Hello friends! Today is Friday and that normally means a blog about my current read of week, but alas though I have started TWO new books this week, I don’t think I’m deep enough into either of them to talk about them yet. So, instead, I’m going to talk about the three major reading mediums (physical copy, e-book, and audiobook) and how I rank them for my own personal use. Ready? Let’s go!
Audio content can be kind of a struggle for me to consume. I have audio processing issues which means that it often takes me a bit longer to comprehend what I am hearing. That, in turn, complicates doing things like listening to an audiobook while driving. If I lose focus for a moment on what I am hearing, I usually end up missing things. That said, I made a concentrated effort to try audiobooks last year to middling success. I’m back at it again this year, but – and this is going to sound so bad – I’m trying only to listen to audio of books I’m not super excited about. I’d prefer to save those books for when I can put my eyeballs on a page and ensure I don’t miss anything important.
The other thing I don’t love about audio is that it can really be hit or miss depending on the narrator. Because of my aforementioned audio processing issues, listening to one even minorly irritating narrator over the course of an hour-long commute can be an exercise in frustration and the dread of turning it back on might even end up leading me to DNF the book.
Audio is a great format, don’t get me wrong. It has seen books get into the hands of visually impaired or disabled folks that might not otherwise have had a chance to read them. I love that. And a really well narrated audiobook can be a work of art. It’s just… not how I prefer to consume my stories.
2. Physical Copy
Okay, I know for a lot of people in the book world this is going to seem like blasphemy. Friends, I haven’t read a physical copy of a book in a long time. And it’s not that I don’t want to, because nothing really beats the feeling of your thumb in the crook of a spine and the pages rustling between your fingertips. People talk a lot about the smell of books and I’ve never really been on that bandwagon. I’m not a smell person. I’m a feeling person, and the feeling of a book between your hands is top tier.
However, I am card carrying member of the poors. Trips to the bookshop are treats. I live in a house so small I can’t accommodate a bookshelf in my bedroom (or the living room for that matter). So I have come to think of physical copies of books as things that I should reserve strictly for my favorite reads, things I know I won’t DNF, rendering the money spent kind of a waste. I’ve tried to think of this as helping out my favorite authors, because I end up buying their books twice.
Minimizing physical copies is also a matter of convenience, to be honest. It’s a little bit stickier to put a book in my purse, where it is certain to get abused by the amount of traffic it sees, as opposed to my Kindle, or even my phone. When I’ve got just twenty minutes while I wait for my son’s allergy shot, or when I’m stuck in a meeting that I really have no business being in, or when I’m traveling and want to bring plenty of reading material along, limiting myself to physical copies would eliminate opportunities to sneak in a bit of reading.
That said, I do miss having a robust library. One day, if this writing thing ever takes off.
Where my physical copy collection is lacking, my digital one is thriving. My current Kindle TBR “pile” is somewhere around 40 books. Not only are they less expensive and more convenient than physical copies (and audiobooks for that matter), but I have access to a broader array of titles via e-book. My local branch of the city library is pretty small, but they connect to a digital library app that includes thousands of books. Additionally, many indie books are only available through e-book.
Do I love having to swipe or click back and forth between chapters and appendices like maps and glossaries that so many fantasy books include? No, I hate it, I would much rather have a physical copy in my hand to do that. Do I like the way the annotation function works in kindle? No, I’m very much a tactile person and would probably have a much easier time tabbing physical copies. Am I excited about giving Amazon even more money than they rightfully deserve? No, of course not (shop local wherever possible, friends, and if your favorite indie author can afford to publish outside of Amazon please consider supporting them that way). But, e-books have expanded my access to the literary world writ large and for that reason, they are my GOAT of reading formats.
Well, friends, where do you fall on this list? Let me know in the comments! Until next time!
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