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Reading and Associated Themes > Print vs. Ebook vs. Audiobook—What's Your Preference?

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message 1: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Oct 09, 2018 09:05PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Readers tend to have strong opinions in regard to book format.
Some refer to print as "real" while some who've embraced the technology of e-readers call the latter's choice DTBs or "dead tree books." Personally, I believe that any type of book that encourages an individual to nurture an appreciation and fondness for reading is valid and beneficial. What interests me is why members prefer a particular format over others.

Prior to 2009 I'd almost exclusively purchased hardcovers for my home library. Since four people regularly borrowed from me and sometimes lent to their friends as well, wear and tear was a genuine concern so hardcovers were the logical choice; they didn't need replacing nearly as often as paperbacks.

By the time Barnes and Noble's Nook was available there were print books jam-packed on every shelf and stacked in piles on the floor in almost every room of my house. I was thrilled that an e-reader made it possible to collect an e-library as I would no longer need to concern myself with storage. It took some getting used to, but I became accustomed.

I've since discovered other advantages to e-books in addition to the space it saves, the biggest being that I can change the font size. I wear contacts/eyeglasses. Even with my prescription I do not have 20/20 vision. It's a relief that I can easily increase the font size if there isn't enough natural light or if my eyes are tired. Another plus is the weight of an e-reader. I read lengthy tomes, from time to time. February 16-March 21 of this year I read Fanny Burney's Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress which has a page count of 2450. I cannot fathom how heavy that novel would have been in print!

The order in which I buy a new book:
● ebook (unless it contains a map or similar, then I prefer print)
● if it's not available as an ebook, then hardcover instead
● if that's also not available, then paperback
● if none of the above, then I look for used copies online
● if the prices are too high, then I'll call local used book stores

I haven't tried an audiobook yet, but I'm not opposed. Do any of you listen to audiobooks? If so, what do you like about them?
Which book format do you favor and why? Please share!


message 2: by Andrew, moderator (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
I think my preferences are similar to Lavan's. I have a bunch of paperbacks and hardcovers from the pre-Kindle days. I'll occasionally buy a new or used paperback or hardcover, but that's more and more an exception to the rule, these days.

I mostly read on a Kindle Paperwhite. It's my third Kindle; my first was the original, back in 2008 (I think). I have very poor eyesight, and I work in front of a computer all day, so the Kindle screen and the ability to change font size is a great help to me.

I do also listen to audiobooks sometimes. They're good for later at night, when my eyes are too tired for even the Kindle screen.


message 3: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jun 12, 2018 03:22PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I have the original Nook, or 1st edition, but I received an e-mail from Barnes and Noble this week (just saw it earlier today) stating that after June 29th they will no longer offer support for this device, although they did give me a coupon code for 50% off a GlowLight 3 plus free shipping and handing if ordered online. Needless to say, I've ordered one. I hope it's easy to get used to, because I've grown fond of my e-reader after using it these past nine years.

As far as audiobooks—do you find that it's as effortless to become submersed in a book as it is while reading? Do you ever feel the need to pause and replay, because the story is complex or style is challenging and you didn't fully absorb it the first time?
I've been hesitant to read audiobooks for the reasons above and because I sometimes reread a passage if it strikes me and I want to ponder it further. Also, I like to bookmark quotes to type up and refer to later on.


message 4: by Andrew, moderator (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Lavan wrote: "As far as audiobooks—do you find that it's as effortless to become submersed in a book as it is while reading? Do you ever feel the need to pause and replay, because the story is complex or style is challenging and you didn't fully absorb it the first time?"

On becoming submersed: It depends on the book and the narrator. With some, it's hard. Specifically if the narrator clearly doesn't "get" the book, or if they're making weird choices for character voices. But when the narrator is top-notch, it's really easy.

And yeah, with some books I do need to pause and go back sometimes. It can be hard to keep *actively* listening. I tend to fall into a state where I'm passively listening and I gradually lose the thread. For complex books, I think I'd always want to read the actual text.


message 5: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jun 14, 2018 07:57AM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Andrew wrote: " ... or if they're making weird choices for character voices."

I smiled reading that as I imagined a narrator using silly cartoon voices.
Thank you for sharing your experiences, Andrew, and you as well Loretta!


message 6: by Parker (new)

Parker | 58 comments I love books -- the smell of a new book is my favourite perfume. I love the crispness of the pages, the heft of the book in my hands....that being said, I will more than likely get a Nook at some point. I do like the ability to change font sizes, and I like the fact that some of the more esoteric books on my want list are more readily available on an e-reader than they are in my local bookstore.

I'm not much of a fan of audiobooks. I have a tendency to tune them out if I'm doing anything else (weaving for example). Although Lavan's comment about silly cartoon voices reminded me that I'd love to hear a good rendition of Winnie the Pooh.


message 7: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Parker wrote: "I love books -- the smell of a new book is my favourite perfume. I love the crispness of the pages, the heft of the book in my hands....that being said, I will more than likely get a Nook at some p..."

Print books are a pleasant experience for our senses, it's true! I recently ordered a hardcover and a paperback (because neither were available as ebooks), upcoming reads for another group of which I'm a member. When they arrived, the first thing I did was hold them under my nose and inhale. New books are intoxicating!

I thought of a specific time of year when reading an audiobook might give a better experience than any other format—Halloween! I may try that this year.


message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Albright | 14 comments Lavan wrote: "I have the original Nook, or 1st edition, but I received an e-mail from Barnes and Noble this week (just saw it earlier today) stating that after June 29th they will no longer offer support for thi..."
In theory I like paper book the best. You can read them on the beach without much worry. Tactile experience is nice. But to be honest, I lose them all of the time. Add that to the clutter already in my house, and e-books are the obvious way to go. They are difficult when you have maps etc, but even if i loose my kindle for a bit (It happens more often than i'd like to admit) I can still log in on the computer or my cell phone if I'm reading something that can't wait.

I like audiobooks because i can listen while driving so it's multitasking. I do think it depends on what kind of book you choose whether it works. I think it's particularly good for autobiographical/memoir type books especially if it's read by the author.
I have to rewind sometimes, but it's no different to me than me having to flip a page and reread a section. In fact on the Libby app it's easier.


message 9: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Amanda wrote: "Lavan wrote: "I have the original Nook, or 1st edition, but I received an e-mail from Barnes and Noble this week (just saw it earlier today) stating that after June 29th they will no longer offer s..."

Hello, Amanda!
I'm always hesitant to bring my e-reader to the beach. I think I've only done that once, but I worried the entire time that it would get scratched (from the sand), damaged (from the water) or stolen. It's not a good environment for a reading device, unless you're extremely careful.
Now that I have two e-readers I won't mind bringing my old one, but I'll always prefer a print book when I visit the beach if I have a copy.

You're absolutely right. Whether flipping back in a print book or rewinding an audiobook—they both take about the same amount of time, so they're similar in that way.


message 10: by Bethany (new)

Bethany | 123 comments First and foremost, I prefer paper books--paperbacks, since they are cheaper and easier to stick in a bag or purse in case I get stuck in a doctor's office or something. They are tactile-y more pleasant for me, and I like to underline, make notes, etc., especially nonfiction.
It is also MUCH easier to loan to friends.
I have two Kindles, one VERY old Kindle paperwhite(?) which I affectionately call my severance Kindle--I got it in a breakup. It was pre-loaded with a bunch of my ex's books. He gave it to me because he preferred audiobooks and because he felt bad about the breakup.
My other Kindle Fire was a gift from my now-husband. It also came pre-loaded with books he downloaded as part of my present. This was fortunate, because I found several of the GAR books I hadn't read already loaded on it!
For audiobooks, I found it best to start with somewhat mindless books --I began with Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, which is an incredibly fun story performed well by James Marsters. It was great because I found that if I tuned out for a few minutes, I could get right back into the story.
When I moved back to my current location, I had a long commute, so I picked up an audible membership. When I can, I buy just released books on audible because the price of a credit is cheaper than a new hardback. I also find that I like to get very long books on audiobook. A 1,000 page novel seems less intimidating when you don't have to pick it up. I just got The Stand on audiobook. It's 47 hours, or 24 days driving to and from work (or 12 days of walks, cooking dinner, completing chores, AND driving).


message 11: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jul 11, 2018 08:14PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Bethany wrote: "First and foremost, I prefer paper books--paperbacks, since they are cheaper and easier to stick in a bag or purse in case I get stuck in a doctor's office or something. They are tactile-y more ple..."

Glad I'm not the only one who brings a book to appointments! It seems that every waiting room I'm in, every person has their eyes glued to their cell phones. The last time I saw someone reading a book in public was about five years ago—a woman with an e-reader in a hospital lobby.

I, and other family members, write the start and finish dates when we read print books, inside their covers. It brings a smile to my face when I see these familial records years later. It's interesting to see which books are read by whom and how often.
When I purchase a used copy online, at a bookstore or a tag sale and find similar handwritten notes I think it's wonderful—to know a book was cherished beforehand.

Is it bad that I chuckled a little at "severance" Kindle? I find that humorous. It's a considerate parting gift, to be sure!
Books are one of my favorite gifts to give to people. Probably because it's more books in common to discuss and it's also what I like most to receive (and gift cards for books).

If you should discover a well-narrated list book, would you please share it here: Audiobooks—Member Recommendations. I know other members would appreciate it!


message 12: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Lavan, I love how your family tracks books! I wish I would have heard this years ago. It sounds so wonderful. :)

I totally get the bringing a book places. When I go clothes shopping with my daughter I read while she is in the dressing room...she takes forever so I get a nice amount of pages read in the store. I also bring a book to Great Adventure and read while everyone goes on rollercoasters. It's convenient for them bc I'll hold the bags. I've gotten a lot read that way too. haha!


message 13: by Parker (new)

Parker | 58 comments My husband always brings a book to appointments. I never do (I'm the one on my cellphone playing games) because if it's a good book, I get totally caught up and I don't even hear them call my name.


message 14: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Thank you, Tasha!
I just went to Six Flags last Thursday with three other people. They enjoyed the water rides from 11AM until 5PM (that section closed at 5:30 for a private party that day) while I sat at a table shaded with an umbrella and read A Clash of Kings. I don't fancy water rides (but I like the rest, especially the roller coasters) so it works out well. We saved $15 by not renting a locker in that area of the park and I got a lot of reading time in.
We're similar in that way!

That's a fair point, Parker! I've been guilty of such, several times.


message 15: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary I prefer print books, and I always take a book with me wherever I go. I also have the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad and keep several books to read on those. Audio books are my least favorite-I’m not an auditory learner, so I have trouble focusing. I need the printed words. Andrew made a comment that has helped me find some free books from the list for Kindle-Project Gutenberg. Thanks, Andrew! They have several of the GAR titles.


message 16: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jul 17, 2018 10:43AM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Toni wrote: "I prefer print books, and I always take a book with me wherever I go. I also have the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad and keep several books to read on those. Audio books are my least favorite-I’m..."

In the past, when I've read books aloud to youngsters in my family I noticed that my mind would wander a bit. I didn't have the same sense of becoming absorbed in the story, as when I read silently. I wonder if the same will be true when I listen to an audiobook. I plan to try that format in October, with a horror or thriller novel. I think it will be fun to experience a genre of that nature audibly at Halloween time.


message 17: by Bethany (new)

Bethany | 123 comments Lavan, a good horror novel to listen to is Horns, by Joe Hill. It's very engaging.


message 18: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I have a couple of kindles and a kindle app on my phone but I tnd to find myself mostly reaching for actual books, especially those with beautiful covers. I like reading on my kindle voyage but books still hold something more special to me. I won't give up either. :)

I really need to be in the mood for an audio book (and the narrator must be good) or I need to use it to boost my speed reading of a current paper book. I prefer podcasts over audio books.


message 19: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Thank you for the recommendation, Bethany!
Horns sounds like a creepy, fun read.

I've never listened to a book podcast. Thank you for sharing that you do, Tasha! Is there one in particular that you like?


message 20: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I follow only one book podcast, although there are many out there. It's called What Should I Read Next. It's often a lot of fun to listen to. The other ones are focused on other interests that I have: law of attraction and keto eating/lifestyle. Between those few podcasts, I'm never out of anything to listen to.


message 21: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jul 20, 2018 11:01AM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Tasha wrote: "I follow only one book podcast, although there are many out there. It's called What Should I Read Next. It's often a lot of fun to listen to. The other ones are focused on other interests that I ha..."

Thank you, Tasha!
Are these links correct for the What Should I Read Next? podcast you're referring to?

ModernMrsDarcy.com

Stitcher.com


message 22: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Yes, let me know what you think. :)


message 23: by Bethany (new)

Bethany | 123 comments FYI for everyone--if you have an Audible subscription, you have access to Audible Channels. One Channel is classic books read by celebrities available for free. There is Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Alice in Wonderland, and Pride and Prejudice, for anyone interested. I'm not sure if they are unabridged, but the length seems right.


message 24: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jul 21, 2018 07:29PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Tasha—I sure will! I might listen to an episode today, but if my weekend is too busy, then Monday. Would you suggest that I start at the beginning with episode 1 or the most current, episode 141: The Enneagram of Your Favorite Book?
I'm going to create a topic in the General Thread folder for further conversation about podcasts that discuss books.

Thank you for informing us about classic audiobooks read by celebrities via Audible, Bethany! I'm going to share your comment in the topic Audiobooks—Member Recommendations.


message 25: by Tasha (last edited Jul 21, 2018 11:20AM) (new)

Tasha I like starting podcasts at the beginning bc I feel like I get to see the host grow both as a host and in the quality of the podcast. I actually didn't listen to the newest one, I was thinking I wouldn't be very interested in it so if you do listen to that one, let me know how it went.

I forgot another podcast that was really good. It's not active anymore but I think they still have the episodes. I used to really like it. It's called Books on the Nightstand. They have a group here that I think may still be active as well. I recommend checking that one out as well.


message 26: by Bethany (new)

Bethany | 123 comments Hey all! If you see this, Crime and Punishment is an audible daily deal today (5/20/19) for $6.95.


message 27: by Andrew, moderator (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Bethany wrote: "Hey all! If you see this, Crime and Punishment is an audible daily deal today (5/20/19) for $6.95."

That's not a bad deal for a 20-hour audiobook. I wish Audible would let non-members buy the daily deal books though. I don't consume enough audiobooks to justify a monthly membership, but I wouldn't mind picking up a discounted one now & then.


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Horns (other topics)

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Jim Butcher (other topics)