These were all my statements made in defense of why I wouldn’t read on an eReader like an iPad or Kindle. I was a purist I told myself. And it isn’t like I don’t read a lot, so this was an important issue for me to take a stance on. But I decided recently to try it out for myself and read a book on my iPad. And it has forever changed my relationship to books. I’ll never look back.
I’ve had this conversation with a handful of people now, so I figured it was time to blog it and put these thoughts all in one place. This is by no means an exhaustive list, this is simply the seven reasons I’m sold on reading through an eReader.
- The one-minute phenomenon. This one just has to be experienced personally to truly understand it. I used to wait till I had a couple books to buy at a time (to get free shipping) and then put in an order with Amazon. I’d wait at least a week and then I’d be able to start reading whatever I was excited about a week ago. Now, I find a book I’m excited to read and exactly one minute later I’m staring at chapter one. It makes a person giddy.
- Traveling. It always turned into a planning game whenever I was leaving town. I’d have to analyze how much time I thought I’d have for reading and then take the right amount of books. Of course, you don’t want to pack many books, as they take up space and can quickly add weight to your bag. One vacation I had to buy at least two more books because I guessed wrong. Now, I take one very light device and can gaurantee that I’ll have enough to read and with none of the weight or guesswork.
- Highlighting. I don’t borry books from people because I highlight and mark in them aggressively. Because of my job, I’m constantly going back through books I’ve read for illustrations and quotes. With the iBooks app, I can tap a button and in one page see all of my highlighted parts of that book with the time I highlighted it, the chapter it is in, and the first two sentences as a preview. I can click on it and then go directly to the quote instantly. It doesn’t get easier or more organized than that. I’ll also tag onto this the search feature. If I vaguely remember something from a book but can’t remember where it is, I simply type a search word for it and I’ve found it in no time.
- Free books. I’m a lover of old, classic literature. With an eReader you can get a ton of these books for absolutely free! (Some of the free ones I’ve downloaded are Divine Comedy, The Scarlet Letter, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare).
- Go green. Seriously, how many trees have to die for you to give up your old habit? Digital books can be mass produced with much less consumption. Even if you don’t like Al Gore, who wants to cut down trees if you don’t have to?
- Dictionary. I’m often reading certain books to challenge myself. This almost always means they use big words that I don’t understand. I can count on one hand the times that I’ve pulled out a dictionary or went to my computer to figure out what a word meant that I just read. Now, all I do is hold my figure over a word and I can instantly see the definition of it without interrupting my reading flow. This has been incredibly valuable.
- Reading speed. This one is going to sound weird to non-eReader people, but reading a digital copy on a reader somehow makes you read faster. I’m not sure why this is, but I have personally noticed it and just heard from a Kindle owner that he has found the same thing to be true.
So my reading friends, what are you waiting for?