Opinion: Why I prefer eReaders over traditional books

I’ve never been much of a book reader (I stuck mostly to online articles, blogs and magazines), but eReaders always intrigued me. It’s not that I don’t like reading; I read many articles everyday. Most of my biggest complaints against books were mostly because of the physical books themselves. I don’t like that you have to hold the book open, often with two hands. I don’t like that you could easily drop the book and lose your page. If you wanted to lay down and read, most books are a bit too heady to hold overhead, and putting them on their side isn’t a workable option either. Overall, I just hate reading a physical book. I knew I was missing out on some great literature, but that wasn’t enough for me to give in and deal with it. For all the reasons so many people love their physical books, I hated them.

Enter digital books… Finally they were making books for me. I’ve always been a technology person and along with the aforementioned reasons, I also preferred my text to be digital. For some reason I found it easier to read on-screen than on paper. I’m sure I’m in a minority here, but it’s true. I started reading a few books here-and-there on my computer, and then a few more (and more often) once I got an iPad. I actually got a taste of an eReader last summer at the beach, thanks to a loan from a friend. I had finally found a way to read that suited me. I could hold the tablet in one hand, easily save (and synch) my last read page, and best of all, carry tons of books with me without the bulk and trouble of heavy, physical books.

I knew eReaders were for me and often considered buying one for the last year or so. I rarely jump into a purchase like that, so I started studying what was out there. Just as I was about to put down the money for a Kindle, I got my iPad mini. It seemed like a good enough format to read on so I thought maybe I didn’t need a dedicated device for reading.

Then it started warming up. The sunshine was luring me out of the apartment more and more, and the iPad’s screen, while great outside, just wasn’t the most pleasant thing in the sun. After reconsidering my options, I thought a cheaper, more sun-friendly device would be a better outside companion. I wanted something that could be taken to the beach without the fear of having it stolen (or filled with sand). Something that could be used day or night, inside or outside, just for reading. I ended up with Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. I’m very happy with the decision, and will be reviewing it soon.

Another advantage to a dedicated eReader, one I didn’t even think about ahead of time, is distractions. When you’re on a tablet, it’s easy to get away from your book and surf the Web or check your social media. With an eReader, you’re pretty much locked into a device that only lets you read. In a world with no shortage of distractions, this can actually be a feature and not a limitation.

I have the ability to carry hundreds of books with me at anytime now. I can switch between books with a couple of button presses. I remember reading this on feature lists of eReaders, and thinking it wouldn’t be a big deal. It is though. Especially if you’re away from home. It’s nice to know if you start a book and it sucks, you have other options right there with you. Better yet, if you’re away for an extended period of time, you know you won’t run out of reading material.

So there you have it. Just a few reasons why eReaders rock. Do you agree? Have you had a similar epiphany with the eBook revolution or are you a hardcore, old-school physical book person? Let me know why you think I’m wrong or right in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Opinion: Why I prefer eReaders over traditional books”

  1. I was always a physical book person. As an English major in college, this started to become a problem as I moved more and more books from dorm to home to various apartments. While I’m still old/geeky/weird enough to love the smell of books, I’ve become more interested in eBooks for the reasons you list above. Side note: the battery life on the Nook Color (or at least, ours) is disappointing. Maybe there’s a Kindle in my future!

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