Books vs. E-readers vs. Audiobooks

Wow, the Do the Write Thing for Nashville auction is going so well already.  Mandy Morgan tells me that they have several more days worth of items, and they keep getting more, even more fabulous “items.”  I’ve heard some rumors about some donations they’re getting and all I can say is “Wow.”  I cannot believe the generosity of some of the donators.  Futhermore, some of the items that are already up for bid keep getting sweetened by the donators.

On to my actual post.

So I’m still pretty new at this audiobook and Kindle thing, but I’ve already figured out what I prefer while reading. 

Audiobooks are handy sometimes.  Certainly when I’m mounting bugs onto slides all day long, it’s not exactly a task that requires much of my attention.  So I’ve been trying the audiobook thing.  It keeps me entertained during work, sure, and for my 100 book challenge this year, I’m certainly getting a lot of books done.  But… I’m not really an auditory person.  I pay attention to words better when I read them.  For some things this isn’t a problem (Chronicles of Narnia are simple enough).  For some things, it is (I would have had a hard enough time remembering the names in one book if it was on paper, much less auditory).  And the voices are hit or miss.  I’ve been previewing the ones I download beforehand, but sometimes it seems like a pleasant enough voice until you’re 4 hours in and have 5 to go and have gotten annoyed with it.  Plus they’re expensive.  And finally, two of them didn’t download properly the first time, so I had to go to iTunes and say, Hey, give me these again, which was a hassle.  So there are good things and bad things about it, and it’s definitely not my favorite.

Real books have several advantages.  While it’s harder to find time to read them, they do give me more of a sense of accomplishment when I do.  I mentioned, of course, the difference between reading and listening.  One of my current reading obsessions right now is Agatha Christie, but I’d never catch the clues in an audiobook.  It’s got to be visual for me.  And then, when I’m done, I can put the book with it’s pretty pretty cover on my bookshelves and pick it up again at anytime.  This is both good and bad, of course.  Unlike the e-reader and iPod, I feel better taking books to certain places (to a soccer game in the rain (in my purse, but still) into the bathroom, etc.), but there are also certain places I don’t want to bring it (it’s a hassle turning pages at the gym).

Finally, I get to the Kindle.  I have to admit, I’m getting spoiled by it.  While I have no physical copy of the book, this does save me shelf space for the books I want on my bookcases enough to buy.  Obviously, there’s the ease of turning pages, a blessing when I’m eating or at the gym.  I can change the font size (and it’s a uniform font, which I happen to like) to suit my needs.  One problem I have with physical Agatha Christie books is that the font is all tiny and the margins are as well.  This is also great at the gym, where I can make the words bigger to read while on the treadmill.  So a good and bad thing about it is the ease with which I can find and buy a book.  Granted, a lot of books aren’t in e-reader form.  But if I finish one, I can pop onto the Kindle Store and find a new book pretty fast.  And I always always sample it if I can.  The sampling option is great, and I’ve been using it for all the books I’ve been interested in lately, no matter what form I eventually get them in.  But often I get to the end of the sample and just hit buy.  It’s so easy.  It’s kinda expensive when I’m doing this and ignoring books I already own, lol.  But the number one thing I miss about real books?  Bookstores.  I love going to bookstores.  I love getting drawn into a cover and taking the book to the cafe and drinking a coffee while I look at the blurb and first pages to see if it’s any good.  Or hitting a bookstore cafe to write with a pile of books by my side as a shield because all I’m buying that day is water.  I love looking for my friends’ books on the shelves or just seeing what all that buzz is about for a certain book, or picking up a bunch and looking at their opening pages to see if I want to add them to my Amazon wishlist for my upcoming birthday.  I love bookstores.  And it’s harder to find an excuse to go when I prefer reading the e-book.

So that’s my breakdown of books vs. e-books vs. audiobooks.  I’ve definitely come down in favor of the Kindle, at least while I’m reading.  For a purchase I basically made to use at the gym, it’s turned into a great one. 

Currently on my iPod: Escape from “Surprise” from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer – Christophe Beck

Lots of love,


P.S.  Since I missed it last time, on my iPod was Echoes by Dar Williams, I think.

One thought on “Books vs. E-readers vs. Audiobooks

  1. Oh, dear… reviews like this prod me to lean towards purchasing a kindle/i-pad/e-reader of some sort.

    I desperately do not want to. And suddenly I do. I dooooooo.

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