Friday, May 13, 2016

Armchair BEA 2016: Beyond the Blog - Alternate Book Formats

Beyond the traditional form of the novel, what are your favorite alternative forms (graphic novels, audiobooks, webcomics, etc.)? Do you have any favorite works within these alternate forms? How do you think the changing format affects the reader experience?

At the moment my favorite alternate form to books and kindle editions is the audiobook. I take one in the car with me whenever I have to drive somewhere. I have grown appreciative of the people who narrate these audio editions. I love it when they speak clearly, even more so because I have a cochlear implant to aid me in my hearing. One of my favorites so far is an Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody novel. There are just so many characters and the performer is able to make different voices for all of them and keep them straight. To me that is quite an accomplishment.

I do also enjoy reading collections of comic strips. One of my current favorites is
Adulthood Is a Myth by Sarah Andersen. Another favorite is Unicorn on a Roll by Dana Simpson featuring Phoebe and her Unicorn named Heavenly Nostrils.

I haven't read a graphic novel in a long time, but I just discovered that my public library has some on the shelves that I can check out. Just not sure what to check out yet.

Different formats do affect how a reader perceives the story. If you are listening to an audiobook, you are hearing someone's version of the story even if you are still using your imagination to fill in the blanks. And collections of comic strips and graphic novels are visual so you are still imagining how the characters sound, but you have their appearance given to you. It would fire up a different part of the brain for each format. The exception might be a book or ebook, because you have to imagine both how the characters sound and what they look like.

Do you have an alternate format that you prefer? Do you have any favorites in that format? Share it with us in a comment or a link. Happy Reading!

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