It seems a bit daft that getting rid of my book collection helped me read more, but allow me to explain…
Being an avid reader means I buy a lot of books. I loved reading ever since I read my first Roald Dhal book, but reading became more of an obsession than a hobby as I got older.
I love the escape I get from novels, historical lessons and morals from classical literature, the knowledge and skill from non-fiction and the emotions and experiences from memoirs. For me, books unlock secrets, open passageways into the past and the future, give me an insight into personas of people both similar and very different from me. Stories help me form a broader understanding of cultures, societies and communities – books inspire tolerance and acceptance. They express the truth irrespective of hard the truth is to digest – they pose questions and problems – some provide answers while others need only to present the questions.
… But as fantastic as this all is, the dilemma, however, is that I ALWAYS keep the books I read. I find it very hard to let go! I’m a book hoarder.
Over the years, I added books to what I can only describe as my very own library. As you can probably imagine, this escalated to the point where I completely ran out of room. To stop buying books or, dare I say it, stop reading was utterly out of the question, but something needed to be done! And that’s when I first considered getting an eReader.
Transitioning to an eReader was an enormous step for me as I only ever read physical books. Not to mention, I was a VIP in the contemptuous clique that continually expressed their disapproval and disgust for such evil devices. Books are to be felt, smelt, held in your hands. The feel of turning pages, hearing that spectacular sound is satisfying and therapeutic. To give all of that up, give in to the machines, seemed cruel, disloyal and treacherous. But curiosity blended with mutiny, and before I knew it, I had got myself a Kindle.
I chose the Kindle Paperwhite because it claimed to be the closest imitation of an actual book as possible. And I needed it to be as close to a physical book it could be because then it would be a lesser act of betrayal, I lied to myself.
I never believed it could ever replace physical books, but I was pleasantly surprised at how close it came to simulate that classic and much-loved reading experience – at times, I forgot I was using a Kindle. It was revolutionary. A game changer! Now I could download thousands of books without using any room at all! Digital bookshelves replaced my physical ones, and I genuinely preferred them. Of course, I kept many treasured books on my shelves, but I got rid of so many. And I haven’t purchased a physical one since—no growing library—no growing problem.
Wait… it gets better. Not only did I get the desired reading experience, but I also genuinely began to prefer it to physical books! And here’s why:
Electronic reader devices are small and light. They fit in your bag unnoticeably. They can be carried without strain.
With how small ebooks are, storage seems infinite – hundreds of books and still impossible to fill the space. And with the added benefit of cloud storage – you will never need to worry about digital space. Unless, of course, this magnificent mystery we call the internet goes down. Or Skynet starts creating killer robots to try to take over the world… in which case, and as I’m sure you’ll agree, the question of whether eReaders are better than physical books will come secondary to questions like How do we save the world? Or is Arnold Schwarzenegger here to save us or terminate us?
You can access your entire library in one click, and the innovative search function means that locating books on your digital shelf has never been easier.
Bookmarks on eReaders are phenomenal. You can open multiple books and pick up exactly where you left off!
Most eReaders have an integrated dictionary – so if you come across a word you don’t understand, you can highlight it and look it up without ruining your reading experience.
Yes, eReader apps on the iPad and many other devices have an option to take notes and copy snippets for reference and to share. Talk about convenience.
And talking about convenience, I think convenience was the chief selling point for me.
But my transition didn’t end there. When I got an iPad Pro, I naturally checked out the Books app and fell in love.
At first, I was worried about the blue light damaging eyes and causing headaches, but then I discovered the blue light filter and night mode. After that, I read an entire novel on the iPad and appreciated the experience. And the best part was that I have an iPhone, and the books app syncs perfectly across all my devices. For example, I add a book to my MacBook Pro, which magically appears on my iPad and iPhone. The entire process is seamless and so damn smart! I can start reading on one device and then continue exactly where I was on another device.
What did this mean for me?
The one thing I always carry is my phone. I have all my bank accounts and even my Tesco Clubcard synced to my Apple Wallet on my phone and, as a result, rarely carry my wallet.
Thanks to the Books app, my phone has my entire library on it, and I can read whenever I like. So I can read in any spare minute I get. I can even read while waiting in a queue at the supermarket, and I do!
This convenience and simplification of my reading experience has resulted in me reading almost twice as much as I did before!
Just try it. It might surprise you!