The Benefits of Having an eBook Reader

Woman reading ebook

Some say an eBook reader, however advanced, can never compare to a paperback, that a screen can only be a poor alternative to the printed page, that eBooks don’t have the same charm. But then I know people who enjoy having an eBook reader, and I happen to be one of them. I think eBook readers come with some great benefits which we shouldn’t ignore.

I started out with a Kindle (2nd gen) and then upgraded two years ago to a Kindle Paperwhite, welcoming the backlit screen for night reading. As a Romanian reading and writing in English, these devices have enabled me to read public domain books I would have otherwise not been able to get my hands on too easily.

Nobody is paying me to promote eBook readers, so I’m being sincere here. The following benefits are taken from my experience with those devices. So, here are some good reasons why you should consider getting an eBook reader if you don’t have one already.

  • It’s all about the reading experience. There are no apps or nagging notifications, and you can keep the WiFi off most of the time, like I do.

  • Doesn’t tire the eyes like a glaring screen does. It has an e-ink screen which is quite different from the screens of computers, smartphones, or tablets – there’s no eyestrain. There’s no glare outside either, so you can read outdoors, too.

  • Makes reading in the dark easy on the eyes. Reading at night when the house and the world are quiet is one of the great small pleasures of this world. But reading under a lamp can be hard on the eyes, and it’s a bit clumsy business, too, especially if you’re in bed. The Kindle Paperwhite comes with a backlit light that illumines the screen, creating a good contrast for night reading.

  • Comes with useful highlighting and bookmarking features. Every now and then I come across sentences or paragraphs I want to return to later. With an eBook reader this is very easy.

  • Built-in dictionaries are just awesome. Tap on a word and you get a dictionary pop-up with a quick definition from the Oxford Dictionary, or a variety of other established dictionaries. This is much more convenient than having to look up words in a normal dictionary. The dynamic dictionary of an eBook reader can be fantastic tool for learning a new language or improving one’s vocabulary.

  • Helps save trees. Nearly 4 billion trees are cut each year for paper – the global consumption of paper has grown 400% in the last 40 years. The environmental impact is significant.

  • Stores thousands of books which you can easily take with you wherever you go. For writers, students, self-development enthusiasts, and anyone else who enjoys reading and learning, an eBook reader is really the equivalent of a pocket-size portable library.

  • Wide selection of public domain books. Books copyrighted before 1923 are available in the public domain on websites such as Project Gutenberg – in other words, you can download the classics for free.

  • It’s relatively affordable. At the time of this post, a Kindle Paperwhite with a backlit screen for night reading costs $119.99 on Amazon (+ shipping fees, depending on your location). Considering the wealth of public domain books you can get for it and the features it offers, I’d say it’s a good price.

  • Can be a powerful revising and editing tool. With its highlighting and annotation features, it enables you to transfer on it documents from your computer and read them without eyestrain and without having to print them.

There are books we read once and then never pick up again, books whose stories we only have to hear once. But then there are books that we keep returning to, that we share with our family and friends, that become an extension of who we are, books that we hope our children may read one day – these are the books we usually end up buying as paperbacks or hardbacks. The others, we can enjoy on an eBook reader, without eyestrain. More than that, we can get them (most of the time) at a lower price than the paperbacks, and help preserve trees, too. And we get a built-in light for night reading, too.

For a keen reader, an eBook reader like the Kindle Paperwhite can be a treat, one that doesn’t try to replace our paperback library, but rather to complement and extend it, ensuring we can take it anywhere with us, and giving us a fine excuse to read more, wherever we are.

Do you have an eBook reader?

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21 thoughts on “The Benefits of Having an eBook Reader

  1. Im coming round to ereaders slowly.
    The built in light and lightweight construct is handy. Book over that every time, BUT, environmentally it is great, saving the old trees.
    Im conflicted ☺

  2. Although I am of the latter category, I like ebook readers nonetheless. And I agree with all the benefits you listed above. I am planning to buy one myself. Sometime soon. How’ve you been, Vincent?

  3. You make a pretty good case for eReaders Vincent. I was, for the longest time, a staunch “I’ll never convert to eBooks” kind of guy. The first time I read a book electronically it was of sheer necessity. I was doing some research for a presentation and I found a book that would really help me…. I could either wait 5-6 days for shipping (in which case it’d have arrived AFTER my presentation) or I could download an electronic copy… which I did. What really ramped up my eBook consumption however was my move to Europe, from Canada, last year. I couldn’t bring a lot of books with me (due to weight & shipping costs) nor do I want to bring books back when we eventually return. I currently read on an iPad – not an eReader. Sometimes I do find the glare / reflection a bit distracting but overall it’s good value and like you, the ability to highlight and then search for highlighted passages is very convenient. Does that mean I’ve joined “the Dark Side”? haha? Cheers and once again, a well laid out article, kudos!

  4. I have an eBook Reader. The “pocket-size portable library” you mentioned is one of my favorite features. Really helpful for people like me to tend to carry books around wherever they go. I love being able to carry around a lot of stories with a little weight.

  5. A very interesting post on this subject. I don’t know if I can get this in Denmark. It sounds really good also that it won’t strain your eyes

  6. I’ve had an e-book reader for about 5 years. It’s very handy when travelling, I can’t imagine being restricted to one or two books anymore.

    I do still prefer a paper book but the convenience of an e-reader can’t be beaten.

  7. Thank you for this post. I’ve been considering the switch for a while now, mainly because a) I’m so used to reading things on my phone/tablet/laptop that reading physically printed books require intensive concentration, something I increasingly find myself lacking, and b) I’m that person who overprotects their books to avoid damage, admittedly the bane of my bookish existence. I might just get myself a Kindle to read faster and with less bookperfectionmaintenance anxiety!

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