Ebooks and audiobooks are a part of our landscape. What does the change in medium mean for appeal factors? If you can't hold a book and feel the physical weight of it in your hands, how does that affect your knowledge of the genre? How about readers being able to change the font, line spacing, and color of text - how does that affect pacing and tone? How about audiobooks? Track length, narrator choice, is there music?
Ebooks and audiobooks have indeed become part of our landscape as librarians and readers' advisory experts. I think these three mediums give more flexibility to the way we can enjoy reading. I have an iPad, and I have used it (the iBooks app) for years when it comes to reading books. For this class, it's easier to use ebooks and just buy them online because I usually don't have time to run to the library and check the book out. Plus, I am able to find more books that relate to the book I just purchased with the help of suggestions. My iPad is easy to carry around and just like a regular book mark, whenever I open the iBook app back up after putting it down, it opens back up to the page you were on.
I will say that I am still a sucker for holding a book in my own hands, and feeling the pages. I grew up with only books and had become accustomed to checking out books and searching for them in libraries. I don't think that the shift from print books to ebooks has affected my knowledge of the genre; in fact, I think it helps me explore the genre even more, with the way the internet helps play a part in the suggestions for my next read. As far as changes in font, line spacing, or color of text; I like the ability to customize the way I read. My iPad settings have the background of the text a khaki color, and the font is black, and the font size is probably 12-14 (in similarity with the font on a computer). In the evening, I set it to night mode which dims the screen. My settings are actually pretty similar to a regular book, with black print and khaki colored paper (not quite white but not quite brown). I will say that the font size effects how many pages are actually there in the ebook, which can become misleading. The smaller the font the less pages, but for those who need enlarged font, the pages could get into the 400s or more.
Audiobooks are uncharted territory for me, as an adult. When I was younger, my mom would play audiobooks for herself as she drove, and I wouldn't really pay attention. And now that I am older, I have not turned to them.... yet. I'm not in my car enough to use them, and whenever I do read, ebook or print, I play music. Listening to my book hasn't become something I want to do... YET! But I do see the appeal, when a reader is on a long drive and they need something to keep their mind working. Or when a reader puts an audiobook on their iPod as they're on the train or subway. Audiobooks are also very light (hehe!) and can be taken anywhere, as long as you have headphones, a cassette player, a cd player, or an aux cord for the car. This is one medium that I hope to have more experience with in the future, so I can help refer my patrons to good audiobooks that will be to their liking!