Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Great Book Debate

I love books; not just reading them but collecting them (1) as well. I’ve blogged recently about having purchased a Barnes & Noble Nook. I have several ebook apps on my Android phone including Nook for Android, Kindle for Android, and Aldiko (2). Part of the debate when deciding what to read next, for me, is whether or not to get it in ebook format or “dead tree” format. One the one hand, I love the feel and smell of real books, but with ebooks, I can carry several with me at one time without making my backpack weigh a ton. Of course, not everything is available in ebook format yet, so sometimes the point is moot.

I already own books that I have yet to read, both hard copy and electronic. I also have a growing list of books on my wish list in my Nook account. There are books by authors I have never read (or even heard of before) as well as ones by authors that I have considered amongst my favorites. The challenge here is, do I go with an author, and genre, I am familiar with and, based on experience, am fairly sure to enjoy, or do I take the gamble of reading something completely new?

To add to this conundrum of what to read, and in what format, is the option of audio books. I’ve not ever really used audio books before (3), although I do see the appeal of them. To a certain extent, I view audio books as sort of cheating. It’s not really reading; it’s listening to someone else read. One of the things about reading that I love is that it allows me to tune out for a bit. I typically try to find a quiet place to read, where there are few, if any, distractions. However, in our current society of “go, go, go”, finding time to do that isn’t always so easy. There are only so many hours in a day, and even when I get home from work, there are household responsibilities that have to be taken care of (laundry, taking out the trash, etc.). Even on the weekends when it would seem I have more “free” time, there are errands to run. These things lend themselves to wanting to give audio books a try.

Whatever the format, one thing is certain - with the declining quality of television, I really need to make more time to read.

~ JC

(1) Note: the collection I have listed on LibraryThing does not (yet) include all of the ebooks and various gaming materials I have in PDF.
(2) Aldiko is actually the first ebook reader I ever used. After attempting a few ebooks on my Android phones and determining that I liked the idea of ebooks, I bought a Nook in order to enjoy ebooks on a larger screen.
(3) The only time I can recall using an audio book was in college, when I had tons of required reading to do. I remember listening to the Old Testament on cassette to satisfy the reading requirements for my Old Testament Survey class while simultaneously reading various textbooks.
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