July 10, 2018

Ereaders aren't completely terrible | The surrender of a hardcover lover

I am a very traditional person who is stuck in many of her ways. I don't like change very much. I will wear one pair of shoes until they have too many holes to properly walk in and then I will go to the store and buy the exact same pair of shoes. I survived throughout middle school and high school solely on the consistency of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I had every day for lunch. Having the same lunch every day was a comfort for me in the ever-changing (and terrifying) jungle of high school. I even ate them on the weekends sometimes because I missed them so much.

The same applies to my reading habits; I prefer reading hardcover, physical books that I can actually turn the pages (and caress softly). Spine and paper books will always be my favorite (everyone knows that nothing bets the scent of a new book or the crack of the spine when you first open it). But...

I don't completely hate ebooks.

There was a point in time when I thought this was a divisive issue that I had to go all or nothing on. I thought that in order to love physical books you naturally had to hate ebooks. However (like most of the issues in the world) there is not a 100% right answer in the debate and both sides have valid arguments.

So, against my formerly stringent traditionalist views, I am going to share my reasons for liking ereaders.

1. Portability

Even though I like the physical weight of a book in my hands, the physical weight of a dozen books is not something that I can handle. Thanks to my experience volunteering at local libraries, I know that books can be extremely heavy (especially my precious hardbacks) and they really hurt when you drop them on your foot (plus the added pain that you put the book through). Carrying physical books is honestly a work out and I hate working out. 

Thankfully, a PDF or MOBI file doesn't weigh anything so I can carry an infinite amount of books in my Kindle without fear of future health problems. Plus, it can easily fit inside a purse or backpack without adding a significant amount of weight or bulk. Ereaders have made my life goal of always having a book on hand so much easier and much less painful. 

2. Price of ebooks

Even at full price, ebooks are normally less expensive than paperbacks and definitely less expensive than hardcovers. I don't want to say that I am cheap, but I am on a limited budget (college will do that to you). 

So, if I am not borrowing my reads from a public library, then I am probably buying them as ebooks (and also definitely on sale). The BookBub emails are daily treasures in my inbox that inform me about the best ebook sales and the latest ways I can add to my infinite digital bookshelf (but more on that later). The BookBub alerts have also introduced me to more indie and smaller press publications that I never would have heard about if their ebooks weren't on sale. As much as I would love to throw all of my money at bookstores to support the industry, I also don't have any money to throw. Being pelted with pennies is a lot less enjoyable than being showered with twenties. 

3. Actual review books

Confession: I have never received a physical ARC.

My lack of physical ARCs has not been a detriment to my blogging life, but my blog became a lot more varied and up-to-date when I was finally able to receive digital ARCs on my Kindle. There is nothing wrong with reviewing backlist books, but I like to spotlight a mix of older and newer releases. Receiving ARCs and review copies has also given me the chance to hype up books (especially lesser known ones) before the release date to encourage preorders and the crucial sales during its first weeks out in the world.

On one hand, I may be slightly addicted to Netgalley and Edelweiss now, but that is really only a minor problem in the whole scheme of things. I have access to ebooks for blog tours and advanced reviews that would not have been feasible for me before getting an ereader.

4. Note-taking

This is my traditional, strict side showing again, but I cannot bring myself to write in a book. Notes make writing reviews and pretty much every other type of post so much easier but my heart breaks every time that I mar a page with my terrible handwriting.

One of my favorite features of my Kindle is the ability to highlight quotes, to type notes, and to organize them chronologically. I am not tempted to write on the page because it is digital and I get to take more organized notes than ever before. I don't have to harm a book and I still get to write future Tessa notes so that she can finally write a review.

5. The invisibility of a digital TBR

In the long run, this point might be more of a con than a pro, but I am going to relish the naivety until it gets out of hand. 

My favorite thing about ereaders is that they make your TBR digital; all of your books are stored in cyberspace where they cannot collect dust, crowd your bookshelf, or get lost. Instead of overflowing onto my floor, my bed, and closet, my digital collection of ebooks stays exactly where it should be. I don't trip on any ebooks when I get up in the morning. I don't have to buy an (another) bookshelf to store them. Half of the time, I can pretty much forget that they exist (which also has its negatives). Like I mentioned in #2, I have an addiction to sale ebooks. On the positive side, I can store as many free and cheap books as my heart desires. On the negative side, my digital TBR is coming dangerously close to taking over cyberspace (but we are going to ignore that problem for now because this is supposed to be a positive post about the wonders of ereaders). The positive side is the (practically) infinite amount of possibilities that an ereader can offer.

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Rainy Days Ramblings. The topics are diverse and span from books and authors to blogging and the meaning of life (at least in regards to literature). If you want to share your thoughts on the prompt, feel free to make your own post too!

Do you have an ereader? Do you prefer ebooks or physical books? What is your favorite features of ereaders? Do you have trouble keeping your digital TBR under control? If not, please share your magical secrets!

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