So my sister has maybe a dozen different Kindles. She’s hooked my dad too. But, for me, I just can’t quite get into reading eBooks.
It doesn’t make sense really. I’m very much into technology. I love gadgets. I’m constantly being accused of being on my phone too much, where, ironically, I’m usually reading something. But, when it comes to actual books, I find it hard to get on board.
eBooks Are Too Small
Sometimes, the problem is that eBooks are just too small. When I buy a big technical book, I get a big technical book. The pictures are big, the example code is big, and any charts are big. Sure, I can zoom into the pages on an eBook, but then I end up messing with the eBook instead of reading it, or typing in the examples.
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Also, regardless of what features they add for tracking, marking, or searching through an eBook, none of them are useful when you can kind of remember that one thing, but not enough to remember what you would have named the bookmark, or what it would show up as in the index. In that case, you can pick up a real book and flip through it quickly. I sort of remember it was about 2/3 of the way back, and there was this color picture on the right side about half way down the page…
eBooks Cost Money
Maybe my biggest problem is that eBooks cost money. It’s not that I’m not willing to pay for books. As a fellow writer myself I understand the value. It’s that if I’m going to pay $23 for the eBook, I’d rather pay $23 for the real book.
Occasionally, there is the option to rent an eBook, but the length of rentals and price seem deliberately set to push you into buying the book instead. I mean $6 to rent a $14.99 book for one month? How can that possibly be worth it to anyone? I might as well buy it, except I didn’t want to buy it.
You can get some eBooks from the library. However, publishers deliberately make expensive for libraries to offer eBooks so there is often a lengthy period until your electronic hold comes in. Even in the case of older books, it can still take forever to get, if it’s even available, because the library doesn’t stock them due to low demand. Sometimes, it isn’t even available as an eBook because there isn’t enough demand to process it into electronic format.
For public domain books there are options, but they aren’t always great. I got one that was apparently auto-scanned and some pages are cut off along the side. I guess I can guess what the author meant.
One of the times being against eBooks works against me is while traveling. Carrying several books (I’m not sure what I’ll be in the mood for) instead of a single eReader device is much heavier and bulkier. I could get books just for the trip, but them I’m back to that feeling of if I’m going to pay for the book, I’d rather have the real book.
Someday, I’ll find the right combination of price, portability and ease of use, but for right now. The eBook just isn’t my jam.