Everyone is entitled to their own opinion when it comes to e-readers, and everyone certainly seems to have one. Readers will debate the advantages and disadvantages of e-readers for longer than it takes to actually read a book on it, and just about everyone seems to know whether ‘real’ readers use e-readers.
But in this debate about e-readers, there seems to be one important line of commentary absent, one thing that truly sets e-readers apart. We often mistake e-readers to be an elitist form of reading books, a technological marvel for the privileged, when e-readers can actually be at the forefront of making reading more inclusive and an option for all.
You never really consider the font size of a book, unless you’re one of the few affected by it. Many individuals who struggle with their eyesight will be unable to read the average novel and will struggle with headaches and long-lasting effects if they force themselves to. Whilst more and more books are coming with large print options, this is still not common enough, and the price is highly indicative of it. E-readers allow you to change the font size at a mere click of the button, with numerous options so you can find which works best for you. You can even change the font itself, to ensure that you have the ultimate reading experience.
Aside from the font, you have other settings available on an e-reader that ensure each individual can have their optimum reading experience, such as screen brightness. This allows individuals who usually struggle to enjoy books as well and not be reliant on only audiobooks.
An e-reader is an up-front cost, and I won’t deny that. But after that initial cost, each book you purchase is far cheaper than buying a physical copy. So if you barely read books, don’t bother with that cost, I’ll say that immediately. But if you’re an avid reader, purchasing more than twenty books a year, you’ll quickly recoup those costs. This can make an e-reader a more economical choice, even though it is often considered to be a luxury product.
You can invest that one-off and then easily purchase books throughout the year. Furthermore, you can ask for vouchers that allow you to keep buying books on your e-reader.
Many readers love having stacked bookshelves, and we often speak of our future homes with walls covered by bookshelves. We see our overflowing bookshelves as a symbol of our passion, as a source of pride. We’ll carefully choose the titles to adorn it, and some will even arrange it by colour or alphabetical order. But something that we never consider is what a privilege it is to have space for those bookshelves. Few things are increasing as much as housing prices and the availability of housing. It is impossible to find a decent apartment for a reasonable rent price, and if you’re living in the vicinity of a city, you’ll likely struggle for space. Avid readers will comfortably enjoy fifty books in a year, but storing those books can pose a real issue. Whilst libraries and borrowing books are great options, they may not always work. Also, you sometimes just want to own a book, and that’s okay.
Indeed an e-reader holds that upfront cost, but then you don’t have to worry about storing books again. Instead, you pack them all into this tiny little screen, tucked away and using less space than one physical book.
This is also relevant for people who move a lot, such as students or digital nomads, as they don’t have the luxury of transporting several boxes of books. One e-reader allows you to have all of your books with you, no matter where you are.
The accessibility of e-readers is also such a benefit for those who travel, whether for work or pleasure. Many of us enjoy reading whilst abroad, and we shouldn’t have to give that up for suitcase space. An e-reader allows you to not only bring your entire library with you but also make yourself open to new books as you need them.
That accessibility is also applicable in terms of the motor skills required by an e-reader. For example, some will struggle with holding up a hefty book or with the action of turning the pages, both of which are solved by an e-reader. Some e-readers take it a step further, having pages that can be turned by the blink of an eye or nod of the head, but this is not in commonplace e-readers just yet.
I used to take reading for granted, and I think I’m far from the only one. It is a privilege to be able to read a book, to be transported to a different world, to find comfort in words. It is a privilege that everyone deserves to have, and maybe e-readers could be the first step to this. Whilst there are many benefits to audiobooks, and they also deserve a firm place in this, e-readers could provide the luxury of choice.
Curious about e-readers? This is the kindle I have.
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Welcome to Symptoms of Living! A place where I like to relieve myself of the barrage of thoughts and ideas filling my mind. Here I'll take a look at various topics, from books to BPD, series to self-harm, there's nothing that we can't, and shouldn't, talk about.
Having struggled with mental illness since the age of 15, one of the hardest parts was how alone I felt in it. While mental illness is beginning to be discussed more openly, and featured in the media, I still think there is room for improvement. So whether it is mental illness or merely mental health, a bad day or a bad year, let's make this a place to approach it and strip it back. Everyone has their own symptoms of living, and you certainly won't be the only one with it.
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