Paper, Electronic, and Audiobooks...How to Decide?
|Photo by Stuart Miles|
As I perused the booksellers’ web sites, I had to consider the format in which I wanted the book. Do I want to get it as a paperback? New or used? If used, how used would be acceptable to me? Or do I want a hardcover? Maybe I want an e-book, but if so, do I go with the Kindle version, or the Nook (my tablet has apps for both!). The audiobook is another viable option so I can “read” stories while on the go: driving, cooking, cleaning, etc.
I had to read my wish list again and then divided it into three categories: paper, electronic, audio.
For me to purchase a paper copy (either hardcover or paperback), the books have to be ones I want to display prominently on my bookshelves. For the most part, they have to be written by one of my favorite authors and/or part of a series in which I already had the paper copies. At the top of this list were MaddAdam by Margaret Atwood and NW by Zadie Smith.
This is definitely my largest category. A few years ago, after moving out of a third-story walk-up apartment into another third-story walk-up with 20+ boxes of books, I decided to go digital with my collection, with some exceptions (see above). This category mostly contains books by authors previously unknown to me, but came highly recommended by a friend or a book review. In my electronic queue right now are Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon. (Side bar: If I end up LOVING any of these e-books, I will purchase a paper copy to put on my bookshelf).
|Photo by thanunkorn|
Last fall, when I had an hour + commute to and from work every day, I delved into the world of audiobooks, which made my commute much more pleasurable. But some books are better suited as audiobooks than others. I tend to buy audiobooks of epic-length fiction and nonfiction, which are types of books that might lose my attention if I’m reading them, or just require more attention and time than I have to give them. Stuck in my car for several hours forces me to listen and pay attention. Two of my favorite audiobooks so far were 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
Which book formats do you prefer, and how do you decide which format to choose?
Written by Anne Greenawalt: writer and writing instructor.