Portal to the Pages

A quick glimpse into my thoughts on various fiction

On the Topic of eBooks

on January 8, 2013

First of all, I would like to start by pointing out that this is not a review of any particular book. I have come to the conclusion that I have to make a decision between either posting regularly or posting only book reviews. With the time constraints of college, I’m not reading as quickly or as much as I would like so it’s not realistic for me to continue to post a review a week. Therefore, I have decided that I will start including some posts about related topics, the first of which is about my opinion of eBooks.

For a few years now, I have been resisting the lure of eBooks. Yes, I said, they’re convenient but you’re missing out on the bookishness of a good book. I cited the smell of the pages, the feel of different print qualities, the freshness of a new firsthand book, never before opened. I questioned whether the convenience of eBooks could really outweigh all of these factors and more. Then I started my Masters and had to bring my laptop, notebook, what seemed like a never-ending pile of handouts to college, on top of whatever book I was reading. I found myself limiting what books I would read based on their weight and whether or not I could easily slip them into my laptop bag for ease of access.

Surely there was a solution?

That’s how I found myself suddenly researching the price of eReaders. Long story short, I decided to get a Google Nexus 7 for Christmas, which I could use both for eBooks and other things. I’ve been using it pretty solidly every day since I got it and so far, I have no regrets. I do miss the “personality” of a well-loved book, but in my hectic schedule, convenience has become king! I find myself more likely to read during the day in short bursts also. I’m not sure what it is that encourages this, whether it is because I almost always have the tablet within arms’ reach or because I am used to consuming information through a screen all day. Whatever the reason, if something causes me to read even more than I previously did, I don’t think it can possibly be a bad thing.

Photo of the Google Nexus 7

Google Nexus 7

My only qualm at the moment is the availability of free eBooks. My local library has an eBook collection but it is currently very limited, especially in the genres I like reading the most; fantasy and historical fiction. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate it being there in general, but in comparison to the selection of physical books, it’s very disappointing. I’ve always been one of those people who, at any given time, will have a number of books on loan from the library and I would hate for my switch to eBooks to change that. I know that it’s cheaper to purchase eBooks than physical books, but I still wouldn’t like to buy every book I read – especially ones that I already own in physical form!

In general though, I am really enjoying the freedom of reading books without worrying about how long they are because at the end of the day, a book should be as long as is needed to tell a good story!

What are your opinions on eBooks and eReaders? Have I been drawn to the dark side? Or is technology simply evolving?



6 responses to “On the Topic of eBooks

  1. michellepf says:

    After receiving an iPad for Christmas I am also considering downloading some e-books or in the iPads case, iBooks. Your post has definitely made me consider making the switch – I don’t think it will be a permanent switch however as I do love the feel of a book and the smell of the paper but can’t knock it until I try it right 😉

    When I read my first iBook I will let you know how I felt about the whole thing! 🙂

  2. I have a Kindle. I love its advantages. The first book I read on it was a 1000 page Dostoevsky book that, thanks to my Kindle, I could carry in my breast coat pocket. However, they will never be as aesthetically pleasing and they are still not great at pictures. But worst of all they make buying books too easy! See this writer’s account of buying books while drunk: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/02/elif-batuman-ebooks-buying

    • sineadfoy23 says:

      Thanks for the comment Stephen!

      The issue of pictures is one of the reasons I chose a Nexus over a Kindle, its screen is really crisp! I love getting Edge (gaming magazine) on my Nexus too.

      That was actually a great read, thanks for sharing! I can see myself going that way, I already do it to unlock more puzzles in a game I’m playing on my Nexus!

  3. Gary Hernon says:

    I’m reading more now than I ever did with my Nexus. I can still bring my favourite book (Magazine) with me and have other ebooks on the auld Nexus. Needless to say I will never be as big a nerd as you but I will come close

    • sineadfoy23 says:

      I think that this is a great advantage of eBooks! More people need to be told about this.

      I remember trying to persuade you to read certain books in the past, maybe I now just need to download them onto your Nexus?

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