If you told me this time last year that ebooks would soon comprise 90% of my reading, I probably would have grabbed the nearest paperback, hugged it protectively, and told you you were gravely mistaken. It’s not that I didn’t like my Kindle, but I couldn’t imagine purposefully and habitually forgoing the experience of reading a physical book.
I used to be a library book-paperback person through and through (by the way, paperbacks > hardcovers), but 2020 forced me to dust off my e-reader. Now I don’t know what I would do without it.
I was inspired to write a post like this a while ago by The Reading Addict’s Let’s Talk Ebooks discussion, which got me thinking a lot about why I switched from preferring physical books to preferring ebooks. Without further ado, here are 5 reasons why you should give ebooks a try– although nothing can truly replace the sentimental beauty of a physical book.
1) Ebooks are more comfortable to read
Starting with the most practical reason why ebooks are superior to physical books: it is way easier to hold an e-reader than it is to hold a physical book. Before you call me shallow, think about it: to hold and turn the pages of a physical book, you have to use two hands– and hardcovers can really be a pain. With ebooks, all you need to do is tap the screen.
2) You can find books more easily
This reason is the most relevant right now, when we still can’t leave the house where I live, but ebooks are often much easier to get than physical books. Many libraries use apps like Libby or Overdrive, which you can use to borrow ebooks and then read them on either your Kindle or your phone. It’s easier to get ebooks than to get physical books these days in a literal sense, because you don’t need to go out to the library, but it can also be easier to acquire popular books or new releases because fewer people request ebooks. So overall it’s a win-win situation.
3) You can quickly look up words while reading
This is by far the biggest pro to ebooks for me because I have a weird affinity for learning new words and sporadically putting them into my writing. My vocabulary improves exponentially more when I read ebooks than when I read physical books because it’s so much easier to press on a word and view the definition than to grab a dictionary or look it up on the Internet (I’m a little bit lazy). Also, the Kindle that I have saves a list of the words I look up and even has a flashcard component which you can use to review and quiz yourself.
4) You can take notes and highlight sections
Okay, maybe THIS one is the number one most important reason that I prefer ebooks. It is so helpful to be able to highlight and take notes on sections of books. You can of course highlight and take notes on physical books, but, again, it’s more difficult. (Also, I usually read library books, and I don’t want to lose my library card)
And I love that Goodreads syncs your Kindle notes with your account! I often rely on my Kindle notes and highlights when I’m writing book reviews, and there’ll always be a record of the thoughts I had while reading the book if I ever want to look back or remember what a book was like. Not to mention how much it helps me retain information when I read nonfiction!
5) You can change the font/page formatting to your heart’s content
I’m not super picky about fonts and font sizes (except for the horrible font and font size that WordPress has inexplicably chosen for the editor today. Did I accidentally change a setting, or is this the new automatic font? I may need to start editing my posts on Google Docs instead)
–Back to ebooks. This is another somewhat vapid reason to prefer ebooks, but it’s fun to play around with the fonts and font sizes, and you’ll never need to read a book with an ugly font.
Do you prefer ebooks or physical books? Why? Do you agree with any of the reasons I have listed here? Feel free to leave a comment.
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