Yes, an e-reader does change how you read

I’ve read that e-readers change the way you read, but of course up until this week I’ve never experienced it firsthand. I can say that in my limited experience with a Nook Simple Touch, I’ve already noticed it.

The biggest thing is that there’s a dictionary built in. Tap a word in the text, and it highlights and a menu comes up. One of the options is “Look up.” Tap that, and up comes the Merriam Webster definition of the word. You no longer have to go solely by context, or keep a dictionary by your side.

Another nicety is that you can adjust the size of the text. Sometimes you want small text to cut down on the number of page turns, and sometimes you prefer bigger text that’s easier on the eyes. I find my preferences change from day to day. That’s fine; the e-reader accommodates me. It lets me change fonts and line spacing too.

I loaded up every book I’ve been meaning to read and unable to finish in the last 20 years; in 3 days I’ve gotten further than I ever did in a comparable length of time before. I just read on, blissfully unaware of whether I’m 100 pages into a tome the size of the Bible or the size of The Old Man and the Sea.

And the nice thing about reading this way is that the e-reader can present to you all of your bookmarks, highlights, and notes in one place. Finding passages again years later becomes trivial.

3 thoughts on “Yes, an e-reader does change how you read

  • July 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm
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    The obvious change is that I can now carry dozens (or hundreds) of books with me. The not-so-obvious part of that is, no matter what I’m in the mood to read, I probably have it with me. I have classics, fiction, non-fiction, reference … you name it. Like you said, having a device save my place is a nice feature too. I also have found that I read a lot more magazines, especially classic ones, with my eReader.

  • August 1, 2012 at 7:21 am
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    The house has gradually filled with books, most of which I could not readily part with. Th eReader was a good alternative to purchasing new books and reducing the related storage issues. That said, I still am a sucker for a good used book store…

    • August 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm
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      I can relate to both points. I think soon I’ll be able to comfortably part with anything available on Project Gutenberg, which will free up a fair bit of space. And I at least won’t be buying cheap used copies of anything on Gutenberg either.

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