eReading

guideereading

It all started in November of 2010…

During my first year in university, I discovered the eBook. I was browsing my (new) 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 for it.

The rest is history.

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). And so, I decided to share my experiences and tips with you.

proscons

Pros

Cons

  • Don’t have to leave the house to buy or return library books
  • Holds 1000s of books and doesn’t take up shelf space
  • Easy to hold
  • Books tend to be cheaper
  • Lots of FREE reads and exclusives only as eBooks
  • Can read pdf files on most eReader devices
  • Great for travel (holds lots of books without ruining their covers, etc)
  • Provides reading stats
  • No late fees if using the library
  • Runs on a battery (so you need to keep it charged)
  • Can’t share books you buy with others
  • You miss that new book smell
  • You don’t get to redo your bookcase when you get new books
  • You may need a computer to sync it
  • When books expire, you can’t continue reading them (and pay a late fee)

whyImostly

I would say that 95% of the books I read now are digital copies and I haven’t bought a physical book (simply for the sake of reading it) in years. Now that isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy reading physical books–because I do!–and I do by the occasional physical copy for my personal collection. But there are so many advantages to eReading and my lifestyle.

The Convenience:

When I was at school, I didn’t always have the ability to go to the library and grab actual books if I put them on hold (especially if it was a my library back home and not in my university city). And now that I work shift work, I’m not always awake when the library is open. But with eBooks, it doesn’t matter where I am or what time it is, I can always get the book.

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.

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!

And don’t forget about eBook exclusives! It’s becoming common place for book series nowadays to have online short stories that fill the gaps between sequels or provide character backstories. You often can’t find these stories in print.

No Overflowing Book Shelves:

I don’t have the space for huge bookshelves so the number of books I can physically keep are low. And if you are moving a lot (like for school), it can be hard to keep your shelves in shape (or keep all your books with you).

With an eReader, everything is saved on a cloud. Which means I don’t have to worry about deciding which books to bring with me or pack–this is always great for vacations!

Don’t Have to Worry about Damaging Your Books:

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 are never any broken spines! Sure, there is an appeal to well loved books but I like things to look like new 😉

Easy to Hold vs a Hardcover Book:

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.

What I Miss

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 sharing restrictions that 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. It can take awhile to transition so you’ll just have to be patient.

generaltips

  • Kindle/Amazon tends to have more free eBooks than Kobo and they make it easier to find the free books compared to Kobo thanks to their Kindle Bestseller List
  • 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 now has a Rewards Program, called Super Points
  • Kobo also has a cart option so you don’t have to buy books individually
  • 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!)

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