Friday, March 24, 2017

Prompt 11

Ebooks and audiobooks are becoming a natural part of library collections. Ebooks and audiobooks are both great when traveling: ebooks for ease of packing and audiobooks are useful for long car rides when getting to and from the destination. I have tried both of them, but I still love and prefer my print books.

Positive appeal factors of ebooks include: changing the font size, adjusting the brightness and reading by using a dark background with white text. You can also download ebooks from anywhere so this can be really useful if you are traveling or stranded and find yourself without anything to read. Another aspect of using ebooks is that it is easy to hide what you are reading. Sometimes people want to keep their romance novel or Fifty Shades of Grey hidden from others. 
A positive facet of ebooks for me personally is that I cannot look at the ending of the book I am reading. I know, it is terrible, but I have this tendency to skip ahead and read different parts of a book, including the ending. Ebooks keep me from doing this, because it is too difficult to go forward and then back to where you left off. 

But not being able to navigate forward and back can be difficult if you want to go back and reread something or if you are looking for when a new character was introduced. This can be a negative appeal factor. Another negative appeal factor is that pacing and tone may be affected in an ebook and the entire reading experience can be hindered. You also can not see or feel the weight of an ebook, so you might not realize how long a book is 
(Dunneback, 2011). It might seem like it is taking a lot longer to read a book, or that you are not going anywhere, especially if you are changing the font size and making it larger. Fonts for some genres might display differently on a device, which takes away from the experience. I would think looking at the frames of a graphic novel with all of the images would be rather difficult on a device.

Audiobooks are very popular at my library location. People can use audiobooks in the car when traveling to and from work or traveling on vacation. They are also great when you are cleaning your house, doing dishes, doing a craft or hobby like knitting or crocheting or out taking a walk or run. "One of the most interesting facts to note is that the majority of people listening to recorded books are not substituting the audio format for the printed one, but rather as a supplement to visual, text-based reading" (Mediatore, 2003). People have found another way to engage with books while doing tasks, by listening to audiobooks..

Sometimes when you hear a story, the narration can add or enhance the story. Certain appeal factors such as narration, music and sound effects can affect the experience and enjoyment of the audiobook. The reader gets a different feel when they are listening to a book rather than reading it themselves. The narrator adds to the enjoyment when he or she uses voice inflections and changes voices between characters. But a downfall of audiobooks is that you can get a poor narrator that takes away from the experience. The narrator can stay monotone, you can find their voice annoying or they are just plain boring. 

I have tried audiobooks a few times but they are not my preference. I tend to get distracted easily and forget to listen so then I have to go back and find my place again. But they have a big fan base and I have a lot of friends who prefer this format. Reader's advisory in both ebook and audiobook formats are important and as librarians, we need to know how to match material to the patron. Libraries (and librarians) need to stay abreast of ever-changing new technology that comes our way.

Works Cited:

Dunneback, K., & Trott, B. (2011). E-books and Readers' Advisory. Reference & User Services     Quarterly, 50(4), 325-9. Retrieved from Library Lit & Inf Full Text database.

Mediatore, K. (2003). Reading with Your Ears: Readers' Advisory and Audio Books. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 42(4), 318-23. Retrieved from Library Lit & Inf Full Text database


  1. Hi Anne.

    You brought up some great points.

    * I was part of the group at our library that handled all of the ebook/audiobook questions when we first starting offering digital services. It felt like every other question we had was from someone who wanted to download Fifty Shades of Grey onto their Kindle! I think the secrecy of the ebook is a definite plus for a lot of people. Not just because what they're reading is steamy but because sometimes people are embarrassed of what they like to read. (They shouldn't be!)

    * I also had several people who found ebooks to be a godsend because it gave them the opportunity to read again. People with eyesight issues could enlarge the print so that they could easily read it. They were overjoyed.

    * I liked how you found both the good and bad with it being rather cumbersome to read ahead on an ebook!

    * I am like you when it comes to audiobooks. I just can't do them. But it feels like I am more and more in the minority every year. So many patrons "read" via audiobooks now.

  2. Fantastic prompt response! You hit the nail on the head. Full points!