Coming around to the idea of an E-Reader…for other people

It seems like the theme of this blog some days is growth. As in, this blog has been a platform for me to learn from others and grow as a less judgemental reader.

I mean, I still judge. We all do – some of us are just way more honest about it.

E-readers and I have a fraught relationship. Actually, I’m not sure that I would even classify what we have as a relationship. There is no e-reader in my life. I’m not sure that there ever will be. But about two years ago, e-readers were very much a part of my every day conversation. And I had massive opinions on e-readers.

I was not a fan.

Me, when people brought up e-readers.

Me, when people brought up e-readers.

I invite you to take a stroll down memory lane by clicking to read this post.

See? Judgey-wudgey was a bear…I mean, a lot of those points hold but…

This isn’t a post to announce that I recently got an e-reader and I’m totally in love with it and what did I ever do before my new e-reader? No.

But I have come around to the idea that for some people, e-readers make all the difference in the world between sometimes/maybe reading, and reading all the time.

I’m going to use my mom as one example. She hurt her neck in a car accident a few years ago and holding up a book for any length of time was just too difficult – it would cause her worlds of discomfort. So while she had loved reading, it was just something that was too uncomfortable to be fun. Earlier this year, we got her an e-reader before she went to Europe for a few weeks. Since she got her e-reader (in late March) she’s read nearly 20 books. An e-reader meant that she was able to reconnect with her love of reading in a way she wasn’t sure was possible anymore.

Now we chat about books all the time, trading recommendations and talking through new favourites. Like me, she adored The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow and spends a lot of time reading mysteries. It’s been a really fun connection to make with my mom again and it’s because of e-readers.

My brother recently got one as well. He, like me, prefers real live books but found that he lived too far away from a library or bookstore to be able to have enough unread books on hand to keep up with his reading pace. An e-reader meant that he was able to download new reading material whenever, wherever. He was a big reader before but now, finding new reading material is much much easier.

And finally, my friend who has 2 small children; she used to be a really big reader but her time was short with her 2 littles to look after. She recently invested in an e-reader and suddenly found herself snatching reading time at all moments. She stows it in her bag and it’s easily pulled out waiting for the kiddies to finish swimming lessons or on the way to and from work. She never wanted to carry around big, heavy books, but the e-reader feels doable.

Personally, an e-reader is still not the way I’m going. But I’m starting to come around to the fact that for a lot of people, an e-reader is the difference in a life filled with stories and a life without. Anything we can do to encourage and strengthen a love of reading in all people, is a-ok by me. Just don’t expect me to get one any time soon.


18 thoughts on “Coming around to the idea of an E-Reader…for other people

  1. Although I have an e-reader myself, I do prefer physical books still. There’s just something that feels so unnatural about e-readers sometimes. I will say that it was amazing to have one on vacation though – I wasn’t sure how much spare time I’d have to read and packing my e-reader with multiple books was so much easier than lugging around a bunch of books that I might not get to! So I do see the pros + cons of them. I’m glad to hear that your family + friends have gained so much from them… and that you’re slowly warming up to the idea, even if it’s only for other people 😉

    • Definitely still only for other people and then only because it’s getting more people reading. The more people that read, the more books they will need, the more books will be published. And then we all win. I can definitely see the pros, especially for travel, but I’ve always packed books for vacay and it’s never been an issue. I LOVE buying books at airports and I wouldn’t have an excuse for that with an e-reader on hand.

  2. Oh, this is how it begins. You see it as okay for other people. Lol, I too despised ereaders and then came around to acknowledging their usefulness for others. Then I started reviewing books for publishers and finding free giveaways…but they were always ebooks! So I have the Kindle app. I couldn’t argue with a free book. I do still much prefer reading from a real book, both because of the feel and I collect books. But I also hate writing it books, so nonfiction on the ereader is super nice because I can note something and don’t feel like I’m defacing something precious.

    • hahahahahaha No! I’m being open minded for others. I’m still very much on the other side for myself. I love collecting books and having them and having people come over and look through my shelves. I shudder to think of a world without that. I can’t give in.

  3. You know that I’m in the paper book club with you, but I applaud your open-mindedness. My mom too has made the switch to Kindle. She can make the font as large as she wants, it’s backlit, and it’s portable. The added bonus is that when I recommend a book to her she can get it right away instead of forgetting the book she wanted at the store.

  4. I’ve had an ereader for a few years now, and I used it fairly frequently for a while, but now I’m pretty much over ebooks. I’m more of a library-borrower than a book-buyer and print books are just more available. But when it comes to buying, I never remember what’s on my ereader because they’re not visible the way my physical books are on the shelf. The reading experience is also very different – with an ebook you can’t just easily flip back and forth to remind yourself of things that happened earlier. You have to go back one page at a time and remember which page you were on, whereas with a print book you might remember it was about half an inch into the book. Plus, if a library book is due and you’re not done you can just keep it pay the minimal fine. If it’s a library ebook, it will just disappear. I’m a librarian and spend a lot of time talking to people about books and I totally understand why some people prefer reading ebooks, I’m just not one of them.

    • You and I must be kindred spirits. I am with you on ALL of these points. I once watched a fellow commuter turn her “book” on and off and on and off over and over again because her “book” was malfunctioning. My mom does tell me quite frequently that the books she wants from the library aren’t available in e-format. I keep trying to get her to read Maeve Binchys but they don’t exist online yet. If you walk into ANY library anywhere ever, you will have a plethora of Binchy books to choose from. It’s working for them for now but maybe one day they will come back into the light. Thanks for the comment!

  5. GRRR! I love my e-reader. I’m a total convert. I still love real books, but sometimes reading a chunkster is just … heavy. I think my e-reader has made me loose my well built up reading muscles in my wrists. Ultimately, for me I switch back and forth between real and e-books all the time. As a mom an e-reader is a little easier and for travelling it’s great.

  6. I could not possibly agree with you more! I nodded my head the entire time reading this. I completely understand the benefit of an ereader. My grandmother has arthritis and it makes enjoying her latest romance MUCH more convenient and comfortable. Buttttt… I have tried. And I have tried again. And it’s still a no for me. I’m vain with the physicality of books. Love touching them, seeing my bookmark, feeling the pages. There’s just nothing like it. 100% agree with you!

  7. Great! I too think that the coming around to the idea of an e-reader for our loved ones is awesome. Recently, I gift an e-reader to my best friend because she loves to read books. Thanks!

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