DISCUSSION: E-readers

I have always loved reading. I asked my mom to teach me to read when I was like three and she was surprised because she thought I might be too young. I would get in trouble ALL THE TIME for reading after I was supposed to have gone to bed. I had my library card number memorized and the librarians knew everyone in my family by name. Books and reading were a MAJOR part of me life. Silent reading time was the best part of the school day. I loved going to my local library, I loved discovering new books. I loved the feel of a book in my hands and being able to turn real pages and flip back to previous passages with ease. I scoffed at the idea of an e-reader. Literally, there was real scoffing involved. How can you read a book if you can’t flip back to check on something you’ve already read? What if you really wanted to study the cover? It’s just not the same as holding an actual book in your hands! Then I got to college.

All of the sudden, I didn’t have my books with me. I didn’t have a car to get to the public library and I had no idea where to find the “for fun” books in the campus library (and I was too afraid to ask–I know, what a loser, right?) My freshman year of college, I stopped reading. I did not read a single book for fun the whole year (and not because I was too busy with my studies…) Towards the end of my second semester, I looked into getting a Kindle.  It was fairly cheap (cheaper than I had expected at least) so I bought one for myself. That’s when I started reading again. It didn’t take long before I discovered that I could actually checkout ebooks from the library. What a revelation! My Kindle became my best friend. I named him Kinny and brought him everywhere with me. Now I could read at lunch or while I was waiting for class to start. I could read anywhere without having to use valuable backpack space on a bulky hardcover.

What I’ve learned is that of course nothing beats having the book in your hand, but at the same time, e-readers can also be pretty awesome. I can download and read a book instantly without having to plan a trip to the bookstore. The search feature is pretty handy when trying to remember or find a passage from earlier. You can have multiple books with you at one time in a convenient little package. And don’t even get me started on the Kindle Paperwhite’s backlight (BEST THING EVER). I’ve upgraded from Kinny to a Kindle Paperwhite. Ellie if anyone was wondering (because it has an L.E.D light and because of the song “Lights” by Ellie Goulding). I’ve only recently started to build my physical library up and utilize the physical public libraries around me, but I’d have to say that purchasing a Kindle was probably the best decision I’ve made regarding my reading and definitely a good investment in my book.

How do you feel about e-readers? Do you use one? If you do, how do you like it and what made you decide to get one?