I’ve always been a big reader. Well, there was a long period after I became a wife and mom and either there wasn’t enough time to read or I was too tired to read. But the important thing is that I got back on the metaphorical wagon. That’s the good thing about books. Even if you’ve ignored them for a while, they are always there waiting right where you left them.
As a writer, I truly believe that reading is one of the very best things I can do to hone my craft. And I think it’s important to not only read books in the genre I write but reading across genres is essential. I’ve already touched on those points in a previous blog post. So, what format do I prefer when I’m doing all this reading? Hardback, paperback, ebook, or audiobook? I think it’s great that these different formats are available. First of all, it’s nice to have options, and secondly, different things work for different people.
I have to confess that I didn’t listen to my first audiobook until a couple of years ago! I don’t know why it took me so long to give them a try. I think sometimes I just like to be fashionably late. Or in this case, embarrassingly late.
Unfortunately, for the most part, audiobooks are not for me. I’m not the sort who can listen to an audiobook while doing another task, like housecleaning. Many people can but apparently, I’m wired wrong. I find that all my focus is on the task, which causes me to tune out the audiobook. I did keep trying though, and I found one way that I could enjoy an audiobook. Akin to listening to music in the car, I found that I can successfully listen to an audiobook while driving. I have to use my phone and listen through the Libby app since my CD player is broken, but no biggie!
I don’t do audiobooks often. It’s just not my preferred book format. Plus, I have so many physical books and ebooks that I tend to reach for one of those first. I do have a request through Libby for the audiobook version of Lincoln In The Bardo, which I’ve heard is fantastic. Some top-notch celebrities narrate, like Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, and the list goes on and on. There are 166 narrators in all, and the audiobook has won awards, so I can’t wait to give it a listen!
I also confess that I don’t use my Kindle as much as I should. The first Kindle I had was the regular one, with the screen you couldn’t see in the outdoors. A few years ago I upgraded to a Kindle Paperwhite and I love it!
The definite pluses of e-readers are the size and capacity. The small size allows me to throw it in my purse, which sometimes is a problem with large physical books. And depending on what kind of e-reader you have, you can load hundreds, or even thousands of books onto it. How great is that! I feel no guilt when I purchase ebooks since I know I don’t have to find physical space to store them. Storage space for books is a real issue for me.
So, while I absolutely love my Kindle for its size and ability to hold tons of books, it just doesn’t get as much love as it should. Why? I take one look at my bookshelves and feel like I should read those first in order to pare them down. Like I said, space is an issue.
Maybe one of my goals should be to read one ebook per month? It’s doable, plus my poor Kindle can actually see the light of day once in a while. The poor thing.
That brings us to physical books – hardback or paperback. Drumroll, please! Just kidding.
I have to declare paperbacks as my favorite type of physical book. They tend to be smaller and weigh less, which makes it easier for on-the-go reading. And they are more comfortable to hold!
One thing I don’t like about hardbacks is dust jackets. When I actually sit down to read a hardback, the dust jacket gets in the way. Every time I move the book, the jacket slips, so I just take it off while I’m reading the book. If I kept it on and then the dust jacket ripped, it would drive me mad! But one plus about hardbacks is that they look a bit better displayed on bookshelves.
Whether it’s a hardback or a paperback, there’s nothing quite like holding a book in my hands and actually turning pages. Technology is great and it’s made our lives easier, and like I said, it’s expanded our reading options. But audiobooks and e-books will never be quite as great as real books. That’s just my humble opinion. Yours may be different, and that’s totally okay. The most important thing is that we read, no matter the format!