Does reading format matter? | Fun Questions

May 17, 2014 Fun Questions 38

Fun Questions LogoJoin me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

Does reading format matter?

I read books in every format – hardcover, paperback, eBook, and audio. I know that some people really hesitate to try audio books out and others still resist eBooks. But in that sense, format really doesn’t matter to me – I like them all. BUT, once I start reading a series in a format, I HAVE to finish it that way. If I’m rereading, then format doesn’t matter. But when it comes to the first read, I literally can’t change format. And believe me, I’ve tried.

Take for example the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. I picked up book one as an audio book. Anyone who’s familiar with this series on audio KNOWS that this was a big mistake. Joyce Bean’s narration of that book is notorious for how incredibly horrible it is. Halfway through the book I switched to eBook. And a chapter in, I switched back to the audio book. The book had been relegated to the audio book part of my brain and ridiculous as this sounds, I could not remove it from there. It’s a testimony to how incredibly good the Fever series is that I listened to not one, not two, but three books with that horrible narration. And then (thank all that is holy!) book four switched to one of the best audio pairs I’ve heard to date – Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross. It was a sweet reward for enduring the first three. But a normal person may not have had to endure them. They may have just switched to the eBook or paperback.

And this isn’t just an audio book thing for me. I love the Hollows series and would really like to own the whole thing in hardback and audio someday. But when I read each book the first time it has to be the eBook. The first one I read was an eBook and now I won’t buy the new releases in any other format (even though they are a ripoff for the eBooks quite frankly). It can be a real frustration with audio books in particular because new releases don’t always come straight to audio. And once I’ve committed to a series that way, I have to wait.

I also seem to get a little stuck on how I got the book. I started both the Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega Series by Patricia Briggs by buying the books (Mercy is hardcover, Alpha & Omega is paperback) and now I really have to buy the books. It doesn’t even cross my mind to get them from the library. On the other hand, the Night Huntress series is one that I picked up at the library. For the main books – for some reason it doesn’t apply to the novellas – I have to get them from the library… and as paperbacks. It’s so incredibly ridiculous I know. I’m rolling my eyes at myself as I write this, but it’s the way it is.

Am I the only one out there with this crazy obsession with reading format? Can you switch mid-series (or even mid-book!) no problem?

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Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

38 Responses to “Does reading format matter? | Fun Questions”

  1. A Voracious Reader

    I have no problem switching up formats though I’ve never tried to switch to or from audio in a series or even within a book. I even have mixed hard cover and paperback within a series though I’m trying to replace all the pb for hc for my favorite series. I just grab them at FotL sales if I can find them otherwise it doesn’t bug me. Too much. lol
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…RABT Tour ~ InquisitorMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I like to get hard covers for my favorite series, but I usually start buying them that way AFTER I’ve read them – unless by some chance I bought them that way from the start. The first read through is just very particular for me LOL. Yeah, I’m crazy!
      Berls recently posted…Division Zero by Matthew Cox | Book ReviewMy Profile

  2. Rose C.

    I love this discussion topic! Okay, so audio I read super fast. When I first started listening to audio, it was for rereads only. But they are sort of expensive for only rereads, so I ventured out and now I can listen to most audio books at 2X speed and finish super fast! For instance, I have breezed through books 1 and 2 of the Game of Thrones series (A Song of Fire and Ice). I LOVE whispersync because it makes my reading that much more efficient. So I listen to audio while working, then on my lunch break, switch to ebook. If I am waiting in line at the grocery store, I can whip out my phone and continue reading… I have no problem switching formats. I do find that I recall books I have listened to or read the paperback better than ebooks. Seems like my recall is severely impaired with ebooks for some reason. ODD.
    Rose C. recently posted…Sharing the Bookish Love – May 23, 2014My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Rose! LOL that is funny about eBooks – maybe it impairs the way you read since you can’t take in as much of the page at one time? IDK that’s an off the cuff theory. I’ve often wondered if whisper sync works for anyone – I can’t switch formats. It’s a OCD thing I guess. But I read through audio books super fast too and try to use them for the series I really want to get to and haven’t been able to because of review books. But if I don’t start a series that way, it’s doomed. 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Book Blog Walkers | Check-in 22My Profile

  3. Miriam @ Inky Realms
    Twitter:

    Interesting question. I’ve never read (listened to?) an audiobook before – so I never realised people were so loyal to that format! Although it makes sense. I suppose narration makes a huge difference…

    Personally I’m a huge fan of ebooks. I have nothing against print in theory, but always abandon them in favour of my more portable reads!
    Miriam recently posted…Book Review: Static by L. A. WittMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Miriam. I may be a weirdo on this front (seems that most aren’t quite as serious about format as I am based on the comments). But I definitely recommend you check out audio books – especially if you like the portability factor – most mine are on my cell phone!
      Berls recently posted…Book Blog Walkers | Check-in 22My Profile

  4. Lark
    Twitter:

    Fascinating question! I think I’m not quite as wedded to the initial format as you are, but I realize I’m more attached to them than I thought. For instance, I started the Temeraire series by Naomi Novak in audio, and I’ve been really resistant to reading the 7th book even though the only way I can get the audio is through Audible (I borrowed the others from the library) and I don’t have an Audible account. On the other hand, for some romance series I’ve switched easily between paper and ebook – in some cases because I got an e-ARC for some books in the series but not others. So I think I’m fine to switch between one visual format and another, but not so much from audio to book and vice versa.

    I definitely don’t like to switch formats mid-book, especially between audio and written formats.

    Like you, my preference goes out the window when it comes to re-reads. I can re-read in book or audio format, as long as the narrator is good. I will choose paper or ebook if I’m after speed, though, because I read a lot faster than a narrator reads aloud.

    If we’re talking about OWNING a series (as opposed to just reading it) — well, that’s a whole ‘nother story. If it’s a series I love and will want to reread, then I want them all in the same format, preferably with the same binding and cover art. (If I really love it, I want hardcovers.) There are series I’m happy to have only in ebook, and others where I really want a physical copy, but I want the whole set to match. They don’t have to be brand-new, though, which helps when it comes to hardcover series.

    Great question – you really made me think about how I choose formats!
    Lark recently posted…Sunday Post – 5/18/14My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Lark! Isn’t it funny once you start to think about it how particular we are? I also really like to own hardcovers of books I love, but that tends to be an after the fact project, since I stick to the format I first read it in with my initial purchases. Rereads are definitely more flexible, but there’s some place in my head that really resists switching midseries! I bet some scientist would have an explanation. Or I’m just really OCD LOL
      Berls recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Alphas After DarkMy Profile

  5. Cynthia @ Jellyfish Reads
    Twitter:

    I’ve never really been into audiobooks. They can’t hold my attention for some reason. So I only really read ebooks or paperbacks. (Hardcovers are too expensive and clunky! I can probably count on one hand the number of hardcovers I’ve bought in my life, excluding Harry Potter ones.) And it doesn’t really matter to me if I switch between ebooks and paperbacks in a series. I just tend to go with whichever one’s cheaper. (I buy used copies of books where I can, since I really can’t afford buying new books all the time.) I don’t have a lot of space for physical copies of books though since I move around a lot and suffer from a sore lack of bookshelves, so ebooks are probably better.
    Cynthia recently posted…Sunday Post #2My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I totally am with you on the hardcovers and needing more space! I’ve moved so much in the past 3 years (like 5 times) so I think twice before committing myself to buying any physical copies of books. But I have some that I just have to have! (which of course, I really don’t but try to tell me that lol)
      Berls recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Alphas After DarkMy Profile

  6. Jenna
    Twitter:

    I am the same way with audiobooks. If I start the series on audio, I want to listen to the whole thing. There’s one series I have listened to that doesn’t seem to be available via audio for the final books. I’m not sure I’m going to finish the series for that reason. A lot of times I turn to audio when I’m having trouble getting into a series I want to like, so the motivation isn’t there to switch back to print.

    Overall, ebooks are my preferred format. I’ll usually only buy the paperback (NEVER the hardback) if I’m buying used or the author is a keeper (Nora Roberts, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Alice series).
    Jenna recently posted…Weekly Rewind: May 11 – 17My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Hardback is usually reserved for the series that I adore and want to hang onto for pretty much forever. I like ebooks for their convenience and I think most series I read that way, until it’s finished and I know I love it. Then I want a physical copy because it just feels lost in ebook land. Plus there’s always that fear that rights could be revoked and I could lose the books – even though I know that’s not very likely.
      Berls recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Alphas After DarkMy Profile

  7. Christine @ Buckling Bookshelves

    I tend to read ebooks only if that is the only way the book is available (or the ebook was a free Kindle deal!), but I do love audio. I don’t think it matters to me much about sticking with the same format for a series, but I am very picky about what kinds of books I prefer in print or on audio. Books with casts of a thousand characters, complex plots, and tons of different “voices”? There is no way I will ever keep track of everything by listening — I need to be able to flip back and check on stuff! But I love humor, memoirs, & other non-fiction on audio. Also book club books that I’m not super thrilled are good on audio so I can multitask while reading. And sometimes books I’m on the fence about reading in the first place, I’ll try on audio (again for the multitasking ability) and sometimes I surprise myself and get totally hooked!
    Christine recently posted…Bout of Books Days 3 & 4My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      That’s a smart way to pick your audio books, since it can be really easy to get distracted with them. I tend to pick audio books for books I really really want to read but am I having trouble finding the time to get to, since I read audio much more quickly than regular books. Although I try hard to get ones with good narrators – a bad narrator can really ruin things!
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 41st EditionMy Profile

  8. finley jayne

    Format doesn’t matter to me, except I do have problems with my (old) Kindle and lighting. I don’t read that many ebooks, so for now my little clip on light is doable. I’d love to get the newer paper white Kindle at some point 🙂
    finley jayne recently posted…Sunday Post #10My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I just have my tablet that has all the reading apps on it. I like it because light is never a problem, but sometimes I think it would be nice to have an actual eReader – easier on the eyes, longer battery life, etc.
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 41st EditionMy Profile

  9. Kathryn @ Book Date

    I will read a book in any format, whichever I can lay my hands on. I am not like you though! I will buy a book in the series, get one from the library, pick it up at a book fair or listen to one on audio – all of which I have done for the In Death series! I never considered anyone starting in one format and then having to read in that format for the series, but if that’s what you gotta do, then that’s what you gotta do!
    Kathryn recently posted…The Autumn Bride. Anne GracieMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It’s a bit ridiculous that I have to do that, though, right? LOL! Boy do I wish I could switch mid-way, it would make things a bit easier. Right now I’m trying to find a paperback for the next Nighthuntress book at the library and I’m having a hard time… :/
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 41st EditionMy Profile

  10. Braine Talk Supe

    Great discussion. My answer is both YES and NO depending on circumstances. I prefer print books because I tend to read them faster for some reason so in terms of blogging and managing that TBR pile, print is the best way to go for me. However ebooks are convenient and in terms of getting great deals, it’s the best way to go. Audiobook i’m very picky. I tried listening to Styxx by SKenyon, DNF it, the sexual assault became unbearable and fiction ebooks in general are too slow for my taste. But I love listening to motivational and devotional ebooks.

    So obviously I’m all over the place but I hope you get my point. LOL
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Bought, Borrowed & Bagged #101 + ConstantineMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I think I’m the opposite – I read audiobooks the fastest. print books and ebooks are about the same speed I think, though I’ve never compared the too now that I think of it. I’m not as picky as a lot of people with audiobooks – I think the main reason is that I can read audio books so much faster so I use them to get to the books I’ve been trying to get to for a while. Though both my audio and print tbr are way too long!!
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 41st EditionMy Profile

  11. Anya

    Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only person who does this! I listened to all of Dreams of Gods and Monsters trilogy on audio and couldn’t change halfway even though it would have meant I could read the book faster. I did however switch between Reboot and Rebel because I got an ARC of Rebel and just couldn’t resist D: I don’t mind switching between paperback/hardcover/ebook and actually kind of like reading one book in a series in final form if I read another in eARC since it gives me a better idea of how the advanced copy will differ from the final. I’ve always wanted to try the WhisperSync that you can get with Audible audiobooks where you get the Kindle book for a couple of bucks, but haven’t had the opportunity on any of the books I want to listen to yet.
    Anya recently posted…Rebel by Amy Tintera eARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’ve used WhisperSync to get a few deals on audio books but only when the ebook was just $0.99. Since if I’m buying the audio book, most likely I won’t be reading the eBook until I get to the reread. But when you combine the discount with the original .99, it’s still way cheaper usually than buying the book outright. I wonder if I could handle actually using the feature on a reread… I don’t think I could, but I might have to try it out.
      Berls recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Alphas After DarkMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      There’s something about switching that changes the feel of the reading experience I guess and – for me at least – it’s just too jostling. I wish I could be more flexible too, it would make things easier from time to time!
      Berls recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Alphas After DarkMy Profile

  12. Michelle
    Twitter:

    I prefer Ebook and Paperback/Hardcover. Since starting the audiobooks, I like them but I realize I am having a hard time focusing on the book and if I do to many things at once I get confused. So I might listen to books that I just want to read and not on a solid review type listen unless it get better at listening to it. Can you get better at listening to audio books lol.

    Great post 🙂
    Michelle recently posted…Gojo by Sara-Beth Cole ~ Book HighlightMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      LOL I don’t know – I think everyone has a different style of listening. I’ve always been this mega multitasker – I NEED to keep several parts of my brain busy or I’m not productive. So for me, it just fills a need to be reading and cleaning or driving or whatever. But I do sometimes miss things and have to go, “wait, what?” and back it up a bit. I think I’ve gotten good at recognizing when I really won’t be paying close enough attention and hitting pause. so maybe that’s getting better at listening?
      Berls recently posted…COYER Summer Vacation | I’m Ready!!My Profile

  13. Angie F.

    Hm, that’s interesting. I can totally understand why you do it this way, but to me, it just doesn’t matter. I’ll read books in whatever format I can get my hands on (except audio, that’s for rereads only!). For the most part though, I do tend to read series in the same format by accident. Usually because I check out multiple books from the library and they’re almost always the same, or the books go on sale for Kindle and I buy them all, or something like that.

    Off the top of my head I can only think of one series where I read each book in a different format. I got the first book for Kindle, the second in hardcover, and the third as an eARC. 🙂
    Angie F. recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #130My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It’s interesting that you mention eARCs. I don’t think my brain has compartmentalized them as a separate format – they’re just eBooks to my brain. And thankgoodness! Could you imagine if I got the first book as an eARC and now couldn’t read the rest unless they were eARCs too? I’d be doomed. But they are definitely eBooks, so no buying/borrowing the paperback. And I’m seem to be okay with ARCs buying or borrowing – so I guess they exist on a line for me! LOL
      Berls recently posted…COYER Summer Vacation | I’m Ready!!My Profile

  14. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

    What an interesting question! I’ve recently discovered that I can switch mid-series from eBook to audiobook but not the reverse. If I started listening to a series, I just don’t want to continue in the eBook format. That’s a big change for me. The only series where I refuse to convert to the audiobook format is the In Death series. After reading 46 books, there’s no way I can replace the voices I created in my head with the narrator’s version.

    I don’t know if I’d have a problem switching formats in the middle of a story. Time will tell.
    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…WHY Did I Wait So Long to Read Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett?!My Profile

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