Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reading format: How do you choose which to read when you choose what to read

I was looking through my reading stats the other day* and while I knew I'd been reading a lot of ebooks lately, I didn't realize how many. Turns out it's slightly more than half so far (54% to be exact) which surprised me. So then I was thinking about why I select any particular format to read and figured I'd write about it here cos it's my blog and isn't that the point?
I hardly read hardback books for the reason that hardback books are heavier than other formats. This year I've only read 1 (Fat Girl Walking) and that was because it was a review copy sent to me and thus I took what was offered. I like what hardback books look like but the last hardback book I actually bought was probably Christopher Moore's Sacre Bleu, which I bought because I was at a book signing for the book which had just come out. (I actually bought Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened the day before for the same reason [book signing]).

Audiobooks are rarer than other formats, mostly because I don't drive so I don't have the excuse to listen to them on my commute. I've listened to WWZ a few times while working, but it's more background since I know the story so well. If it's something I really want to pay attention to, trying to do it during work would be a bad idea.

That leaves paperback and ebooks, which by a large margin, make up the majority of my reading.

When it comes to ebooks, I usually select them for one of two main reasons: it's on sale OR  I'm at the airport/on vacation and suddenly realize I have no packed enough books.

It's on sale is the most common reason I read ebooks. Most of the ebooks I have I bought for under $5, usually thanks to Kindle Daily Deal emails or else Book Sliced alerts. I am cheap and easily swayed by deals.

It's not often I find myself at the airport without enough books to read, but that has far more to do with the fact that I'm not exactly a world traveler and definitely not because I'm excellent at planning ahead. I know a few books (Game of Thrones, The Martian) I bought because I was at the airport waiting for a flight and realized I was almost done with whatever my last book was and would need to get something before I was in the air and book-less. Even in those cases, I'll typically look through my TBR list and then buy whatever ebook is the cheapest.

There are a few other reasons I might go with an ebook. Most review copies are offered this way. When it came to the rest of the Game of Thrones books I decided that ebooks were probably the best way to deal with those chunksters.

That leaves paperback, which is my default when the other stuff above doesn't work out. I'm more likely to spend more on a paperback book than on an ebook and I will often deliberately wait on purchasing a newly released book until it's out in paperback. There are a couple books I own both in paperback and as an ebook (Shades of Grey) because one copy when on sale and I really love the book and wanted a copy of my shelves, but this is rare. Because it's hard to justify buying the same book twice and I'm also running out of bookshelf space.
I'm on the road to this
Though Just the Right Book did just send me a paperback copy of Landline which I own as an ebook and I debated keeping the new copy. Until Tom sputtered "What? You're not keeping a book YOU ALREADY HAVE AND READ. They'll send you a new book." and sent them back Landline which they replaced with Black Chalk.

What's your preference? How do you choose which type to go with?

*Thanks to my handy-dandy tracking sheet.