When e-readers first came out I vowed I would never get one. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to replace a book with a piece of technology. For me reading a book isn’t just about the prose it’s about the act of reading itself, nothing quite beats staying up into the late hours of the night with the bedside light on as you turn through the pages of your latest novel your wrists aching as the book becomes heavy and eventually falling asleep. I also love the smell of books and thought that an e-reader would ruin my experience of reading. However, as an avid reader my bookshelf was near breaking point due to the number of books I’ve squeezed onto the shelves over the years and my habit was also getting pretty costly with an average book costing around £7.99. So a few years ago I purchased a Kindle Fire. At first I loved the fact that I could read so many books so cheaply, most classics are free or at the very most £1. I also enjoyed freeing up some space on my bookshelf and not carrying round huge books everywhere I went. However, my initial enjoyment quickly wore off as I grew annoyed with the glare of the screen when reading outside and the light was often to harsh when reading at night. I returned to paper copies of books pretty quickly and my kindle fire has been left redundant on the top of my book shelf gathering dust.
This was not the last of my experience with e-readers though. Last year for my birthday I received a Kindle Paperwhite from my boyfriend keen to show me the error of my ways over e-readers. The Paperwhite did not have the glare issue that my fire has which meant that I could read outside on sunny days with it which was a lot better. The light weight nature of the Paperwhite also meant that on my commute I have been able to enjoy reading War and Peace and other larger novels without having to carry a big backpack. I even used my Paperwhite on holiday this year after the Greek heat caused the glue holding my books together to melt resulting in pages flying all over the place and repeatedly falling out onto my face. However, I’m still not sure that I’m fully convinced that e-readers are the best way forward. They may be light and in some cases save you money but in my experience they make you lose some of the pleasure of reading a book, like the smell and the feel of the pages for example. I’ve also found that some books are actually more expensive as kindle books so you have to be weary as to what you buy. E-books are also much harder to share and mean that you can’t pass the latest great read on to a friend. So if you’re considering getting an e-reader but aren’t fully convinced my advice would be not to. The paperwhite is good but it’s only really beneficial if you have a long commute where you can’t carry a book or if you are prepared to search long and hard for free and cheap books, which aren’t always great (except the classics of course!). An e-reader is for someone who reads out and about not the person who likes to read tucked up in bed at night. And, if you are both of those people you can always have both, I’ve found that works best for me!
Let me know what you think of e-readers and if you have any tips for buying one or purchasing books on them!