Books, eReaders

Merits of Reading (e)Books

Source: Tor.com

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.

Source: Cyanide & Happiness

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.

Source: yohyoh.com

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.

Take advantage of the technology and keep on reading.
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33 thoughts on “Merits of Reading (e)Books”

  1. I will always love real books, but I must admit that I’ve really enjoyed having a Kindle. I also have a Papewhite – it’s small enough to keep tucked into my purse, there’s no complications with trying to do anything else (agreed that the browser sucks), I can read in the dark since I can adjust the screen brightness, and one battery charge lasts for weeks, especially if I turn off the Wi-Fi on it.

    I haven’t had to buy a single book for it – many classics are free, and my library has a large collection of e-books. So I always have something to read on hand, without having to remember to bring a book with me.

    I’ve tried reading books on my phone, but the screen is really too small. I only do that if a Kindle version isn’t available from the library

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    1. Agree with you that carrying new gen Kindle devices are easy since they are almost the size of a “nowadays” smartphone.
      That’s the trick, isn’t it? To keep WiFi off. After all, I don’t like being distracted while reading and I am sure nor do you.

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  2. Carrying two devices doesn’t seem like that much of a con, especially considering those of us who are hesitant to branch out from paper books are used to carrying around more than one book at any given time. I am a huge fan of audiobooks to get my reading done, although some forms (non-fiction, young adult) are easier to digest via audiobook than others. However, I feel it is a hugely accessible way to get more reading done and always find myself enjoying audiobooks on my commute + while doing mundane desk work. I’m curious as to what your opinions on audiobooks are?

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    1. I am not a big user of audiobooks but once in a while, I sneak in one or two audiobooks in my schedule. I also think that books that do not demand 101% concentration are a good fit to listen to. Recently, I have tried doing a tedious task and listening to Dante’s Divine Comedy but I could not focus much on either of those tasks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great post! Any format is good for reading. Period. I prefer physical books for so many reasons, but I do own a Nook Color and a Kindle Fire and I use both. eReaders are great for being on the go or if you lose interest in one book you’ve got a bunch more to choose from at youe fingertips.. They’re also great for reading in bed so I don’t disturb hubby. On the other hand, hubby is never bothered by the low light of my bedside lamp. I don’t care for reading on my phone, but it’ll work in a pinch. And as far as having multiple gadgets being an inconvenience, it’s never been an issue for me. I carry both eReaders, a smartphone AND two iPod on almost a regular basis–not to mention a physical book on some occasions. One plus about eReaders is the ability to highlight passages. I WILL NOT highlight inside a book. Just a personal preference. Either way, read however works for you and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it!

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    1. Indeed, highlighting words, passages is a great asset when comes to reading ebooks on eReaders. Not only one can highlight them, highlighted passages can be saved for future reference. The new kindle update offers this feature if linked with your goodreads.com account. Other way, which I generally use is clippings.io.
      Most of the time I avoid this habit with books in physical format.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post. I dont know why but I always stay focus more when reading ebook in my laptop/phone rather than a real book. I dont own a Kindle but will purchase one in the future. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  5. I recently wrote a column piece (which k am hoping to someday be able to publish on my blog so, if your interested, keep an eye out) on this very topic. Sadly, I only had 260 words so was unable to go as deep as I wanted but I have to agree, nothing is as good as reading a physical book. I have never got on with e-readers, I just can’t connect with them, but I think as soon as you begin to see an e-book as completely separate from a book it becomes easier for me to accept them. They are not trying to replace books, simply provide another option for people.

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  6. I love your use of that Stephen Covey quote. I prefer paper books for most occasions but the e-reader definitely has its advantages. It makes traveling light a possibility, for instance.
    Have you checked out my book? It’s a free download on Kindle unlimited. I think you’d enjoy it. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1329593847?ref=olp_product_details
    It also goes to prove your point – I can offer the paperback for free since it doesn’t cost me anything to produce, while the paperback incurs a fee to produce and ship. Kindle for the win! 😀

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  7. I will always love a physical book, but I have enjoyed reading some books on my tablet. However, I have recently run across a huge frustration when I could no longer access my eBooks on my tablet. When I contacted Kindle, they said it is because they updated their Kindle App and my tablet is too old to use the updated app. I have no intention of constantly having to buy new tablets or Kindles to be able to keep reading eBooks every time they update something. To me, that’s a waste of money, and I do not like reading eBooks on my phone or laptop. I never have these kinds of issues with a physical book.

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    1. Yeah, with technology some issues will be always be there since the technology is the end result of our biases, in a hierarchical way.
      A similar incident happened with me two months back when a new Kindle update came and after updating it, all ebooks and myClippings got erased due to that.

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  8. Well, I guess I’m not one of these highly effective people because I spend 8+ hours a day staring at a computer or straining my eyes to look at small things in the lab for grad school. The last thing I want to do when I’m trying to enjoy reading is having an electronic screen in front of me. Also, I have read quite a few books on electronic devices and I personally don’t feel as though I retain as much. Maybe that’s just me. And while I love reading and would love to have a book with me everywhere I go, I still am adamant about not having an ereader for myself. I just don’t function in the same way that other people do when it comes to reading. (Might also have to do with the fact that I’m the slowest reader on earth and electronic devices don’t help that in the least.)

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