Are you a loyal paper book reader or collector? (cough hoarder) Are you wondering what possible ereader benefits could make it worth it?
I briefly touched on this in Free Reading Apps, but in this post, I’m going to list more than the zillion sales and freebies you can find every day! Instead, I am going to discuss real, tangible reasons to go digital. Not new ways to justify buying MORE books.
In fact, you don’t have to give up your beloved library ever! There are so, so many readers who use both an ereader and the tangible paperback or hardback. You don’t have to switch the way you enjoy your medical thrillers or romantic suspense novels. You only add a new way to enjoy!
1. Portability – #1 Reason I Tried Ereaders
You carry an entire library and bookstore with you. I’m not exaggerating. If you have access to WiFi or a phone’s Hotspot, you can get books from your library or buy from the bookstore associated with the ereader (i.e. Kindle and Amazon). No WiFi? No problem, just download books prior to leaving the house.
Do you travel for work or fun? Do you spend a lot of time in subways or buses or airplanes? Or do you move frequently because of your career? Do you give blood or plasma or spend time in doctor waiting rooms or in the hospital for medical procedures? Are you living away from home attending your dream university?
Do you want to pack up and move your entire library into sixty heavy as freaking hell boxes every few months? Do you want to lug around a backpack or stuff three books in your purse? You definitely don’t want to leave extra books in a hot car for your appointments because the glue holding it together melts and evaporates. (I learned this the hard way. But definitely, do NOT leave an ereader or tablet to bake in the car either).
You pick up a new book to try during lunch at work and quickly realize it’s just not for you. But you have no other options until you get home.
Can you see where an ereader would come in handy? They’re small enough to fit in a regular sized purse or even a large coat pocket. You can keep it in your desk or in your locker or backpack. It can be toted around everywhere, just in case.
2. Storage – Books Take Up Space
This might be a little obvious, but books take up space. More books take up a lot more space. You could keep buying or building bookshelves, of course, until every available wall has its own library. Or if you have the money, buy a new house. Or give your least read books to an awesome library (check out Public Libraries) or trade-in used bookstore (Search Here).
With any ereader, including phone apps, all of your purchases are kept in a cloud associated with your account. You don’t need to know anything about clouds, just register your device or app to your Amazon or BN or Kobo account and like magic, every book purchased with that account can be found.
You can literally take your entire library on vacation. Save your bookshelf space for books you absolutely love or moved you or were given as gifts.
3. Vision Problems
If you have problems reading the small print, for whatever reason, you can easily change the text size, font, spacing and margins in many models of ereaders available. Even basic reading apps allow zooming at the very least. Some even allow you to switch the black and white screen to white text on a black background. Some apps allow you to mess with text and background color themes.
Or do screens keep you awake? Many have nighttime lighting and will gradually start to switch over as the evening approaches.
If computer screens bother your eyes, it’s likely that tablet and phone screens will do the same. You can choose an ereader without lighting like the basic Kindle. Do you suffer from eyestrain? The Kindle Paperwhite model a few generations ago were specifically designed to be easy on the eyes.
If you’re legally blind and unable to read, it’s easy to turn on the Text-to-Speech option on many devices as long as they have Bluetooth capability or speakers. All current Kindle models have Bluetooth so you can use Amazon’s audiobook company, Audible. But they can also be used for Text-to-Speech so the device will essentially be reading to you through software called VoiceView screen reader which allows you to navigate your device.
To listen to Bluetooth devices, including the audiobook capable readers, you’ll need earbuds or another listening device. I’ll go into more details on those in a future post. Until then, check out this inexpensive option or look through the site for other models you might prefer.
Looking for a decent audio program, check this out.
I’m also an Audible member as of January 2018. I have not regretted it. But there are other audiobook subscription trials.
The choices are endless.
4. Convenient – We All Love Convenience
You just finish an amazing book and want to pick up the next book in the series. No need to head to a bookstore and hope they have it in stock, just use your ereader to buy the next book now. Even at two in the morning. Not that we need a more convenient way to blow more money on books. But luckily, with so many ebook sales and freebies available, it’s easier to get multiple books you’d get for the price of one paperback.
Love Goodreads? Kindles connect to your Goodreads account to enable you to update your reading progress or rate books or mark a book as read.
Don’t know a word? Most apps and ereaders have a dictionary lookup. Just hold your finger on the word and insta-dictionary. Different readers will add thesaurus or Wikipedia articles or even a translation if the word is in a different language.
No more time spent trying to hunt down a specific book that wasn’t returned to its proper shelf. You can search by author or title; sort books by most recent, title or author. Or create collections or virtual shelves or whatever term that brand uses. Google Play Books actually sorts books into two categories by itself: start or finished. It will also list the series you’ve purchased.
Are you looking into going to college? Did you know that there are actually eTextbooks? A lot of university coursework requires electronic textbooks or uses both traditional books and digital. Check out eCampus.com.
Want to store and read PDF files on your ereader? Most ereaders have that ability. For Kindles, just email the PDF file to your device’s unique Kindle email address and voila! Or you can convert the file using any free online tool, like this one, to your ereader’s file format. Mobi for Kindle, Epub for most others, although there are some others, those are the two major formats.
You can also use a USB cord to connect your device to your computer to directly transfer files, although I personally have had no need to do this.
Love enjoying books in the bath? Waterproof ereaders are now available!
Libraries around the country have ebooks you can borrow for free as long as you have a library card. You can join Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program and for a low monthly fee, borrow as many books as you want. This is especially useful if you’re a very prolific reader. If you have Amazon Prime, there’s Prime Reading, which is similar.
Have kids who read or you want to get reading? Amazon has a program called FreeTime Unlimited. Thousands of kids books available, they say. I haven’t tried it, but might be something to look into.
Get stuck waiting somewhere without your ereader? You can sync your reading over multiple devices. Keep the usually free app from your preferred retailer on your phone and tablet. Just use your phone to continue reading where you left off at home.
Get into a really good book but got to cook dinner? Switch to audio or Text-to-Speech on your device if it’s connected to Bluetooth speakers or a headset. Or just use your phone. Amazon has books that WhisperSync, which means you can switch back and forth from reading to using Audible books. Pretty handy as it holds onto your spot!
That’s totally okay. I still love my paper books. I myself save those favorite novels in hardback or paperback, though I only read digital books now.
A secret ereader benefit few realize until you read in bed. If you fall asleep reading, the ereader hitting your face hurts a lot less than a hardback novel. (Thanks for reminding me of this one, Barry!)
I was reluctant to go digital myself. Until I started traveling around the country for work. I’ve got to have a selection of books at all times, but my job made this impossible until I got an ereader. Once I realized how freaking awesome it was, I went a little crazy spending money on ebooks and buying every freebie I could find. I’ve settled down since then, but I still blow my book budget every month. I particularly love shopping in my pajamas late at night.
Do you have a story about how you decided to go digital? Or the reasons you don’t want to? Did I miss any ereader benefits you particularly love? Tell me below!