TCL’s #LetsDiscuss2022 #13 & #LetsTalkBookish #7 – Reading Formats – #DiscussionSunday.

New Letsdiscuss2022 with blue letstalkbookish

The question this time comes from Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages:

What is your favorite reading format?

Discussion Sunday 2022

Disclaimer:

These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and/or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way… let the controversy begin!

What made me think about this topic?

As noted above, Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages for Let’s Talk Bookish. She posed a few questions. They include: What’s your favorite reading format? Hardback? Paperback? Audiobook? Ebook? What makes you prefer one over the other? Which do you read the most? What are the pros and cons of these different formats?

My Thoughts…

What is my favorite reading format?

Today, especially since I started getting ARCs from NetGalley and Edelweiss I am really enjoying eBooks. However, I still like to have a print book – hard cover or paperback – for reading before I go to bed. You see, I don’t know where I got this idea, but I once heard that looking at electronic devices in bed makes it harder to fall asleep – and that includes watching TV or looking at a phone. So you will only find physical books on my night stand.

What makes me prefer one format over another?

Being an old person (or a woman of a “certain age”) I remember when hard cover books was just about the only way you could read literature – mostly because that was all libraries carried back then. When I was young, paperbacks seemed cheap, as if what was inside them wasn’t as worthy of reading as what was inside a hard cover book. Obviously, that was a type of snobbery I got from somewhere (probably my father), which didn’t last too long. I soon discovered that almost any book in hard cover could be found (eventually) published in paperback as well. Even so, I still feel… well… more sophisticated when I pick up a hard cover book to read, but I own a good deal more paperbacks than I do hard cover books.

In which format do I read the most?

That would be eBooks, most definitely. Remember, I’m retired, so throughout the day, whenever I get the chance (which is pretty often), I sit down (usually on my balcony) and pick up my Kindle. You’ll find me 5-7 times a day out there with a cup of coffee, or a glass of sparkling water (and… shhh… don’t tell anyone, I usually have a cigarette as well).

What are the pros and cons of these different formats?

Regarding hard cover books – the biggest pros are that they look great on your shelves, and they’re usually easy to read, as they stay open better than paperbacks. However, they’re more expensive than paperback books. They’re also heavier, so taking them with you someplace is less convenient than any of the other options. Some people don’t like the dust covers these books come in, since they can be easily damaged, and can look ratty on your shelves over time. If, like me, you remove these when you’re reading them, that’s less likely to happen.

Paperbacks are lighter in weight than hard cover books, but they’re still a touch bulky, and you can’t take more than one in your handbag or only a few in a suitcase. But they are generally less expensive than hard cover books. Even so, you might need to crack the spines of a paperback to keep the pages open while you read them, and that will slightly damage the look of the book on your shelf. Mind you, some higher quality paperback books are constructed so you don’t crack the spine, but they’re usually of the higher end editions, which might be a touch more expensive.

I’m sure most people will say that having an eReader gives you the ability to take a whole library with you when you leave your home – for both short and long travels. That makes them easy to pack, but if you’re going away on vacation, don’t forget your charger! Regarding expense, today some eBooks are almost as pricey as paperbacks and hard cover books, which I do not understand. Despite that, if you’re a blogger, you can get ARCs for free, and there’s always The Gutenberg Project for classics that are in the public domain.

As for audiobooks, I’ve only listened to three of them so far, and that was only because I had surgery on my eyelids and I had to put compresses on my eyes as they healed, and they were great for that. I see how they are great for some people, like someone who likes to read while they do household chores or while exercising or driving long distances. I don’t really have the need or desire to listen to audiobooks for any of these things, if and when I do them, so I can’t really comment on them.

Obviously, all of the above can be obtained in libraries, so if money is an object, that’s one way to get books with a tiny financial output.

There you have it!

So… what about you?

In what format do you like to read books?

This post is my 13th entry in the 2022 Discussion Challenge & Giveaway, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!

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18 thoughts on “TCL’s #LetsDiscuss2022 #13 & #LetsTalkBookish #7 – Reading Formats – #DiscussionSunday.

  1. You’re absolutely right about electric light before bed, but that’s why e-readers commonly have a night feature (it adds a filter that removes the blue light, which is the frequency which keeps your brain “up”). However, I’ve found that if I’m scrolling pages on my Kindle at night, when I’m sleepy, I can accidentally skip forward several books because I’m just slower moving and it confuses my Kindle. I used to love audiobooks, because it made my commute feel like productive escapism, but now I don’t have a commute so audiobooks have fallen by the wayside for me. I agree there’s something nice about the feel of holding a physical book (though hardcovers are usually too heavy for my weak hands) but recently I’ve felt like I read more quickly on my Kindle than on a paperback, and I have no idea why. The only format I can’t stand is reading books on my phone or laptop. It just feels like work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a very soft lamp next to my bed for reading print books, which is tinged orange, so that’s good. As for reading eBooks on a phone or laptop, I can’t… all the notifications and icons are too disturbing.

      Like

  2. Definitely ebooks, on my kindle. I only look at ebooks on my mobile when I am in a doctor‘s waiting room or something similar. I don‘t like reading on my tablet, it‘s too heavy.
    Recently I started to read more print books again. Only second hand paperbacks, as I give them away again afterwards — I am trying to reduce the clutter in my life, including shelving space.
    Audio—something I struggled with fir a long time. It‘s something complimentary. Some, because I like the narrator. Some, because they are long and chances are that I do better if someone reads them to me. And it‘s my favourite format for non-fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I much prefer the physicality of a real book though I love the portability of the e-reader. Like you I don’t understand why e books cost so much. After the initial set up there are no further costs involved, unlike printed books where you have the paper, energy costs for printing, storage and distribution.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting. I definitely prefer physical books and the only reason I read e-books is because it is easier to get books this way, also meaning cheaper and quicker. As you, I rarely listen to audiobooks. I remember some years ago I was quite shocked to hear that people “read” that or this number of books by “listening” to them. They “read” by “listening”? I just need to see the text and set my own pace. I know about some people’s disabilities and the convenience it brings to many, but I still do not get them. The only audiobook I listened and reviewed this year was Nabokov’s Luzhin Defence, but that’s only because I could not find it in any other format in Russian.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A ‘real’ book is always the first choice but it all boils down to space, so I also read on kindle. I do enjoy audios, great for when reading isn’t an option…though only if I like the narrator and the characterisations are good and easy on the ears.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love a physical copy of a book as long as it isn’t too heavy are large as it makes it tiresome to hold at times. I am happy to also read on Kindle, but I do like to mix is up between them both to keep my eyes keen.
    I haven’t got into audio books at all and have no plans or wishes to. I want to make the ‘voices in my head’ read the story not have it read to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s a real problem with audiobooks – the voices they choose might not match up with the voices in your head. It would be an interesting experiment to read a novel and then listen to it on audio and compare the two.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t like ebooks. I find them distracting because I’ll start playing games on them instead of reading. I don’t think I can see them as well as a print book. My iPad is also a lot heavier and harder to hold onto that most print books. However, the main thing is that I love the smell and feel of a real book. I have pretty much stopped accepting ARCs unless they’ll send me a hardcopy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I couldn’t read eBooks on my tablet or my laptop either. But once I got a dedicated reader (first a Nook and now a Kindle) that changed. No distractions on them, because that’s all they have on them – books. But yes, I also love the feel and smell of a real book.

      Liked by 2 people

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