I got to thinking about how we choose to read, and in turn how I have done so, and changed over the years.
For me I tend to look at a hardback copy of a book and see it for the premium that it is. Quite why people choose hardbacks over softbacks or paperbacks is a mystery to me at times. You see some books which are charged at a much higher price, simply for how it is packaged, and often I can’t help but wonder if the extra cost is worth it. Still, they look good on a shelf!
Thinking about the ways I have read a book, it reminded me of a time when I read Stephen King’s Cell on an electronic PDA in the bath. It was a small device, around 5 inches by 3 inches, with a decidedly not HD screen. Slightly bigger than a smart phone, and lighter. It was a first for me, and well before the prevalence of smart phones and tablets. I did this every night for a week, laid in the bath reading it until I finished. I quite enjoyed the experience, and thankfully no mishaps, no dropped devices into the bath. However I haven’t done it since.
The thing about paperbacks, especially if it is raining out or we are in the bath is that the paper gets wet easily, it folds up and afterwards looks awful when stored, not to mention how it is when we want to read it again.
This brings us to the matter of reading books on electronic devices, such as Amazon’s Kindle and others. They are amazingly practical, and can store huge amounts of books on one tiny device. The screens are clear and bright, and often battery life can last months. So obviously they are perfect, and the natural future of reading.
Well, perhaps not. I have a pretty large collection of books, and lots of shelves to store them. At one time I decided to go all in, obtaining copies of all of my books in electronic format, and boxing up the books for the loft. People who know me were horrified, unable to comprehend the thought. To my mind I figured they were just being old fashioned, but looking back I can see their point. Yes, books wear out and are difficult in some circumstances, but a row of shelves with books on is something to be proud of, and are an instant visual reminder of being there, to be read again, our very favorites.
So now I am back at it, rebuilding my book collection, in paperback, and occasionally a hardback. I still have the electronic versions, but for me it’s good to have a choice.
Ultimately of course it doesn’t truly matter how you read, in whichever format, but we are lucky, in that we have a choice.
Then there are audio books, which stemmed from the old taped copies, often using six to ten tapes, on both sides. The sound quality on the recordings wasn’t great, but then along came books on CD, and now we have the likes of Audible, where you can use phones, tablets, laptops, even devices such as the Amazon Echo Dot to listen to our collection.
What it all means really is that our choice of how we enjoy our books is expanding continually. We are spoilt in fact, because there have never been so many ways to enjoy one of our favorite pastimes.
All that we need are a great selection of books to read, and for that we really are spoiled.
Sign Up For My Newsletter To See When New Books And Stories Are Released.