Kindle, Audiobook or Hard Copy? How I Choose My Book Format

Kindle, Audiobook or Hard Copy? How I Choose My Book Format

Books come in multiple formats now – Kindle, audio, hard copy… Which to choose? Here is my process for choosing a book format:

  1. Audio – for me to listen to a book on audio, the narrator has to be pleasing to listen to, and not distract me from the content. E.g., I loved Brene’s Brown self-narrated “Rising Strong” but couldn’t listen to Gretchen Ruben’s “Happier at Home” narrated by Kathe Mazur, even though I love the book.  Brene’s voice was strong and engaging, whereas Kathe Mazur’s was too soft and breezy for the content. (Gretchen Rubin does a great narration of her own book “Better than Before”). Also, I need an audiobook that is a bit of an easy listen, not too technical or jargon-ish, as I’m normally multi-tasking when I’m listening (and my little people need things frequently). A good story or a light non-fiction is an ideal pick for audiobook. I recently downloaded Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and have been enjoying it. The narrator does an excellent job. Being a visual learner, I did, however, have to look up a genealogy chart online of all the characters to keep track!
  1. Kindle – this is a great way to get some fabulous deals on books. Many books come up on an Amazon deal at $2.00, and some are even free. I read my Kindle app on my phone when I am on the go and waiting in line, those times I don’t have a hard copy book with me.
  2. Hard Copy from the Library – I love to borrow books from the library that most likely I’ll only read once. I also borrow books to check them out and decide if I want to purchase a copy of my own. We have a small library very close by, but I found they didn’t have many of the newer titles I wanted. Recently I have discovered this wonderful thing of reserving books online. Titles not housed at my local library are transferred from other libraries in the city. When the titles are ready and available at my nearby library, I get a text message on my phone and voila! I have the latest Kate Morton within a matter of days and I’ve saved myself $10 or more.
  3. Hard copy that I’ve Purchased – this is my very favorite format of a book. I love to feel the weight of a book in my hand, love the tactile experience of turning the pages and being able to see how far I am in a book by turning it on it’s side. If a book is really thought-provoking or inspiring, I love to mark and highlight and notate the pages. It’s all very visual and tactile and helps me absorb the material in a way that the electronic versions cannot.

Many times, I’ll vet out a book using the first three media, and if I find I love the book and want a hard copy for my library, I will buy the hard copy to mark up and notate. I did this with Rising Strong by Brene Brown – first I listed to the audio book, then bought the hard copy for my library.

What is your favorite format for your books? I’d love to hear your feedback.


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