Thursday, June 19, 2014

BTT: Format

btt buttonDeb at Booking Through Thursday asks:

All other things being equal, what is your favorite format for reading? Hardcover? Paperback? New book? Old book? Leather-bound first edition? E-book?

I know I’ve answered similar questions before, but sometimes one’s answers change with time, so the same question may be worth mulling over again.

In my bookcases you’ll find both hardcovers and paperbacks. I’ve also always borrowed library books.

Hardbacks in nice covers always look great on the shelves, of course; but as my library grew, I came to prefer paperbacks – for one thing, because they were cheaper to buy, but also because they took up less space (and were lighter to carry).

With age, other aspects also started coming into it: like small print getting harder for me to read, and some books more difficult than others to physically hold – some because they’re heavy, others because they don’t “fall” open but need to be actively “held” open.

Since I bought my Kindle back in October 2012, that has become my favourite reading format; at least for fiction (and in English). Besides being much easier on my eyes, and convenient to hold and carry with me, and allowing me to look up words by just pointing at them, it also means I can go on collecting classics (and other favourites) without needing any more shelf-space!

With Swedish books I usually try to borrow those as audio books from the library now.

If I buy a printed book now it’s because I already know I like it and will want to have it handy to reread or look things up in and quote from etc. The main advantage of printed books over e-books I find to be when wanting to get an overview of the work as a whole, looking back for context, or finding a passage without remembering the exact words etc.

16 comments:

  1. I don't have any of the e readers yet. I might get one someday but I really like my books, I like the look of them, the feel of them, the smell of them!!
    I can't read as much as I used to, my eyesight will just not allow it. Bummer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was pleasantly surprised when I bought my Kindle, that it made such a difference for me. I've been able to read a lot more novels "by eye" again that way, while reading a printed book is very tiring for my eyes now.

      Delete
  2. I prefer paperbacks for the same reason as you. What is it that causes some books that have to be held on both sides to keep it open? I do like my tablet better than the Kindle. (I gave that to my daughter when I bought the tablet.) But you are right about having more books without need of shelf space.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the way the binding/glueing is done, Norma. Some books have a very stiff spine, which makes it difficult to for the book to bend open; others (especially those done the traditional way with a woven strip of linen) allow for more comfortable opening without having to break the spine in order to keep it open.

      Delete
  3. i have not touched a book since i got the kindle almost 2 years ago now... for the same reason as you, i can make the print larger and further apart and it is so light and easy to hold. my arthritis kills me when i hold a book, even a paper back and the print in those is just to small.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - if I'm tempted to buy a printed book now, the size of the print in it matters a lot!

      Delete
  4. I have a reader on my iPad, but still love the smell and dust jackets of the real thing! Small paperbacks are nice because they are light, but can be hard to hold and keep open. I do like the hardcover, and what they used to call "trade paperback", which is a larger size paperback.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do still love to be surrounded by "real" books - I don't think I would feel at home if I had to give up them all! Since I have a lot of book already though, and all my shelves are full... now I don't mind getting new ones (novels) as e-books instead.

      Delete
  5. I am so glad you posted this.
    Recently I have been using the local university library. It is rather poor, but they do have some material I could not get anywhere else. I thought I would donate some of my extra books so the students could use them. The university library did not want them. They actually do not want real paper books any more, only digital format. Real books are being sold off or locked away for use following special requests. Shock! Horror!
    I like hardback books if I am sitting at a desk, because they lie flat for me. I can view diagrams and explanations easily. Something to do with the binding. If I am reading while lying on a couch or bed I like a paperback. It is easy on the hands. I find the digital material difficult to use on a Kindle. It seems clumsy in my hands. I also fall asleep while reading and this is a problem with a Kindle. I must persevere.
    It is interesting reading the comments here and I have picked up a few ideas that might solve my problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Louise, it's a shame that there does not seem to be much of a market for second hand books any more (even when given away for free!). I do agree about still finding "study" books with diagrams and illustrations etc best read in good hardback bindings. (Not that I do much of that kind of studying any more. And for quick up-to-date info about something I usually turn to Wiki and Google first!) On the Kindle it's mostly novels that I read.

      Delete
  6. I prefer e-books, too. I especially like how there's lots of books to choose from that are really inexpensive; you can't really say the same for paper copies (at least, not to the same degree). I don't even have an e-reader at the moment (it's buried in a pile of physical books with a dead battery), so I've been reading the e-books on my laptop... and even then, I prefer that format!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only e-books I prefer to look at via the computer are the ones with illustrations (like some classic children's books I've downloaded for free or cheap). Reading long texts on the computer screen does not work well for me, I find it hard to concentrate, and my eyes soon get tired too. Reading short texts like blogs or Wiki articles is one thing - reading a novel is quite another thing.

      Delete
  7. For some types of books, such as what are deemed "coffee table" books, or baking/cooking books, I would not want anything else but hardback. For those books I collect in their physical form, such as the Agatha Raisin novels and a few other series, I like to see the colourful paperbacks on my shelf. For nearly everything else, my kindle is what I like best. Space, weight, convenience, price, environmental aspects - it's all there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do agree about the "coffee table" kind of books, or cooking books etc. I want those in proper hardback covers too. And I would not want my home to be without "real" books - it would not feel like my home without them :) I have had a number of clear-outs through the years and there may be more to come. But bookshelves full of books still rather dominate my home and will probably continue to do so.

      Delete
  8. I'm like you I prefer paperbacks, both because of size and cost. I use my Kindle a lot too, particularly for really big books. I only buy hardbacks of book series I'm keeping. I buy most of my books used. I use the library some, but the selection of Kindle books ( and that's all I check out) is very limited.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree wth almost everything you said, Monica. But I am now beginning to prefer my tablet to the Kindle. A he moment haven't decided that either is totally bette than the other.
    do so agree about the handiness of being able to search for things in a real book.

    ReplyDelete

Communication is what makes blogging fun :)
... but spam comments will be deleted!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...