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In 2019, I took to listening to a lot of audiobooks. That was my best year in terms of book count. I got through so many books just listening to them while I was walking or getting my nails done. I felt like I achieved a lot.

But, if you ask me if I remember anything from the books I listened to – I’d be hard-pressed to come up with a good answer.

For someone like me who grew up around paper books, the thought of a Kindle was a challenge at first. Reading on screen never felt like it was the same. Not even with the Kindle. But these days, I hardly have a choice. I have to read through tons of articles and reports. Printing these are certainly not great for the environment.

So I’ve trained myself to consume on-screen.

But, I still have trouble with audiobooks. I still can’t seem to retain as much when I’m out and about doing things while listening to a book. I feel the comprehension is weak, I miss thinks while I’m doing other things and most importantly, I don’t remember much of what was said.

My mind wanders, a lot. When I’m listening to something, if it’s not a story, i.e., fiction or if it’s not an engaging podcast, I completely lose track.

Sometimes I wonder if it might be just me or if everyone has this problem. I don’t know. I think some people fare better because they have a less active mind and they can keep their focus. I can’t. It’s the same reason I have trouble meditating.

But, I would in all honestly say that I don’t think everyone can still have the same retention power as they do with a written book. There’s something about the visual nature of things that help us capture information more efficiently.

I suppose I just need to stick to more fiction if I want to use audiobooks.