Today, I came across an interesting question on HN that asked, “Are there any studies about book reading retention rates vs. audiobooks?”. None of the answers that I have seen actually cite any studies, but it’s interesting to me on what some of the people say, most notably a user named Juvoni Beckford:

I’ve done some personal “A/B” testing on audio vs print for retention and found that I remember significantly less when listening to non-fiction content as opposed to reading it and the recall dropoff is very sharp.

I mainly use audiobooks now for mostly fiction and narrative strong content like history, biographies/memories, or communication around domains like sales, public speaking, marketing, and relationship books.

I found a lot more interesting things about being more strategical in using the right medium(print vs ebook vs audio) depending on the nature of the content I’m consuming as well as my energy levels

My results mirror his almost exactly and I started a similar system. If it’s a business or development book I buy the ​print version, ​if it’s fiction I go Audible, if it’s a classic that I know my kids might one day need to read for school I buy the print version. Rarely do I buy ​ebooks now and only for self-published​d tech topics. I think all this has to do with age and knowing that real books I can give away or let my friends borrow, whereas​ an ebook and audible all that is annoying.

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