If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know my love for books. But if you’re new here: I love reading and going on adventures with the characters.
Over the years, the way people have encountered books has evolved.
At one point, novels could be serialized (printed piece by piece in magazines or newspapers). And in the last century (maybe less), printed books, collections, and poetry has become a prominent way of encountering literature. Within the 21st century, reading electronic versions of a book or listening to a recording of someone else reading the book have become popular.
And that’s what I want to talk about today: audiobooks vs e-books vs physical books. Is one better than the others? Or is one worse than the other two?
I don’t think there’s a specific, correct answer for these two questions. It really depends on the person encountering the book because different people encounter books in different ways. And even an individual can change their opinion on which medium of book they encounter.
A person may be busy, so an audiobook may be the best option for them. Or maybe they like the feeling of a physical book in their hands (or maybe even like the smell). Or an e-book may be the best option for a person because they like the process of actually reading the words on the page, but, for some reason, may not be able to lift a physical book. So the relative lightweight e-book may work better for them.
There are a ton of other reasons why a person may choose one medium over the others. These are just some examples of why they make their choice.
I personally prefer either an e-book or a physical book over an audiobook. I haven’t really had much experience with audiobooks, so I don’t know how well I’d like the experience. But, I’ve found that if I’m listening to something (like a podcast or music), my mind tends to wander some. Unless I’m setting time aside to try to pay attention to what’s being said. I don’t know if I’d be the same with audiobooks, though.
And there are a few reasons why I like e-books (or Kindle books, in my case) or physical books. They’re generally able to hold my attention better than just listening to something. And I’m able to make my way through the story at my own speed and not at someone else’s. I know that I can pause an audiobook when I need to or want to. But I think I’d better enjoy reading something for myself rather than having someone else read it for me.
I only recently got into reading books on my Kindle. I used to not like the idea of reading books like this. I’m not sure if it was because I liked the feel of the book(s) in my hand better or I felt like I was betraying printed books. But now, I’ve warmed up to reading them on a device.
And I can see the pros and cons of both e-books and physical books.
With e-books/Kindle books, we can carry more than one book at a time without the extra weight. E-books/Kindle books are also convenient for traveling because they don’t take up as much room. That way, we can fit them into a backpack, carry-on, purse, suitcase, etc easier. And in some cases, we don’t have the need for a light source because the screen lights up. But, we do have to keep track of the battery, that way it doesn’t die on us when we’re at an exciting part of the book. Also, it’s more concerning if we get a Kindle or other device wet when reading. And sometimes, there’s not as much satisfaction in seeing how far we’ve gotten through a book.
When it comes to physical books, we have the satisfaction of actually turning the pages, smelling the scent of the book, and feeling its weight in our hands. It’s also a bit easier to conceptualize how far we are through the book. But they are heavier and take up more space than a device we can read on. And as of right now, we need a light source of some kind to be able to read a physical book.
All forms of books have their advantages and their drawbacks. And I don’t think there’s a definite form of book that’s better than any others. It just depends on the person.
Let me know in the comments which one you prefer. Or even which one you don’t like as much as the others.
Until next time!