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Does the Genre You’re Reading Change the Medium You Read In?

30 November 2012

From BookRiot:

I realized recently that I read all my YA books on my phone.

YA is usually an impulse buy for me. I decide I want to know who the heck this John Green guy is anyway or want to get my Harry Potter/Hunger Games fix on with one of their many fantasy/dystopian cousins. When I decide I want to read a particular YA book, I want to start reading it in the next, like, minute. I don’t want to wait the better part of an hour to drive back and forth from the bookstore, and I definitely don’t want to wait three weeks to get off the library holds list, so I get on my iPhone and I’m reading about wizard-zombie teens falling in post-apocalyptic love within a minute.

But this isn’t how I read all books! For my adult literary fiction, I have an ever-growing list in my head and every time I go to the bookstore I let myself buy one (okay, sometimes three or four) of the books on the list. I can wait for my Alice Munro and my Louise Erdrich. Part of the fun is in the waiting. And I wouldn’t want to read these books on my phone or even my iPad. I like reading them in hard copy, I like lending the physical copies to my friends, I like seeing them on my shelves for years after.

Link to the rest at BookRiot

Books in General

20 Comments to “Does the Genre You’re Reading Change the Medium You Read In?”

  1. No.

    Except cookbooks must be in print, because I’m not going to put any digital device between the chopping board of raw meat and the grease-spattering frying pan, while trying to run flour-smudged fingers down the page.

    • I should note I don’t read everything in digital. I do, however, read print or digital interchangeably in every genre except cookbooks.

  2. I contemplated this, and decided yes, to an extent. I read mostly indie YA on my phone, because I can read bits at a time wherever, but I do most of the rest of my reading on my Kindle.

    Like Dorothy, I also buy print cookbooks, and I do buy hardbacks of certain authors when they come out, but the list is limited to about three authors.

  3. Definitely. I buy non-fiction in print because I like being able to turn down edges (the horror!) or mark with sticky notes, whereas I purchase fiction–mostly romance–in e-format for quick consumption. As an addendum, I prefer to read shorter works on my phone and longer works on my dedicated e-Reader.

  4. I read everything on my Kindle app on my I-phone, except reference books, like cookbooks. Those are still more convenient in print form, although, I expect that will change at some point.

  5. Generally speaking, I read it on my phone if I can get it on my phone. I read printed books if no ebook is available, if the printed book is cheaper than the ebook, or if I already have a printed copy from the days when print was the only format available.

    I can see the point of making an exception for cookbooks, but I don’t use cookbooks. I have no one to cook for but myself, and my taste buds are used to being insulted, so I just don’t see any benefit. My standards of cuisine are simple: if I don’t have to kill it myself, and it won’t kill me, it passes muster. Extra points if I can get it cheaply without buying enough perishables to fill the large freezer I haven’t got.

  6. If I can get a book on audio download from the library, that’s my first choice. I consume most of my books via audio while I’m doing my day job.

    All public domain books I read on my Kindle Touch. I have a lot of current books I got for free on my Kindle as well, but I rarely read those.

    I occasionally read on a pocket computer (aka smart phone with no service contract), but usually I’ll just play solitaire.

    Research books I prefer to own in print. I will sometimes also get them in print from the library. Most of those are not available in audio or digital.

    Books that I can’t get in audio from the library I will add to my Amazon wish-list, and when I see them used for very cheap I sometimes buy them. This is especially true for research books, which tend to be expensive.

    There are a handful of authors whose works I collect in hardcover.

    I buy very few ebooks because I always forget to read them. If I’m reading a book purely for pleasure, unless it’s REALLY REALLY good I will forget I’m reading it unless I keep seeing it lying around, because I don’t have a lot of time to read text.

  7. Strictly hard copy at the moment, in part because the books I need for research have not been scanned yet, and in part because I too am a compulsive annotator. I anticipate reading more foreign-language works and novellas if I get an e-reader, because so many older German works are available free in e-versions.

  8. There is one genre I read only on paper: Overpriced Books. I can get them much cheaper used or from the library.

    Other than that, I’m more or less like everyone else. Cookbooks and reference non-narrative nonfiction I prefer in paper.

    I also like to have some things just for my iPod Touch for reading on the go (usually short thing, or collections of short things). And I am still trying to find a solution for the samples which seem to slow my Kindle down.

    I prefer to use samples as a kind of personalized bookstore. I download a sample of anything that looks interesting, and then I go shopping among the samples later. That means I have a LOT of samples. I’ve taken to downloading them to my computer’s Kindle app lately, but that sucks too, because the Kindle app for Mac is horribly disorganized and makes it hard to sort through.

    One day, I will get a new Kindle, and my old Kindle will be a samples repository.

    • Yes, Camille, the kindle app really bogs down the more titles you have. I’ve taken to deleting books from my kindle once I finish a book. (except for a cherished few that I keep perpetually). I add books to an Amazon wishlist instead of using samples to remind me I might like to read them.

  9. I read anything I want to share in deadtrees, because it’s easier to hand over the book when I’m done than to hand over the iPad.

  10. OT, but there is no other place to post this question.

    How do you approach people to write blurbs for the backs of your books? And you you think it helps? And if it helps, are some blurb writers more than others? I guess another YA author would have more cred for my YA book, but how about film directors, journalists, etc.

  11. Yes, because I’m price-sensitive. My Kindle is loaded with romances, because romance publishers are more inclined to discount ebooks than publishers of other genres. I tend to buy YA in hardcover because it’s priced reasonably compared to adult hardcovers, and I tend to share YA books with my kids so print is convenient (I don’t like to share my Kindle). Anything that I feel is overpriced, I get from the library.

  12. Cookbooks and reference non-narrative nonfiction I prefer in paper.

    Yes, me too.

    Bujold, McKinley, Willis, and Wynne Jones in hardcover.

    Everything else from the library or on my kindle.

    • “Yes, me too…..Bujold, McKinley, Willis, and Wynne Jones in hardcover.”

      Okay I’m confused. I think that’s the opposite of what I said, not the same. I read reference and cookbooks on paper, everything else on Kindle.

      If it’s narrative (nonfiction or fiction) I much much much prefer reading on my Kindle. I call that “immersive” reading. The heaviness and print size and such on paper is intrusive and I prefer not to read for pleasure.

      Although I DO buy hardbacks of my most beloved books as a collector’s item, I generally only acquire paper if the ebook is way overpriced, and then I’ll get it from the library or used.

      • Careless and sloppy me. Grin!

        I was adding the Bujold, etc. as a difference. They are my exception to my rule, my beloveds in hardback. (Rather like yours immediately above, come to think of it, although likely different authors.)

        The rest: I believe I choose paper vs. ebook as you do.

  13. Mmm.

    Non-fiction, reference, I prefer having in paper. It’s easier to flip through if I want to go back.

    Non-fiction, “background reading”, I’m just as happy to have as an etext. I can throw it into my Kobo and read whenever I’m in the mood for it.

    RPG texts I prefer in hardcopy, if I can swing them. But I will be just as likely to get the PDF(s) and read them at the computer. But if I ever get into an offline game and I only have the PDFs, I may have to switch to hardcopies. [Edit: I do prefer hardcover rpg texts to softcover. Though I have both in my collection. Hardcover just seems safer.]

    Fiction, I typically prefer in etext because I can load them onto my Kobo and sit in a bubble bath and read until I don’t want to be in the tub anymore. (I won’t have to worry about warping the paper and with a plastic bag over my Kobo, I don’t have to worry about that either.) I used to prefer it in hardcover for the same reason – it was easier/safer to take into the tub than a paperback. (The downside was that hardcover becomes too heavy to hold and as they’re expensive, I usually bought them heavily discounted or second-hand.)

    I can’t say that “sub-genres” really change how I want to read, though. I don’t treat my fantasy different from my sci-fi, from my mystery, from my romance.

    • I vastly prefer having reference works in ebook form, because they are electronically searchable. I have never yet found a reference book with an index that was worth a plugged nickel. Also, I have never found a useful reference book (except the SAS Survival Manual and one Latin dictionary) that I could carry in a trouser pocket; whereas I can carry thousands of reference books on the iPhone that fits in my trouser pocket very nicely.

      • I suspect it will have to do with the piece of equipment you use to read etexts. My low-end Kobo doesn’t have a search ability. It takes ages to use the online store. It’s slow flipping pages. It’s not suitable for anything where you have to go back or forth more than two or three pages. It took me something like 10 minutes to flip through forty pages or so to catch up with where I was in the paper version of The Count of Monte Cristo.

        Assuming an ereading device that was able to search and flip pages easily, I might change my idea. Excepting where it comes to books with illustrations/photos, which I prefer as large as possible so I can drink in the details. 😉

        • My low-end Kobo doesn’t have a search ability.

          I’m gobsmacked. That’s just . . . broken. I’ve never used an electronic storage device that didn’t have a search ability*, and I can’t imagine why I would want one.

          You have my sympathies; Kobo doesn’t.

          *Except for the first cell phone I had with a number memory. That only stored something like 20 numbers altogether, so the lack of a search function was not a big deal.

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