I’m sure you’re all familiar with the eternal debate: which format of book is better? My answer: all of them. I genuinely think that however you enjoy reading or can access books or feel comfortable reading is absolutely fine. Personally, I read a pretty even mix of audiobooks, physical books, and ebooks. And while I don’t universally prefer one format over another, I have learned that I tend to chose my book formats depending on what genre of book I’m reading. I thought it might be kind of fun to take a look at what formats I prefer for each genre of books (and vice versa).
Let’s start with ebooks. They’re probably the format I talk about least, but I do actually read a lot of them. Other than the fact they’re pretty convenient – I can borrow them from my library without leaving my house, can often find them on sale for just a few dollars, and can read them in bed with the lights off – most of the advance reader copies I get from publishers are ebooks. But, if given the choice, I have realized there are two specific genres I actually prefer to read as ebooks (most of the time): thrillers and romance.
One of the biggest benefits of ebooks is the fact that you can scroll. And, depending on how you utilize that feature, it can limit how much you have to scan your eyes down the page. I scroll as I read, not as I get to the bottom of the page, which increases my reading speed quite a bit. Which isn’t always the best thing (I’ll talk more about that later), but it really works for romance and thriller books. Those are two genres I absolutely fly through when I read them, and that is so much easier with ebooks. I have finished thrillers in a few hours before and been surprised when I went on Goodreads and realized they were five-hundred pages. They just go so quickly on ebooks (if you want to know how I read so many books, that definitely helps.)
Really, I just find I read ebooks faster than any other format, and that works particularly well for books I naturally want to read quickly. But that is not always the case which brings us to…
Audiobooks! You all know I love audiobooks. The number of posts I’ve written that are dedicated to audiobooks gives it away. And I do listen to almost all genres on audiobooks. But something I particularly love listening to on audio is nonfiction. The reason for that is that I’m a fairly quick reader, and nonfiction books are slower reads. They’re also a lot more dense, and if I read them quickly, I find that I don’t really remember all that much. It’s also tempting to skim (which I know is a bad habit, especially when I’m enjoying a book, but I just get so impatient).
Since I’m a fast reader, audiobook narration is much slower than my actual reading speed (even when I increase the speed of the book). So it forces me to slow down and actually pay attention. I’ve shared before how my favorite way to read classic novels for class when I was in college was to listen to the audiobook while reading the physical book, because it made me slow down and take in what I was reading. I don’t do that anymore, but I will listen in the car or while doing hobbies I don’t have to think too much about (like knitting), but I do find that I remember a lot more of the nonfiction I read on audio as opposed to ebooks or physical books. I have been listening to a lot of science books, but I also really like listening to history books or big biographies. Having to slow down is also the same reason I don’t listen to thrillers or romance books on audio – I need to know what happens right now and can’t wait another ten hours. The forty-hour Pillars of the Earth was basically torture, because I just wanted to finish it as fast as possible.
Last, but not least, is the OG format: physical books. You can’t argue with the fact that physical books are amazing. They’re tangible – there’s something about holding a book in your hand and physically turning the page. They look pretty on the shelves – I genuinely love being surrounded by books all the time, it makes me really happy. And they smell good. Just ask Rory. And the perfume and multiple candles I have that smell like books (not kidding – you can buy the perfume here).
For me, any books work in physical format. But the genres that I like reading as physical books more than other formats are definitely fantasy and historical fiction. For some reason, I think when a book has heavier content, I naturally want to hold a heavier book in my hands. I want that sensation of a physical book, of looking at a piece of paper, turning the pages, and when I’m done, being able to physically put that book down. I know it’s not really a practical reason like the ones I’ve mentioned above, but that feeling of a physical book just adds to certain books, and I like to take advantage of that.
Let me know in the comments: What book format is your favorite? Are there any genres you like reading in specific formats? Any you don’t like? I’d love to hear your take!
I know Mondays are typically Book Review days here on Adventures of a Bibliophile, but since I didn’t have a review planned for today, I thought I’d do something a little bit different. I am working on revamping the blog (just a little bit), so let me know what posts you enjoy reading most – I definitely appreciate your feedback!