Top Five Reasons You Should Get an E-Reader

It should come as no surprise that I’ve always beenTop Five Reasons You Should Get an E-Reader a fan of books–the smell of the pages (old or new), the weight in your hands, the softness the pages get over time. At one point, I had twelve boxes of books, and though I’ve pared that down, I still have one full Ikea shelf covered in books and stacks sitting around “decoratively” (aka haphazardly).

For the past several years, I’ve been occasionally using the Kindle app on my iPad, but still really preferred hard-copy books when I had the choice. iPads are great for some things, but too heavy / shiny to read comfortably for any length of time, especially anywhere but in a darkened room.

In a moment of credit card-enabled weakness, however, I splurged and got a Kindle the last time Amazon had a sale on them, and OH MY GOD PEOPLE, it’s changed my life.

  1. A Kindle is way better than the Kindle App.

    I was never really a fan of the Kindle App for iPad and I also didn’t really see why I needed two tablets when I already had one. But there is SO MUCH you can do with the Kindle that you can’t do with the Kindle App (which I’m sure they do on purpose so you have to buy the Kindle). With the Kindle, you can categorize books into collections, easily buy books (vs. logging into Amazon in a browser), view your Amazon reading lists, and see footnotes and end-notes with just a tap.

    I guess the real takeaway here is that the Kindle App sucks.

  2. You can read whatever you want, wherever you want, and people generally have to mind their own business.

    Really, this is awesome. Have you ever been reading a book on the bus or in a cafe and someone just HAD to stop and give you their opinion of whatever you’re reading? I mean, I know they think they’re being friendly, but can’t they see that you’re hanging out with your fictional friends and don’t want to talk to real people? Those folks can’t really do that when you have an e-reader. You could be reading the Bible or Ayn Rand or E.L. James for all they know.

  3. Pack light, travel fast.

    I don’t know about you, but at one point in my life I moved ~8 times in five years. Hauling Why You Should Buy An E-Readertwelve boxes of books up and down stairs every time my lease ended was starting to get really old, so I down-sized with my most recent move this winter, and now I don’t feel guilty for getting new books.

    Also, what if you end up robbing a bank and need to go on the lam? You’ll want to have entertainment on the road, and there’s no way you’ll have time to pack all those books to go. E-readers just make sense.  (I can’t be the only one who makes certain life decisions on how it supports bank robbing, right? It’s why I don’t have any tattoos–makes you too identifiable… just in case.)

  4. FREE BOOKS. ‘NUFF SAID.

    FREE BOOKS FROM YOUR LIBRARY, PEOPLE. And if your library is too small to have a respectable Overdrive offering, you can always ask your cooler hipper friend who lives in a bigger city for their library card information and just mooch off of them. (Note: I already live in a bigger city, so I don’t need to do this, but I already use my library card on Overdrive so I can’t lend it to you.)

    If you have a Kindle, you can also read out-of-copyright classics for free. I really wish I had known about this when I was in college and dropping a large chunk of my measly paychecks on Thomas Hardy and Henry James. I spent more on books than I spent on clothes at that point, and I was spending it boning up on 2000 years of the classics… most of which you can now get for free. Sigh.

    Finally, Amazon Prime members can also borrow one free book a month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (only available on the Kindle and not via the Kindle App), and Amazon also runs Kindle Daily and Monthly Deals so you can get great books for two or three books. Taking advantage of all these programs, I’m pretty sure my Kindle has already paid for itself, and it’s only been a month.

  5. You can carry thousands of books with you at the same time and switch between them whenever you want.

    I always thought I was a reading serial monogamist, but then I started reading two or three books concurrently and I kind of love it. (Right now, I’m reading Nathaniel Branden’s Honoring the Self, Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Toying With His Affections by Laura K. Curtis. So rad.)

If I were you, I’d wait until the next time Amazon knocks $50 off the Kindle price and get one. It’s paid for itself.

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