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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

When I read, I use all forms of reading mediums, including e-books, audiobooks, physical books, & a Kindle. I feel like all of them have pros & cons, & depending on the situation, some might be better than others. Below, I list some of the pros & cons that I’ve seen & what situations I use each medium.


If I’m being completely honest, this is my least favorite reading medium. I really only use this as a last resort or when I’m reading a short story online.


  • Extremely portable.
  • Small size for easy handling.
  • Inconspicuous (for those who get a little embarrassed about reading their book in public/have a book cover they would rather not have shown).
  • Easy access to library resources through your library app, Hoopla, Libby, etc.


  • Small text is kind of annoying.
  • If your phone reloads, there is a high chance you could lose your place depending on what platform you read on.
  • Drains your phone battery (you better have a charger with you).
  • If you like to be emotionally attached to books you own, this probably is not for you since you often do not own the book & are unable to physically feel it.


This can be considered one of my personal favorites. I would consider this one of my most commonly used mediums as I use it while doing chores, exercising, working on hobbies, etc.


  • You can read while doing other things where your eyes and hands are occupied.
  • Can speed up or slow down listening speed (I speed it up which means I can finish books quickly while still enjoying them).
  • Many audiobooks tell you how long it will take to read a chapter/the whole book which helps you to better estimate whether you have enough time to read it.
  • On a sentimental level, having someone read to you may bring back happy memories of your childhood.


  • If you don’t pay attention (or fall asleep), it may be hard to find the beginning of what you missed.
  • There are debates over whether listening to an audiobook actually counts as reading (I think it does).
  • Not all books have audiobook equivalents, so there is a chance that you might not be able to find one for the book you want.
  • They can be kind of boring if you don’t have anything to do while listening to them.


I will be honest with you, I was on the fence about using a Kindle for a long time. I’ve owned one since 4th grade & often used it when I was little, but eventually, I fell out of that habit while favoring physical books. Recently I have gotten back into it after getting a new Kindle & I actually like it quite a bit. I often use my Kindle as my “public book”. It’s the book I take to read before class or when traveling.


  • It is a lightweight collection of books that is easy to travel & carry around.
  • Like audiobooks, it gives you a sort of confidentiality in what you are reading when you are in public.
  • Unlike e-books, the font is often a decent size matching the normal book font size.
  • There is often some sort of progress report at the bottom (how much time is left in a chapter based on your average reading speed, what percentage of the book you have completed, page number, etc.).


  • You are still exposed to blue light like when you use a normal device.
  • While it can often look like reading a physical book, it does not feel like reading a physical book.
  • Limited access to books (with Kindle, you can only access books on Amazon or the occasional book from a reading app like Libby).
  • You can only access books that have already been downloaded when you’re not on Wifi.

Physical Books

We’re going back to the classic medium, a physical book. I love physical books, often collecting them. My physical TBR seems to grow faster than I can read them. I mostly read them at home or on planned reading outings (such as heading to the diag to just read).


  • The feel & smell of books are pretty addicting (at least to me).
  • You can easily see your progress & check the number of pages left in a chapter.
  • You spend time away from electronics which can help lower dependency & blue light exposure.
  • People may try to talk to you about what you are reading if they are curious or have read it before (conversation starter, possibly new friends). *


  • They are heavy, you can only bring so many with you at any given time (limits the amount you can travel with).
  • Easily damaged (such as tearing the dust jacket/pages, spilling water or coffee on them, or dropping it & denting the corners).
  • People know what you are reading (unless you have a cover sleeve, this might be a little embarrassing for romance readers with less discrete cover pictures/titles).
  • People may try to talk to you about what you are reading if they are curious or have read it before (people interrupting your reading sesh). *

*This can be considered a pro or con depending on your personality & the situation

Niya Holbert

U Mich '26

A bachelor in business student at Ross School of Business. Working towards a specialization in Accounting. I love to travel (I've been to 8 other countries and most of the United States), read, take pictures of the local scenery, and try new things.