where i actually have to concentrate too heavily… I don’t listen to the book.


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