I made the transition to Kindle long ago, a format that many whom I know have resisted. I still read physical books too, but I find the Kindle format (on an iPad) reasonably manageable. Plus:
(1) books that interest me go on sale periodically on Kindle (reflecting the zero marginal cost to the seller), so if you’re patient then pounce it can work well,
(2) I don’t have to further crowd the shelves of my home library (I have an old school aversion to throwing books out),
(3) I can stand reading it on my iPhone in the subway, and
(4) it’s nice to be able to go on vacation and have dozens of choices at hand without cramming one’s suitcase.
But I hadn’t tried audiobooks, until the last few days, when I’ve started using Audible. The draws were:
(1) it’s free for a month, and I can ditch it after that if it isn’t working for me,
(2) you get two free books when you start, then I think one a month. So I can get things that I’ve had on my patient-then-pounce list for months or years, and
(3) when I’m at the health club, it can be hard finding music that I want to listen to right at that moment. (I’m an album person, reflecting the technology of my youth, so I don’t go much for letting Spotify choose.)
But I don’t know yet if Audible will work for me. I’ve started on Jon Clinch’s quite delightful novel, Marley. But I miss small things in the narrative, and seem reluctant to go back 30 seconds, as it lets you do. I’ve always known what’s generally happening, but the details of his often flashy (in a good way) writing sometimes speed by me unapprehended.
Being at a noisy health club with headphones, and peddling away on a mechanical device while giant TV screens loom in front of one’s eyes, admittedly isn’t the ideal way to focus on a book. It might work better to listen while driving long distances, but as a New Yorker I don’t do that. Perhaps while walking? (This being something that New Yorkers, myself included, do a lot.) But it’s under 10 minutes to work (not to complain), and the last couple of days have simply been too cold anyway.
One rather obvious thing about reading is that, if you like, you can actually read every single word. Indeed, if you want to and the book is well-written, you can even pause every now and then to savor things. Audible is not well-suited for that. But then again, it can potentially expand my reading horizons by a few hours a week, as well perhaps as making health club visits feel shorter.
Will I stay or will I go; don’t know yet.