Advantages of E-Readers
I’ve been a convert to e-readers for some time now. I got my first Kindle back in 2009 and I currently have 5 Kindles in the family home – 3 readers and 2 tablets, shared between my two sons and myself. I’m a big fan.
I’ve always been an avid reader and, for a number of years now, I have travelled due to my work. I used to have to cram thick, chunky paperbacks into my luggage, which wasn’t always easy. There were also occasions, sometimes in non-English speaking countries, when I ran out of something to read whilst on my travels.
Thankfully those days are in the past now. When I’m travelling these days, I take my entry level Kindle with me. It has enough storage for over a thousand books, so fitting enough reading material into my carry-on luggage isn’t a problem.
It has a long battery life – Amazon claims about 4 weeks between charges, based on half an hour of reading each day, and that ties in pretty well with my own experience. Apart from the very longest trips, I don’t even need to take the charger.
The e-ink display is also very good. If you are used to reading on a back-lit computer screen, be prepared for a totally different experience with e-ink. It’s as near to reading text printed on paper as it’s possible to get. After you’ve been using your reader for an hour or two, you won’t even be aware of the difference.
Just lately, there’s been a lot of discussion over the fact that e-reader sales are “in decline”. The common suggestion seems to be that more people are choosing tablet computers over e-readers.
Tablet computers have certainly fallen in price, prompted to a large extent by the launch of cheaper, smaller tablets such as the Kindle Fire and the Nook HD.
Tablets are undeniably more versatile than dedicated e-readers. They can be used to play video, browse the web and read e-mails (some e-readers can also do this). However, the lovely color screen isn’t as good to read on as an e-ink display – due to the fact that it’s back-lit. It’s like trying to read with someone constantly shining a light in your eyes. You will get eye strain after a while.
The other thing about the color screen is that it uses a lot more power than an e-ink display. You’ll be lucky to get a few hours out of a tablet. The chances of going for weeks between battery charges, like you can with an e-reader – are non-existent.
Speaking personally, I like both e-readers and tablet computers. However, my e-reader is a complete replacement for printed books – my tablet computer is a pretty good substitute for a notebook, but not a 100% replacement.
That’s why I always pack my e-reader first – and then fit a tablet computer in if there’s enough room left over.