A paperback, an e-book and an audiobook walk into a bar

Audiobook: I’ll get the first round. What’ll it be, guys?

Paperback: Large glass of white wine, please.

E-book: Vodka and Coke.

Audiobook: I’m having a J2O, I’m driving later. *goes off to buy the drinks*

Paperback: You know I’m better than you, right?

E-book: No way. You’re made of dead trees and poisonous ink. You’re bad for the environment.

Paperback: Excuse me? I think you’re forgetting about the energy and raw materials it takes to make these e-reading gadgets and keep them charged up. And I suspect a lot of editors print out the proofs on to, as you say, ‘dead trees’ before you’re published.

E-book: Look, that’s not quantifiable. It’s all swings and roundabouts.

Paperback: Right. Well. I’m prettier than you, I smell good, I feel nice under the readers’ fingertips. Bookstagram adores me. If my friend Hardback was here, he’d tell you the same.

E-book: You’re so vain. Beauty is on the inside. Anyway you take up so much space! You smell musty sometimes, you get damaged easily. And you’re full of germs! Who’s done better during the pandemic, when libraries and bookshops and charity shops have been closed? Me, that’s who. Hygienic, cheap, portable me.

Paperback: Lots of people simply don’t like you. Get over it.

Audiobook: Here we go! *puts tray of drinks on the table* What did I miss?

E-book: We’re arguing about who’s the best format.

Audiobook: That’s easy. The answer is me!

Paperback and E-book: No! You do not count as reading.

Audiobook: I most certainly do. Moreover, people can read me while doing something else, such as baking a cake, practising yoga, gardening and various other pursuits. If they tried that while reading either of you, things would get rather sticky. And let’s not forget that I’m loved by people who are visually impaired, unable to turn pages or for other reasons can’t use you.

E-book: You’ve got a point, I suppose.

Paperback: Yes. But I’m still the best. *sips wine smugly*

E-book: No. I’m the best. *smashes fist on the table*

Audiobook: Let’s just calm down, shall we? *puts an arm around each* I think we can agree on something. We are all books, we are all valid forms of reading and we are all awesome! OK?

Paperback and E-book: OK.

Paperback: *whispering to self* I’m the best. So there.

E-book: I heard that! *slams drink down, picks up bar stool*

Audiobook: Uh-oh. Time to get out of here…

*slow motion scene of bar fight while Audiobook sneaks away*

24 thoughts on “A paperback, an e-book and an audiobook walk into a bar”

  1. This is wonderful! Such a great idea and I think you wrote it perfectly. My favourite moment was when paperback said ‘bookstagram adores me’. Loved this post! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Stephen πŸ˜€ I don’t know where the idea came from, it just popped into my head. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

    1. Glad you enjoyed this post! I read mostly paperbacks, some e-books too, but I don’t have the attention span for audiobooks.

  2. Lovely post!! I could see in my mind the three types of books discussing in the bar πŸ™‚
    “If my friend Hardback was here …” – I imagine Hardback as an intimidating guy!

    1. Thanks, glad you liked it! πŸ™‚ Yes I think Hardback would be intimidating, very handsome, a little arrogant and quite posh!

  3. YOU ARE AWEOMEEEE, N! This was……ewifwagfuiewarofhehjfpoijep AMAZINGGGGGG!!!!! AND HELL YEAHH PAPERBACKS RULLEEEEE!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  4. What a fun read!!! Good one, NS! The paperback would’ve freaked out if the ebook took a lighter instead of a barstool πŸ˜†

    1. Glad you liked it Jee πŸ˜€ I don’t think e-book would be so cruel as to threaten to burn the paperback… and what could the paperback retaliate with? Taking the charger away?!

  5. I loved this! “Audiobook:… Moreover, people can read me while doing something else”….I am still on that side of the debate that people don’t really “read” audiobooks, they listen – they just get to “know” the book other way, other than reading – someone else reads for them πŸ™‚ So, I wanted a paperback to win this brawl, but don’t think it has the chance with that e-book holding the bar stool and swinging it! Moreover, a paperback is “physically” real, while the other two – they may just exist somewhere “out there” – in the digital and vague form (they are “dead” and voicing from heaven probably).

    1. Thanks! Yes, technically listening is not the same as reading, but people do consider it so πŸ™‚ When I was picturing this meeting, I imagined the e-book was on a tablet and the audiobook was on an iPod or something. It’s mind-blowing really to think that these books are not physical objects and are digital files, weightless bits of data!

    1. Thanks! πŸ˜€ I don’t know where this idea came from but I think it’s one of my best πŸ˜‰

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