On Being A Kindle Convert

17/10/2017 Discussions, Reading 36

On Being A Kindle Convert

Years ago, I would never have thought this day would come…the day when I, Laura, would be singing the praises of an e-reader.

Literally, since the release of e-readers, I’ve been resisting them. Despite their obvious advantages, to embrace a digitalized way of reading seemed like a betrayal against my beloved books. And books had been my constant companion since childhood: the feeling of paper beneath my hands and the smell of ink meant comfort, and wonder and joy to me.ย Reading words on a screen just didn’t have the same charm or same associations as actual books, and so for a long time, I avoided Kindles and the e-readers that followed.

However, I eventually caved and bought my first Kindle a couple of years after their first release. They had grown massively in popularity, and I knew a couple of people who used and loved them. I was still skeptical but had decided to adopt a ‘don’t knock it until you try it’ attitude towards the ebook boom.

Well, I tried it, and I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it, but it never really caught on with me, and my Kindle was soon resigned to a drawer, whilst my book collection thrived and grew. For some reason, books I read on my Kindle just didn’t seem to stick in my head as much, and reading on a screen just felt too strange and alien.

In 2014, I began blogging, and this meant meeting (virtually!) a whole host of bookish people for the first time. I didn’t know that many people in real life who loved books as much as me, and so it was eye-opening in many ways to suddenly find myself amongst so many other bookworms. And a huge side effect of my immersion in the bookish community? A much, much bigger TBR list!

There was soon so many books that I wanted to read that I had to really reconsider how I was getting hold of books. Generally, I would just buy them, or ask for the ones I wanted for my birthday, but with the number of books I wanted, it was costing more than I could really afford.

So I adapted: after years of not using the library (after moving away from my childhood one) I signed up for my two local libraries and started borrowing books from there. This was great, but it was very hit-and-miss if they would have the books I wanted. If they were newer they often didn’t have them, and when they did have them, they were usually checked out.

So I starting looking into ways to buy books cheaper, and this included both eBay and Amazon, and of course, ebooks. After a lot of browsing I found that quite a lot of the thrillers and YA novels I was getting into were available on Amazon Kindle for significantly less than the paperbacks, so I went ahead and bought a more up-to-date Kindle, and got downloading…and to my surprise, I haven’t looked back since.

Whilst I always knew there was so many advantages to ebooks, I didn’t fully appreciate them until I allowed myself to properly try them out. My resistance to them had blinded me to the fact that the important part of a book isn’t the pages: it’s the story. And so anything that makes it cheaper, more convenient and quicker to experience a story can only be a good thing.

I certainly understand the people who say ‘ebooks aren’t for them’, because I was one of those people for the longest time. I still have an emotional tie to books that my Kindle can never match, and I certainly have my gripes with ebooks (check out this post for example!), but I have to admit it: I, Laura, am a Kindle Convert.

These days I love having access to hundreds of stories at my fingertips, and being able to easily carry them all about in my bag. I love hearing about a new book I just have to read, and having a copy of it within minutes. And I especially love having a book binge on pay day, and ending up with 10 or so books I wanted to read for under ยฃ10!

So how about you? Are you a fan of ereaders? Have you always embraced ebooks, or are you a recent convert like me?

36 Responses to “On Being A Kindle Convert”

  1. Tanya Patrice

    I felt the same way as you too – didn’t love ’em but then converted. Now I don’t use an eReader anymore and use my phone – but I don’t read eBooks often.

    • Laura

      It is really useful being able to read books on your phone! I’ve used the Kindle app before, but I don’t use it so much now I have my newer Kindle. I read quite a lot of ebooks these days, so I like that on an e-reader you get the screen that isn’t backlit, so it doesn’t hurt your eyes after a while. A phone is a great option though if you don’t read ebooks often ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Tiziana

    I agree with you: the stories are the most important thing and if I can read many of them at a lower price, it’s obviously better!

    I’m addicted to checking out deals on Amazon to get cheap or free e-books. I have collected many, but I haven’t read them yet. For some reason, when I’m thinking of new reads, I always end up searching for cheap/used paperbacks of books on my wishlist, forgetting about all the e-books I have. Now I’m mainly using my Kindle to read e-books of classics that I need to study.

    • Laura

      I love checking out the deals on Amazon! That’s literally the first thing I do after I get paid, so I can snap up all the 99p bargains! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Kindle is definitely great for getting cheap or free classics for studying as well! I used to do that occasionally when I was at university if I couldn’t get the text out of the library, or a cheap second-hand copy. Otherwise, it gets really expensive having to buy all those books!

  3. hillary

    I used to hate them, but after I got “used” to it, i converted. I think it was a couple of years ago when I got a Kindle for Christmas. At first, I was like ughhhhh then I gave it a chance, and now I love it!

  4. Angela

    I still have not tried an ereader, although my sister and mom push it quite a bit! I can definitely see the advantages, though – it would be awesome to just be able to download books from the library if I didn’t want to leave the house!

    • Laura

      I’d definitely give it a try if I was you! It really is super convenient, and I ended up liking it, even after I resisted for so long, because I was sure I would hate it ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    Welcome to the dark side! Speaking of which, I wish there were a viable alternative to Amazon…I have a Kobo, trying to hold out against the monopoly, but it has some drawbacks.

    Ereaders are so great for traveling and reading on the go. I do prefer them for somewhat lighter reading, as I still find I can concentrate better on paper. Plus if I need to refer to notes or maps or things frequently, or check cross references, it’s much easier with a book. But I was also a resister who is now an enthusiast.

    • Laura

      I have wondered about other types of e-readers, because I’ve never actually tried out any of the other brands, but I’ve heard Kobo is pretty good ๐Ÿ™‚
      I definitely agree though that physical books are better for reference and things. I know if I’ve read a non-fiction book and want to find a bit of information that I read, it’s much easier to flip back and find in a physical book than in an ebook, unless I remembered to bookmark the section.

      • Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

        There aren’t many other choices at this point! I’m not sure how long Kobo is going to exist (their customer service is terrible). I mostly only check out library books so I’m not hugely invested in its continuity, but for now it works for me.

        I know I can bookmark things in an e-book, but I find it sooo much easier and more natural to physically mark things. I also like to be able to look at two passages at the same time, or a map or whatever. Paper is better for that.

        • Laura

          Aww, I didn’t realize Kobo was possibly in trouble, but seen as Kindle pretty much dominates the e-reader market, I can kind of see why other companies would struggle to get a look in (and they aren’t helping themselves if their customer service is bad).
          And I know what you mean – it’s just so much easier to slip a bookmark into a book than mess about pressing buttons on an e-reader. The bookmark function is handy, but not quite the same as actually marking a page in a book.

  6. Greg

    I know what you mean- I resisted for the longest time! For me the main thing is price- they’re usually cheaper as ebooks so I can buy more! And I’ve found that I seem to read faster on the Kindle- not sure why, but I’ve seen other people say that too. Maybe I savor the book more/ read slower when it’s a physical copy? I don’t really know. I will still though buy a book for the shelf of it’s a favorite.

    • Laura

      I’ve actually found that I read faster on Kindle too, and I have no idea why that is! Maybe because the site of the percentage bar spurs me on or something? I really don’t know what it is! ๐Ÿ™‚
      I definitely always have to buy a copy for my shelf too though if it’s a favorite. That’s the annoying thing about discovering a book that I really love on Kindle – I then have to buy it all over again for my bookshelf!

  7. Valerie

    I felt the same way as well. I don’t think I got an ebook until 2014. I don’t think I was opposed to the idea of ebooks, but I know my dad had this huge clunky one he carried around (made by some small company), and I never saw the appeal of it. Of course, Kindles are so much more smaller and lighter that I appreciate them much more.

    • Laura

      Yeah, I love that Kindles are just so small and light, and you can just take them around everywhere with you. That’s the main reason I updated mine – the newer ones are just so much smaller than the old, clunky ones with the keypad!

  8. Siera

    I loved this post!! I used to be completely against all e-readers (I could not even fathom not reading the physical copy). Just like you said though, my list outgrew my bank account and library, so a couple of years ago I caved and got one! I still have a huge love for the physical book but the e-reader is really convenient and nice to have!!

    • Laura

      I’m glad you liked the post!
      I’m the same in that I still love physical books more than e-readers, but when I finally caved I did have to admit that ebooks are just so convenient. And my bank account likes it much better! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I am glad that you gave your ereader another chance (even if you did have to update your Kindle to really give it a shot). I only got an ereader for my 21st because I was a poor uni student and I needed to find books I could afford without spending my entire student loan. It was the best present I ever got and I haven’t looked back, I’ve had a few more versions since. I still love physical books but I adore my Kindle for travelling and reading a lot of the books I couldn’t justify buying if I were buying only physical copies. My favourites will always be bought as a physical book to sit pride of place on my shelf, though.

    • Laura

      I definitely found my old Kindle so useful for university and getting cheap copies of the classics (which was pretty much the only thing I used my first Kindle for, to be honest!), so it’s a great option for students. I haven’t looked back though since getting my new Kindle and giving ebooks a proper shot! I still like physical books more too, but my Kindle is so much more convenient to take to work with me for on my break, or for travelling.

    • Laura

      Ebooks are the perfect option if you don’t like collecting books! I wish I didn’t…I’d have so much more space in my house! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Inge

    Same here! I refused to read ebooks for quite a while. I finally caved when I started getting eARCs — I tried reading them on my computer, but it was so uncomfortable. Now I can’t do without! I love my print books, but I can read on my ereader while lying down and that’s a big plus for me. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Laura

      The whole ‘being able to read whilst lying down’ is definitely a huge plus for me too! I can always read for longer when I’m comfortable (unless I get too comfortable and fall asleep, which has happened before!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Josรฉphine @ Word Revel

    I’ve been pro-eReaders since before they became consumer products. Haha. I remember reading an article when I was about ten or so about the future of technology. Back then they predicted eReaders would be on the market within a decade. I looked forward to them ever since.

    When the Kindle was first announced, I was happy that they had finally arrived. Although, I didn’t buy one until the Paperwhite came out because I thought the previous Kindles were a little clunky.

    • Laura

      It’s actually so crazy now to remember a time when ereaders weren’t a thing! That’s so cool that you can even remember reading about them as future technology.
      The early ones definitely were kind of clunky though. That’s why when I decided to give them another go I got a more up-to-date one. Mine is just the normal Kindle, but it’s so nice and small, and comfortable to hold! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I was mostly converted when I started getting review copies, since ebooks are much easier to get your hands on than physical books. I realized that I didn’t dislike reading on my Kindle nearly as much as I thought I would, and I love having a book with me (on my phone) at all times!

    • Laura

      Being able to read on your phone is really useful! I don’t do it often now I have my Kindle, but if I forget it, then it’s a great alternative. It’s nice just knowing you always have reading material with you for if you get a few spare minutes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. ShootingStarsMag

    I didn’t start out loving the idea of e-books. Physical books were the best (and I still think they are) but my aunt got me a Kindle Paperwhite for my college graduation and I really fell in love with the ease of reading e-books. Plus, like you said, e-books are often MUCH cheaper than physical book so you can get more. Another positive for me is that a lot of books I want to read are pretty much ONLY e-books so this is helpful, and I don’t have to sit on my computer to read it!

    -Lauren

    • Laura

      That’s a great point! There are a lot of great books out there that are only available as ebooks, and so by embracing the whole ebook thing you’ve got access to so many more books. I definitely wouldn’t like sitting at my computer reading a book either, and I think the lit up screen would hurt my eyes after a while.

  14. Vlora

    I can relate to this! I felt very meh about ebooks for a long time, but ever since I bought a new Kindle Iโ€˜m sold on it. I do feel like books stick in my mind a little more when I read phyisical copies, but the Kindle is just so much easier on my eyes (Iโ€˜m short-sighted) because I can adjust the font size and I like that itโ€˜s evenly lit. Also I can now get eARCs, because I live in Germany and publishers donโ€˜t really send me English books.

    • Laura

      I feel the same, in that I seem to remember books more when I’ve read a physical copy, for some reason, but I’ve still grown to love ebooks! Being able to adjust the font size is definitely a huge plus, and easily getting hold of ARCS makes them so much more convenient ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Jenna @ Falling Letters

    “My resistance to them had blinded me to the fact that the important part of a book isnโ€™t the pages: itโ€™s the story.” – this was my biggest concern when I started reading The Lord of the Rings on my iPad. Would the experience be the same?? But as you say, I found it was – the story was just the same. I would not quite say I’m an ereading convert, but I do appreciate the convenience of it at times! I mostly use my iPad for ARCs. I did use it a lot while travelling. Being able to sign out ebooks from the library was very handy when I lived in a non-English speaking country.

    • Laura

      They are so convenient, and I definitely agree that they’re super useful for traveling. I’ve recently discovered that my local library lets you borrow ebooks, and I’ve been loving using that function. It’s so handy, and I can imagine it’s even more so when you’re living in a non-English speaking country where it’s harder to access books in the English language ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Evelina

    I totally agree ๐Ÿ™‚ since I am international, I pretty much don’t have another option as the Kindle, really. Libraries don’t stock new books at all – many of them don’t even get released where I live. Others get lost for years because they need to be translated. Also, ARCs? I would not get any ARCs if I didn’t have a Kindle because it’s too expensive for publishers to ship to me. And buying print books and shipping them here? Yes, shipping might be free, but the prices are definitely not tuned to my economy. So I basically have to stick to amazon sales, ereaderiq.com and netgalley. And whenever people from the west claim I don’t know what reading “real books” is like I just feel like they’re being really annoying privileged pricks. Because the Kindle is my best and most affordable choice! And I love it so much ๐Ÿ™‚ plus… going on a trip and never running out of books? Totally awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura

      It sucks that you’re so limited in your book buying/borrowing options where you are, but I’m so glad you’ve got your Kindle! They’re so great for so many things, especially getting ARCs and stuff because I think publishers are just more likely to send out ebooks anyway. I don’t know of many people who actually get sent physical books unless their blog is huge.
      And going on a trip and never running out of books is the absolute best! Especially because I’m a mood reader, so until I get there I have no idea what I want to read, so it’s good to have plenty of options ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for commenting! ๐Ÿ™‚

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