I realized I’ve never really written about various formats of reading, even though it’s one of the most popular and oft-discussed topic in the book community. My major reason for evading this discussion has always been that it’s just not that interesting or controversial enough (and what’s fun without a little controversy?) but it has always been at the back of my mind as one of the discussions I will put up in the future. And so, finally, I decided that might as well just write this down and post it and once it’s done, it’s done :P
Also, right now is the perfect time for posting this discussion, because I’m currently reading three books – one in each format. So, since I’m currently reading all three formats, it would be fitting of me to post this now :)
[Current read : Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami]
1. You can pet physical books! : Oh come on! Are you telling me you’ve never lovingly swept your hand across a book, just because you loved the way it looks or because you love the fact that it’s in your possession? We all love loving and touching and PETTING books and of course the only kind of books you can do that with are physical books!
2. You can actually hold the book in your hand : I think every booklover will agree that actually holding a book in your hands and being able to turn the pages and sniff the pages is another different experience. No other format or device can give you that feel which a physical book can.
3. Aesthetics : Books are beautiful, and which other format can fulfil and satisfy your senses like a physical book can?
1. Clutter : Once you surpass a particular amount of books, your room/house/wherever you keep your books starts getting cluttered. There are books everywhere, and even if you clean up, it gets cluttered once again. Because? You keep buying books. It’s like, every few months, you have to hunt up a new place to store your books which is really distressing.
2. Books get dirty and constant cleaning is required : I don’t know about where you live, but here, there’s way too much construction work going on around as well as heat and books get dirty every few days :/ I need to keep dusting my books, the ones not kept in my covered bookshelf, and it’s really frustrating. Also, what if you drop something on your book? Ohmygawd the horror of that. Physical books can get wet (and there’s no return after that), pages can be torn, covers can get bent, and you just need to care more to keep your physical books safe.
3. You can’t carry too many books around : Well unless your arms weigh a 100 kgs, can you carry 100 books everywhere? Heck, can you even carry 10? NOPE.
[Current read : This Savage Song by Victoria Scwhab]
1. Convenient, easy to carry : You can carry hundreds of books anywhere you go, and you won’t even feel it! These are more convenient to read (at least according to me) as you can lie down or sit in any position and read the book anyway.
2. Annotating : It is much more easier to annotate in ebooks, as you can highlight, add your notes, and mark anything you want. Also, you have an in-built dictionary (on most devices, like kindle) so you don’t really have to move while reading and you can find out the meaning of a word just by a touch. In general, annotating on books worries people (though I know some people enjoy it) and also, writing in the margins of a book can sometimes get inconvenient.
1. Eyesight : I know that reading in general also may affect your eyesight, but ebooks worsen the situation. After, electricity and the light generated from a screen does more harm. However, surprisingly, I went for my eye check-up today after one and half year, a year in which I have been constantly using my kindle – and I found that the power in my eye hasn’t changed at all! So, I guess it doesn’t really harm you? However, if you’re prone to reading on your phone or your laptop, then you might want to do so in limits.
[Current read : The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness]
1. You don’t need to keep your eyes open : A large chunk of my reading is done just before I go to sleep, and because of school and tuitions and such randomness, mostly I’m way too tired at that time of the day (or night :P). Honestly, sometimes my eyes droop down and I have to convince myself to keep reading because a) the book is good and b) I’m probably going to get a chance to read again the next night. In such cases, audiobooks come in handy because you can close your eyes and listen to it and your reading is done.
2. Can be read while doing something else : [Quick fact about me : I usually listen to something while doing maths :D) I know it’s a horrible habit, but maths without music/a book is boring. You can listen to audiobooks while doing anything you want, as long as the thing you’re doing doesn’t take too much concentration. Those who travel a lot and cannot read in cars (like me) can really benefit from an audiobook!
1. You are prone to lose track : Especially if you’re doing something else, there are chances you might lose track, or miss out something, or not pay attention to what’s being read that much. It has happened to me, and I always end up regretting it.
2. The narrator’s style and voice : Believe me, it does matter. There might be random little quirks in the narrator which might get to you and affect your reading experience, or the voice might be so annoying that you don’t enjoy the book as much as you can. The accent might prove to be a problem, and so is the pace.