Books, e-books, or audio books

I was once an avid chain reader. My favorite topics have been history, computers, leadership, and spirituality. I count myself lucky because I can read in more than 1 languages. I read English as well as Chinese books.

Around the time I started wearing bifocal glasses, I noticed that more of my time was spent on watching TV and surfing the net, and less on reading. Reading as an activity is now less comfortable and is something I can only do for a short duration (10 minutes at a time). Yet, I still enjoy reading very much. My favorite quiet-time activity is flipping through an interesting book, while sipping coffee in mid afternoon, somewhere in a quiet neighborhood coffee shop.

Communication media have come a long way since the advent of the printing press. Blogs, Twitter, Wikipedia, Youtube, and countless other mass media form part of present-day realities. And just around the corner is Virtual Reality technology. Books, however, are here to stay, but its form factor has evolved over the years.

Audio books have been around since the last century. I am not a big fan of audio books. In general, we are all pretty inefficient listeners. We can read a book much faster than we can listen to it. I do not have a single audio book in my library.

E-books held such high promise at the beginning. With next to nothing digital production and distribution costs, e-books could potentially make books uber accessible and affordable to the masses. But, marketing sees things differently from technology. Today, when I compare the price of the same book in both its digital and hard-copy forms, the price difference is hardly a big enough factor for me to buy digital.

I do own a handful of e-books which I sourced from BookBub. I highly recommend that e-book lovers subscribe to their email newsletters. The weekly newsletter lists heavily discounted e-books which you can order on-line from Google, Amazon, Apple iBooks and Kobo.

Call me old-fashioned if you must, but, given the choice of books or e-books, I still prefer books.

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