Tuesday 2 August 2016

Why I Read E-Books

You know, the debate between e-book readers and print book readers borders on religious-level intensity. Even after all these years, it shows no sign of abating.

But one thing I've noticed is that the people who prefer to read print books tend to be the most vocal. Not just vocal, but downright nasty, often going so far as to accuse e-books of being "not real books", and/or the readers of those books as being "not real readers".

Personally, I read e-books exclusively. I haven't read a print book in at least five years. A couple of months ago, I tried, but I just couldn't do it. My eyesight is simply too bad. I can only read during daylight hours, and then not when it's overcast. Even when the conditions are ideal, I struggle to read the print - and it's not practical to go out and buy a large-print version of every book I want to read (even if I could find them).

Since making the switch, I've fallen in love with many of the other advantages of e-reading, too. The built-in dictionary, for one.
Being able to adjust the font size, colour, margins, etc. That's an obvious benefit, that's most often cited. I now prefer to read white text on a black background, and I find the traditional black-on-white very strange. The high contrast is far easier on my eyes. Not to mention the fact that I set the font size up to pretty much as high as it can go.

Of course, there's the knowledge that I'm carrying my entire library - hundreds and hundreds of books - in my pocket wherever I go. And the syncing across devices. I read on my phone throughout the day at work (during smoke breaks, toilet breaks, while waiting for meeting participants, and so on), and nobody needs to know what I'm doing on my phone. Which is just the way I like it because I'm a very private person and I don't like people knowing what I'm doing.

In the evenings, I pick up my 10.1" tablet and start right where I left off.

And to top it all off, I am no longer responsible for any dead trees!

I now read at least twenty times more than I used to before I discovered e-books (for all the reasons I've just mentioned above).

There really is no downside for me!

Having said all that, I'm not going to go around accusing people who like to read print books of being neanderthals, or backwards.

A book is a book. Who cares how you choose to consume it?

And this, of course, isn't even touching on the revitalised audio-book craze. Stephen King's quite fond of those, but I've never been able to get into them.

Everyone, please, can we just calm down and allow each other to enjoy our written entertainment as we see fit?

What do you think? Is there a right or wrong way to read? Please let me know what you think in the comments below. I'd love your input!

Oh, and in other news, I'm taking a bit of an Internet break for the next two weeks or so. I'll be around, but you probably won't be seeing any new blog posts from me until at least 23 August.

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