In Praise of eBooks

Revised Size Elf's LamentAs a voracious book reader, I have lived my life believing in the superiority of the printed book; then my beta-reader generously gave me her Kindle. Once I had figured out how to use it (three weeks well spent), my perspective underwent a sea change.

When I bought my first eBook and saw it download to my Kindle, it was a magical moment. I was also delighted to discover the device doubles as a flash drive.

There’s something amazing about travelling around with an entire library of books at your disposal and in these days of multi-tasking, being able to read, eat and drink at the same time in total comfort is most welcome! To someone like me on a low income, the availability of cheap or free eBooks is a blessing too.

From an eco-friendly point of view, no trees are cut down to make eBooks. Digital publishing also allows more authors to put their work before the reading public, often publishing great work that traditional publishers have rejected because they aren’t commercial enough.

I once assumed the device itself would be a distraction but, if you’re an avid bookworm, the body of an e-reader is no more of an intrusion than the body of a paperback; no more of a hindrance to your enjoyment than a screen is when you are watching a good movie.

Many will disagree. A teenage friend of mine prefers printed books because he likes the act of turning the pages. For me, the Kindle’s page-turning function is quicker and easier. Plus, you can say good-bye to the exasperation of having your bookmark fall out and not being able to remember where you were up to.

Meanwhile, another friend of mine is changing her opinion about eBooks. While moving to a smaller house, she regretted her vast collection of paperbacks that would have to be accommodated in less space—and then discovered many of them were mouldy and infested with mites. Yuk. She’ll be buying her first Kindle soon!

There is still a place for printed books in my home. I have about a dozen I will always cherish, but these books belong to an exclusive club. It’s unlikely I’ll be adding new members.

Unless they’re written by me, of course.


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8 responses to “In Praise of eBooks

  1. sharonledwith

    Wonderful post on the praise of ebooks, Carol! When we moved last year, I found it hard to purge my books, but it was necessary. I have a kindle app on my phone which I use all the time. Cheers and keep reading in whatever format you choose!

  2. Pat

    Noooooo! Please tell me you won’t be giving up paper books altogether? I cannot bear the thought of never sending you another book! I have several here waiting to be sent, so I shall just give them to a charity shop instead,sigh. It will save on postage of course, which is a plus. I cannot join you though as I just did not take to the Kindle at all. I don’t even like reading books or stories on my PC, much preferring the touch and smell of REAL books. I bought several when in a charity shop yesterday; I guess I am just an old fuddy-duddy…

  3. Paula Diggle

    Couldn’t agree more Carole. I, too, thought I would miss turning pages but it took about five minutes for me to fall in love with my Kindle and it goes everywhere with me. I do have books on my shelves which I haven’t yet read but it’s just so much easier and more relaxing reading on Kindle. I also listen to audiobooks and Amazon/Audible now offer many books where you can buy the audible book for a very low price if you have bought the Kindle version first. You can then switch between the two seamlessly if you’re not in a position to read but want to carry on with the story – going in the car for instance – and can listen to the book. I have Kindle and Audible apps on my phone too and listen to many books whilst walking the dogs.

    I have also discovered quite a lot of new authors whom I might never have known about had I not seen them on the Kindle list.

    • Thanks for dropping by, cuz. I don’t have a car and now have a mental image of myself listening to an audio book on my pushbike! You’ve also pointed out further advantages of the Kindle I hadn’t thought of. I wouldn’t be without mine now.

  4. Great post, Carol! I love the point about the bookmark falling out. I’ve lost my place many times. 🙂

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