To read or “eRead”?


Many moons ago, I would have shrugged off the idea of an eReader as it was new, different, and well, different. The idea of reading a book on a computer screen just didn’t seem natural. Holding a real printed book and turning its pages has been done for centuries and anything else just didn’t seem necessary. (Why fix what isn’t broken?)

Fast forward just as many moons, and the idea of an eReader is making more and more sense to me. I am even looking at the different models available, of which there are many! The fact that anyone reading this article is no doubt reading it on a screen of some kind, is further evidence that we are increasingly becoming a digital world. But are there more advantages with an e Reader than it’s paper-based cousin?

The allure of the printed page

Nothing will beat that new book smell and the feel and sense of owning a real and tangible book. I am also quite fond of walking into a bookstore and perusing the wide assortment. Taking into account their look as well as being able to pick them up and simply lose myself in wandering around.

Alas, it comes as no surprise that buying printed books can be quite expensive. You might be able to take advantage of deals online but then you have to wait for the books to be shipped out and delivered to your doorstop, which can take weeks. Or delivered faster – at a premium.

Convenience over nostalgia?

But once you overcome the lack of tactile interaction, eReaders really do have some great features.

  • They are actually very light, very thin and thus, quite convenient. Whether you’re on public transport, on holidays or in your own backyard – it’s great to have literally hundreds of books at your finger tips.
  • You can buy a book of your choosing within minutes, without having to leave the comfort of your home.
  • It is absolutely a space saver, which is great for people living in small spaces. It will also save you hours of dusting.
  • You have the option to get books at a much cheaper price compared to their physical counterparts.

There are some drawbacks compared to hard copy books.  For example, lending a book to a friend can pose a challenge, as would reading in the bath (for those so inclined) with a piece of equipment. But if you’re still keen to go down the path of an eReader there’s a few features to weigh up.

Features to consider

As with most products, there are many to choose from, and new models are always arriving.

  • The main choice seems to be between getting a simple single purpose eReader which is light weight and easy on the eyes due to the use of E-Ink, or opting for a model which is essentially an eReader/tablet. The latter will of course give you all the bells and whistles of something like an iPad (which itself can be used as an eReader).
  • Many versions utilise E-Ink (I had never heard of it either). It basically makes the experience more similar to reading actual text from paper. There is no light behind the screen as there is with computer screens and tablets, so it is much easier on the eyes. Also, once the text is displayed it does not use up any power as the text is in a sense “printed” on the screen that you are viewing.
  • Another important factor is the size of the eReader, as well as its screen size. You certainly want to be able to hold the device comfortably, and don’t want to be straining your eyes if the screen size is too small. All dimensions are available online, and it may pay to hold one in the flesh at your local electronics store.
  • iPad savvy users may choose to opt for touch screen based eReaders. Physical button models are available and are typically lighter due to the difference in screen technology.
  • Certain models are compatible with different eBook formats or file types. I highly recommend doing your research as you may be locked into getting eBooks from one particular source such as Amazon or the Apple store. Whereas other eReaders will grant much more freedom as to where you can get eBooks from and whether or not you can share a book with a friend by simply passing the file over.
  • If you don’t fancy the hassle of plugging your eReader into a power source too often, be sure to check the battery life of the eReader that you’re considering.

I hope that this information has given you some food for thought. Nobody wants to see a future where libraries are no longer needed, but hopefully a middle ground can give readers more options and flexibility.



  1. Simon Sheminant says:

    The day I bought my Kindle was the beginning of a very satisfactory relationship.Especially when one tends to read at least two books a week.

  2. Roly border says:

    Was given a Kindle on my 80th birthday. Very light so great for reading in bed. Long time between charges. Not being able to loose your place is wonderful. There are free books out there and have indulged several times. Feel a little guilty when passing bookshops I used to frequent.

  3. leo says:

    There is clearly a bundle to understand about this. I reckon that you made specific nice details in features also.

  4. Allan says:

    I have had a Amazon Kindle for approx 2 years now and which I researched and decided was the best for me. Memory, size of unit, lightness, convenience, great for taking on holidays when you can read a book in a day or two also convenience and cost of ebook purchases from Amazon.

  5. Stewart says:

    Thanks for the blog Chad as i have been wondering what the difference are and what to look for now i have a bit more information will do some research

  6. Chris says:

    Hi we are considering buying an ereader from what I have read, Kindle seems to be the referred option, any comments on this?

  7. Neale says:

    Had a Kindle for over two years and it is the best reading experience. Its great to be able to lie the Kindle down and not have to hold the pages. Even had my 88 year old mother (who has never used a computer) read + enjoy many books on it. Much better than reading on the iPad. I use the iPad for computer books.

  8. June Hooper says:

    Thanks for the information am looking into getting a E reader for my husband who has had cancer twice before but now no longer curable with only 6 /18 months to live .He will need something like this to help him when he can not do much .
    Thanks for your valuable information .June

  9. Jacqui says:

    Being a bookaholic the very thought of an ebook was totally alien to me, until someone bought me a kindle as a gift. My life was transformed – the best present ever and being a prolific traveller not having to cart books around with me was an added bonus. I would certainly recommend it for a serious reader.

  10. Robyn says:

    Love my Kindle, which I have had for three years now. One of the other numerous advantages of ebooks is that you can very easily change the size of the print – sometimes with “real” books I need to find my glasses, but with Kindle I just up the font size a little.

  11. kvmclennan says:

    I have a Braun and use the large print option, but originally intended to wait for an A4 version. As yet I haven’t seen one. It is light, slips into my tote bag and I even uploaded kids picture books -in separate files- to amuse my grandkids.

    But I do always carry the charger with me.

  12. Sue says:

    The biggest deciding factor for me when buying my e-reader was the book format/s that the reader could ‘read’.

    I started out by working out where I would get my e-books and the formats that were available from those outlets. I found that my local library now has e-books for loan, however they were only in e-pub and adobe formats, so if I wanted to borrow them, the e-reader I had must be compatible with at least one of those two formats.

    Also, not living in the US, I could encounter problems buying books from American outlets, because of some licensing laws. So now I buy from domestic outlets to overcome this problem.

  13. Jinny says:

    Ran out of room for books. Have a Galaxy Tab2 10.1 which is great but prefer to read on my basic Kindle. have had it nearly 3 years, have over a 800 free books, buy what I want, still buy the occasional paper book, but LOVE my Kindle, take it every where, so easy on the eyes for long lazy afternoon reading.
    Recommend ebooks to everyone, Jinny Age 62

  14. Colleen says:

    Interesting – I work with books but have an ipad and a kindle. On the ipad I have the kindle and kobo as well as the public library apps as well as the Apple store. The ipad is linked to the same kindle account and syncs whenever I pick up a device (either one). I love that I can read about a book and often can download it immediately! However, not all books are available and I would have to go to paper resources to read some things I like. The feature I love most is the adjustable font size as my eyes don’t read the small print the way they used to. The kindle is by far the best for reading like a book, eink is very good in full daylight. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for opening the topic for discussion.