It all started in November of 2010…
During my first year in university, I discovered the eBook. I was browsing my local library’s site and discovered their eReading section. After browsing the available books, I learned that there were quite a few books (ahem, ok, there were a lot of books) available online that weren’t available as physical copies at my library. So, in order to read them I discovered the Overdrive app for my iPhone and went to it.
I’ve learned a lot about eReading over the last few years. I’ve moved on from my tiny iPhone Screen to a Kobo Touch to a Kobo Aura and have reached the point where I prefer to eRead instead of picking up an actual book (I’ll explain why later).
I would say that 95% of the books I read now are digital copies and I haven’t bought a physical book in over 2 years. Now that isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy reading physical books–because I do!–it’s just that eReading to me is so much more convenient.
Because I attend post-secondary school away from my hometown (and don’t come home often), I don’t always have the ability to go to the library and grab actual books if I put them on hold. But with eBooks, it doesn’t matter where I am, I can always get the book. The same can be said about the library in my current city when I do return home for the summer. I’ve never lived super far from the library but as a student, I don’t often have the time it takes to go to the library, scan the shelves, get a book and return home. I’d much rather spend that time reading 😉
And I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to read as many books as I do if it wasn’t for digital copies.
Another reason is the variety of books. I read a lot of indie books that aren’t available in print and they are almost always under $5 CAD online. That means I’m getting 4-5 books for the price I would be spending on 1 book if I bought the hardcopy! PLUS, these eBooks don’t take up any bookshelf space! That was my biggest problem, limited shelf space and my constant moving for school. Especially when I only read some books once. Everything is saved on a cloud so I don’t have to worry about deciding which books to pack–this is always great for vacations!
The device is another thing I love! I hate when my books get damaged in any way but with an eReader, that is never an issue. It’s easy to clean, can take a few bumps here and there and never has broken spines! Sure, there is an appeal to well loved books but I like things to look like new 😉 But the best thing is that it is super easy to hold in my small hands and is much lighter and less awkward to hold when I read in bed.
There are definitely things I miss about not having physical books around. I really miss the ability to share books with my friends–that has to be the absolute worst thing about epub files. I get why they have the restrictions they do it just sucks when you want to give someone this fabulous book. I also hate that my library books expire and I can’t open it. Sometimes, I’ll pay the $0.25 late fee just to finish the book but I can’t do that with eBooks 🙁
My Best Advice: Try eReading if you are curious! You can always go back to paper copies but there is something to say about eReading and the experiences it provides 🙂
- Kindle/Amazon tends to have more free eBooks than Kobo and they make it easier to find the free books compared to Kobo
- Amazon and Kobo tend to have the same prices for books but, Amazon I find has a larger selection (some books are only published as Kindle versions or in print)
- Amazon is now offering a subscription service that allows you to read as many books as you want per month (depends on location)
- Kobo often has ten day quiz contests that give you discount codes for select books on their site every other month
- Kobo also has a cart option so you don’t have to buy books individually
- The books on the Sony eBook website can also work on Kobo eReaders and as of March 2014, Sony has closed their eBook store and has merged their system with Kobo
- Lots of books are only available as eBooks or are released early as eBooks (this is a growing trend with novellas in series)
- Lots of public libraries host eReading tutorials to learn how to use your new device
- Buy a case to protect the screen and allow for safer transport (or DIY and make one!)