Hello, fellow bookworms. I want to chat about my favourite book formats. I’ve always loved reading. However, like many things in life, how I choose to get my reading fix has evolved.
Stories have the power to transport us anywhere in time or space … it’s magic!
Historically, tales were originally spun orally, with storytellers travelling from village to village entertaining folks with their chronicles. Stories of heroes and monsters, epic adventures of good versus evil, and tragic love affairs. This tradition of storytelling was embraced by religious organisations throughout the ages to educate the masses.
As the chart below shows, it wasn’t until 1900 that literacy rates increased. Books could be printed, trade between countries exploded, and more people learnt how to read.
Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2016) - "Literacy". Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: 'https://ourworldindata.org/literacy' [Online Resource]
My own love of stories was nurtured from birth. 👶
As a child, I loved the fantasy tales by Enid Blyton The Wishing Chair and The Faraway Tree books. Once I started secondary school, I began reading a mix of genres. Historical romances caught my attention and I remember devouring every title I could get from the library by Victoria Holt. My mum bought me The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham which lead me into less cosy reads. I loved The Devil Rides Out and To The Devil – A Daughter by Dennis Wheatly. Victoria Andrew’s Flowers in the Attic books and horror stories also played a HUGE part in my teenage years. My bookshelves were filled with paperbacks by Stephen King, John Saul, and James Herbert (books I’ve still got safely stored in my loft).
These days, my favourite genre is adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy and paranormal cosy mysteries. I’m sure your reading preferences have changed over the years too. However, it’s not just what we read that’s changed but how!
It’s 2021, we can choose how to get our story fix: print, visual, digital or audio.
Living in this modern world of technology and freedom of information is something that I never take for granted. The generations before me have fought and sacrificed so that I get choices in my life. When it comes to my free time and being entertained by a story, I’ve got lots of choices. I can experience a story by going to the theatre and seeing a play. Local cinemas are now open so that I can watch a film. I can even stream films and shows on my laptop or watch them on my TV. I can buy/borrow a book, an eBook or an audiobook. I’m in the envious position of being able to have these choices; to have favourite book formats.
📚🎧📱 So, what is my favourite book format? 📱🎧📚
Flora’s Musings started off as a general lifestyle blog back in 2014 and has slowly evolved into a book blog. I’ve had a little look at my blog’s stats and the review archives.
Blog Reviews by Format
|📱 Kindle eBook||425|
As you can see, most of the reviews in my archives are for ebooks with audio coming second and paperbacks and hardbacks lagging waaay behind. 😉 Oh, how my shelves have changed! Since buying my first Kindle, I’ve found ebooks so much more convenient. They’re easier to read, carry and store.
However, I still love having a choice of formats.
If it’s non-fiction or reference books such as my many titles about herbs, mythology, ancient and local history, religion, space and the natural world, I prefer a print book. It’s nice to feel as though I ‘own’ and can revisit it. And we readers love to have our books collected on our shelves, don’t we? Lol! I must admit, it’s nice to hold a physical book – I even like the smell of them. Does that make me weird? I used to get such a buzz, as a child, taking a pile of books to the library counter, watching them be stamped one by one and being able to take them all home. I still love browsing the shelves in my local Waterstones and charity shops. And let’s not get forget getting books signed by the author in question. 🦄
📱 My Kindle Love Affair 📱
As a decades-long fan of physical books thought I’d never be converted to the Kindle way of reading, but as the chart above can testify, I did. 😘 Not only are ebooks portable, but they’re usually a lot cheaper! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been stuck in a queue, a waiting room or on a long journey, and I just whip out the latest urban fantasy on my phone and pass the time in a more magical way.
I bought a Kindle back in the summer of 2013 as there were lots (and lots) of books I wanted to take on holiday with me. 😉 The torment of only being able to pack a certain number of paperbacks into my case had always been devastating. 😭😭😭 However, buying that Kindle saved me. I couldn’t do without it now – I’ve downloaded the app onto my phone too meaning that my Kindle library goes EVERYWHERE with me. Lol! There are so many free and/or cheap ebooks out there. But as if that wasn’t enough, I joined Kindle Unlimited in 2019 and a whole library of ebooks was suddenly at my fingertips!
I’ll be writing more about my Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Keeps your eyes open!
🎧 My Growing Love for Audiobooks 🎧
I’m a latecomer to audiobooks. However, my reading pleasure has been enhanced by being able to listen to the story being narrated. I signed up for an Audible trial in 2017 as they were running an offer – I haven’t looked back since! The number of audiobooks that I’m downloading is increasing year on year.
To begin with, I added the narrations to the ebooks I bought or borrowed through Kindle Unlimited. However, these days it’s audio all the way! A good voice actor makes listening to an audiobook a great experience. I love hearing a story come alive. Audio makes for a really active reading experience, where vivid images of the setting and the characters are created in the mind. I truly believe signing up for a trial is a great way to test the waters as it were. You can cancel easily any time and the audiobooks you download during the trial period are yours to keep – FOREVER!
I’ll be writing more about my growing love for audiobooks and Audible. Keeps your eyes open!
📚🎧📱 So, what is my favourite book format? 📱🎧📚
Audiobooks are definitely my favourite book format at the moment. However, I’m open to new ways to get my story fix!
What about you? Have you tried audiobooks? Do ebooks fill you with disdain? Are you a serial paperback collector? 😘 Drop me a comment below and we can chat bookish.
(Page last updated on Sunday 22nd August 2021)