Paperback and Hardcover Books
The positive: This is the oldest form besides oral storytelling. Print books are the standard in homes all over the world. Printed books occupy a warm spot in my heart. I grew up reading books in this format. With a printed book, I can flip through the pages. I know how far I am in the story. With non-fiction books, I can move around in the book to find the information I seek. I can display them on a bookshelf. I can get an autographed copy.
The downside: Printed books are bulky. They take up a lot of space. I am more likely to limit the number of books I take with me on a trip or overnight stay. The pages can tear and fade. Sometimes the binding comes unglued. The paper triggers my allergies.
The positive: I can carry a lot of books with me in my pocket or purse. They remain dust free. I can brighten or dim the page. I can adjust the size of the print. Most reading apps offer a variety of features such as displaying a word's definition by pressing down on it.
The downside: The limitations of one’s personal electronics.
The positive: Can load onto one device. A person can listen while doing something else such as housecleaning. A reading group can listen together. Audible books offer an option for individuals with visual impairments or people that cannot read.
The downside: No control over the sound of the voice, pacing, or cadence.
Which reading method I choose depends on the situation and my mood. A cozy chair in front of a glowing fireplace screams printed book. Waiting at the doctor’s office lends itself well to an e-book on my cell phone. A reclined lounge chair at the pool or beach is perfect for audible books. In conclusion, I embrace and am thankful for all three options.