Each to his own! Books, eBooks and audio books.

I’ve seen yet another book versus eBook article and it started me thinking. I read hardback/ paperback books and eBooks,  listen to stories on tape/CD and on my mp3 player but there is a big difference in both when and what type of book I read or listen to.

Like so many people, I can’t go to sleep until I’ve had a read and I like to snuggle down with a real book in my hands – preferably a hardback! This is when I tend to read my favourite authors or one that has been highly recommended and 9 times out of 10 it will be a crime novel. For that lazy bath, complete with cup of coffee and bar of chocolate, there is no practical substitute for a real book!

Last year, I bought a Kindle when eBook versions of my own novels became available. It took me a long time to decide to get one but it certainly has a part to play in my reading life.   Obviously, eBook readers are great on holiday taking up a fraction of the room and I find them great for the long bus journey across town and back that I make once a week. Most of the eBooks I read are by writing friends or authors I don’t know – often indie writers – plus books I’m prepared to take a chance on because they are less than the price of a cup of coffee.

For the last ten years of my working life I had a long commute. An hour and quarter drive and in those days I would listen to book tapes. The choice of author was severely limited but I did get to read a great many new authors in a large variety of genres. I still listen to the odd tape when I have a major household chore, decorating or a whole afternoon baking session. These days audio books come on CDs which are great for long car journeys. My husband is not a fan of crime novels so again it depends on what is available usually from the out-of-date books sales from the library – preferably SF or fantasy.

Recently a friend recommended we buy ourselves mp3 players for our escorted tour holiday. Using them on the long coach journeys between ancient sites as in our holidays to Uzbekistan and Turkey meant we could enjoy the views without making ourselves travel sick actually reading. I’ve even been known to use mine on the 3/4 hr walk to the dentist. Here again the type of story is very different – usually classics – Fr Brown, Dorothy L Sayers, Austen and Bronte.

For me physical books, eBooks and audio books all have a place and each provide me with a very different reading experience. I wonder if other people are the same.

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