The question this time comes from Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages:
What is your favorite reading format?
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?
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!