Wicked Wednesday: Print Books, E-Books and Audio! Oh, My!

Hi. Barb here and I’m wondering how my Wicked sisters consume their books. I know the Wicked Cozies are all diligent readers, but I’m wondering, do you read print books, e-books or listen to audiobooks dominantly? And if you consume books in two or three ways, is there a pattern to which you choose? And finally, how do you read periodicals like magazines and newspapers? Inquiring minds want to know!

Edith: I never listen to audio books. These days with both limited bookshelf space and income, I tend to buy paper books only from authors who are friends. KindleCOverOtherwise I read on my Kindle or get the book from the library. I do read two physical newspapers every day and get through most of the physical New Yorker every week, especially when I am diligent about going to the gym, because I can read on the elliptical strider!

Jessie: I rarely listen to books on tape. As to magazines I prefer physical versions but I happily read newspapers digitally.I read books in physical format as well as ebooks. What matters to me when choosing between ebooks and physical books is the content. I like to read fiction either way but I do not like non-fiction on e readers. For me, anything that functions as a reference is cumbersome  to navigate digitally so I don’t if a print version is available.

Julie: I walk and take the T as my usually travel route, and listen to podcasts a lot. I have begun to think that I should start listening to audio books to help keep up with my “reading”. My usual mode of purchased book consumption is ebooks. I only buy dead tree books in two cases. One, when a friend does a book release. And usually that is to pass it on, since I usually pre-order my Kindle books. (Does that help authors at all?) I also buy books that I know I will use again and again for reference. Recent example, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab Jab Jab Right Hook. I started reading it on my phone (how great is that, I ALWAYS have a book with me) and realized I needed to have it on hand.

Barb: Well, we’re turning out to be a pretty homogenous group! I’m so lucky to have a great neighborhood bookstore near my home in Somerville (Porter Square) and another in Boothbay Harbor (Shermans), so I do try to make my print book purchases there. I love ebooks for travel and convenience (though I still have too many print books on my night table.) I don’t listen to audiobooks. My mind wanders too much, though on a recent trip Bill and I listened to Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants and I found that essay style worked well for audio.

ipadSherry: I don’t think I’ve ever listened to an audio book. I guess I like the voices in my head better — and I don’t mean weird telling me what to do voices — I mean the author’s voice. I read books on my Ipad, some that I buy some from the library. I still buy lots of books and am always asking for gift cards as presents.

Liz: I love audio books for long drives. But I don’t listen to them as often as I’d like to. I either read on my Kindle Fire or I buy the real thing – sometimes there’s just no substitute!

Edith: I’ll add one note. When my kids were young and we drove eight hours to Quebec at least once a year to visit my sister, their aunt, we listened to E.B. White reading his own Charlotte’s Web. It was on cassette tape at the time, but how lovely to hear his Maine voice reading his own story. So if I were traveling with children these days, I would definitely be packing audio books.

Readers: Where and how do you read these days?

10 Thoughts

  1. I’m very active with a Cape Cod writer/book lovers’ group called A Book in the Hand. Nothing makes me happier than holding an actual, honest-to-goodness book in my hand. And because I review for Suspense magazine, I’m lucky that I get A.R.C.s to read all the time. (Don’t forget to have your publishers send Suspense your A.R.C.s!) But when I’m traveling, I love my Kindle.

    Great question, Barb. I’ll be interested in everyone’s answers.

  2. I have Kindle for pc and have many books there, but never seem to get to read them. I spend too much time here as it is. I get my books through our great library system usually. I also like my own voice in my head to do audio books. I’m saving those for when my eyes no longer read even large print.

    1. You make two good points, Gram. I spend too much time in front of my computer, too, so walking away and reading a real book is a form of “mode switching” that helps my brain know I’m relaxing.

      On the other side, there’s the print size thing. As my husband says, on his ereader, he’s finally got the print bumped up to the same size it was when he learned to read!

  3. I’ve never listened to an audio book. I even have a couple of my books out now and I’ve been afraid to listen to them in case I hate the narrator and it’s too late to fix it.

    Tell me there isn’t a difference between processing information/input through your ears versus through your eyes?

    1. I know what you mean. Clammed Up is being recorded now and I think I will be afraid to listen to it. And I don’t have all the hard Irish names and accents. It’s my own prose I’m scared of!

  4. Print for nonfiction. Kindle or iBooks on my iPad for fiction because I can enlarge the font. Old favorites on cassette in my car (yes, I’m a dinosaur) for the daily drive to the post office. Yes, you do hear other things, but the reader makes a huge difference. Barbara Rosenblat reading Elizabeth Peters is my favorite. I can’t listen to my own books, either. The only newspaper I read is the local Daily Bulldog online (Franklin County, Maine). I only read magazines in doctors’ waiting rooms and then only if I didn’t bring my iPad. I read an average of 100 to 120 novels a year. And funny thing–most of them are written by people I know!


  5. I read physical books, and I buy most of the books I read. I’m out of bookshelf space, and I keep buying books. I just refuse to buy a machine for the privileged of buying books to that machine. It just doesn’t seem right to me somehow.

    I do listen to books on CD when going to visit my family (a seven hour drive). The reader does make a huge difference, although I’ve only run across a couple where I felt like it was an issue. Most of my audio book experiences have been very pleasant and really make the miles and hours fly by.

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