Having a book to read on the fly is a wonderful advantage that an ebook reading application or an eReader provides. In this digital age, we are doing it wrong if we are mingling with thought of “Ebooks vs Books” paradigm. There is no debate, there is no question in that. If we want to read, we must read. Ebooks can be read practically anywhere on anything whether you have a phone, a tablet or a laptop (However, I don’t like reading “books” on my laptop) or an eReader.
The argument of Ebooks vs. Books is wrongly build, since a physical copy of a book is always and will always be an ideal format. The feeling of holding a book and grasping lines after lines with your eyes might be indispensable but to satisfy our thirst of reading it is up to us on how we can take advantage of both formats in our daily lives.
I am an avid reader and most of the books that I read are in Ebook format. I am always carrying my smartphone and there are tons of applications that support the common formats like .epub or .mobi. Most apps even offer customisations according the day/night light and the background paper just to ease the stress on your eyes. Most apps do provide an average text-to-speech feature which works great when you want to give your eyes some rest.
Small scientific anecdotes suggest that reading on paper is good for retaining stuff but I have read more ebooks than books and I don’t have any problem recalling stuff. Of course, I am not talking about text books here. The problem of eye strain can be solved with eReaders such as Kindle or with an e-ink display.
I am a owner of a Kindle Paperwhite and I can say I thoroughly enjoy reading books on it now. Before, I used a smartphone for many years and eventually it became a habit. I am still hooked for reading books on my phone since it has become a part of my comfort zone but recently, I have been trying to get out of it. Reading on an eReader certainly has its own pros and a major one is distraction free reading. There is no temptation, unlike a phone or a tablet, to use it for other purpose since they are only for reading and the “experimental browser” on Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3 sucks (and I think on other Kindle Devices too) and so it helps.
The con of carrying two devices, a phone and an eReader is understandable but other than that I haven’t come across any major cons. It has taken me months to get used to it, but now I am comfortable and using it as my primary device to read books. As, Stephen Convey discusses in the starting chapters of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it’s all about shifting our paradigm and not to stick with one that we usually have. Human beings have an ability to look in a matter from different angles and it is the ability that differs us from other animals. They, other animals, are programmed or hard wired but we have the ability to change that wiring according to our needs.