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In this modern day and age, there are a great variety of formats in which a person may read a book. To cover all of them is a task too broad for a single post, so I will stick today to ebooks/ebook readers.

While physical books will always be first in my heart, I’m not completely opposed to ebook readers. I own one, as a matter of fact. I would never want an ebook reader to be my only option for reading books, but it is great for traveling. As someone who perpetually tries to overstuff my luggage with books, my ereader is great for reducing that problem. I still can’t stop myself from bringing one or two books, but having the ereader lets me bring as many ebooks as I want, without taking up more space or adding more weight. (There is a limit to the number of books I can have on my ereader, but the limit is somewhere in the thousands. Even I can’t fill up an ereader that quickly.) I mostly use my Kindle to download books that have passed out of copyright, and are, therefore, free. On a recent trip though, I took some ebooks from the library, and that was a lot of fun. With the wonders of the internet and a computer, I even had the option to check out more ebooks from my local library while thousands of miles away. I wouldn’t bring a physical library book on a long trip – I wouldn’t want to risk losing it, but an ebook can be returned from anywhere, so long as you have access to internet. It was an intriguing and exciting idea – checking out a library book so far removed from the library itself.

I’ve been reading a lot of 19th century literature lately, and the Kindle is good for that. With books that are in the public domain, I can download some number of books from the Kindle store, try them out, and delete from my device ones I am not interested. Since the books are free, the only major thing at stake is my time.

I haven’t quite figured out how long of a book I’m willing to read for the first time on my Kindle. For example, I tried reading Middlemarch, by George Elliot on my device but just wasn’t making progress. I checked out a physical copy from the library instead, and made considerably more progress. I haven’t finished it as of yet, but I found it much easier to read in paper form than in electronic form. On the other hand, I read three of Edith Wharton’s rather long novels on my Kindle, and got along just fine that way.

I can’t read textbooks on my Kindle. I really need to have textbooks in front of me, with actual pages that I can turn, and if possible have my own copy of the text so that I can scribble in it. I once or twice put a class reading in pdf format on my Kindle, but while you can read a pdf on it, you don’t really want to try to do that, at least not with the version of the Kindle that I have. It is possible, but you have to zoom in and scroll around on the text in ways that make it frustrating to read.

My Kindle isn’t going to replace my physical book collection, but I do enjoy having an ereader.

~Agatha Viola

Somewhat reluctant about technology but not a technophobe