Friday, March 24, 2017

Week 11 Prompt Response

While a book's text itself stays the same when the reading medium changes, more appeal factors are added on top of the book's story appeals.  As Trott and Dunneback put it in "E-books and Readers' Advisory," "the format you use to access the story expands the appeal factors of the content" (2011, p. 327).  These new appeal factors focus more on how the book is presented to the reader.

For eBooks, the different formats the eBook is available in is one appeal factor.  Some devices only can open certain formats so the formats available can affect a patron's eBook accessibility on different mobile devices.  Accessibility and whether or not patrons can read their eBooks on their favorite and most-used devices is a major appeal factor.  One major advantage and appeal of eBooks is the reading preference options.  In print books, what you see is what you get for the most part-- smaller print remains small and is difficult for some patrons to read.  This leads to the popularity of large print books for "those older users with sight issues who may appreciate the ability to resize text" (Trott & Dunneback, 2011, p. 326).  However, with eBooks, patrons can choose to make the font pretty much as large or small as they want-- no special large print books required. 

However, other appeal factors, such as tone and pacing can be affected by switching to reading in an eBook format.  Visual cues, such as longer, descriptive paragraphs of text or shorter paragraphs filled with dialog, are lost when the reader can change the size of the text-- "the larger the text, the less there is to indicate how quickly the story is moving" (Trott & Dunneback, 2011, p. 328).  Also, not being able to visually see how far along you are in the book can affect the pacing felt while reading.  100 pages left in the story is a lot different than 20 pages left, and it can be difficult to see the difference when reading an eBook.

For audiobooks, the change in format from reading to listening can change the way patrons view a book.  Similar to how some people like to watch particular actors in movies and TV series, no matter what role they may play, some patrons find themselves drawn toward books narrated by specific audiobook narrators they enjoy listening to, even if they might not normally read in the book's genre.  As Mediator and Chelton in "Reading with Your Ears" put it, "A listener may want any book on tape narrated by their favorite voice regardless of the subject matter" (2003, p. 319).  On the other hand, a patron may like all the other appeal factors of a novel, but if they do not like the narrator's reading style or tone, they may stop listening after a few chapters.  The audiobook narrator is an important appeal factor for audiobooks. 

Also, within the general audiobook presentation of the book, the narrator can effect the tone, pacing, and characterization.  How quickly a narrator reads a book can definitely affect how the listeners understand the book's tone and pacing.  "A poor match between the pace of the story and the pace the narrator uses can cause a reader to stop listening to an audio book," and it may even cause them to not be interested in reading the physical book as well (Mediatore & Chelton, 2003, p. 319).  In addition, because there is no physical text for listeners to read, they are dependent on the audiobook narrator for characterization of the various characters in the book.  In audiobooks, "the differences among many characters in a book" is crucial "for the listener who doesn't have visual cues such as quotation marks or paragraphs to inform reader-listeners that a different character is about to speak" (Mediatore & Chelton, 2003, p. 319).  This characterization appeal can make or break the audiobook-listening experience for some patrons.

Mediatore, K., & Chelton, M. K. (2003). Reading with Your Ears. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 42(4), 318-323. Retrieved from

Trott, B., & Dunneback, K. (2011). E-books and Readers' Advisory. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 50(4), 325-329. Retrieved from


  1. Julie,

    I like your mention of different devices. When I think ebook, I only think iPad, because that's all I've ever known! I have never used a Kindle, which is a completely different format than what I am used to. Which relates to your statement about the way you can access the book and the appeal factor.

  2. Fantastic prompt response! You hit the nail on the head. Full points!