Do Your Read Differently In Different Formats?

20 November 2014

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I have become a big fan of ebooks, I read almost exclusively on my Kindle now. I still buy books because I adore books, and sometimes I even read them, but I have found myself preferring to read on my kindle, which is strange considering a few years ago I wasn’t a fan of ereaders at all. What I have found from owning a Kindle is that I have started to read far more than I used to, my question is why?

I think part of my increased reading is that I have so many books available to me in one place. I might start reading one book and find I’m not in the mood for reading, so I begin another. I never have to make a decision on what I read, or struggle through a book I’m not clicking with, instead all my books are available and I can easily flick in and out of them. I know you can do the same with physical books, but as I read primarily on my commute to and from work and on my lunch break that means if I read a physical book I either have to carry multiple books with me to match my fickle reading moods (which would be weighty) or i have to choose a book and stick with it, something I’m not always good at.

It also means that when I finish one book I can immediately start the next book. This is useful as I do often finish a book during my lunch hour and find myself needing to occupy another half hour or so. I don’t always like to start another book immediately after finishing another, I feel like there is a bookish mourning period of sorts when it comes to finishing a book, but it’s great because when you’re reading a series you always have the next book to hand.

Ebooks are immediately available once you buy them so that book you’ve just had to own after reading the blurb is there for you to devour straight away, which means when you’ve gotten yourself all psyched up for a book you can start it straight away. When you’re waiting for a book to come through the post sometimes the fervour you’ve developed has eased and you’re less excited to begin it instantly. i find that anyway, but I am fickle in my reading whims. I think the fact I can begin a book immediately is good because I do get myself all excited when I find a new book to read, and that excitement can lead me to read quickly and a bit obsessively.

Now, before you go and accuse me of making this post all about my support for ereaders I am going to tell you why sometimes I prefer reading a physical copy of books. I often find reading physical books has become more intimidating for me since becoming an avid Kindle reader, and I think it’s because I can see the actual size of a book before I’ve even started, and for what ever reading I find long books daunting. regardless, though, I do sometimes prefer reading a physical copy of a book for various reasons.

If a book has pictures or maps as reference I almost always prefer reading a physical copy as it is easy to flick back and forth to the images you need. I love Matthew Reilly’s Jack West Jr book series, they are written like action films in that there are quick short sentences, not a lot of description, all about the action, and within them there are pictures. They’re more like diagrams and maps really, and they help to demonstrate what is being written about. you might say they’re unnecessary if a book is written well, but I like these books for having that added help to them, they help me get what’s going on. They are also books which I would always prefer to read physical copies for because it’s hard to flick back to a picture in an ebook.

Fantasy novels tend to be a thing I prefer to read the actual books for, especially if there is a lot of world building going on, because these are the books that have the maps that you keep flicking back to. They are also the books that normally have a glossary of terms at the end when you get confused about the words people are using. I know Kindle has that X-Ray thing for characters, and that it’s easy to follow a link and such for references, but there is something about being able to flick back and forth in a book that is nice.

I suppose this has gotten off of the point a bit, I was trying to write about reading differently in different formats, which this kind of shows I do, but I guess it’s more about how I love my Kindle , but there is something about owning the physical copy of a book. I tend to prefer Hardbacks because they look nicer on my shelf, but to be honest, I just love books in general. For my favourite books I probably own them on my kindle and have a copy sat on my shelf, because I am a firm believer of always having access to your favourite books. I will never give up owning an ereader in some shape or form simply due to the convenience, but I will not commit to being exclusive to one format either, because a kindle does not look as impressive on your book shelf as a bunch of books do. And how else am I meant to force my favourite book on people without having a physical copy to fob off on folks?

What about everyone else, how do you prefer your books? Do you read exclusively in one format, or are you like me? Stuck on the fence over convenience and aesthetics?

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