Building a Reading Habit #5: Format
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Building a Reading Habit #5: Format

These days we have choices regarding the format of books we want to read. Besides a typical printed book (you know, the paper kind?), we have eBook and audiobooks. Each has its own advantages.


The classic print format book has the obvious advantage of not needing power, a charged battery or additional technology to use (unless of course you need reading glasses!) Libraries still have lots of books, and if you insist on buying them you can find them inexpensively! Well, we left out one thing: you need a light source. This might seem rather obvious, but it is something to consider if you want to read in low-light conditions; you might want to book light.

Many people still prefer the experience of holding a real book in their hands, feeling and smelling the paper, turning the pages and seeing the books sitting on their shelves. There is indeed something wonderful and uplifting about books.


In recent years eBooks have gained in popularity. Various eReaders such as Nooks and Kindles are available and offer nice features.

They are designed to be mostly glare-free (unlike a typical tablet), and designed specifically for the human eye and reading.

Font size and be adjusted easily, so reading glasses might not be needed, and of course, they can hold dozens if not hundreds of books.

Libraries make eBooks available through various services, so you may not need to purchase all your books. For people who have trouble getting to the library or a bookstore, or have limited storage space at home for books, eBooks are a nice option.

Finally, since eReaders typically have a lighted screen, you can use them easily in otherwise low-light conditions. The disadvantages? You have to keep them charged, and you don’t get that nice feeling of holding a book in your hands.


Audiobooks are great for people who might be visually impaired, as well as for anyone who wants to listen to a book rather than read it. They’re a great option for something to listen to while driving, cleaning or otherwise engaged. While by definition listening and reading are not the same thing, listening and reading to books has been shown to activate similar areas of the brain. Audiobooks are a valid and very fun way to experience a book!

Like eBooks, your public library (in this case Plano Public Library) makes audiobooks available on loan through Overdrive/Libby.

Looking for suggestions? Read through our Have Your Heard? monthly audiobook lists.

You might try a combination of any of these formats while creating your reading habit. Use whatever helps you achieve your goal!

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