Does How You Read Affect What You Read?

In the same part of the brain that feels compelled to clean your apartment before you host company, you might think twice about what your reading library says about you. But that kind of self-inspection only happened in the old days when your literary choices were broadcast on book spines across your shelves—now, eReaders and eBooks keep your reading habits hidden. Can you guess what embarrassing literary genres are thriving under the privacy shade of digital books?

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According to this article on the Economist, romance novels and crime blockbusters are becoming especially popular with the rise in eBooks. These un-intellectual guilty-pleasure genres can be enjoyed without abandon now that your books covers are hidden within the digital walls of your Kindle, iPad or Nook.

At the same time, easy access to eBooks is able to widen your literary scope. In my case, I love the risk-free ability to download book samples on my Nook Color—often the first chapter or several pages of a book—to take titles for a test drive. It's allowed me to explore new genres almost every day from the (dis)comfort of a subway train, whether or not I have a chance to visit a brick-and-mortar bookstore.

The retail landscape of eBook sales has also seemingly had an effect on what people are reading. Previously, customers looking to buy a particular title might be limited to a $25 hard cover book, if it was the first edition released. Now, most new titles are available on Amazon the same day they're shipped to stores, often at a steep discount.

What about you? Are you finding that making the move to reading eBooks has had an effect on what titles you choose? Why? Tell us in the comments!


(Images: Still Have a Bookshelf or Have You Gone eBook?, Flickr user Geir Halvorsen under license from Creative Commons)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, designer, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She lives in an apartment in Atlanta with her fiancé, their Boston Terrier and lots of serving dishes.

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