Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week 11 Prompt Response

I'm a big fan of ebooks and audiobooks. What may be one of the more difficult things to adjust to when analyzing and ebook versus a physical book is the length. The number of ebook pages can vary greatly whereas a physical book has a set number of pages. Ebook pages can vary for several reasons and almost always have more pages than the physical version. The biggest reason being it depends on the screen size of the device you are using. I read ebooks on everything, my computer, a tablet device, or even my little tiny phone screen. If I want to know my actual progress through the book I have to look at the percentage of the book that I've read so far. Physical books aren't measured by percentages. The books are of course, the same length no matter what medium you choose to read it by, however, depending on the type of person you are, you may find the pacing faster with an ebook because you get to turn pages sooner or get daunted if you are looking at the 'pages' you've read and still have several hundred to go. Since I still haven't mastered the science of ebook pages to figure out how long the book will be there are other factors I look at. I often look up the physical book to see what the page count is to get an idea of how long the book actually is. I also look at the table of contents in the ebook which can also help me evaluate how long it may take me to read the book. Finally, you just have to turn to reviews to see what the consensus is about pacing. At that point, how long it actually takes me to get through the book just depends on how good it is and how busy I am which I can't measure. Pacing and length are sometimes a big concern for readers so finding information about how many pages long the physical book is may help give readers a better idea of  how 'long' it is before they get intimidated by how many 'pages' are in the ebook version.

Being able to change the font, color, and spacing of the text something that I think helps pace. If you are able to read comfortably it puts less strain on the eyes and can make it easier to read. Making the font bigger or adjusting the spacing will add more ebook 'pages' so it may seem like your progress slows down, however if making those adjustments helps you get more immersed in the story it doesn't matter in my opinion. I usually change the colors at night when I'm reading in bed so that it helps my eyes adjust to the dark.  I love this about ebooks because I can read lying down without having to prop the book up in weird ways and not have to keep lights on so that way I'm not keeping anyone else up!

One thing we should consider when recommending and showing our patrons ebooks is formats available for reading. My library system uses Overdrive for ebooks which is compatible with the Overdrive app, any browser, and the Kindle app. It can be tricky because occasionally all three formats aren't available for a particular title (Kindle usually is the one left out if this is the case). If you have a patron who wants to use a Kindle format specifically, you got to watch out for that. This is most definitely a common problem for audiobooks on Overdrive. Certain ebook reading apps/systems have different checkout rules. For overdrive, I can always read the book in a browser whenever I want since it's not downloaded and my overdrive account always holds my place where I left off in the browser version. Overdrive will also usually let you choose between Kindle or Overdrive for downloading. You can only pick one of these, but even after you download it, you can still access the read-in-browser version. I often switch between the downloaded version and the browser version depending on where I want to read. The browser and downloaded versions aren't synced up, so if you switch between the two often you'll have to manually find your place because it will only bookmark where you last read in that particular version. Despite that small set back, I love that I can check out an ebook and literally read it anywhere I've got a device (and wifi depending on if I saved the book to a device or not).

I'm less familiar with audiobooks but have started to develop a love for them because I can also use Overdrive for audiobooks. I almost always download these to my phone so that way I don't use data when listening in my car, which is one of the ways I treat audiobooks differently than ebooks. I found the Reading with Your Ears article by Kaite Mediatore very informative because I know a lot of people listen to audiobooks more frequently and differently than I do so there are some major appeal factors that I didn't really think about. Abrdiged or unabridged? Favorite narrator? Music? CD or cassette (and now smart device compatible)? Is the patron using the audiobook for driving or reading alongside? I really think the good narrator and length really applies with the driving scenario. From personal experience, no one wants a dull narrator during a long drive. I use audiobooks in the car to calm the road rage and keep me awake, not put me to sleep!  Length is an appeal factor that I think applies a lot for a long road trip because I want the book to be long enough to cover the whole trip (with some extra length  to account for bad traffic), and hopefully finish or be nearly finished with the book by the time the trip is over. Since I'm still not very well versed in the audiobook world and don't know who all the best narrators are yet (I have had the pleasure of listening to a James Marsters audiobook and would love to listen to more like him) I will definitely be seeking as much information as I can out of my patrons to learn more about why they like particular audiobooks.

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


  1. Wow, Shelby, you're a committed ebook reader! I'm guessing you're a millenial? My daughter is the same, and I doubt she's read a print book in years. In the Reading with Your Ears article, I thought it was funny that they mentioned cassettes - I had to stop and look at the pub date (2003), lol. Very, very few people still have access to a cassette player these days, and newer cars just don't have them. In addition, the people I know who still have an older car have a device that sticks into the cassette player to convert it to MP3/auxiliary device. At my library, we got rid of all of our cassette based audio books and VHS based movies several years ago (and we're in a rural county that is generally behind the times). Maybe the teens would enjoy playing with my old portable cassette player and some tapes this summer at the library? I'll have to bring it in and see what they think, lol.
    When it comes to pacing and pages in an ebook, I sort of always have an idea how long it took me to get to that percentage, so then I have a general feel for how much longer it will take to finish. Like you, I sometimes go back to the contents to see how much is in the book and that helps get me oriented. I recently got a Paperwhite, which a little bit different, but I like being able to read at night without a lamp, but still take it outside during the day. I don't think I can change colors on that, though, I'll have to check. Good comments, thanks!

  2. Fantastic prompt response! You hit the nail on the head. I like your thoughts about how you use ebooks and they've impacted you. Also great job incorporating this week's readings in your response. Full points!