When I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones back in 2011, I was instantly hooked. It had all the elements I loved in a TV show: fantasy, adventure, excitement, intrigue, romance. Problem was, I could not keep track of all the characters—there were just too many! So I decided to read the book. I figured if the TV show was good, then the book had to be even better.
I remember going to different book stores in Metro Manila but I could not find a single copy of the first book in the series. (I guess a lot of people wanted to read the book too.) I was desperate! So I went to Amazon.com and bought the Kindle copy. My dad had an old Kindle that we bought for him in the U.S. but that he hardly ever used. I borrowed it and started reading Game of Thrones there. From that moment on, I became an e-book convert!
Don’t get me wrong—I still love print books. Having worked in the magazine industry for over 12 years, I am a print girl at heart. Nothing beats the feel of leafing through a magazine’s glossy pages, breathing in the scent of freshly printed paper, and seeing my byline in bold letters on the page. The same goes for print books. But as I began reading on the Kindle, I realized there are so many benefits to having an e-reader. Here are just a few that I’ve experienced over the years.
1. You can get the book you want to read in an instant. No more browsing through bookshelves (though I have to say, that can be pretty fun too) and feeling disappointed that you can’t find the book you’re looking for. Now, you can get the book you want with just one click! Plus, e-books are usually cheaper than their paperback versions.
2. You can have all the books you want in one place without worrying about where to store them. When I moved out of my parents’ house, I had to let go of a lot of my old books because I did not have space for them in my condo. I had to be really choosy about which books I wanted to take with me. The only books my sister and I argued about were the Harry Potter books and the Lord of the Rings books. Being the Ate, I bullied her into letting me take them all. Haha! She ended up keeping my dad’s old Kindle though, so I bought myself a Kobo, which is another brand of e-reader that’s available in National Book Store.
3. You can look up the meaning of words with a built-in dictionary. Before the digital age, I would have a dictionary by my side whenever I read a book. If there was a word that was unfamiliar to me, I would look it up. I even had a notebook where I would write the new words I learned (#NerdAlert). Later on, my dad bought me a digital dictionary which made it so much easier to look up words! I still had to type them though. With an e-reader, you don’t even have to exert effort. Just click on the unfamiliar word and the meaning will automatically pop-up on your screen. If it’s not in the dictionary, the e-reader can direct you to different webpages that can possibly explain that word.
4. You can search for anything within the book. When I started reading Game of Thrones, I still had a hard time keeping up with the characters. Turns out, there were even more characters in the book than on the TV show! Every time I found myself going, “Who is this person again?”, I just searched the name of the character and it would point me to all the pages where that character appeared.
5. You can read in low light. My husband usually sleeps earlier than me so I can’t read with all the lights on. Since my Kindle has a built-in light, I can keep reading even in low light. (I don’t recommend reading completely in the dark though it is possible!) The built-in light is easy on the eyes and has no screen glare—it’s almost like reading a printed page.
6. You can take it anywhere. Who wants to lug heavy books around in their handbag or suitcases? The e-reader is so much lighter and easier to carry. Since all your books are in one place, you can read any book when the mood strikes you. Imagine you’re on a plane and you want to read fiction, but the only book you brought with you is a non-fiction one… sooo frustrating.
7. You can adjust the fonts and spacing. Don’t you just hate reading books with small fonts? They can be daunting to read, especially when the book is a thick one! No worries because you can easily adjust the fonts in an e-reader. Another feature I like is that you can see your progress in the book—whether you’ve read 10%, 50%, or more.
8. You can download the e-reader’s app on your phone. If you don’t want to bring your e-reader, you can just download the app version on your phone or tablet and read from there. It automatically syncs with your e-reader when you’re online so you can just pick up where you left off. I don’t read for long periods on my phone, but it’s perfect for when I’m waiting in line or at the doctor’s office.
As an author, one advantage of having an e-book and publishing on Amazon is that your book can reach readers all over the world. Shameless plug: Check out the Kindle edition of Love At First Run on Amazon. Even if you don’t have an e-reader, you can read it on your tablet or phone, just like the Book Nibbler did. (Check out her review on Instagram.) Don’t worry, print lovers, there’s a paperback edition too!
Which one do you prefer and why? Print books or e-books? Let me know in the comments! 🙂