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Booking Through Thursday: E-Readers and Reading Habits

November 11, 2011

yesterday’s Booking Through Thursday echoes thoughts I’ve been thinking for a while.

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E-readers like the Kindle and iPad are sweeping the nation … do you have one? Do you like it? Do you find it changes your reading/buying habits? If you don’t have one, do you plan to?

I’ve had an e-reader since May. After much, MUCH deliberation, I went with the Kindle (mere months before they came out with all kinds of other versions- I think I knew that would happen.) I’m content with this Kindle, a matte screen, toggling between pages using the buttons. I even found a way to do crosswords on it. I would not trade it for a Nook, or for any of the other Kindles that have come out since. I like reading on it, because the screen works in any sort of lighting- direct sunlight, lamplight, office light.

As far as changes to what I consume as a reader, I love the portability of a whole array of books, having so many to choose from, in a slim format that fits in my small go-everywhere bag. Packing for vacation felt weird- all I needed was the ton of books on my Kindle.
I feel happier choosing to read, or at least to own and plan to read, giant chunkster books, like The Three Musketeers, or the collected Sherlock Holmes stories, because size and space are not a factor. And there’s something I find hilarious about reading 19th century or early 20th century literature on a Kindle, the intersection of history and technology. It makes me giggle.
Same goes for modern giant chunksters: I was planning to read George R.R. Martin before the first snowfall… Halloween weekend may have impeded that plan. I can’t decide whether I should try again or wait til April.
Series are good, too. And having multiple books with me. It was so nice to zoom through The Hunger Games, knowing that I could have Catching Fire next!
And of course, reading the odd romance is much easier, with nobody seeing and judging the cover. Can’t do a thing about the blushing, though.

All of that said, there are some sorts of books I can’t picture reading on a Kindle. I’m discovering that review books are easier to work with in paper format, where I can underline and turn down pages and take notes more easily, then flip around to refer back.
And books that I want to linger over, and learn from, generally, work better for me on paper. Whether I’m lingering because of the language (like poetry) or because a book is so packed with information that I want to absorb. I had to return a fascinating foodie history e-library loan book to the library before I was done. At its due date, it just… vaporized from my Kindle.

I’m still learning what works on a Kindle and what doesn’t.

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