10 reasons I like reading ebooks more than paper books.

There’s 5 big reasons and 5 smaller reasons I enjoy reading books on my Amazon Kindle* than standard paper books. Blog posts like this are usually prefaced by claims by the author to have a huge paper book collection/voracious appetite for reading/capability to use big words. Assume all of the above. :-p

5 big reasons

1. I can carry hundreds – if not thousands of books around with me. Which means reference library everywhere I go, and the ability to have several books (e.g. novel/business/academic) on the go at once.

2. Finding out the meaning of an obscure word takes about two seconds.

3. I’ve got instant access to pretty much any book I want.

4. Highlighting is portable, either via the Amazon website (if one of their titles) or a text file (if one you put on the device).

5. Weight. Many of the books I read for work, pleasure and study would be fairly weighty tomes. It’s easier on my arms – and my luggage!

5 small reasons

1. It’s virtually impossible to ‘lose your place’ in an ebook.

2. No-one can see the cover of the book you’re reading (and therefore make implicit judgements)

3. You can change the font size – or even the font type in some cases. Some paper books are set in tiny, horrible fonts.

4. I love 19th-century fiction (especially Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Gogol) which means many books I want to read are completely free.

5. Speed. It’s only anecdotal, but I’m positive I can read faster on my Kindle.

Bonus 11th reason

Audiobooks. I love being able to decide to listen to a book instead of reading it when my eyes are tired from work.

* I’ve got the previous generation, but with a cool, limited-edition Moleskine cover. Awesome.

10 Comments

Add yours →

  1. What’s so bad about judgements – implicit or otherwise

  2. Great list Doug. I would list many of the same reasons for why I use my Sony Reader, but for me I would replace one of your “big reasons” with: The E-ink display is better for my eyes as I already spend far too much time in front of a back-lit screen.

    I read almost everything on my Reader now including longer blog posts as well. Something I did not expect to do but once I have stockpiled a few longer posts in Instapaper I download them and read them on the Sony rather than on my MacBook Pro.

    It’s that warts and all feeling of novels, essays, blog posts all being held together in one place that has a certain appeal, as if they hold equal weight which in my eyes they often do. I gain as much joy from reading a good blog post as I do re-reading Hamlet for the umpteenth time.

    Another sort of less important reason I use my eReader so much is that the experience is so close to reading a real book. I like the fact that I can sit somewhere in broad daylight and read from the screen with no problems. Equally I like the fact that if I am reading in the evening I have to turn a light on. I know that this may seem odd to some but I wonder if this is part of the appeal of eReaders. Perhaps, subconsciously, we find pleasure in harnessing technology yet the actual experience of reading on the eReader is not that different to reading a real book?

    • “It’s that warts and all feeling of novels, essays, blog posts all being held together in one place that has a certain appeal, as if they hold equal weight which in my eyes they often do.”

      Well put! It’s ends the assumed hierarchy and value placed on editor-processed type.

  3. I’ve been tempted for a while to get something like the Kindle or one of its counterparts, but could never really tear myself away from an actual paper book (excuse the pun). I’ve always thought there’s something quite grandiose about having a well-stocked shelf of books — particularly so people can make judgement on them and it tends to invite discussion (as paulmartin42 was alluding to).

    Of course, whether or not you want to invite discussion when you’re reading is another thing entirely…

    I’m all for my gadgets and what-not, but with a Kindle I’m concerned about the cost implications. Book sharing is a lovely favourite pastime (I’ve even been known to enjoy a bit of BookCrossing.com now and then – but you can’t do that with a Kindle. Well, not more than once anyway) but … gah, I don’t know. An equal number of positives and negatives. Guess it’s time to favour the one that has an action: keep my books, or dust that bloody shelf off!

  4. So I wrote this massive, intelligent, balanced comment, and then clicked to log in, and it wiped it…

  5. I enjoyed reading your article … particularly because it got me thinking about when the Kindle first came out and what my gut reaction was to clearing my shelf and going digital with all my books.

    I’ve always thought there was something quite grandiose in having a well-stocked shelf of books – it tends to invite judgement and discussion (which I think is what paulmartin42 was alluding to). Although whether you want to be disturbed while you’re reading or not is another matter.

    I’m tempted to get one, but I don’t know what the cost implications will be. I like book swapping (also been known to enjoy a bit of BookCrossing.com now and then, and you can’t do that with a Kindle — well, not too many times anyway) and I just like the idea of being able to pick up a book and pass it on.

    Although I like the idea of the text-to-speech (as I do a lot of driving) and being able to take PDFs with me.

    I guess I’m looking at a Kindle as a replacement for my bookshelf, whereas maybe I should be looking at it as an addition instead…

  6. And lost the comment again. Ok, brevity this time.

    Enjoyed your article. Got me thinking about whether I should be replacing my books with a Kindle, and then it dawned on me to just buy one, keep the books that I like, and get a Kindle too.

    If you see my articles floating around, let me know. I’m going to look under my laptop now, see if they’re there…

  7. Great list Doug. I would list many of the same reasons for why I use my Sony Reader, but for me I would replace one of your “big reasons” with: The E-ink display is better for my eyes as I already spend far too much time in front of a back-lit screen.

    I read almost everything on my Reader now including longer blog posts as well. Something I did not expect to do but once I have stockpiled a few longer posts in Instapaper I download them and read them on the Sony rather than on my MacBook Pro.

    It’s that warts and all feeling of novels, essays, blog posts all being held together in one place that has a certain appeal, as if they hold equal weight which in my eyes they often do. I gain as much joy from reading a good blog post as I do re-reading Hamlet for the umpteenth time.

    Another sort of less important reason I use my eReader so much is that the experience is so close to reading a real book. I like the fact that I can sit somewhere in broad daylight and read from the screen with no problems. Equally I like the fact that if I am reading in the evening I have to turn a light on. I know that this may seem odd to some but I wonder if this is part of the appeal of eReaders. Perhaps, subconsciously, we find pleasure in harnessing technology yet the actual experience of reading on the eReader is not that different to reading a real book?

Leave a Reply to James Michie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

css.php