Visual or Audio?

- by Tawny Weber

One of the many wonderful things about books is the varied ways readers can enjoy them.   Not only to read, or listen, but some even make it to the visual medium of the big or small screen.

In my home, we enjoy all of the formats.  I’ll read anything with writing on it, be it a hardcover book, a paperback book, an ebook or a cereal box.  At a recent conference someone asked me if I ever purchased a book in more than one format.  I have to admit, I do quite often.  If I read an ebook -especially in non-fiction-that I think someone else will love, I buy them the print version.  Some authors I buy in both formats for a variety of other reasons.  Quite a few readers I’ve spoke with are almost exclusively one or the other, though.

As much as I love books themselves, I don’t do audio books.  I’m very non-auditory, and always lose track of the story.  My daughter and mother, though love audio books and listens to them everywhere.  Most adults I know rate their audio listening experience on the quality of the narrator.  Harry Potter’s narrator, Jim Dale, was amazing.  I hear raves about him. One YA series that has crossed boundaries from children to adults like the Harry Potter series has a very youthful narrator, and one person I spoke with recently said she can’t listen because she felt talked down to.

I think this is one of the amazing things about our ability as authors to reach out to an audience.  There is such a vast variety of ways for them to experience our work.

How about you?  Are you an audio book lover?  A reader?  Or some combination of both?  Do you prefer hardcover, paperback or ebooks for your reading comfort?    Do you mix formats or are you exclusively one or the other?

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