With less than two weeks to go until Christmas, my husband asked me what I would like. Initially I listed the usual perfume, pedicure and clothes but then had a longer think and considered an e-reader such as a Kindle or Kobo…. Being the researcher that I am, I thought I better list the pros and cons before adding it to the top of the list.
Here’s what I found:
Pros for an e-reader
- Attempting to be a minimalist – having read Marie Konmari’s book ‘Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up’ earlier this year, I have been trying (and not really succeeding) to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ in my life. An e-reader would take up significantly less bookshelf space (which is already overflowing).
- You can have a book in seconds with an e-reader, literally downloading as soon as someone recommends it to you and it saves you a trip to the shop.
- Even the largest of books fit into your handbag, so they are great for travelling to work or on that overseas holiday. Not to mention the fact you can have hundreds (or even thousands) of books stored on a device.
- You can read in bed without disturbing your partner with light which is particularly good on holidays when the family might be sharing a tent or motel room.
- No one knows what you are reading – if you have decided to launch into 50 Shades and you don’t want people knowing – there’s no visible cover.
- Although the initial cost isn’t cheap (retailing anywhere from $100 to $400), the costs of books seems to be at least half of what you would pay in the shops.
- Some e-readers come with fancy extras such as the ability to increase/decrease font size and a built in dictionary.
Cons for an e-reader
- An e-reader doesn’t have that paper smell, you know the one I am talking about when you first open that new novel – there’s something about that familiar scent that makes you smile and feel calm.
- It seems a little less romantic to curl up in bed with an e-reader.
- You can’t as easily share your e-reader with friends and colleagues like you can with physical books.
- E-readers can have a negative impact on your health. A Harvard Medical School study found that using an e-reader before bed can have implications on your ability to sleep and subsequently your alertness the following morning.
- E-readers are small devices which might be attractive to thieves.
- You will need an internet connection to download your books and a power connection to charge your battery. Nothing like the battery dying when you are at the crux of the story. And don’t forget to pack the charger for your holidays. Subsequently e-readers may not be the best for camping trips if you have no access to power.
- Bookshelves and books are nice to look at (when they are not overflowing).
- In the age when we are trying to limit ‘screen time’, reading off an e-reader may set a bad example in front of the kids.
Finally, neither is great when dropped in a bathtub. Maybe we should all be listening to audio books? Perhaps that’s a post for another day….
So the jury’s out, I am still undecided. Maybe there is space for both in my life and one day I might take the plunge…. or my husband might read this post and make the decision for me.
Happy reading and Merry Christmas.