Discussion: Ereading – One Year Later

disussion on a bookish topic-01

It has been just over a year (well, a year and a few months) since I first got my ereader. In February of 2012, I bought myself a Kobo for my birthday and absolutely LOVED it upon first use.

Over time, the thrill of having so many books on it died out and it sits on my shelf until the time comes when I want to read something on it and then, surprise surprise, the battery is dead.

This isn’t to say that I don’t still love it, but after getting an iPad over the holidays, I would say that my Kobo has kind of taken a back seat. Of course, my ereading experience has been hit and miss, so I thought I’d outline my thoughts on it after a year of experience.

I do really love my ereaders, though I will always, always love paper books first. I’m a book sniffer, you guys, and I have actually pet a book before whether it was for the abs of some dude on the cover, or because the title was embossed on the cover. Needless to say, the book had to be touched. I also love seeing books on my shelf. Over the last months I’ve been working on actually reading a lot of the books I own and ONLY putting them on my bookshelves once they’re read.  I love the look of a full bookshelf.

But then I do love the portability of an ereader. Take Diana Gabaldon’s books, for instance. They are HUGE books, over 1,000 pages each. Even though I tend to carry a large bag with me, just one of these books makes the bag so much heavier. But my ereaders are very light! They’re both slim and trim and don’t take up a lot of space, which is great. AND, if I get bored with a book on my ereader, I can flip over to another book. I mean, on a trip to the doctor’s office, who brings multiple physical books with them?

The thing I love about my Kobo reader is that it’s a paperwhite, which means that it feels like I’m reading an actual book, rather than the iPad, which is backlit. That can get really straining on the eyes after a while.  Of course, the paperwhite has its drawbacks as well – like, only being able to read it when it’s light out, or if you have a light. If it gets too dark, you need a lamp, or a booklight. But, really, it’s the same as reading a paper book, so it’s not something I can complain about.

With my iPad, I can read in whatever lighting because it’s backlit. It’s nice that I can adjust the colour of the screen to sepia and tone down the brightness, but it still gets very tiring on the eyes after a while. The nice thing about the iPad, though, is that I not only have the iBooks app, but I can also have the Kindle app, the Kobo app, and Overdrive. I can transfer NetGalley reads over with the push of a button, my Kobo books that I’ve purchases show up in the Kobo app, and I can easily take out library books through my iPad and open them up directly in Overdrive. Whereas I have to plug in my Kobo to the laptop whenever I want to put a NetGalley book on it, I don’t have to do that with the iPad.

When it comes down to it, though, I actually really prefer real books. Yes, ereaders are great for vacations when you don’t want to lug around enough reading material to keep you occupied, but when I’m in my home or close to it I prefer the weight of a real book. I prefer to pet my covers. I prefer to constantly rearrange them on the bookshelf. I prefer the smell of the new pages – or the old pages – in a book. I prefer actual bookmarks. While ereading is all the rage, I am hoping that real books never die out.

(Edit: I wrote this post a while back and have recently acquired a Kindle, thanks to local author Trina M. Lee. I LOVE IT. It’s one of the first models, so it’s not a touch-screen — which I remember every single time I go to turn a page — but it’s absolutely wonderful. Especially when it comes to NetGalley books that just do NOT format right when reading on my Kobo — not to mention, I can take advantage of that ‘send to kindle’ feature on NetGalley. And it’s a great alternative to the iPad since it doesn’t have a backlight.)

Do you use an ereader? What are your preferences when it comes to reading – real books or ebooks? 



24 thoughts on “Discussion: Ereading – One Year Later

  1. I have an ipad Mini and I did not know you could do all of that with your Ipad! Or do you have a bigger version? Does it matter? Obviously I am going to have to play around with my Ipad more.

    But I agree with you. I actually sold my Nook Simple Touch with the Glowlight to help purchase my iPad. Now all my reads apps are in one place and I don’t have multiple techy things stuffed into my purse. *sigh*I don’t regret it because I hardly ever used it after starting school. Much like you, I will always be a book love/sniffer. 🙂

    • I have a bigger version, but an app is an app! I have the Overdrive app for library books and use PerfectReader for those pesky NetGalley PDFs that just don’t work on my Kobo or Kindle. You really should play with your iPad more!

      I’ve been trying to use my Kobo more — and my new Kindle. I do love reading on my iPad, but it’s nice to have something lighter to hold in my hands. Though, I do tend to use the Kobo and Kindle more for review books than anything else. I just like buying real books for my shelves!

  2. I feel pretty similar to you on this one. I do love my Kindle keyboard (no touch screen and no backlighting and a keyboard I never use), but a real book is always nicer somehow. I think I like the action of turning the pages instead of clicking a button. And touching them. Physical books each have a bit of their own personality, but they all feel the same on the kindle.

    • They really do feel all the same! I think that’s why I am so bad at reading my review books when they’re on my ereader. I just like the physical ones … they look so pretty, all have different kinds of type and paper, the covers all feel different. And I can SEE them. That makes a huge difference.

  3. I agree, I always love the physical copies. I much prefer to hold a book in my hand, see physical progress, smell it (YES me too!) and I’m just more inclined to pick up a physical copy off my shelf because I can see it. Despite the fact that I made a shelf on GR for my Kindle books, I still forget about the from time to time.
    Love that you came back to visit this topic a year later!

    • It’s so easy to forget about ebooks … you just don’t SEE them like you do the books on your shelves. Ereaders are definitely convenient, but when it comes to everyday reading at home, I do prefer physical books. I will never give them up!

  4. I completely agree. I love my ereader but I will always love physical books more. I actually started with the first Kindle and have just gotten the most recent Kobo, so I went from a non-touch screen to a touch screen. I enjoy it, but I completely understand what you mean about always having to plug in the Kobo to transfer books.

    • That’s such an annoying thing! I think that’s why I like my Kindle … just like my iPad, it’s easy to get my review books on it. The only downside are the books that CAN’T be sent to Kindle.

      It feels strange to go from touch screens to a no-touch screen … it’ll take a lot of getting used to!

  5. I think you have the older version of the Kobo then? I have the Glo and there is an back light function, so no need for extra light in a dark room! 🙂 But I feel the same way. I absolutely love my Glo. It’s easy to bring many books with me, I can read in the sun and dark & it’s small and light. But nothing beats a paperback! I love collecting books and putting them on my shelves makes me ridiculously happy 😀


    • I have the Touch, I think it is? I do like the idea of the new ones where you can have paperwhite and the backlight. ONE DAY! And you’re right, nothing beats a real book, but ereaders definitely are great for traveling. Makes the suitcase a lot lighter. 🙂

  6. I have a nook and love it, for the simple reason that I can carry books with me everywhere, check facebook, email etc I love paper too and always will, but one of the features I love is being able to adjust the font size, I can read a standard paperback just fine, but those with smaller fonts..forgettaboutit! LOL So i can easily adjust the font size and it is such a great way to hide your addiction..bwahahaha!

    • Some paperbacks have CRAZY small fonts. That is a really nice thing about ereaders, being able to adjust the font. I usually use my phone to check other things, and use my ereaders just for reading. BUT I don’t have anything fancy, either.

      And yes! Definitely a great way to hide the addiction!

  7. I’ve had my Kobo for a while, and the whole issue with zooming for DFs sucks and annoys me, since most of Netgalley’s books are like that. I end up having to read them on the computer. I really want to get a Kindle at some point, not only so I can get galleys again but they have such better prices!
    Of course I always prefer a real book, but my limited space only allows me to have so many lol. At least I still have the library!

    • YES! Zooming in for PDFs is terrible on the Kobo. That was one reason that I loved having the iPad — I could finally read those PDFs. I’m not really one to read books on the computer, but the iPad doesn’t bother me. Of course, I do try and use my other ereaders that have the paperwhite on them more often. The Kindle isn’t bad for reading PDFs!

      Yay for the library! I have TONS of books at home, but it’s nice to know that the library is always there.

  8. Pingback: Bookish Recap: July 7th - 13th | A Bookish Heart

  9. I’m 100% an e-reader, and I love it. I gave up on paperbacks due to a space issue — I don’t have that issue with my Kobo Touch. I can have 3000+ books in less than the space of one paperback! I agree that it can be a bit of a pain when you’re trying to read in low light, but I don’t feel like that’s much of an issue any more as companies are now starting to release backlit eReaders; I do intend to upgrade to the Glo at some point, maybe as a Christmas present to myself. 😉

    But, as much as I do try to spread the positives of e-reading, I do understand that giving up paperback reading 100% like I have isn’t for everyone. I will admit to occasionally missing the smell and texture of a paperback…

    • How brave of you to only read on your ereader! I do love mine, but I’ll admit that I’d be scared to ONLY read on it. I love the feel of a book in my hands!

  10. So I’m cool and upgraded to the Kobo Glo after Christmas (so I can totally read at night, in the dark, in bed). Because of the way the lighting works on it, it doesn’t strain my eyes at all, and it’s also adjustable. So it helps a lot and I imagine it will be really great for middle of the night feedings come the new year. While I love ereaders, I do also love physical books and an ereader will never replace them for me. I love looking at the bookshelf full of books, touching them and sorting them.

    But today for instance, I took the Kobo to the doctor’s office and used it there, lighter and easier. When we went on vacation, the same. It’s just more convenient if you’re out of the house.

    • Yes, I’m really thinking the ereader will help with those midnight feedings! I do have a booklight, which should help … Does the glo automatically adjust to lighting? I saw them at Costco the other day and fiddled with the demo and couldn’t figure out the backlight thing …

      I just organized the books on my shelf … it was nice handling them all. 🙂

      I don’t mind bringing a regular book to the doctor’s office, but it has to be a decent sized book — not a monster!

      • No, it doesn’t automatically adjust. There is a small button on the top that you can toggle it on and off, and then you can adjust the brightness at the bottom of the screen. I bought mine and then went to Costco and they came with the case, I was pretty disappointed..lol

        I can’t wait until we can get bookshelves that I can display my books on, right now they are hiding in the closet, which is best for now anyways with grabby fingers about.

        And yes, I agree a normal sized book is okay, like a Sookie Stackhouse size, or a 300 ish page YA, but monster books, no way!

  11. Like you, I prefer real books and if I have a choice, I’ll choose a real book every time. The reason I love my ereaders (I have a Kobo and a Kindle) is to take advantage of freebies, cheap books, and review books. There are so many books these days that are ONLY available in ebook, plus I love getting books from NetGalley and Edelweiss. If a book is on sale on Kindle, I’ll usually check my library to see if they have it first, and if not, I’ll get the ebook. I still buy a bunch of paper books because I love the look and feel of them too (I pet and smell books too lol), plus I do love having full bookshelves too, but I’ve been using my ereaders quite a bit lately just because they do come in handy for various reasons.

    • There are a lot of great books that are only available in ebook … actually, some are being published now, but I can’t imagine not finding some of my favourite authors if I didn’t have an ereader. And the deals are really great. I love it when I can find a super popular book for only $0.99. And being able to read review books so much easier is a great perk!

  12. Real books all the way. I have the Kobo app on my phone and Xoom, and I do use it, but really only when I don’t have a real book with me, or I finish the one I’m carrying. I even took my Xoom on holidays when I went OS for 3 weeks, and bought books while I was away. Sigh. I’m addicted.

    • I buy books when I’m on holidays, too. 🙂 But I do love having my ereader for airplanes or for when I’m running around. They’re also great for review books! But I still agree with you — real books all the way!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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