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?