I never thought I’d be a person that would read books on an electronic device (given that I don’t read that much fiction, though I do read quite a lot of non-fiction.) Just the thought of reading from a back lit screen made my eyes hurt. If I did, it would have to be on an e-ink screen. I also don’t like the idea of not really “owning” a book.
Well, I thought I’d give it a go and catch up on some books that I didn’t read in my childhood (which I should have.) I have to say, reading on my phone was no where near as bad as I expected. I read about 5 (short to medium length) books in about 4 week ends (a bit over a book per weekend,) and I didn’t get any headaches (which I expected.) The only thing I made sure to do was to turn the brightness all the way down and rely more on another light source.
As for the feeling of not owning the book, I figured, they were only $5 each, I’m happy to pay that to read it just once, and if I loose it after that, well, I can always buy a hard copy if I really want. That said, they are in my Google account, so I could always read them again. The one downside is you can’t give them away or sell them, especially if you know you aren’t likely to read them again… Maybe more libraries should try and get on the e-book wagon.
That said, I don’t feel I could have a textbook as only an e-book. There is just something about having a physical book that makes it a lot easier, because a textbook you’re likely to be jumping around a lot, flicking pages, wanting to put book marks everywhere, post sticky notes in, and if you’re so inclined, write in them (I try and avoid this though, and if I did it would definitely be in pencil.) That said, I wish more books would offer a service where you could get both the physical book and the e-book for a discounted price, because they both have advantages (the main one for an e-book is that you can search for phrases.)
What are your thoughts on e-books? Love them, hate them, or in between?