Is An E-Reader Worth It?

Why use an iPad, Kindle or other electronic device to read the latest best-seller?

My iPad has several e-reading apps. Credit: Danielle Masterson.
My iPad has several e-reading apps. Credit: Danielle Masterson.

For many of us, reading is a ritual. We write our names inside the book covers, turn the pages, flip through the table of contents and enjoy holding a bound book in our hands. 

But, e-readers are out there, and many of us have them. Are they worth it? 

The quick answer is: Yes

Reasons Why E-Readers Are Useful: 

  • No need for a book light — We all have 'em. Those little book lights that our partners purchased because we liked to read in bed until all hours of the night. You clip 'em onto your books and the little light shines onto the pages. Like a flickering candle. Because the battery power usually stinks. And if you're reading a paperback, the book light is too heavy and causes problems. Get an e-reader, and you can read until you fall asleep using the electronic light of the electronic reader. And if the white light of the e-reader is too bright, many offer sepia or night-vision options. 
  • No need for an extra suitcase when you travel — Think you're going to read 10 books during your vacation? Don't bring an extra bag just for your books. Save them all on your e-reader and just bring that with you. It all fits on your tablet and you can read for hours! 
  • Arthritis — As we get older, some suffer from arthritis and can't hold a book comfortably for long periods of times. You can place an e-reader in your lap, then just tap the screen to move to the next page. Extend your reading time without the pain. 
  • You can still use the library — Most libraries are hooked up to Overdrive, the free lending library service that allows you to check out the latest best-sellers on your e-reader using your already-established public library card account. Check out what you want, read it within two or three weeks (depending on the book and your library), then just delete it from your e-reader. There are no late fees with Overdrive either, if you have the book past your due date, it just deletes on its own.  
  • Two Words: Project Gutenberg — There are over 45,000 free ebooks available through Project Gutenberg thanks to the fact that the copyright has expired on them in the United States. They are high-quality and fantastic. These aren't random, unheard-of books either. Here are just a sample of books available through Project Gutenberg: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Les Mis by Victor Hugo, Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Grimms' Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm and the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Do you use an e-reader? Do you love it or is it a necessary evil in this day and age? Let me know in the comments!

This post also appeared on my website: DanielleMastersonBooks.com

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Fay April 24, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Hi - I love my KindleFire. Unfortunately, it's not good for reading outside. I have tried switching the print from black on white and white on black. No difference. Does anyone have a suggestion? I may have to go back to real books for the summer. But, that's no problem! I love real books as well. Especially for the new releases. They are available first, before the e-books. Thanks!
Tim H April 24, 2014 at 10:48 AM
@Fay, the KindleFire has the normal color display that doesn't work well in bright light -- like a lot of other tablets. For outdoors, the Kindle with E-Ink or Paperwhite displays are better. You might want to buy their cheap $69 model for E-Ink to use outdoors so you don't have to be as concerned about it getting damaged (rain, sand, dirt, etc). Use your KindleFire indoors. Check the comments on Amazon to see what others have to say. From what I heard, all the stuff on your KindleFire should be accessible on a new Kindle device provided you use the same account. It will even keep you last read page when you switch devices, so where you left of on the E-Ink device, you can resume on your KindleFire and visa versa. I don't have one myself, but that's what I've heard from others that use them.
Fay April 24, 2014 at 10:57 AM
Thanks Tim! I'll check it out!
Brina M April 24, 2014 at 11:07 AM
The original kindle is great for outside reading. I got a lot of good tips from these comments. Thank you all.
Julia Whitney Robarts May 19, 2014 at 08:34 AM
I am still an old-fashioned girl. Would rather hold a book and fold down the page corner and toss it in the sand when it's time to snooze on the beach. However, thanks to the looming deadlines imposed by book club, I've had to purchase an e-book twice and it saved my literary a$$ :) Your points are all valid!


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