Paperbacks, e-books or audio books: which format is best?
In the end, they provide the same information, so why do some people prefer one over the other?
I’ve seen these questions posed numerous times so today I’m going to share with you my two cents on the topic. Let’s start with the oldest of the three: paperbacks.
So what’s good about paperbacks and hardcovers?
There’s something about them that the other two formats can’t provide. Well, two somethings: the smell and feel of them.
Who hasn’t taken a lungfull when entering a library or a bookstore?
The first thing I do when I get a new book? Sniff it. And I mean a novel, not one of those textbooks with the glazed pages. Those smell wrong.
The second thing? Run my fingers over the pages and feel their texture. Or graze the cover with my fingertips. In this day and age, many covers have bulging, smooth titles. There are creases where the model’s hair is? Or on her dress/his shirt? Even better!
The last thing I like about paperbacks is their size. Staring at some tiny screen for hours can be tiring after all.
What’s bad about paperbacks?
The size. Yes, I know I also listed this as a good thing, but hear me out.
Let’s imagine you are going on a vacation. You start packing your bags and, of course, you’d like to take some of your favorite books with you. But how many will fit in your luggage?
You will have to make sacrifices. You will have to leave some books behind.
The second thing is that it’s impossible to clear all the dust from a paperback. It piles year after year and no matter how many times you wipe a rag or tissue over it, a thin layer of dust will stick to the book.
What’s good about e-books?
The size. While you can take a limited amount of paperbacks with you, you can have hundreds, if not thousands of e-books on your reading device.
The price. E-books don’t have to be printed and since no materials are used to make a copy, you pay less. Also, there’s no delivery price.
Another thing is accessibility: you can download them from anywhere in the world. This is especially important for someone who, like me, can’t find many of the books they want in their home country. Not to mention that when they do import them, they usually translate them in Bulgarian and oh, God, you have no idea how many books I’ve been put off of because of the awful translations!
What’s bad about e-books?
Apart from not being able to feel or smell them, you have to stare at a tiny screen to read them. Unless you use a reading app for your PC like I do. Of course, in this case, there’s the issue of mobility. The positions in which you can read with a PC are limited. The laptop is big so you can’t really lie on your back and hold it, can you?
Last thing: the battery on your device could die right at the culmination of the book.
What’s good about audio books?
Like with e-books, you can have hundreds of them on one tiny, just-put-it-in-your-pocked device which you can easily carry everywhere you go.
Also like with e-books, you can download audio books no matter where you are, just as long as you have internet.
You can also listen to them while you drive, cook or work out.
The last thing I can think of is that unlike with paperbacks and e-books, your eyes don’t get tired.
What’s bad about audio books?
I can think of only one thing apart from the battery on your device dying and it is the reason why I really, really dislike audio books: it’s not how you’ve imagined it.
No matter how good the voice actor or the recording is, it is not your interpretation of how things should sound.
And that is a real problem for me.
Heck, I once spent about twenty minutes on a single page just because I kept rereading the same lines until they sounded right in my head!
So no, I’m not a fan of audio books.
Nevertheless, I will be reviewing one.
I have both an e-book and an audio copy of Diviner’s Prophecy by Nicolette Andrews and I intend to do a review on them, telling you what I think about the story and comparing how it made me feel in each of the two formats. As a matter of fact, I’d planned it for this month. Due to unforeseen circumstances (my laptop going in for repairs and the copies being on it), I will be reviewing Angela Steven’s Dark N Stormy instead. I hope I’ll be able to get my copies of Diviner’s Prophecy by April and review them then.
So this is what I think about paperbacks vs. e-books vs. audio books; what about YOU?
Do you agree with me? Do you disagree?
Is there something in the pros and cons that I’ve missed?
Which is YOUR favorite format?
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