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Old 10-12-2012, 03:17 PM   #112
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: San Francisco
Device: Sony Reader PRS-500
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Originally Posted by uebyn View Post
I'm wondering: why did you switch to ebooks? Have you forgotten the pleasure of books browsing, or is the e-book experience comparable to that of the old-school experience? Or has convenience displaced experience?
I'll think you'll find that nearly everyone here loves books in every form and have (as I do) a home stuffed to the rafters with them. At the same time, I've also owned a Sony Reader and a Kindle (I switched to the Kindle because I was already an Amazon Prime member and that comes with ebook benefits, not because I didn't like my Reader). In other words, I didn't switch to ebooks I added them to my list of sources. I don't see them as mutually exclusive and I don't think anyone else here does either, except, perhaps, you. Here, then, is my answer to your question:

As others have mentioned, when your eyesight gets worse, it's nice to have a way to increase the font size. I have a physical copy of The Once and Future King, but I've never read it because the type is too small for my poor eyes. If I ever do read it, it will most likely be as an ebook. I imagine as I get older, this feature will become more and more important.

This is actually a big one for me. I commute to work, and part of that commute involves about an hour-and-a-half of walking every day. When I was carrying around the latest hardback, I usually arrived at home with a bad backache that only got worse as the week progressed. I got my first ereader because I wanted to read a particular 1,200 page book that I knew I couldn't read on my commute without severe pain. For this same reason, I often choose paperbacks, which, you might recall were equally scorned at one time. This is also the reason I don't read with an iPad. Every ounce matters.

The truth is, I'm actually reading more classic literature than I ever did back when I was buying my own books. In the old days, I'd see some classic I'd always wanted to read in a bookstore, and think "I've got to read that someday," and then I'd go purchase the latest novel. With ebooks,—and especially thanks to mobileread's great selection—I have now read many of the books that I told myself for many years that I would someday read; books by Orwell, Wells, and Eliot. I also find myself reading books that are available on Amazon Prime that I almost definitely would not have ever purchased in a bookstore, and some of these have been excellent.

Language Studies
I doubt that this reason pertains to many people here, but I study German, and the mobileread forums have lots of German-language books for me to choose from. Plus, many of these are also available in English, which lets me compare texts. Aside from the occasional dual-language book, this can be very difficult to accomplish in a bookstore. I've actually translated a book by Frank Wedekind, which I plan to upload here at some point.

I still love perusing bookstore shelves (I plan to do a bit of that later today), and I still buy books. But I do love my ebook reader, and I am glad to see yet another way for people to read. In the end, that is more important than the delivery mechanism.
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