When a non-reader thinks of the word ‘books’, they usually picture a ratty, dusty old library book with dull, bent pages or something they have to push through for school. When a bibliophile thinks of the word, they know that one of their greatest loves comes in a variety of forms. You, of course, have your most common print books, paperback and hardback, but you can also carry an entire library with you on the go through tablets and eReaders, for eBooks, or on your phone, iPod, or MP3 player for audiobooks.
Today, I am going to talk, briefly, about each format but I am mostly going to spotlight my favorite title for each.
As technology continues to grow, some worry that print books will not only become obsolete, but that they may disappear altogether. In my opinion, this will never happen. Even if the majority of the population forgets about them in lieu of eBooks, or holographic plays of titles integrated into our brain via cranial microchip, I imagine those of us who adore books will hoard old copies of Jane Austen or Stephen King away in a locked cellar vault like Gollum. There is nothing like the feel of the pages, the smell of the paper, and the crack of the spine when you open a fresh hardback.
With so many to choose from, it’s hard to pick a favorite of mine, but for the sake of time (and making sure I post this in time) I will go with the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
There is just something magical (pun totally intended) about reading these books in their original form. Let’s put aside the fact that the movies (while amazing) had to leave out a LOT of the incredible details, but it just takes me back to that wonderful moment where I got sucked into a whole new world and never looked back. I could read these over and over and over and find something new written in them every time. That is much harder to do when you listen to it.
When it comes to accessibility, eBook is king. Sure you can carry around a paperback in your pocket (or purse… who could actually stick a Harry Potter book in a pocket??) but why carry one single title that you may find your not in the mood to read? Especially when you can carry an entire library with you to find the right book to tickle your fancy? Not only that but, if you are the type that likes to be left alone when reading, then you also get the added bonus of not having your book become a conversation piece to those around you. Which brings me to my favorite book to read electronically: the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton.
I adore Anita Blake and the wonderfully dark and decadent stories Laurell K. Hamilton has created. What I do NOT adore is people staring at half naked men/fetish images on the back of my book while I try to escape or start in with questions about what I am reading or throwing their two cents in. Don’t get me wrong, I love diiscussing books I have read… just not WHILE I am reading. So this would be why this series is especially good on eReaders. No one can see, outwardly, what I am reading and this tends to allow them to leave me alone and get along with their day without my death stare. Win/win.
I will admit, I never really jumped on the audio train until I got married. My husband, who is an even bigger bibliophile than me or anyone else I know, not only buys the physical copies of books but will also not hesitate to get the audio versions. And he walks around with headphones in his ear. All. The. Time. It’s a little frustrating, to be honest, but even I have slipped away into the world of the spoken book. There is just something amazing about hearing it all laid out for you, especially when you find the right voice actor that gives personality to each voice (ahem, Jim Dale, Kimberly Alexis, Sean Renet). It’s better than a movie, because you don’t miss all those important bits that fall on the cutting room floor. It also allows you to multitask where you can’t if you have to use your eyes. Whether it’s during work (not that I condone this…. -crickets-), in the car, while exercising, or during Sunday Mass (AGAIN I do not condone this………-shifty-). You never have to miss a moment of your favorite book.
My all time favorite to listen to is the Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo.
I listened to the entirety of this series in a span of a year, while driving my car. Sure it was a little frustrating being left on a cliff hanger when I have to walk into work but it kept things interesting. My children might have something else to say, but they learned to deal with it. Mostly. Without the amazing vocal acting of Sean Renet, you might miss out on the on-point sarcasm of lead character, Michael Talbot. It is pure gold and, if you haven’t given it a listen yet, I urge you to do so soon!
So, to wrap things up, there is a book style for all types. For the relaxed and nostalgic reader, you have your traditional print books to sink your teeth into. (To dog-ear or not to dog-ear… the great debate). If you are a covert reader, not wishing to share your hobby with the world, or simply want the flexibility of grabbing any book at any time then eBooks are just the ticket! Hell, you even get quite a few free which you really cannot do with traditional books. And if you are on the move, or simply wish to block out the everyday annoyances, then shove an ear bud in your ear and practice your best fake nod and smile. Or… if you are like my husband… why not get one of each! That way you are always prepared.