eBooks vs. Print Books vs. Audio Books

Instead of preferring one format of book over another, I read all three formats of books for different kinds of literature:

Print Books: I read print books most of the time. I use them for research because I like being able to flip through the pages, but most of all, I love owning classic literature as well as books I’d like to analyze and read in-depth in print format.

eBooks: these are only useful for me if I’m not overly interested in a book or I’d like a collection of writings by one author, but don’t feel like paying a ton of money or having a huge print book around. Needless to say, I have very few eBooks.

Audio Books: I borrow audio books from my local library when I don’t feel that a book is worth all the time it takes me to read it in print. This applies mostly to light or comedic books, but every once in a while, I find a real literary gem. That’s how I found The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds, an outstanding book in writing style, character development, and psychology. So althought I don’t listen to them often, I can’t knock audio books too much.

Do you have a preference between these three book formats, or do you also use each format for a different type of reading?

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4 comments on “eBooks vs. Print Books vs. Audio Books

  1. raisingdaisy says:

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  2. All of the above!

    First and foremost, I enjoy the ritual of reading a print book. Turning the pages leisurely, adjusting the position of the spine in my fingers for one-handed reading, changing positions as my reading period extends–from sitting to lying down–and maybe back up again :-). I find it relaxing and therapeutic.

    E-books I tend to buy as impulse purchases. When I want/need the book now–usually a cookbook or some type of self-help book that applies to an immediate problem or situation. I find the e-reader’s portability useful in that it holds so many books for its small size (more than the armload I would want to carry with me on a trip for instance).

    The act of using the reader is efficient to be sure, but disconnected. I don’t get that same feeling of relaxed communion that I do with a print book. I feel like it’s an electronic device doing the work for me and I am just watching. Kind of weird, really.

    I enjoy audio books for the convenience of listening while I am doing other things. I do a lot of driving for work and recorded books are my favorite traveling companions. I spend several hours at a time working alone in the kitchen as a personal chef. This is also a great opportunity to listen to the books I don’t have time to read. It’s fun being read to. A good narrator can really add dimension to the subject.

    Another great topic. Thanks!

    Melanie

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Melanie!

      I completely agree with you on the print books. I love adjusting them in my hands and feeling the pages on my finger tips. Ebooks definitely distance us from experiencing the same kind of enjoyment and connecting with the book in general. It really is just something on a screen as opposed to print books which have different size pages, different textures, various covers, different print, etc. I love looking at my bookshelves when I finish a book and picking up each book to decide what I feel like reading next. It’s just not the same thing on an ebook.

      I also have a long drive to and from work, so that’s when I listen to audio books. And a good narrator really does make a difference. I very much enjoy P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster series, but I get the most enjoyment out of those books when I listen to them because the narrator, Jonathan Cecil, is so fantastic. A lot of it is much funnier because of the way he reads it.

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