books, e-books, audio books, oh my!

32320750It’s safe to say I have resisted the audio book trend. I am mostly a “traditional” reader. I love actually holding a book in my hands and turning the pages. I love that new book smell. I love being able to see the books on my shelves and watch my collection grow. I love how when new people visit my home, they glance through my shelves. I feel like it’s a great representation of who I am.

However, toward the end of my junior year of high school (read: six years ago, yikes!) I became a pretty big fan of e-books. While I still prefer physical books, (and think they are superior to alternative forms of reading in almost every way…) I think e-books have several benefits.

Junior year, I was saving up for college and money was pretty (very) tight. E-books are cheaper and in some cases, significantly cheaper. It became easier financially for me to buy e-books because I could sometimes get 2-3 e-books for the price of one hardback book. For a book worm, sometimes reading the extra stories are worth not actually having them on your shelves.

This happened with the Lunar Chronicles series. I have the series as e-books. However, it turned out I loved the series so much that I want to get the physical copies. I currently have Cress and am hoping to get the others. So, you can see I still prefer to have my favorites in physical copies.

But, another reason I jumped on the e-book trend was because of how much easier it is when you travel. I am the type of person who goes on vacation and brings 5 books. Or the type to lug boxes and boxes of my books to my college dorm so I can have them around me. While this is doable, it does make life difficult. Trying to pack five books in a suitcase is sometimes just impossible. It’s much easier to bring an e-reader and have twenty books available at your disposal. Similarly, throughout college I would often visit my hometown on weekends and during holidays. Lugging my books back home for the summer or trying to bring home twenty books for winter break was beyond annoying. E-books just make traveling with books much easier.

Now that I am post-grad and in law school, I travel much, much less. I would say my life is currently 80% physical books and 20% e-books. But that brings me to my final point…audio books! Law school is busy, stressful, and filled with a lot of reading and writing. While I’m no stranger to an excessive amount of read/write, the material is dense and not necessarily “fun.” And because I have such a heavy load of reading material every night, by the time I’m done…I just want to relax and give my eyes a break.

This means I’ve headed into a reading slump. I’m sure those who have been in law school or currently attend can understand me. There just isn’t much free time. And when you do have free time, your eyes need a break. However, I’ve missed reading terribly. I miss the stories, and I miss writing and talking about books!

So, I’ve looked into audio books for the first time. I signed up for audible and I used my first credit towards Little Monsters. I also bought The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent because it was significantly discounted (~$3.00). I’ve been in the mood for thrillers lately. I have about an 1hr and 15 minute commute (including going to and from school with traffic) five days a week. I’ve been using the time I am commuting for “reading” by listening to audio books. I started with Little Monsters by Kara Thomas and I am about 75% of the way through the book.

Stay tuned for a post about my thoughts on that book and my final thoughts on audio books after I’ve listened to both books. I want to listen to two books on audible so I can make sure my opinion is better reflective of my reading experience. So far, I’m thinking this is going to be a good option for me with the stage of life I’m in.

We will see if I’m able to be converted into an audio-book reader!