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I’m an avid reader. I’ve been an avid reader since I was in elementary school, devouring books between class assignments, at the lunch table, after school by nightlight, and even joining the reading bowl team. Yes, I actively volunteered to read 20 books and answer buzzer-style questions in a competition, and I was damn good at it.

That being said, I’m well aware of the discourse between reading physical books versus ebooks versus audiobooks. I want to make it clear that no way is superior to another, as it’s all due to personal preference.

I’m mainly a physical paperback reader, but I have recently gotten more into ebooks. I love my physical books—their covers are gorgeous on my shelves, you don’t need to charge them, and paperbacks are endearingly floppy depending on their materials. Hardcovers can be valuable, but bulky for someone who tries to travel light.

That’s where the appeal of e-readers comes in: many are slim and can be as equipped or low maintenance as you want them to be. E-readers also have many apps that are mobile phone and tablet compatible, so you don’t even have to buy the latest Kindle if you already have a tablet/cellphone. I personally have a Nook Glowlight 3 from Barnes and Noble, which is a simple low-fuss reader that I can purchase books on. The Amazon Kindle has a similar model, but the Kindle is also bigger, has more features, and comes in waterproof options depending on your lifestyle (though I believe there is a new Nook model that is also waterproof). I usually read on my Nook, but I have also read on my phone in bed, or with my iPad when bored.

E-readers are also great for those that wish to borrow books from a library that isn’t local, and they have many accessibility options like voice features and customizable text sizes. Additionally, they’re great for bookshelf space real estate, because readers can have many books on one device. This is why I make it a rule to not buy any more physical books if they are part of a series, and will instead have the entire series in ebook form.

Audiobooks are something I admittedly have the least experience with, however I appreciate them nonetheless. This is a personal choice, as I am not an auditory learner at all. I find myself having to rewind audiobooks a lot, so I only get them if I like the reader and if I’ve read the book already and just want to appreciate it in another form. Audiobooks are the priciest of the reading options—averaging at almost $30 per read depending on the retailer, but many libraries offer free copies now. Audiobooks are also very accessible for those who are visually impaired or those who want to read but do not have time, since they can be played while on a commute or while working on something that doesn’t require a lot of attention.

It’s important not to shame any reader, because all reading is real reading. However you choose to appreciate the written word, hopefully we can all come together over our shared love of reading instead of trying to divide ourselves.

Sarah Taphom

Oglethorpe '22

Communications Major | Women's and Gender Studies Minor HC @ Oglethorpe Marketing and Recruitment Director | Twitter Admin
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