For as long as there have been e-readers, I have loudly proclaimed that I will never be convinced by them. I will never forsake my books; the happiness I feel when holding an actual novel in my hands, flicking through the pages and breathing in the scent of the ink.
In 2012, I got an iPad and promptly installed the Kindle app. In fact, I installed all the major reading apps I could find. But did I actually use any of them?
I insisted on lugging 12 books (yes, that’s right, a dozen books) on holiday to the Dominican Republic, even though they threatened to consume the majority of my baggage allowance. I reasoned that I couldn’t use the iPad, because I had so many paperbacks that I needed to get through. I wasn’t going to pay to download them all again.
Almost 18 months later and I’d still never bothered much with the apps. Occasionally I would use iBooks to store PDF documents or copies of manuscripts, but that was as far as it went.
Then, a few weeks ago, I was bored. So I downloaded the Kindle app on my phone, swiftly followed by a copy of Divergent. I read the book in an afternoon, flipping through the pages on my touch screen, racing against the little counter in the bottom corner that told me how much I had left to read.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m hooked. I’ve already read half a dozen books, mostly on my phone, in amongst my regular paperbacks.
The Kindle app converted me so thoroughly that I was actually thinking about buying a dedicated e-reader over the holidays, if Santa didn’t deliver one in my stocking, although it would be a little unnecessary as I already have two devices that run the app.
Of course, there are various different kinds of e-reader out there, but whether you’re addicted to your Kindle, your Kobo or your Nook, you can’t deny that the possibilities for your reading habit have changed.
So what has changed my mind?
At the moment, the Kindle is still a novelty, but there’s something fabulous about being able to crack open a book whenever I have an idle moment, even if I don’t have one with me. Despite being a voracious reader, I never really got into the habit of carrying my latest novel around, unless I knew for sure I’d have time to read it. But I always have my phone and it’s so easy to dive into the app, flip through a couple of chapters while I’m stuck in a queue or waiting for my computer to log in.
It’s easy to buy books too. There’s something breathless about being able to download a book and have it at your fingertips moments later. When online shopping became popular, I was thrilled knowing that I could order a book on a whim and have it delivered a few days later. This is so much better.
On the downside, checking the special offers is a burgeoning addiction and no doubt I will end up with as many unread stories on my device as there are currently lining my shelves.
But having an e-reader has certainly opened up a wealth of new possibilities and it has increased the time I spend with a good novel. Hopefully it will be a big help as I strive to hit my target of at least 50 books read this year.
I just can’t believe it took me this long to be converted.
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