Reading is one of my favourite pastimes. I can spend hours just sitting in one spot, engrossed in a captivating story. But as is the case for many busy people, this is rare for me. It’s hard to find the time to get the perfect book and just sit back and relax. Thankfully, modern technology has made it easier for me to access books and enjoy them in any format at any time.
Buying eBooks directly from eReaders and audiobooks from online stores saves you the time getting to and from bookstores as well as the amount of time you spend walking around the store. It also spares you from carrying a physical book, which may take a lot of space, in your purse or bag.
Ebooks are books that are available in digital form, which can be read on virtually any device, from e-readers (device used specifically for ebooks) to phones, tablets and laptops. Ebooks have quite the history, with several people claiming to be the first inventor. Regardless of who actually first introduced ebooks, they sure have changed what it means to read. Ebook readership has been steadily increasing, from 23% to 28% of American adults having read an ebook in 2014 compared to 2013. As more and more people own electronic devices, this number will surely continue to rise.
This method of reading is incredible for its accessibility and customizability. Because ebooks can be read on many electronic devices, they’re easily portable and can store a huge volume of books. Take the Kobo Aura for example, it has enough storage that can store up to 3,000 books. Not only that, you can modify the font sizes and overall appearance of ebooks to your liking. The best feature, in my opinion, would be the ability to highlight and add notes, which is great because it allows you to go back to your favourite parts of the book. You can still do this with regular books, but with ebooks, you won’t physically alter its pages through dog-earing, highlighting and writing (although a lot of people enjoy doing this).
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An audiobook, originally called a “talking book,” is a recording of a text being read. Spoken audio has been available in institutes such as schools and libraries since the 1930s, with a larger focus on poetry and plays rather than on books. Audiobooks started to gain popularity in the 1980s when book retailers began to pick up on this technology. Currently, audiobooks are the fastest growing area in publishing, with an increasing number of books being published and sales made. 43,000 new audiobooks were released in 2015, an increase of 7,000 books from 2014. Within a one-year span from 2015 to 2014, audiobook sales increased by a whopping 43.3%, contributing largely to this publishing sector.
If you’re unable to read a physical or electronic book for any reason, audiobooks provide another alternative. They’re excellent for multitasking since you can listen to them while doing any activity such as commuting, running or cooking. Listening to books can also bring them to life. As you listen, it can feel like you are just watching a TV show or a movie because the provided audio allows your mind to vividly imagine the scenes. Your experience can also depend on the narrator: the emotions they convey, the tone of their voice and even the speed at which they read.
Nothing beats the experience of reading an old-fashioned physical book, but ebooks and audiobooks have made it possible to make each reading experience truly unique. Try reading a physical book, ebook and listening to an audiobook to see what you enjoy the best. Whichever book type you choose, you will definitely have a great time reading or listening to it.