According to Pew Research, one-fifth of American adults report that they have read an ebook in the last year. If you include content like magazines, journals or news reports, the number goes MUCH higher.
And people are doing all this reading across many devices. They are devouring the content being delivered by smartphones, tablets, computers, dedicated e-readers. There are now four times more people reading ebooks on any day than there were as recently as two years ago.
I owned my Kindle long before I had an iPad, or even an iPhone. I didn’t know if I’d enjoy reading ebooks, but once I experienced the ease of use, the portability, the luxury of adjusting font size, in addition to extra perks like an in-book dictionary and the ability to grab a book in seconds….. I’ve never looked back.
I read on my Kindle, on my iPad, and on my iPhone. It’s awesome to be able to pick up any device and just continue reading from wherever I left off on one of the other devices.
The Kindle is just perfect for reading outside. Bright sunlight only makes the e-ink look sharper. I also prefer it for bedtime reading over the backlit screen of the iPad. I use a booklight from M-Edge, attached to the cover so it is always handy. (Rumor is that the next Kindle will have a soft glow light built in.) Reading in bed with the Kindle is so much easier than fighting to balance an open book as I comfortably lay wedged between the pillows. The Kindle is also my preferred reader for the bathtub. A ziplock bag keeps it dry. (The ziplock bag is also great for protecting the Kindle at the beach or pool.) Smaller, cheaper and lighter than an iPad, it is great for travel.
The iPad as an ebook reader is equally awesome, although in different circumstances. While it is not good for outside (the sunlight washes out the screen), the iPad is an outstanding reading device for a treadmill, for example. With its lit screen and adjustable font sizes, it is just perfect to use while burning some calories. The iPad is also the absolute best source for the new enhanced books. These books are interactive. They might have a musical background, embedded videos, charts, easter eggs, etc. Described as elaborate “pop-up” books, two great examples (FREE until June 22) are A Christmas Carol and Dracula. A wonderful review of both of these enhanced ebooks is available here. Personally, I prefer to get lost in the content of a book, and so I’m still not too sure what I think about enhanced books, but my mind is wide open. A biography of a historical person, for example, filled with actual news footage of events or videos of the person in action … well, wow. The most wonderful use for enhanced books might be for textbooks. Imagine the possibilites! The WSJ has a few things to says about enhanced books here.
The iPhone is small for reading, sure, but there are many circumstances where I find myself waiting, and it is delightful to be able to spend those few minutes reading. In a doctor’s office, in a parked car, or even before the start of a movie. My phone is handy. A tap on my Kindle app, and whatever book I am reading pops right up on whatever page I left it (no matter what device).
I am reading more than I ever read before (and I read a lot before!)
MUCH more about ebooks to come. Stay tuned to learn how to share a reading account and build a library with your friends and family.