There are days where I find myself able to just sit back with a good book and just read for the ENTIRE day. I could read an entire book from cover to cover and feel totally entranced and hooked the entire time.
This doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to audiobooks. For some reason, I find that a couple of hours is my limit before my mind starts to wander. OR I start to crave silence, or maybe a different voice.
Why is this, I wonder? Is it because I’m not actually, physically reading something? Is it because my ears aren’t as in tune to listening to a story — maybe my ears and brain don’t like working together — as my eyes are? Or, maybe, it’s the story. Some stories just REQUIRE a listening break.
This isn’t to say that I can only ever listen to audiobooks little by little, but I do think that it’s my preference. There is the occasional audiobook that will have me searching for something to do while listening (go productivity!) and others have me constantly checking to see how much time is left in a chapter until I can take a break. Part of me thinks it’s a mix between the story itself and the narrator, or other times maybe I’m just not in the mood to be reading — physically or through listening.
But still, a part of me wonders if there is a limit to how much of a story a person can listen to through an audiobook before they start to think about other things. Maybe this has something to do with what a person is doing while they’re listening — for example, if I clean and listen, I can really pay attention, or even drive and listen. Other times, I’ll be checking out some blogs and listening, or cooking and listening, and I find myself not being able to totally concentrate on the book.
Maybe … just maybe … this is why some people say that reading a book through listening isn’t actually reading at all. Personally, I think that’s nonsense since some people can’t actually read for themselves and need someone to read to them — I know people like this in real life and they recall so much more from a story than I would if I physically read it.
I think, ultimately, it’s a combination of many things that makes me not able to listen to an entire audiobook in one sitting, but I know I’m not the only one who’s like this. And, really, this happens with physical books, too, where I realize that I’ve “read” a few pages without actually reading them, letting my mind think about too many things at once, rather than focus on the book. I guess it’s only human!
Do you have a limit to how much of an audiobook you can listen to in one sitting? What are some of the things that will ultimately make your brain wander while listening?