Saturday, September 28, 2013

3 Reasons Every Book Lover Needs a Dedicated E-Reader

The novel—the world’s last surviving form of low-tech, popular fiction—understandably took the longest to benefit from the digital revolution. Music was the first area of entertainment the web conquered (legal and otherwise) followed by movies and television shows a few years later. E-books began stirring around this time, but they began as little more than side projects from more famous authors, like bonus entries in their catalogs, rather than a valid medium of their own.

Then the Kindle, the Nook, and other e-readers came into prominence, and the e-book not only gained in popularity, but became the best hope for preserving the pastime of reading for the 21st century.
These days, many people own several devices that can display e-books—every tablet, smartphone, and computer can let you start reading the latest bestseller in seconds. You might think it’s a tad excessive to get a device that is dedicated exclusively to the written word, but if you read even a single book a month, here are 3 reasons why a classic Kindle or Nook is a good gadget to have.


Despite the massive advances in technology in the last few years, a computer screen remains a screen. And until the time when you can close your eyes and project your consciousness directly into a 3-dimensional, wrap-around internet via a device implanted in the back of your head, you won’t be able to read text-on-screen outdoors. You might be able to stream Breaking Bad on your iPad by poolside, if you’ve got enough shade, but you’re not going to be reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo there.

That’s still the greatest selling point of the traditional Kindle or Nook—even above their meatier, full-colored successors—the fact that the screen looks like paper. Real paper!  From the days when we hacked down entire forests, and displaced thousands of animals, just for the necessary material to print our stories on. And it was worth it. You need to be able to read your book outdoors, or it’s not a book, and the traditional e-readers handle this beautifully.

Keeping Your Entertainment Eggs In More Than One Soon-To-Be-Out-Of-Battery-Life Basket

Books used to always be the dependable entertainment medium when things went wrong—if you got stuck on a plane for hours, or in a house with no power, you had something that only needed a little bit of light and some attention. But if you’ve only got one media/entertainment device with limited juice, you probably aren’t going to choose a book over other essentials. When you’re waiting for a wrecker alongside the highway at 2:00 AM, courtesy of a broken fan belt, you aren’t going to choose a chapter or two of Gravity’s Rainbow when the last sip of your iPhone’s battery life is reserved for that spare call for when the driver can’t find you.

And for carrying a second gadget around, you can’t beat an e-reader. They’re the lightest thing out there, the battery life is good for weeks, and they’re meant to take a little damage. You don’t have to worry about that little scratch on the back of your Kindle—it’s a displayer of books, not a Porsche.


The biggest problem with spending money on e-books is feeling that you got your money’s worth. Media content has been getting increasingly intangible for a while now—downloaded albums and movies are without discs, cases, or inserts, with just the barest cover art to mark their presence inside the wild expanse of your hard drive. E-books are particularly susceptible to this; what used to be a concrete object that you could toss in your backseat or kill spiders with has been diminished to a text file.

But a dedicated e-reader goes a long way towards remedying this—you can think of it as an encyclopedia that can display every book available within its pages, like the world’s library condensed into one volume. It gives your e-books a substantive feel, more so than if you simply have a kindle app next to the Safari icon on your iPad.

The future of brick-and-mortar bookstores is uncertain—it may be true that the e-book becomes the only mainstream outlet for readers in the upcoming years, with paperbacks and hardcovers becoming nothing but expensive collector’s items. If that happens, you’ll want something that reminds you that books are more than just a text file on your tablet screen, so start preparing today with an e-reader.

Author Bio

John is a blogger who considers the original Kindle to be one of the greatest gadgets of the last twenty years. He writes for Protect Your Bubble, an online gadget insurer that can protect your e-reader from theft, loss, accidents and more.