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Tales from an eReader Convert

If you were to ask me my opinion on eBooks a month or two ago, I would have wrinkled my nose and said you could pry my physical books from my cold, dead fingers. Now, I carry my cute little eReader with me just about everywhere I go. I guess that makes me a convert, so I’m going to write a whole blog post about eReaders. Like, ten years after they first became relevant. You’re welcome.

So, let’s start out with my initial thoughts on eBooks. My main sticking points will be familiar to anyone who has seen eReader vs. physical book discourse before. They were as follows:

MY OPINIONS THEN

  1. I like the feel of a real book in my hands. The tactile experience of flipping pages was always integral to my enjoyment of a book. Also, I am a heathen who like, abuses my books. I dog-ear pages. I read while I’m eating. Whatever. To me, the more well-worn a book looks, the more well-loved it was. If anyone ever hands me a heavily dog-eared and torn up copy of AMONG THIEVES to sign I will probably sob with delight on the spot.

  2. I like having a full library in my house! A home filled with books is a happy, cozy home to me. I like being able to look at all my favorites on the shelf, and I like being able to lend out books to friends and family.

  3. I don’t ever like to start a chapter without knowing how long it is. Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure I should go to therapy for commitment issues, maybe, haha. But I have always liked flipping forward to see what I’m getting into before I commit to reading another chapter.

  4. Probably the MOST important one… I stare at a computer screen all fucking day at work. THEN I stare at one all fucking evening and all fucking weekend writing. I definitely never wanted to stare at a screen while reading too. UGH.

So, clearly I was SEVERELY anti-eReader. Why did I buy one, then?

As a debut author, I have been reading and reviewing a lot of other authors’ advance copies. Sometimes, those advance copies are physical books, but nine times out of ten what I’m receiving are digital copies. After reading like, four or five of those bad boys on my cell phone, I finally caved. Shortly thereafter, I felt like the titular character from Aladdin - it was a whole new world!

And so we pivot to my New, Improved views on eBooks!

MY OPINIONS NOW

  1. Goddamnit, is it convenient. It’s so light, I can read it laying down without worrying about dropping something heavy on my face (anyone else have that problem, haha? No? Just me? Oookay moving on).

  2. It fits on my treadmill! Some physical books fit on my treadmill too, but I’m a sci fi/fantasy reader. Which means most of the books I like to read are TOMES. A five hundred page book ain’t fitting on my treadmill. But my eReader does!

  3. Okay, I do still miss being able to flip ahead to see how long a chapter is… BUT my eReader estimates how long it thinks it will take me to read the next chapter based on my reading speed, so it will say something like “7 minutes” or “28 minutes” at the bottom of the screen in little text. This is similarly useful in helping me decide between bed and one more chapter.

  4. I still hate the idea of staring at a screen - but no worries there! The one I got has a matte finish, and you can control the screen backlight. I just turn the backlight off altogether and treat it like a normal book. I read it outside in the sunshine the other day - no issues.

  5. As much as I do love having a stocked library… I currently live in a 900 square foot home. My bookshelves are OVERFLOWING. Like literally there are just STACKS of books around my house, like the quirky professor character in a 90’s movie. Seriously. So it’s nice to save some bookshelf real estate.

  6. It’s SO SPEEDY to get new books! Two books I pre-ordered released on the same day last week. One I had pre-ordered before buying my eReader, and the other I pre-ordered the eBook for. Guess which one didn’t arrive until four days after release? Exactly.

Of course, there are still downsides! One is that I can’t display, show off, or lend out my eBooks. Also, I don’t get to spend nearly as much time admiring the pretty covers of my books as I do with my physical copies. In closing, if you’re on the fence, I’d say take the plunge. I love my new eReader and I will keep buying books for it for sure… but I’m not going to give up physical copies altogether anytime soon.

What are your thoughts on eReaders? Comment here or chat with me on Twitter @mj_kuhn!

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