The eReader Revolution is upon us. Like it or not, more and more of these electronic “books” are popping up. Before I go into the mandatory pros and cons list, I will admit it: I am a convert. I am the proud owner of a Kobo Touch, Indigo Books’ version of this latest of trends (it’s a Canadian company, in case you’re scratching your head). And, while there are some sucky things to be noted, I am, for the most part, in love with it.
Pros, or Why I love my eBook:
- It’s small! If I want to read a fat book late into the night, I no longer have to worry about a broken nose, should I nod off and have it fall on my face. Safety first!
- It reads like a book. I can see the screen from every angle, and in bright sunlight. I can also bookmark pages and highlight passages with ease. And my Kobo also has this cool feature that shows the cover of your current read even when the machine is turned off – just like a real cover!
- You can change the font. And size. And margins, and spacing, and justification. Basically, if you want the page to look a certain way, you can make it happen.
- It helps you to read more. Hear me out before you groan: it’s not because it’s trendy. Because the thing is ultimately a computer, it can tell you exactly how far along you are in your book, by percentage (at time of writing, I’m 41% completed Pride and Prejudice – and going strong!). It also keeps track of time you spend reading. My particular machine also hands out “awards”, a little gimicky trick that hands out brownie points for finishing books and reading at certain hours of the day. Fun!
- It makes you smarter. My already-vast vocabulary has grown! (Yes, I know I’m flattering myself.) Instead of ignoring those weird or old-fashioned words I’d usually do in a classic like P&P, I can look them up in the built-in Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
- Wi-Fi. Yes. I can get internet on this thing, which means new books are available to me at all times!
- I can still go to the library. Without even leaving my house! Borrowing books is as quick as ever, since all I have to do is plug the little darling into my computer.
- It makes travelling easier. I’m moving to Korea next month, and I’m taking at least thirty books with me – and they’ll all fit into my purse. How cool is that?!
Cons, or Things that Annoy Me About My eBook and/or eBooks in general:
- It reads like a book. It’s so like an iPad that you almost expect that you should be able to read it in the dark – but the trade off for a screen that lets you read for hours without your eyes getting tired is that you can’t. When it gets dark, you can’t see the page anymore. The upside? Any dollar-store book light works just as well with an eReader.
- It doesn’t read like a book. Something is lost without the feel, the smell, the weight of a book in your hand. As with the change from snail-mail to email, or calling to texting, something personal and a little sacred is snatched away with the advent of the eReader. The emotional response isn’t altered, but the experience is. Ah, well – the times, they are a-changin’!
- It makes me poor. First, the thing itself is expensive. Then there are accessories that go with it, like the protective holder, which has to fit my exact model (I tried making one of my own, but it did not succeed). And what if the book I want isn’t in the library system yet? I’ve still gotta hork up the moolah to buy it! (Granted, electronic books are a little cheaper. Also you can get a bunch of older books for free!)
- I can still go to the library…but there’s no guarantee it’ll be fruitful. By now you may have noticed that all my cons have at least one saving grace. But this one does not, and it is the single most annoying con on this list! While I have found a few of the books I actually wanted to read in the two online library systems I’m a part of, it hasn’t been easy. Not only are there an inordinate number of Harlequin/Romance books available as compared to real books (!!!), but the waiting list on said real books are out-of-this-world long! Yes – waiting lists. And what am I waiting for, exactly? Electronic files. Which could be sent out to any amount of people at anytime. Silliness! (Promising news about eBook waiting times can be found here, however!)
- No reading in the bathtub. Not that I ever really have, but what if I wanted to? No can do – drop this sucker once (in water, or just on the floor) and you haven’t just ruined one book – you’ve ruined your whole library! It’s also a little risky to take to the beach, where the dangers of water combine with the dangers of sand to like, you know, mess up the delicate electronics and stuff.
Despite all this, the pros outweigh the cons for me. Have Your Say in the comments section, and tell me why you love or hate eReaders!