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Traditional reading vs reading on "auding" text: which is better?

Hello Colleagues,

We have discussed "auding" in several LINCS discussions. It's time for a new discussion thread that looks at the research evidence, and also your preferences. For those who have a choice, and not everyone does, do we know which is better: 1) reading text in a traditional way, 2) reading text on an e-reader such as a Kindle, or 3) listening to text read out loud, for example using software that does this on a computer or smartphone; on books on tape, cassette or CD; or just having someone read it out loud? Which is better: for whom; under what circumstances; and for what reading purposes, for example, for deep study or for light pleasure reading?

Here's a short Time article that points to some of the research on these questions and raises some pertinent questions for readers and teachers of reading alike.

What are your takeaways from this article? What other reading research comparing these three ways of reading, or two of the three ways, can you suggest?

When I want to read for pleasure, I often prefer to listen to a book read out loud, or to "combo-read" a traditional book and listen to it read out loud by someone who reads literature well. I recently read a book by Neil Gaiman, called The Ocean at the End of the Lane from the paperback book, until the last chapter when somehow I lost the book. So I checked out the audio version from my public library and listened to Gaiman read the last chapter out loud. I was so thrilled by his reading, and enjoyed the book so much more, that I listened to him read the whole thing.

How about you?  What are your reading mode preferences? What are your students' reading mode preferences?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group



Sudie Whalen's picture

Interesting Read! I used to be a "nothing is better than turning the page" sort of person, but I tend to have less time for reading than I used to and I now enjoy a good audiobook when driving or even hiking. In recent years, I typically have one book I am reading and something different I listen to on my commute to work. When I was in the classroom, I always wanted my students to read either the book or the ebook, but I never suggested listening to the audiobook, I too considered it cheating. To an extent I guess I still do, I never add my audiobooks to the books I've "read" on Good Reads because I feel like I didn't really read them. It looks like I have a book bias to get over. However, I'm going to seem exceptionally well read once I link my Audible account to Good Reads. 


Leecy's picture

Sudie, I've had the pleasure of inviting the possibility of auding into my reading definition, given our LINCS discussions. You might really enjoy one discussion on the topic earlier in the year. If you do, I hope you'll come back and comment. 

Since I read all day, glued to digital devices for a living, I really enjoy using my iPod when I drive anywhere. I call it my "reading-for-pure-escape" experience. Occasionally, I do more serious auding, but my Audible library is stacked with much more nonsense than enlightening materials. :)