E-Readers and Changing Opinions

Books

Back in what seems like a completely different life, on April 17th 2009 (it was a Friday!), to be specific, I wrote a scathing blog post about why I would never, ever even dream of buying an E-Reader. Just under three years later, and it amazes me how much my opinion has changed, as I finally took the dive and bought myself a Kindle Touch.

The funniest part about re-reading that archaic blog posts from the sands of my past, is that I declared that:

E-Books are most certainly not a thing of the future, and I really doubt that they will ever outsell an actual book that you can put on your shelf. 

To be fair, I do still stand by the reasoning of there being absolutely nothing like having a physical book in your hand, because my Kindle, which is cold, metallic lightness will never be able to compare to the musty-smelling heaviness of a paperback. And finishing an e-book will definitely never compare that that immense feeling of satisfaction that accompanies finishing a paperback, closing it, looking at it for a little while, before placing it on a shelf for all to see.

So how have things changed? Is it the fact that so many people now own E-Readers, and I’ve caved into a typical case of “peer pressure”, potentially, even I can’t deny that seeing so many people using them, and speaking so highly of them is always going to be a huge draw. However, I do think that that is only partially the reason.

My Mum actually received a Kindle as a Christmas Present, last year, and I ended up borrowing it when we went away for the weekend back in April, because at the time, I was reading a book that was the size of a small house (no joke!) so I hadn’t wanted to carry it around. Especially since we were travelling as light as possible. So it made sense just to take the Kindle.

Needless to say, I ended up “borrowing” that Kindle for three weeks, until the battery finally drained. And thus, resulted in my purchasing one.

What is it that I loved so much about Kindle’s?

1.You can store hundreds of books, in one place, inside something that takes up only a tiny amount of space, on a shelf, or in my handbag.

2. If you’re not sure about whether or not a book is for you, you can download a sample of the beginning of the book, completely free. I know that you could easily read the first few pages in a Book Shop, but some book shops really don’t like this, and there is something so much nicer about reading a sample, at your leisure, and reading an amount that is probably longer than the average person would feel comfortable reading, whilst stood in front of a shelf, in a shop.

3. As much as I’d like to think I do, I really do not know every word in the English Language. It’s not physically possible to. I love being able to highlight the word, and look it up either in the included dictionary, or if I have Wi-Fi connected, on Wikipedia. Even when I’m reading a typical novel, I still feel like I’m being educated. This is especially helpful when reading novel’s set in completely different country’s or eras, and they talk about places, products or use slang that I’m not familiar with.

4. If I come across a passage that I want to mention to someone, or to quote, or just want to look up more intensely at a later date, I look that I can highlight them, and add a simple note relating to why I was interested in it, so that I can remember late. As a person that hates writing in paperbacks, even in pencil, I find this incredibly refreshing, and saves on using millions of tiny post-it notes!!

5. With the Kindle Touch, you can add MP3 music files so that you can listen to music whilst reading your favourite book. I like this feature, because I can be selective about what I listen to, which I can’t with my MP3 player than has all of my favourite music on. The thing is with me, is that I can only listen to lyric-free tracks, because singing often distracts me. Therefore, I have now loaded all of my favourite soundtracks from films and video games đŸ™‚

6. The X-Ray feature on the Kindle Touch is absolutely awesome. If my obsession with finding out the meaning of everything isn’t already a hint of this, I am a complete information nerd. I love learning and educating myself about stuff mentioned in books, especially if I’m not 100% sure what it is, and the X-Ray feature is perfect for this. I also love the fact that it reminds me who characters are, which in some books is a great thing to have!!

7. Recent research has suggested that people with E-Readers are likely to read more books than people who read “proper” books, and I can imagine this to be true. The thing is to E-Readers make books so much more accessible. Whilst with “real” books, you have to go out and search for them whether it’s online or in a shop, and then there’s a little time that you have to wait to read it. Online, you have to wait for it to arrive, and from a shop you have to get it home first. However, with an E-Reader there’s something “instant” about it, and you know that you can get a book quickly so it’s no surprise that people with them tend to read more.

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