I’m a bibliophile. I’m with Morrissey when he says, “There’s more to life than books you know. But not much more.”
I love the feel of a book. The sensation of turning the page. Even the smell of the ink and the paper.
So why do I love my e-reader so much?
- Weight for it. Packing just 4 or 5 books for a summer holiday abroad would take me dangerously close to excess baggage charges (and the divorce courts). 4 or 5 books on my e-reader weighs exactly the same as 40 or 50 (not that I get that much holiday allowance).
- Good in bed. Reading a paperback copy of ‘The Goldfinch’ (784 pages) in bed was a real problem. It was so huge that I needed extra pillows to prop it up. It was a workout for the arms as well as the grey cells. Not really an aid to restful sleep. And if a book’s a bit dull, it falling on your nose can be a bed-reading hazard.
- Word up. I often used to come across a word in a book that I didn’t know, or was unsure of its meaning. I always meant to look it up, but I rarely did, or if I did, by the time I’d got back from Dictionary Corner, I’d lost track of what I was reading. With my e-reader, one click gives me the definition, and I’m off again, informed and enlightened. (Today’s word was plangent*.)
- Where did I read that? If you need to refer back to something while reading (e.g. keeping track of who’s who in a Game of Thrones book), it’s either furiously fanning through page after page with a hard copy book, or just a couple of clicks with an e-reader.
- Guilty Pleasures. Read a book in public, and everyone can see what you’re reading. And maybe I don’t want people wondering why I’m reading ‘A Christmas Carol’ in June, or why I’m looking so bewildered by ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Holding my e-reader, I could be perusing Anna Karenina or Sophie Kinsella, and it would look the same either way (although perhaps I’d chuckle more at the latter.)
So here’s a quick guide to e-readers for our readers:
Classic, old-school and about the cost of half a dozen paperbacks.
Read all about it: The screen looks like a proper paper page with no back-lighting, touchscreen page turning, can hold thousands of books, battery lasts weeks – even with day-long bookwormery.
Funky looking and comes with some nifty features.
Read all about it: Exceptionally lightweight. Razor-sharp text. Built-in anti-glare screen film for reading in bright sunlight. Entire page illumination for bedtime reading.
Neat, compact, robust – some models even have a quilted back for comfort.
Read all about it: High-res, low-glare screen. Holds up to 3,000 eBooks. Very customizable. Its name is an anagram of ‘book’.
Kindle Fire HD
All the bells, all the whistles – and you can read books on it, too.
Read all about it: HD display (as the name would suggest). Viewable from virtually all angles (due to a polarising filter, anti-glare technology and something very clever called IPS). Battery lasts for up to 10 hours of reading, surfing, video watching, music playback, apps, audiobooks, tweeting, posting, and emailing. Does the washing up too (very possibly).