I thought this blog post would never eventuate after our aborted President’s Day weekend in Telluride that coincided with a huge boulder falling on a transmission line resulting in zero power to the whole town. We actually ended up driving back to Denver early after a night of picnicking in the semi darkness of our (rather chilly) hotel room. My husband and I called it our family Valentine’s Day adventure but after 12 hours of driving in 2 days it was more of an exhausting Valentine’s Day than anything…although, at least now I have no excuses and the blog post could be completed:)
On the way to Telluride and back we listened to two audio books in the car – one (which shall remain nameless) highlighted the very worst aspects of the audio book experience (wooden narration revealing a badly written novel in all its horror…) and we gave that one up after three discs; the second (thankfully) displayed all the wonderful elements associated with listening to a great book on CD. This (and I’m more than happy to identify it as The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman) was narrated by the wonderful Derek Jacobi (and a cast of other great British actors) and so was perhaps an unfair comparison – but, at least for part of our trip, the audio book experience was pleasantly memorable.
Both my twin boys love listening to books narrated well and still enjoy having me read aloud to them each night (which I still managed to do in our Telluride hotel room by flashlight!). What is interesting to me is that, although they love a great audio book, they are still ambivalent to ebooks – far preferring to read the print version. I often end up buying or getting from the library the print version of ebooks I own for them, as both boys want to read the hard copy rather than the electronic version. Since they both love spending on their computers and iPads, I have to wonder why neither of them have embraced ebooks. Is it because, like a bad audio book experience, it feels awkward and unenjoyable? Or is there something magical about turning the pages of a printed book that cannot be captured in an ebook (something that, as children, they feel strongly about perhaps?).
With recent reports of Amazon potentially opening physical bookstores, I also wonder whether we are finding an increasing resistance to ebooks (?). Now, I’m equally comfortable reading on my Kindle as I am reading the print version of a book – and yet my boys, who have grown up in the age of the iPad and Kindle, are not. They turn their noses up at any offer I may have to purchase the ebook version of a book they want. They’d much rather hold a book in their hands.
What about you? As a reader, do you have a preference for print, audio or ebooks? As a writer are you more wary of ebook only publication sites or publishers? Have you had a great book ruined by the audio version? What do you think – are we perhaps seeing generational differences that might result in a resurgence of print (if my boys are any indication)?