Hi, lovelies! This is something I’ve never really done before, but today, I’d like to talk about the different book formats. Everyone has different reading preferences, which is something I love about the reading community. Everyone has a different taste in books, different ways they like to read those books, different buying and/or borrowing habits, every reader is different. So, today I’m going to talk about the formats I use the most in a battle of sorts. I’m going to be honest, I don’t think there will be a clear winner in this ‘battle’ because I have different preferences for different formats and for different books.
There’s just something that hits different when you’re able to sit down and read a physical book. The smell of the pages, the feel of the book in your hards, and getting to see the progress that you’re making. There’s also the bookshelf aspect of owning physical books. Having a bookshelf or two (or five in my case) that is full of books is a beautiful sight to any bookworm. Being able to collect a bookshelf full of books isn’t something that everyone can do though, so this is one of the negatives about physical books: they’re expensive and not really accessible to everyone (whether because of funds or location or other reasons.) There’s also the fact that physical books aren’t always as easy to carry around as an ereader or even just your phone. I’m a huge advocate of using your library (if you have one) but even just borrowing physical books from the library isn’t always the best choice for every situation.
With these negative and positive things, personal preference can override all of that. For me, there are certain books, series, or authors that I just prefer to read physically. Some examples of these are: N.K. Jemisin, Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas, and Roshani Chokshi. I also have a preference with romance novels. I can’t listen to romance on audio, generally. I can and have read romance novels as eBooks, but my preferred format is physically.
Ereaders have been steadily gaining popularity over the last ten years or so. Even I have succumbed to the temptation of a Kindle. Though, in my defense, mine was a gift from my mother-in-law. I probably wouldn’t have a Kindle if one hadn’t been bought for me. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with it. Kindles and other ereaders are small and easily transportable. eBooks are also usually cheaper than physical books. The font type, size, and even the color of the screen are all adjustable. Ereaders are really customizable for the readers preference. There are, of course, a few negatives. Some can be a bit on the expensive side, plus the cost of each book that you buy. But even this negative can be reasoned away. The initial purchase of the ereader may be higher than one book, but there are tons and tons of free books that are available to be downloaded. There are also subscriptions like Kindle Unlimited, where you pay each month and have unlimited access to an incredible number of titles. I also already mentioned that eBooks are often cheaper than their physical versions. So, there are still costs to having an ereader, but I think ultimately an ereader ends up being cheaper.
For me, since I didn’t actually spend money purchasing my Kindle, I saved more than usual. But I mainly use my Kindle to read eARCs from NetGalley. I do also have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited and have found quite a few authors that I really love that I likely wouldn’t have found otherwise. I also did a lot of traveling before the pandemic, often as a passenger in the car. My Kindle is my preference when reading in the car. It’s compact and light. I don’t need to worry about taking up space by bringing a bunch of books with me. The biggest issue for me, with my Kindle, is that I have a hard time remembering to charge it. I can go days or weeks without picking it up. Then when I do pick it up again, it’s dead, which is not ideal.
Audiobooks are the format of books that is the newest to me. I think they have some great benefits. They’re accessible to people in ways that physical books and eBooks are not. They’re also a completely different way to experience a book. There are all kinds of narrators that read all kinds of books. Some are narrated by the authors, some narrated by celebrities, and some by narrators that just do a great job as narrators. This is both a positive and a negative because, again, everyone’s preference is different. So, narrators that I like, won’t be liked by everyone. But there are so many audiobook narrators out there, that everyone is bound to find at least one that they like. Audiobooks can be a bit pricey though, sometimes the same price as a physical copy. So, unless you have a local library that has a good selection of audiobooks, you’re best bet will be an audio subscription service like Libro.fm or Scribd that have a monthly fee and some stipulations for how many audiobooks you can listen to each month. Finally, some readers can’t focus on audiobooks. It’s really easy to miss important details and bits of the story. Especially, if you listen at a faster speed.
I am a bit picky about my audiobook narrators. So, sometimes I will DNF three or four books before I find one that I actually want to listen to. I am lucky enough to have a library that has a good list of audiobook and they keep up with adding new releases. I can usually find something, whether new or backlist, that I want to listen to. I love full cast audio narrations. I also have specific authors that I prefer to read via audiobooks. Some authors are: Elizabeth Acevedo, Pierce Brown, Karen M. McManus, Rick Riordan, and Angie Thomas. They don’t always have the same narrators, but Elizabeth Acevedo often narrates her own books (some of which are written in verse and she has won awards for her slam poetry, so trust me, you want to listen to her audiobooks.)
And the winner is…
I think, for me, physical books will always be superior. There’s just nothing like sitting down with a good solid book. But both eBooks and audiobooks have perks too. I read 300+ books the last two years and thats 100% due to the fact that I read all three formats. So, if I’m not sitting down reading a physical book, I’m probably listening to an audiobook while I do the laundry, cook dinner, clean my house, or ride in the car. I read eBooks mostly at night after I get in bed. There’s honestly only a small period of time each day when I’m not reading. I think there really isn’t a way for me to choose a clear winner (other than just what I prefer) because each of the formats help me read more at specific times. Physical books, eBooks, and audiobooks all have a time and place when they are the best choice for me to utilize, so I honestly don’t think I can say one is best over the other.
What are your thoughts on the ‘battle’ between physical books, eBooks, and audiobooks? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.