My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Reading Paper Books Is My Last Choice

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I just finished The Giver by Lois Lowry. It was the first time I've read a book in paper in years. I've owned the paperback for a long time and have been intending to read it for years. I grabbed it from my bookcase because my wife and I were going on a trip where we planned to lay by the pool for hours. I didn't wan't an eReader and my phone screen isn't great for reading in bright sunlight so I opted for a paperback instead of my usual reading habit of reading via eBooks and audiobooks. While reading this story in paper I probably stopped to smell the pages at least once every reading session - but I found it really frustrating that once we were back from our trip I had a really hard time finding time to read it.

I have two hours of communting a day during the week for work and during this time I listen to audiobooks. That's how I do most of my reading. Someday my circumstances might change but for now I just can't find time to read paper books. One of my good friends who also has many young children told me he's the same way and get's most of his reading done with audiobooks. 

Electronic books are great too because they're easy to chip away at in small bursts. They're always with me in my pocket on my phone. I have gotten through a few pages while waiting at appointments or while in a long line at the grocery store. It's so convenient. Here's the other thing though - I actually prefer reading eBooks on my phone to reading a paper book even when I'm lounging at home. I like to read lying down and I've got to tell you that after holding my super light weight phone up above my head and having the ease of turning a page with a tiny quick tap even small paperbacks feel clumsy and annoying. I like to read with the text very large and my screen horizontal. It gets to be so I don't even notice I'm tapping it just becomes automatic and I think I read faster this way than with a paperback, or at least it feels easier. Also having a backlit screen is so much better at night than a clunky reading light perched above my pages that I might accidently shine in my wife's eyes while adjusting my posture in bed.

Yes I love paper books and as I mentioned even the smell of them but I will always choose to read via eBooks or audiobooks when given the choice. They're on my phone so they're always just a click away. They don't take up physical space in my house. They're usually cheaper. I can buy a new one and be reading it within seconds without having to even get up. For me eBooks and audiobooks win out everytime. That said I have hundreds of paperbacks I haven't read yet so I'll keep reading paper books for years to come, but when it comes to buying new books the only time I'll be choosing to buy paper books is when I'm planning on getting them signed and putting them safely on my shelf where they won't get bent and cracked.

What about you? Have you tried eBooks or audiobooks and they're just not your cup of tea or are you a paper defector like me joining the new electronic revolution and loving it all the way? I'd love to hear your side of the story when it comes to reading. Thanks for stopping by.

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