Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Let your ears do the reading

While the theory of different learning styles (auditory vs. visual, for example) has come under fire of late, there is no doubt that when it comes to reading books in a traditional way vs. listening to them on audio, many people have strong preferences and opinions!

Wired for Sound is a fascinating essay exploring one man's preference for audio as compared to his wife's assertion that reading text with one's own eyes is a superior option. The author contacted Howard Gardner, of multiple intelligences fame, for his input on the topic as well.

I am a fairly recent convert to audiobooks, and find that as a busy working mother, they are a lifesaver! I can "read" while commuting to and from work or cooking dinner. Suddenly, in the midst of a hectic schedule, I am more easily able to keep up with new literature while also enjoying a superb performance that most often brings a rich new dimension to the book in question.

Audiobooks are a great way to encourage a child who is a reluctant reader or who isn't eager to branch out into different genres. Even enthusiastic readers find themselves unexpectedly enjoying books they didn't think were appealing when they are presented in audio form by a parent who stealthily pops a CD into the car stereo. They are also great for physically active kids, who can play with Legos while listening to a book rather than being expected to sit still and read. Check out this earlier blog post on the topic for more information and suggestions!

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