How many of them are out and about now? I’m actually only truly aware of three, though I’m sure there must be others. I remember when e-readers were first announced. My parents were somehow infinitely certain that they would be perfect for me, to which I immediately vehemently disagreed. I held that stance for years, wrinkling my nose the year my father bought my mother one for Christmas. I never wanted one and to this day I still absolutely hate the design and layout of the Kindle.
That said, e-readers have grown on me and it all started with iBooks. The day I got an iPhone I was sent down a path where I would one day end up with multiple e-readers on my iPad because, at the end of the day, I was able to get books for free (and as a poor college student this was a wonderful new experience) without visiting the library or having to wait an extremely long time for a request to come in and I could carry it around with me everywhere.
Now, granted, this still didn’t sway me mainly because I refused to buy a book that wasn’t free and therefore the books I most wanted to read would always be physical copies. But slowly I found myself falling into the norm of reading books on my phone. I didn’t do it excessively often, but it happened often enough that I was getting more and more books. And the important thing to note here is simply that e-reader copies of books are cheaper. I think, if it weren’t for that, I never would’ve converted.
But when you have bills and you don’t make a lot of money, you find yourself turning to whatever you can in order to read the books you most want to read.
To this day, I own one actual e-reader, an early version of the Kindle. The very same Kindle, in fact, that my mother received for Christmas all those years ago (though ironically I have no idea where it is). And I don’t use it. I hate the design. I hate the fact that the larger buttons don’t turn the page in the direction of the side they’re on, but rather are optimized for holding the Kindle with either hand. I hate the fact that they’re basically useless for anything else (not all, but the ones I’ve used). And most of all, I hate that you can only have books from one company on any specific e-reader.
I have an iPad. This works out well for me because I am able to have iBooks, Nook, and the Kindle apps all readily available for me whenever I feel like reading a book. I hop from one to the other, typically only using my Kindle app when forced to do so due to the wide useage of Kindle when it comes to ARCs and free-for-review copies of books. Frankly, I hate the Kindle. I think it’s the worst of the three e-readers.
Not only is it annoyingly difficult to remove books from the app (I should not have to log into Amazon every damn time I want to get rid of a book) but the layout is just terrible. Whenever I buy an e-book for myself, I go to Barnes and Noble. I’m rather attached to them for a number of reasons and I pay for the membership which I get a lot of use out of. The Nook app is beautiful and the design works exceptionally well. I like iBooks as well, but I typically use that more for the times I’m not forced to use Kindle with free-for-review books. I’ve never once been annoyed with Nook or iBooks as I have with the Kindle.
And herein lies the biggest piece of my frustration with e-readers. The Kindle is the one most widely used. Amazon owns Goodreads (much to my personal dismay) and so any Goodreads giveaways that I enter for an ebook copy and win has the book immediately sent to my Kindle app. I so desperately wish there were an option for Nook. When the e-reader I like the least is the one I’m forced to use so often in order to have access to ARCs, giveaways, and free-for-review books, it kind of puts a huge damper on how I feel about it all.
I just don’t like the monopoly Amazon seems to have on e-readers.
Now, granted, this isn’t a massive complaint, but I just feel like if I’m going to convert to e-readers, I should be able to make the choice rather than have competitive consumerism decide for me. I infinitely prefer physical copies of books. And in most cases, especially if I really like a book, I will always choose the physical copy. It’s unfortunate to me that money prevents me from buying all the books I want, but even though I have minor complaints, I still appreciate all the opportunities that e-readers have brought to me.
And I think that’s the most important thing, really; to be grateful for everything that e–readers have given me, because it’s been quite a lot.
What are your thoughts on e-readers? Which ones do you use? Which one is your favorite? Least favorite?
As always, happy reading everyone! ❤️