One of the best things about technology is that it give us so many more ways to enjoy books. In addition to traditional print books, we can read or listen to them on a variety of devices. In this post, I’m not looking to prove that one way of reading is better than the other. That is another debate for another day. Instead, I’m going to go over the pros and cons of each, and I’ll throw in when I use each kind of book.
This is my preferred method of reading. Nothing compares to curling up with a book on your lap and a cup of tea or hot chocolate. And don’t get me started on the smell of old books.
- The “traditional” way to read. Regular print books are what most people think of when you talk about reading books.
- You have pretty bookshelves! Seriously, look up #shelfie on Instagram and be prepared to completely redo your shelves.
- Easier to flip back and forth as needed. If you need to go back a couple pages to reread something, or if there is a map or glossary you need to reference, it is slightly easier to do that when you can physically turn the pages.
- Support local businesses! Its easy to go to your local (preferably indie) bookstore and purchase your books through them. They are also more likely to carry local publishers and authors that don’t have the support of larger chain bookstores.
- Not hands free. Forces you to sit down and actually focus on what you are reading.
- Can be bulky and heavy. It can be difficult to carry your books around if you’re reading something like A Game of Thrones, which comes in at over 800 pages. They also take up space if you don’t have a lot of room for storage.
- You can flip ahead. This is one of my bad reading habits. I end up spoiling myself all the time.
- Not hands-free. When you choose to read a print book, you usually need to hold it open, which means you need to dedicate the time to sit down and read it. Yes, I know I listed this as a Pro as well. Don’t judge me.
All of my AR’s to date have been ebooks. Also, I often get ahold of popular books a hair faster as ebooks than print through my library.
- Often a little cheaper than print books. Prices have been going up lately though, so we’ll see how long this one lasts.
- Portable. Ereaders and tablets are smaller than print books and fit more easily into bags. They are also more convenient if you are standing on public transit.
- You can take multiple books with you. Even your entire library, if you want. If the book you’re currently reading doesn’t tickle your fancy, you always have a backup.
- Semi-hands free. Depending on the situation, you may need to hold the ereader, but beyond that you only need to touch the device to turn the pages.
- Hard to check maps and glossaries. For me, at least. I click the link to go to the pronunciation guide, and I never check where I was. Then I end up spending the next half hour trying to remember what page I’m on without spoiling anything.
- Needs charged. Unless you have multiple devices you can read on, a long enough cord, or a chair next to an outlet, you may need to stop reading for a while to charge your tablet.
- Can be hard on your eyes. I constantly have to fiddle with the backlight and reading settings to get the page just so so I don’t strain my eyes. That can be a bit tricky and annoying. Also, some people have a hard time going to sleep after staring at a lit-up screen.
I only just recently started listening to audiobooks. I’m still getting the feel for them, but they seem to work best for me when I’m either rereading or want to read the book, but for whatever reason am not as interested in it.
- The ultimate form of multitasking. You can start the book and have the narrator read to you while you cook, clean, plan world domination, etc.
- Can give you a movie feel without ruining how you imagine everything. Some readers are excellent at using multiple voices, or they may even do a full cast recording, with different actors reading different characters.
- Can read more books in the same amount of time. Many players will let you adjust the speed. I listen to my books and podcasts at 1.25x, just a hair faster than normal speed. It makes a huge difference though.
- May not bee good if you are easily distracted. When I was in my art classes, I could only listen to music. I zoned out too much and would lose track of where I was in the podcast, or even miss whole shows!
- Readers’ voices can be annoying. If their voice gets on your nerves, it could ruin the book for you.
- Not great if you’re somewhere noisy. Even with headphones, you may not be able to pay attention as well as you would like.
- Device may need charged. Depending on what you are doing and how many people are around, you may be able to work around this by playing it on external speakers instead of headphones, but that is not always possible.
Did I miss anything?
Let me know in the comments!