I like e-readers now

I’ve never been a fan of e-readers. I’m put off by the prospect of paying for a book that only exists on a device, especially when the price of e-books approaches or exceeds the cost of physical books (especially the used copies I tend to buy). I also just love physical books – the weight and feel of them, the experience of reading, the look of books on my shelf.

However, I recently got a Kobo Libra H20. I’d been thinking about purchasing an e-reader for a few years. I’d only use it for travel, I told myself, after one too many trips of lugging multiple, heavy books on short trips and not having time to read them. I did my research, and chose the Kobo e-reader over the Kindle – I didn’t want to lock myself into the Amazon system, and was happy that the Kobo offered the best integration with OverDrive (a system where you can check out e-copies of books from your local library) since I planned on just using the e-reader for library books. I also decided that the Kobo Libra H20, the fully waterproof Kobo option, would be nice for reading in the bath or on the beach.

I had a rather frustrating time setting up the damn device – it’s annoying to have to connect to wifi, make a Kobo account, make an Overdrive account, and search for books with a terrible response time to text input, and it’s especially annoying when you enter the wrong wifi password multiple times and end up restarting the device because you’re so convinced you have the right password before finally realizing your mistake.

Despite all of that, I’m sold on e-readers. I don’t see my Kobo as a replacement for a physical book – I don’t think the e-reading experience really mimics the experience of reading a physical book. To me, the reading experience on an e-reader is really more comparable to a really nice electronic experience – the matte page is nice, it’s easy to flip the page, and it’s easy on the eyes (which is something I’m very particular about).

For me, my e-reader is an alternative way to read that’s more convenient in specific situations: for travel, obviously, but also for the times I’m too distracted or unfocused to focus on a physical book. When I’m in this sort of amped-up state, it’s so much easier to focus on an e-reader, because it feels like I’m just scrolling on my phone or mindlessly reading on the computer. While the travel situation was a major motivator in getting an e-reader, I never foresaw the usefulness of having an e-reader for the latter situation.

I’m still not into the prospect of purchasing books on the e-reader – it’s something I’ll probably avoid. I plan on really just using the library on it. OverDrive doesn’t have an awesome selection, but the integration is pretty seamless and easy to use. I’m still waiting to see the e-reader will completely replace library books for me – right now, I’m thinking not, just because there are still some books that I can’t get on OverDrive that I can get from the physical library.