Thursday, October 3, 2013

Test Driving an e-Reader

Remember how way back when I told you all that I don't use an e-reader? I prefer to hold a book in my hand when I read. Well, for the last week or so, I have been using an e-reader on loan from a friend who converted a few years ago. She had a hard copy book she wanted to read, and she had already read a book on her e-reader that I needed to read for book club. 

Sadly for her, I am a very slow reader. Really, it's true. I have never mastered the art of speed reading. I am slow. I take my time. I sometimes read sentences two or three times. When I try to read fast, my mind wanders, and I have to go back a page and figure out what I just read. So I read slowly and eventually I get it done. I am not done reading the book on the e-reader. But thought I'd give you my thoughts so far. 

The first day I used it, I remembered the password to turn it on. No sweat. I was reading along. And it took me a few pages to realize that for every page on the page count, I have to read two pages on the e-reader. Not a problem. But then I was done and I had to go, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to turn the thing off. I pushed buttons and looked at settings. But no dice. I even texted my friend. But before I heard back from her, I had to turn to my friend Google to figure out where the power switch was. That's not a problem anyone would face with the old fashioned kind of book. Close the cover. Done. 

The other thing you only encounter with these newfangled books is the battery issue. The little icon turns read when it's low on juice and a window pops up warning you that you're gonna lose power if you don't do anything about it. So you better have your power cord with you if you're worried about running out of battery life before you finish reading. I have never had to plug in a book before, so that was weird. 

There are a couple of perks. I know you're supposed to read with light. Whatever. I was the kid who read with a flashlight under the covers and by the early light coming through the window in the morning. I'm not worried about my eyesight even to the day. So it's nice to have the back light at night, so I can turn off the lights in the room and read until I'm ready to fall asleep and not have to get out of bed to turn the lights off. 

The other thing I found that is useful is the larger print. I have never been able to read anything while on a treadmill. I hate treadmills for a number of reasons, one being the lack of change of scenery and I just get plain bored. But yesterday, I hoped on the treadmill with the e-reader. I was still bouncing around and had to reread words and sentences. With some practice I got better at it, and it did make running on a treadmill that faces a blank wall a million times more bearable. I would never be able to read a bound book and run. I'd have to keep at least one hand on the book to keep it open. Turning pages would require more than just a simple swipe of a finger. And unless I bought all my books in extra large print, I'd never be able to train my eyes to focus. 

Don't you go worrying about me. I have not been converted to the wonders of the e-reader. It has it's downfalls, but it has a couple of useful perks. But at the point the only one that would be enough to convince me is the treadmill entertainment, but I run on a treadmill so seldom, it's still not worth it at this point for me. 

Have you all converted to an e-reader yet? What do you like/dislike about them? 


  1. I have not. I keep being told of their wonders as a parent, but so far I'm still pro-book.

    1. I just had a conversation with someone today who said having a Kindle has transformed doctors visits with her kids. You've got a ways to go with your little one though.

  2. I admit that I have had a Kindle for several years. I still have the original one my husband bought me. I thought for sure I would HATE it because I too love books!!!! The smell the feel the pages, I love books. However, I have to admit that I am totally addicted to my Kindle now. I still occasionally buy the "real" thing - Mother of Rain for example I had to have a hardcopy! But I love being able to download my favorite authors the EXACT day the book is released. I no longer have boxes and boxes of hardback books and it is less expensive. I really do appreciate it :)

    1. I do think you can be a book lover and still use an e-reader. I'm just not there yet. I love my boxes of books. But you're right, there is something to be said for the cost difference. Especially for those that read a lot. For awhile, I actually banned myself from buying new books until I'd read all the books on my shelf.