|Cover via Amazon|
If you would have asked me a year ago whether or not I would consider purchasing an e-reader, I would have looked you in the eye with offense and answered you with a simple, “no.” A lot has changed, though, in the past few months that have made me rethink my opinion on this newfangled device.
First of all; have you seen the new e-readers with color screens? Apart from being a book lover, I am an avid fan of the iPad. The new Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook are just like an iPad if you want to read e-books, except they are cheaper (I am a sucker for cheap, too). However, just because they are cheaper doesn’t mean they lack anything in anyway.
In fact, if you are looking for a good mix of e-reader capability and computer tablet fun, a Kindle or a Nook is really your best bet. The iPad lacks in the e-reader department, because it doesn’t offer as many book choices. The iPad screen is also not as good for reading, because it can catch glares from the light above.
Aside from the fact that I love to read and I love computer tablets, I have also fallen for the e-reader for environmental reasons. Books are printed on paper which comes from trees, and I have a soft spot for anything that can help me save a few trees.
But perhaps the biggest reason I am switching from the traditional book to the e-reader lies in the fact that I can use my e-reader to highlight words or concepts I am unfamiliar with and look them up on a digital dictionary on the device. This gives my reading experience more meaning and depth (and makes me smarter).
Other things that played a factor in swaying my opinion include the ability to share books with other e-readers through a virtual book swap, being able to download free books from my public library and being able to read several different book reviews from other readers before purchasing new books.
There are many traditionalists out there who argue that society will suffer if we don’t all have a substantial library of books in our own homes. I used to think this way, too, until I realized that the e-reader is a library in a different form.
In fact, after all those years of buying books, I recently decided to sell them all to a second hand book store for extra cash, because they weren’t being read. So apart from taking up space on my shelf, my home library wasn’t really offering much to anyone in society.
For all those people who still believe that books should only be printed on paper, I ask you, “why?” What is it about paper that makes a book so special? Again, I used to believe the same thing, until it dawned on me that what makes a book a book is the words it contains, not the material it is printed on (or network it is stored in). It’s the words that make up a story, and we should embrace this new form of reading.
It may be that my new e-reader will eventually become my worst enemy (I do seem to have a bit of bad luck when it comes to computers). But for now I plan on reading everything on this new tool. If anything changes (if I go back to print), I’ll let you know, but I’m pretty sure the e-reader is here to stay.
Melissa Miller is a cheerleader for online associate degreeprograms. Not literally, of course (since online schools don’t have sports teams), but in the sense that her writings will encourage you to “B-E aggressive” about your education. Comment here or throw your questions out to email@example.com.