Mar 31, 2015

Books: Audio, eBook or the real thing?

I have a strong believe that reading is a great way to learn things and to get different points of view on topics that are of interest. Over the years I have taken different approaches to reading. I have also gone through stages where I consumed books at different rates.

Over the past several months I have read quite a few books, or at least it seems that way to me. of the top of my head I would guess that I have read at least 15 books in the past 5 months. These books are not fiction, they have mostly been business or technical books. I have also read a couple that tell the real life experiences of a couple of people: Unbroken (now a movie) about Louis Zamperini and Hal Moore: A Soldier Once... And Always (also portrayed in a move - We Were Soldiers).

A few years ago I shared that the main way a was "reading" was by listening to audio books. Most of these books I bought from Audible, and I'm still a fan of audio books, but I find that I am now listening mostly to podcasts, and not to very many books. I currently feel like consuming shorter content, that is very new, is the best way for me to spend the time that I listen to content.

Most of the reading I currently do is on my Amazon Kindle. I find that having several books that I can easily carry with me helps me to get the most of of published books. I usually focus on just one book at a time, but I have been known to skip between 2 or 3 at once. Right now I'm at differnt parts of three different books. I find that actually reading the books, instead of just listening to them, is giving me more value out of reading them. And I find that reading an ebook is much faster for me than reading a physical book.

The final type of book is an actual physical book. I find that I am reading these more slowly than I tend to read an ebook. I wonder why this is the case, and I believe that in part it is because I less often have the physical books with me. But I am left wondering if there is more to it than just that. The last two physical books that I have read are: Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte and Leadership Vertigo by S. Max Brown and Tanveer Naseer. Why did I choose these in real paper instead of ebooks? First Resonate is such a visual book that I did not believe it would really "work" as an ebook. And I was certainly not disappointed to have such a beautiful book in my hands. And Leadership Vertigo was given to me by Pluralsight at the Utah Code Camp - but I will be buying it as an ebook to have with me all the time to reread and refer back to.

So my question to you is how do you like to read? What are the pros and cons you see to audio, ebooks and physical books? Are there types of books you prefer in one format over another? Do you find yourself reading more in one format? Finally what is the favorite book you've read in the past year? I'd like to find more to add to my reading list!

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