Which Reading Format is Best?

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! Today is a post about reading formats. I did a poll a while ago on Twitter asking you what your favourite format to read in was, and I was seriously shocked by the results.

I thought I’d start with an overview of the main reading formats (though if you are reading this, your will most likely know this anyway).

  1. Physical books – In both Hardcover and Paperback
  2. Ebooks – Your kindle/ other electronic variations
  3. Audiobooks – Listening to the story rather than physically reading it with your eyes.

All very basic knowledge, and my intention isn’t to teach you how to suck eggs, but I just wanted to let you know the options I put out there for the poll.

Admittedly I did expect a large portion of people to favour physical copies, however I really didn’t expect so much of a divide, and I also expected at least one vote for audio…but there were none!!

There seems to be this weird thing within the book community that stipulates ebooks or audiobooks “aren’t real books” and my response is simple…”Why?” If you are listening to or reading a book in electronic format you are still consuming the story and therefore why on earth doesn’t that count? It really baffles me. Would you tell someone who had lost their sight that audiobooks aren’t valid? No, not unless you are a word I won’t repeat. It really is silly that people feel the need to set up a barrier between themselves and those who read in different formats. If you consume a story, and love it, then what is the issue really? I myself often flit between my kindle, and physical copies. I also on occasion pick up an audiobook, and guess what?…there is nothing wrong with that!

I really don’t think there is one format that is better than another. I think that there is usually one or two that suit a person best, and if that works for them, and ensures they are reading…then great! Audiobooks or kindle aren’t for everyone, but as my mother likes to point out (She only reads on kindle) “I read far too many books to carry them around with me when I travel, and I happen to like forests. This way I can still read.” For my mother she was unhauling a couple dozen books a month – she reads rougly a book a day!! Kindle is what works for her, anything works for me, I will consume a story in any state I can get my hands on, and for others – some prefer to listen to audio whilst getting their errands and housework done, which I can totally relate to!

Although I’m waffling, my point is this – there is no best reading format out there, only what works for you! No matter how you consume it, you are still accessing the story, and still supporting the author in the process. I try not to get caught up in the elitism of only hardcovers etc, (although even I can admit they are so pretty to look at lol)! What is important is that you are reading, and enjoying that pastime.

What format do you personally like to read in? Do you think reading is reading no matter the format? Or do you feel audiobooks are ‘cheating’? I’m really curious of your responses to this, as I often find people either lean one way or the other on this topic. Let me know in the comments below!

39 thoughts on “Which Reading Format is Best?

  1. I like all formats. I love audiobooks, I love my kindle and I love picking up a paperback (a hardback a bit less). I do probably read most on my kindle, it is just so practical and I can buy a book on it so easily. So my answer is I just like books.

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  2. I think all formats are valid and I appreciate each one – I rarely listen to audiobooks though as I just can’t focus! My favourite is physical though, mainly because they are the only option that doesn’t give me migraines (though the majority of books I review seem to be digital copies)

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    1. I don’t listen to a lot of audio either, but I do like picking one up every now and then πŸ€—! I have a kindle paperwhite, which helps a lot reading digitally (at least in my opinion) it doesn’t strain my eyes, and there is no glare etc. I go through phases of reading more on my kindle and then reading more physical copies.

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  3. My favourite format is paperbacks, but I also like reading on my Kindle. I generally avoid audiobooks as I don’t think I would be able to stop by mind from drifting every now and then. It is surprising that there was not a single vote for audiobooks!

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  4. No votes for audiobooks at all?! That’s crazy! I would vote for physical books now, but in college I listened EXLUSIVELY to audiobooks! For me it was because of a number of reasons: limited budget for physical books, limited space to store physical books, easy to listen to while walking to class and doing monotonous assignments, and I drove a lot to visit my long-distance then-boyfriend. Absolutely a valid reading option!

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  5. I didn’t see your poll unfortunately otherwise you would have had an audiobook lover responding!! πŸŽ§πŸ’• I always have my earbuds and my kindle with me everywhere. I started listening to audiobooks when I couldn’t physically read and I’ve been hooked ever since! I’m able to switch between formats sometimes but rely heavily on audiobooks and my kindle paperwhite. The only format I avoid like the plague is PDF ebooks since it kills my eyes (lesson learned with an ARC).

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  6. Any format works for me! I listen to audiobooks in work when I get bored of music, most frequently read ebooks, but fall in love with covers and books sometimes, so end up buying the hardcover too! I definitely prefer hardcover over paperback though!

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    1. I’m not fussy particularly between paperback and hardback but I have to admit it’s annoying that paperbacks often show wear and tear quickly 😭😭! At least with a hardback you don’t get wear and tear when they are looked after πŸ˜‚

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  7. I am mostly reading physical books. I have nothing against e-books and audiobooks but I am just not used to them. I rather read paperbacks than hardcovers because they are smaller and I can take them with me everywhere.

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  8. Great post! I think reading is reading! In my opinion audiobooks are a bit difficult to follow for either you cannot like see what you read and might mis understood something and notes, they don’t move to goodreads haha but for the rest I love them! πŸ™‚ also it is easier to get lost or distracted! I love physical books! All books! Haha

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  9. I agree that there isn’t a reading format that’s the best & I will use all formats. For me listening to audiobooks is a substitute for music so if I’m doing the dishes or walking to pick up my daughter from kindergarten, I will listen to a book. For the other times like an evening on the couch I will read a book & it just depends if I have the physical copy or a digital version.

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  10. What a great discussion! I personally prefer physical copies of books… Something about having the actual paper in my hands… But I will read e-books on occasion. I haven’t really gotten into audiobooks but I don’t think they’re not actual books… Though I also think there are some things it would be hard to review about a book if you only had the audio to go off – it’s just a different reading experience, and nothing wrong with that!

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    1. It is a different reading experience I agree. Sometimes if I have listened to an audio and then gone back to read a physical copy I realise how good (or not) the writing itself is. Sometimes when listening to audio you can miss out on that I think, but I still love having it as an option 😍

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