I love to read books. I love it so much that I read while I’m walking down the street. And no, I don’t walk into things. Well, not very often.
When winter comes, and the nights draw in, there isn’t enough natural light to read whilst walking to and from work. At times, when I don’t feel too foolish, I use my smartphone as a torch and read my book in the dark. And no, I don’t bump into things. At least, not too often.
When the weather turns wet, I carry a bit umbrella in one hand and a book in the other one, and I carry on reading. And yes, I sometimes bump into people. But they don’t seem to mind too much.
Every so often it gets too wet and too dark for me to be able to read my book and so I’ll pop it in my bag and pull out my phone. I have two options: I can read, or I can listen.
I’m halfway through Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville in audiobook form at the moment. Because the weather is good and the rain has eased off, I’ve been at the halfway point for quite a while.
I prefer books because when my mind wanders off from the story I automatically stop reading. But with an audiobook, it just carries on without me and I end up having to rewind.
I prefer books because sometimes I want to think about what I’ve read. And that’s easy with paper. I just stop, and I think, and then I go back to the words. With audiobooks, control of the voice is not as closely keyed to my mind. I have to press a button to stop the voice. Stopping is not as easy as just looking away.
And when I read words on paper, I can read more slowly if the words are long or the phrasing is more complex. And I can speed up if I find short words or an action scene or if I just want to skim over a passage to get to a more exciting part. With audiobooks, it’s just one speed. And never the one I need at any particular part of the book.
So yeah, I prefer books. eBooks are good too. I can treat them like paper books. The experience is much the same as a proper book.
How about you; how do you get your fix?