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Audio Books vs Paperback Books vs eBooks

Thanks to technology, we get to witness new products on a regular basis. This is somewhat true in terms of books as well. With the passage of time, after using paperback books, technology came up with audio books and now we even have eBooks. Presented is a detailed review of all these types of books.

Audio Books

Audio books are basically books that have been recorded in audio format to enable you to have the book read out to you instead of having to go through the hardcopy yourself. These are commonly available in all major bookstores, but the most popular option to acquire audio books is to download them to your computer via the internet.  You can download audio books in the comfort of your home at an extremely affordable price. Better still, you can join an audio book club to get one to two free downloads for a low monthly fee.

If you purchase an audio book from a store, you will acquire it on cd. On the other hand, if you download one from the internet, you can listen to it on your computer or copy it onto an MP3 player. This obviously makes it rather portable. You can easily listen to it no matter where you are, may it be at the beach, while doing house chores, in the car, traveling overseas or interstate etc.
Some of the most obvious advantages of audio books are:

  • It makes going through books rather fast
  • It is considerably cheap
  • It makes book reading rather convenient as your book becomes portable and you can listen to it while doing other tasks
  • It does not take any space, which means there would be less clutter around the place
  • As it does not utilize ink, paper or chemicals, an audio book is environment-friendly

However, there are disadvantages of audio books as well:

  • Although you can borrow audio books from the libraries, most people do require internet access to rent or download audio books
  • It is necessary for you to have a handheld device such as an iPod, iPhone or any other MP3 player
  • These cannot be referred to as easily as other types of books. Even though you can fast-forward to chapters, but rewinding to passages you wish to hear again gets tough
  • Unless you have an awesome backup system, losing audio books is really easy
  • Some people think that audio books spoil the fun of old fashioned reading

Paperback Books

Paperback books are largely available in all bookstores obviously. These are particularly liked by individuals who just love the tangible feeling of holding a book in their hands. The best part is that these are commonly available at discounted rates as well. And one must not forget that you can easily acquire countless paperback books from the library, second hand stores as well as garage sales. These can easily be carried out in your backpack, briefcase or purse. Some of their basic advantages are:

  • These offer rest to the eyes of people who spend a lot of their time working on the computer and are tired of the electronic glare at the end of the day
  • They are pretty inexpensive
  • You can easily highlight and underline them
  • You can easily flip on to other pages
  • Can easily be lent out or traded without worrying about copyright laws

On the other hand, paperback books have their disadvantages as well. A few of these are:

  • Paperback books are merely paper. What this implies is that the possibility of paperback books getting ruined or destroyed in case proper care is not taken is fairly high. They can easily get wrinkled, torn and are bound to fall apart.
  • They take up quite a bit of space if you are the sort of person who loves collecting books. This can be an issue if you live in a small place.
  • Space is an issue for those who carry their books around for some reason or the other. These are heavy as well.


In simple words, eBooks are books that can be viewed and read in the form of digital media. EBooks are read over the computer, eBook readers, or specialized phones such as Smartphones. This format is believed by many to be far more convenient as compared to conventional books. EBooks are believed to have the power to replace paperback books completely. Authors have largely realized the true worth of this medium and a majority of them are now focused on writing eBooks and publishing them over the internet.

Their basic advantages are:

  • Reading eBooks is fairly easy. They can easily be zoomed in and out of and have letter resizing options as well
  • eBooks don’t take up space like paperback books
  • eBooks don’t require paper and printing to produce, so they are environmentally friendly
  • eBooks are portable, you can carry them anywhere you go
  • It is easy to search for information in an eBook, you don’t need to turn page after page

There are also some disadvantages of eBooks:

  • If you are reading eBook on computer, you may spend long hours in front of the screen, which results in eye strain and RSI
  • Reading eBook on computer takes up a lot of power and takes away battery life
  • In order to carry eBooks around, you need an eBook reader or Smartphone
  • eBooks are not as readily available as paperback books
  • Major discrepancies exist in term of the pricing of eBooks