E-Books..? I’ll pass

I have to admit, it took some time before I finally became an e-book convert. E-books just don’t give you the same satisfying feel as physical books. One can’t indulge in the sentimentality of the new book smell or the any book smell ritual that is prerequisite to starting your next read. It’s also not conducive to building up a personal library, if that’s your thing and would render any carefully curated bookmark collection redundant.

Whilst these are all understandable reservations, I’ve found that reading e-books can be enjoyable and make for more inclusive reading with the right approach. So in today’s post, I’ll be sharing with you my Top 10 E-reading Tips as well as some book recommendations that I think would make for fantastic e-books.

  • Use an E-reader (not your phone/laptop) – This will prevent the distraction of constant mobile and app notifications appearing on your screen whilst reading. It also makes reading easier on the eye since e-readers are typically page-length in size, so words are not concentrated onto a smaller screen. If you are going to read on your phone, make sure you set it to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode so you can read without interruptions.
  • Use an E-reader friendly format, such as .epub or .mobi – Avoid such formats as .pdf and .docx for an easier reading experience.
  • Read short novellas/graphic novels/stories in verse – This is useful for those who find reading from screens to be a strain on the eyes as these types of books are generally much shorter in length than your average novel and have a much more workable typeface.
  • Adjust E-reader settings – You can instantly improve your e-reading experience by playing around with the settings. Doing something as small as experimenting with the brightness or font size can make a surprising difference, making it less of a strain to look at your screen.
  • Read book samples on an E-reader before buying – This is something you can easily do on the Kindle store prior to making a purchase. Try this preview tip with a few books to get a sense of the e-reading experience, a bit like dipping your toes in to test the waters. You might find yourself actually considering reading a whole e-book by the end of your spree.

Before we continue with the rest of the list, here are some books that I think would make enjoyable reader-friendly e-books. Click on each cover to read a review;

  • Familiarise yourself with E-reader features – I’ve been reading e-books with my Amazon Fire tablet for some time now but it’s only recently that I discovered a treasure trove of nifty features and it’s made the experience loads more interactive. For example, most of the leading e-reader brands will allow you to add bookmarks, add notes, highlight text, search passages, instantly find the definition of new words and apply a blue-light* filter to prevent irritation on the eyes. These features are useful for both book reviewers and those who read for leisure.
  • Use services such as Netgalley to get access to Advanced Reader Copies – Other examples include Story Cartel and Edelweiss. (You can also receive advance reader copies through schemes run by a range of publishing houses). If you’re a book reviewer or professional reader, these services allow you to access electronic advance reader copies, which you can recommend to your audience and it’s super quick and easy.
  • Listen to Audio books – That’s right, audio books are e-books. Though it’s common to separate the two into different entities, audio books are electronic recordings, making them e-books, but without the glaring screens. Check out the video below where I share audio book listening tips and don’t forget to Like and Subscribe before you leave.
  • Take more breaks – Speaking of glaring screens, take regular breaks when reading e-books to prevent eye strain which can still occur even when your settings have been adequately adjusted. If you’re the type of reader who can consume books easily in one-sitting, I would advise adopting a different approach with e-books. Take more breaks to allow for a more comfortable e-reading experience.
  • Switch between e-books, audio books and physical books – E-books are a fun way of exposing yourself to reading in different formats. I personally love physical books and nurture fantasies of one day having my own personal library or boon of escapism from the world, but routinely switching between different reading formats keeps the practice stimulating and engaging.

What other tips would you recommend or books? Let me know..

*blue light – Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum that can be seen by human eyes. Blue light is a short wavelength, which means it produces higher amounts of energy…Studies show that exposure to blue light can cause eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, and sleeplessness. – Source: https://blutechlenses.com/blog/what-is-blue-light/

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4 responses to “E-Books..? I’ll pass”

  1. I used to dislike ebooks, and it’s still not my preferred format, but I’ve had to use them more for ARC reviews and with COVID restrictions at my library.

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