Podcasts Vs Books
Paige Insalaco reviews the relevance of both books and podcasts. Has one subsumed the other, or do they both have a place in contemporary society?
With our lives getting increasingly busy, podcasts offer an opportunity to listen to something educational or entertaining when we may not have the time to read. Whilst books offer an opportunity for escapism, podcasts allow for us to consume pockets of information over a shorter duration.
The rise in the popularity of podcasts exemplifies the move from object consumerism to intellectual, partly influenced by the current job market and the need to constantly be building on skills and knowledge. In this vein, the fact that Podcasts are completely free to access means information can be reached by many more people than ever been before.
Podcasts can also be a great opportunity to discover or build upon interests. The podcast ‘Spirits’ offers boozy explorations of mythology and folklore from the classical period to Disney influences. Whilst a mythology book may be complex and dull, talkative hosts with alcohol are relatable and engaging- allowing access to information that may previously have been guarded.
the fact that podcasts are completely free to access means information can be reached by many more people than ever before
Whilst books require one to succumb to the temptations of consumerism, podcasts are usually either free to access or are readily available through streaming services such as Spotify, making them a cheaper alternative for most people. Though the popularity of books is constantly on the decline (3% from 2018), I think there will always be a place for books. Escapism is one of the main motivations to read a book, something a podcast just can’t, in my experience, achieve.
Podcasts and books occupy different spheres within society and don’t need to be in competition with each other. In the case of ’Potterless‘, a podcast where a 24 year- old man reads and reviews the Harry Potter series for the first time, podcasts can actually inspire people to read or provide an easier way for people to consume literature. Thus, it does not need to be one or the other. As the popularity of BookTok and BookTube has proven, there will always be people reading books.