Why I love my Kindle so much
In the past couple of years, the amount of reading I have done on my Kindle has increased tenfold. While there have been studies and vehement opinions arguing that paper is preferable to digital, I think e-readers have their place. I will be quick to acknowledge the cons: I do not think I retain information as well on e-readers because part of how I digest and remember is through marking texts up and remembering the actual placement of words on a page. I will admit that there is something about the physical experience of turning a page and inhaling the scent of a freshly printed book or an ancient hardback bearing years of history.
The convenience of my Kindle is hard to beat (and I do mean Kindle, not just any e-reader. When I compare my experience to friends who have other types of e-readers, I think the Kindle wins by a landslide).
Here are the reasons why I find myself reading so much more often:
1. To state the obvious: The Kindle is great for traveling.
I am the kind of person who prefers to read multiple books at a time, so the Kindle is incredibly convenient for travel. I like to match my reads to my mood, and since I never can quite predict what I'll be craving, I like downloading a variety of books to see me through my trip. My shoulders thank me--I used to try the same tactic with paper books!
2. To state the other obvious benefit: The Kindle saves space.
I really appreciate a nice physical book. Nice typography and cover art enhance the reading experience, and such nuance is lost in the digital form. Yet as I have acquired more and more books over the years, I realize how few books I actually care to keep. Some books I want in bound form because they are reference books that I return to again and again. Some books I want to display because they are attractive or conversation starters. But the average mystery novel or nonfiction book? I read it once and am done, and I do not miss the paper copy one bit.
3. Kindle deals encourage me to read more.
I use a library extension for Amazon, and whenever I look up a book and see that the library has it, I consider simply adding my name to the hold list instead of purchasing. Sometimes I do want to support the author, however, or I do not want to wait months and months when there is a long wait list. I find books through the daily Amazon Kindle deals (and through Modern Mrs. Darcy's picks) that I would never buy in paperback or hardback form. It's easy for me to plunk down $0.99 or $1.99 on a book that I may not love or may abandon altogether. I have become riskier with my book selections now and no longer agonize over whether or not I think a purchase will be "worth it" because I am okay losing a few--not hundreds of--dollars here and there.
4. The Kindle app saves me in desperate situations.
The Kindle itself is not heavy or big, and I try to remember to transfer it from my nightstand to my bag when I know I will be out and about and have periods of waiting. When I do forget, I can still read through my phone's Kindle app. I still default to Facebook or Instagram more often than I wish, but I like having the option to catch a few pages of reading and using the downtime more productively. The app automatically syncs to your furthest page read so there is no guesswork about where you left off. For someone who never seems to have a bookmark when she needs it, this is a wonderful thing.
5. Libraries have really jumped on the e-reader bandwagon, and Kindle books are faster to obtain.
I don't always get to the library to pick up the books I have placed on hold (especially because the library nearest me does not have parking), so sometimes my holds end up being reshelved. I love the easy of digital holds: when the book becomes available, it is automatically checked out to you. I then can choose an e-book or Kindle format, and I have three weeks to get through the book, and I never had to leave my house or spend a dime! Sometimes I do not time my holds well and I end up with six books to read in a span of three weeks, but usually the system works well. I swear the wait list moves more quickly too because the process is so automatic. There is no such thing as a late return or damaged book.
6. I track Kindle books better.
I have the option to track Kindle books automatically on my goodreads account. I am prompted to add the book when I first open it, which is fabulous for someone like me who forgets the book she just read the day after she finishes. I can see every book every loaded onto my Kindle, and Amazon even prevents me from buying duplicate copies (which I totally have attempted to do a few times).
There you have it. I probably could come up with a list of why I love paper books too, but I must say my affection for Kindle book continues to grow. If only I could take a pen and real highlighter to the e-reader, I might be a complete convert.