[Guest Post] JM Cabral on Reading Formats

Hi y’all! I’m JM and I’m the guy behind Book Freak Revelations. I’m also 1/3 of the Arctic Books team, and 1/4 of the team behind Bookworms Unite PH. I’ve been an avid reader for 10 years now, and a book blogger for almost 4. I’ve had my fair share of reading YA novels in different formats and so when my friend Fay asked me to come up with a post for Bibliophile Soprano about my experience with this, I was more than happy to say yes, and I’m elated to be featured and talk about whether I love to read books digitally, in print, or if I prefer to listen to audiobook programs instead.

When I first started to read for leisure, I much rather preferred to read paperbacks. The first book that I bought for myself was Percy Jackson and The Olympians Book 1: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan and I distinctly remember that one of the reasons as to why I loved that book was because of how light it felt in my hands. (Well, other than the story itself, of course.) I adored how I could bring it everywhere without having to sacrifice so much space in my bag, and I read it multiple times. I think it’s safe to say that that copy was very well-loved. My love for paperbacks went on until after I finished my sophomore year in college, when I discovered the beauty that came with acquiring and reading hardcovers.

The first time I held a book in hardcover format, I was very much mesmerized by how gorgeous it looked and was also shocked upon seeing the price that came with it. My initial thought was “My god, this is expensive! I don’t think someone with a half-decent mind would buy this.” and yet here I am now, an undeniable hoarder of hardcover books. *laughs* Well, one of the many reasons as to why I made the switch is because of the hardcover’s binding and overall feel. Even though it’s a lot heavier than a paperback, and it takes up way more space in a bag, I really appreciate how neat and how aesthetically pleasing it is. It looks great on a shelf, and I’m no publishing professional but I really believe that it lasts way longer than paperbacks. It ages well too, if I might add. (Okay, okay. I’m obsessed with hardcovers. Stop bugging me!) My first ever hardcover book is Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and it’s still looking pretty good, even though it now has yellowed edges.

Moving on, let’s talk about e-books. What’s great about this is that you can literally take and read it wherever you go, so long as you have a phone or an e-reader (a tablet, a kindle, or whatever e-reader brand). It may or may not be taking up any space in your bag, and what’s amazing about this is that it costs less than a physical book. However, what’s not so great about e-books is that not everyone can tolerate the lighting/light settings of a mobile phone or an e-reader, and in my opinion, this is a huge deal breaker because for those with poor eyesight, this might not even be an option at all. I won’t lie though, I do read e-books every now and then. But it’s not my go-to format.

And last but most certainly not the least are audiobook programs. This way of “reading” (Are we allowed to call it that? Since we’re not really reading?) I discovered a long time ago, but only grew fond of this 2018. I have an account on Audible and I renew my subscription every time I have an anticipated audiobook release, most of which fall under the fantasy genre (since I find that fantasy/science fiction novels are made even more fantastical through audiobooks). I like how narrators basically breathe life into characters who appear to be a lot more powerful and alluring when given a distinct voice. Also, the idea of being able to listen to this during one’s commute sold me right from the start. To date, I’ve listened to more than 20 audiobooks, and I don’t see myself stopping sometime soon. I just love how utterly convenient listening to audiobooks is and I hope others would get the chance to give them a try as well. Some of my most recommended audiobook programs would have to be Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (Yeah, I’m giving you the side-eye, Gavin.), Caraval by Stephanie Garber, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo.

Now, I don’t think this post is conclusive at all. If anything, I might have just confused you all a lot more. But I guess what I’m trying to say is whether you prefer to read physical copies or e-copies or just listen to audiobooks, at the end of the day, what’s important is that YOU STILL GET TO READ. You still get to go to these new worlds and that you still get to learn something new, one way or another. So don’t be ashamed by what format you prefer. Reading is reading. 😉

JM Cabral is a 22-year-old blogger from Manila. He has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Managment mainly because it was too late when he discovered that literature and publishing is his true calling. He enjoys reading contemporary and fantasy novels as much as he enjoys playing video games and baking pastries. His small corner of the internet is called Book Freak Revelations, and he’s one of the organizers of Bookworms Unite.



One thought on “[Guest Post] JM Cabral on Reading Formats

  1. My favorite reading format is paperback because, as mentioned, they’re light and takes up less space than hardbacks. But most importantly, they are way cheaper. That’s a huge factor for me since I’m still a student and very limited funds are my worst enemy! Ebooks are very convenient too, especially with Netgalley. I tried Audible with the free trial that a lot of Youtubers offer but I just can’t seem to enjoy it as much. I like reading at my own pace so maybe that’s why.


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