Let’s Talk with Maggie Toussaint

Paper-Digital-Audio

By Maggie Toussaint

Inspired by the popular hand game Rock-Paper-Scissors, Paper-Digital-Audio is a microcosm of book formats in today’s marketplace. Individual preference plays a huge role in what book formats easily trump one another. I hope you’ll read Paper-Digital-Audio and comment on your choice of format.

These days we have options for how we read our books. We can go with the traditional paper version in hardcover, mass market, or trade paperback format. We can opt to read books in digital format on a device or computer. Or we can listen to books in audio format or even text to read format.

There are purists who declare they will never go digital. They say there’s no substitute for holding the book and physically turning the pages. A lifelong reader myself, I have shelves of cherished books by my favorite authors. I’m unwilling to part with even one of those books.

rock paper scissors

But there’s something to be said for the convenience of digital books. If you need something new to read, online bookstores can upload a new book to your device in a few minutes. You don’t have to leave home, heck, you don’t have to leave your armchair. With all the electronic advances of today, you can sync your devices so that even if you don’t carry your reader with you, the book will be available on your phone, already queued up to the correct page.

I love the convenience factor. My reader is lightweight and it’s easy to carry it wherever I go. Plus, I think there are over a hundred books on my reader right now, and I’ve read every one of them, some multiple times. Readers also have backgrounds and lighting that will work in everything from a darkened room to bright sunlight. And you can change the font size quicker than you can say Jack Robinson.

Lest you think there isn’t room for audio books in my life, let me reassure you that audio books are great for traveling. In addition, there’s a whole population who prefer audio books to any other format.

I’ve been thinking about formats recently because I’ve just added a print format to my catalog for my science fiction release, G-1. (Book Link) I’ve got several other books in this series to launch, but at some point, I want to also offer audio books.

Paper-Digital-Audio, what’s the choice for you?

One commenter will be randomly drawn to win a print or digital format of G-1, my futuristic thriller.

Comments

  1. My winner for this Let’s Talk giveaway is Marcia Berbeza. Marcia, you’ve won a print or digital copy of my G-1. Contact me at Maggie at maggietoussaint.com to collect your prize!

  2. momontheedgemel says

    I’m a traditionalist and love a paper book. The feel of turning pages, the smell of the book. It is all very comforting.

  3. Marcia Berbeza says

    School librarian, so I’ve run the gamut BUT my all time favorite is AUDIO. I am a proponent of paper, but I started having back and eye issues. So I switched to kindle books. LOVED them. Could adjust the size of the text, wasn’t too heavy, could carry LOTS of books on one device. But my eyes are getting worse, so I thought I’d try audio. OMG. Never looked back. Now I listen as I read, as I walk to class, sometimes while I’m shopping. I am so hooked on this format, it isn’t even funny!

    • Marcia, It’s wonderful to know how much you enjoy Audio books. Sorry to hear about your eyes, but I’m thrilled that you’ve found a way to keep enjoying books! Bless you.

  4. I prefer paper, but read digital for convenience. And, like several of the others, I like audio books on long car trips. They really do make the trip go faster. I did learn, however, that as soon as we’re approaching a “destination”, even if it’s a gas stop, the audio goes off! Made one too many wrong turns!

  5. Darlene Peterson says

    I prefer a hand held book, but love listening to audio on a trip in the car and while I do housework. Makes me forget my arthritis pain.

    • Darlene, I enjoy audio as well for the same reasons. I used to be in love with “real” books, but I’ve gone to the Dark Side with my Kindle. It’s easier to hold and easier to “turn” the pages.

  6. I’m a purist and prefer a hard back or paperback book. I do have a kindle but am afraid at any moment the books I’ve loaded will disappear. An audio book sounds intriguing but I haven’t tried one yet. Many have said they listen to books in the car but I’m afraid I would get in too deep on the book and loose focus on my driving.

    • Never fear, Robin. All your kindle books are also backed up at Amazon. I’ve accidentally deleted books from my device that I wanted to keep, then I went out to Amazon and downloaded them again. Easy peasy.

  7. I love audio if narrated well, then digital since I can take many books with me.

    • Good choices, Karen!
      Convenience makes a big difference, doesn’t it? For air travel, especially. I couldn’t pack enough books in my suitcase to keep me going for an entire trip. There’d be no room for clothes!

  8. sallycootie says

    I like all formats. As you say, each has its own best use. I have favorites on my shelves and must always get certain authors’ latest in hardcover. But I have 2 readers and use my laptop to read – so convenient, especially when I don’t want to disturb others but want to be in the room with them. And audio books are great for travel and for daily walks. Before I retired I listened to audio books every day of my 70 mile one way commute.

    • How lovely to make your commute so enjoyable! I am amazed at how many folks are trying multiple formats at once. This is indeed a new age. Thanks for the visit and the comment, Sally.

  9. I’m hooked on reading in bed, and an e-reader with enlargeable fonts and backlighting makes it easy for this insomniac to read without disturbing the Hubster. I have shelves and shelves of print books, but unlike an e-reader, a bookshelf can hold only so many books. The only format I haven’t gotten to is audio, because I’m too easily distracted. Hearing something always sends my mind down all sorts of new trails, and I’d either go off the road or hit a deer. But i embrace the world of choice.

    • I feel the same way about reading in bed, Terry, but my reader is an older model without a backlight. I need to upgrade to that version at some point, but this one still works, so I can’t see buying another one. Meanwhile, I’ve got a trusty book light that minimizes the illumination in the bat cave.

  10. I have always been a “hold the book in my hands” person, but in my world today of commuting and traveling, it is so much easier to carry multiple books electronically. With that being said, i still buy hard copies of my favorite authors so i can pull them off the shelf for a reread and for that “connected” feel.

    • I like the option of having so many books at my fingertips. I haven’t taken to reading on my phone, but it is possible to do that too. I have crammed bookshelves so I tend to buy digital books, with the exception of conferences where I can get face time with the author. That’s priceless!

  11. tinawhittle says

    I’m a paper over digital girl all the way — I’d mostly rather stare at a wall than read on a screen. I do adore well done audio for long car rides (right now I’m listening to The Ghost in My Brain, a nonfiction work about recovery from concussive Traumatic Brain Injuries — fascinating! I’m going to have to get a print copy just to reread for research.