As I mentioned in the comments last week, I was somewhat tempted by the Kindle version of Richard Nisbett's Intelligence and How to Get It, because it was backordered at Amazon (now back in stock), the library had not yet ordered it, and I was going away for a business trip and so would have several hours to read on the plane.
I put in an online request for the library to order it, and received a form response saying "check back in a few weeks to see if we've ordered your suggestion, but please remember that our budget adds up to about $3.22 per customer, so we can't afford to buy everything that people ask for. And here's our Amazon wish list." A bit more poking around revealed that the book was in fact still available at the Borders near my house, so I decided to fork out the extra money for a real book that I could donate to the library when I'm done reading it. (Check back tomorrow for my review.)
I did, however, decide to load up my iPod with an extra book in case something went horribly wrong with one of my flights and I finished everything I had with me. Since I find reading on the iPod a not terribly appealing experience, I decided to try out an audiobook instead.
I downloaded one, and it's a mixed experience. I like listening to it, and I can do it walking down the street, or on a super-crowded metro train, when books aren't quite practical. But when I get distracted, it's hard to figure out where I lost my place. I'm not sure I get more distracted listening than I do reading on paper, but books are ideal for figuring out where you were, and going back over the past few paragraphs if needed. There's not an easy way to do that with the iPod.
I guess the same thing happens listening to podcasts or the radio, but in that case, I generally just accept that I've missed a section and keep going. I'm not as willing to do that with a novel.