Friday, October 21, 2011

The Feel of an eBook

An electronic book reader, or eReader as they are sometimes called, is a small handheld device that has a screen which is roughly the same size as a page in a paperback novel. The eReader enables its user to open text files and read them in a way that is not dissimilar to reading a paperback.

The eReader has a button you press when you want to see the next page. It may also have a button that lets you save your place. The eReader has a menu that lists all the books that are stored on it; from there you can choose which book you are going to read next.

There are thousands of books available for free on the Internet. You can store hundreds of books on your eReader at any one time.

Sometimes people ask me why I own an eReader. I tell them that I can download classic novels for free. I tell them that I can store lots of really big books on my eReader. I tell them that the battery lasts for ages and the words on the screen look like ink on paper. I tell them that the eReader is easy to hold, perhaps easier than a normal novel.

“But don’t you miss the feel of a paperback,” I am asked.

This question makes me think back to the first book I read on my eReader: Anna Karenina. Anna Karenina is not War and Peace, but it is still an arm achingly large tome that was not designed for bedtime reading. Reading Anna Karenina on my eReader was easy. There was no arm-ache, just 100% pure tortured-Russian-genius.

Do I miss the feel of a normal book? Well, no, because here’s the thing: owning an eReader doesn’t preclude you from feeling normal books if you want to.

In summary: owning an eReader can make it easier to read books; an eReader can make hundreds of books available to you for free; if you own an eReader you can still feel old paperbacks whenever you want to.

I’m struggling to find a downside.

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