In our age of technology and digital dexterity we read more and more via screens than we ever did.
The growth of the Internet has led to us consuming news and engaging with each other in different forms, and as a result of this numerous traditional newspapers and magazines have gone out of business.
How do you consume media and in particular how do you read books now? Do you like paper or digital reading?
I have moved away from paper to virtually completely digital book consumption because I have found so many advantages, and as a result I am reading more. So here are 12 quick reasons for only reading e-books.
1. It’s easier to read more than one book
In this era of multitasking and the fact that I am probably borderline ADHD, I’m always reading more than one book. I swap between fiction and nonfiction I have at least one of each on the go at the same time. This means if I want to grab time to read I can switch between the books when I want as I have them available on my iPad to easily access and digest.
2. I enjoy greater convenience
One of the reasons I never read as much as I wanted to with paper books was because I didn’t want to carry two or three books with me, particularly when traveling or going on vacation. It was bulk I could do without. And what do you do when you have read them? Toss them? Not in my DNA, so they would come all the way home again in my bags to be put on a shelf.
3. I can read what I want to
When I went on vacation I would end up buying books I didn’t particularly want to read because the ones I wanted were not available either at the airport or my final destination. E-books eradicate that problem. I have access wherever I want via Wi-Fi to download the books I want or preload them before I travel.
4. I can mark and take notes easily
I tend to take lots of notes, especially if it’s a business book. I highlight when reading books either fiction or nonfiction. With fiction I like to highlight nice quotes that I like or vocabulary that is new to me. For the business books or nonfiction I highlight things I want to remember, perhaps to use in speeches or my consulting work. With paper books I have to find a highlighter or pen and it eats into my reading time before I’ve even started. I like to be able to pick up where I stopped as quickly as possible and carry-on, and with the e-books you can highlight and make notes easily and efficiently without any preparation.
5. I have excellent access to my notes
Notes are good for two things. First the very act of marking them up helps us remember things, but I also want to be able to go back and use them later. This is really difficult to do with paper books. This is why I like e-books. Whether I read on iBooks or Kindle software I am able to export the highlights easily and quickly to my Evernote notebook and then I’m able able to reference them on any of my devices whenever I want. I have my own Cliff Notes notebook for all books I have read available in one place.
6. I can find things quickly
Another thing I like to be able to do with a book is to go back and reference something easily. I find with paper books that this is a tedious and time-consuming task even if the book has an index. Part of the enjoyment of reading a book is making sure I fully understand the rationale or the plot and this can often entail going back and checking things in the text. With e-books I can just plug it in a search and it will find things very quickly for me.
7. I never lose the plot
With fiction in particular, there can be a lot of characters and places I’d like to keep tabs on. If you are like me, I often like to try and work out whodunit and ensure therefore I know who the characters are. With a paper book this would often mean frequent page turning backwards and forwards. However with most e-books now there is an x-ray facility, which instantly provides you, background on places and characters on the very page you are reading. I love it.
8. I can share easily
One of things that I found frustrating with paper books was that it was difficult to share quotes or just common sense phrases. This can only be achieved by taking a picture of the section then having to crop it and attach to an email. Halfway through the process I’ve gone off the idea as it is taking me away from reading and is too time consuming. With e-books I can hit the share logo and I’m be able instantly share the highlighted section to social media via e-mail or just have it for safekeeping and future reference in my Evernote.
9. I have more time for reading
One of the things often said about being an advantage for reading paper books is that they are around you and therefore are a physical reminder to be read. I don’t need a physical reminder to read. I schedule time every day. I set an alarm from my iPad so I get reminded exactly when to read and from where the content is to be read.
My iPad is always with me so in those moments when you have to wait whether it’s at the doctors, dentists, for an airplane, for a taxi or just in the line at Starbucks, I can open my iPad and read.
10. I don’t disturb others
Reading is not something we normally associate with being antisocial. However, I like reading in bed just before going to sleep and if I use a paper book I have to have the bedside lamp shining, which for my wife can be disconcerting and downright annoying if she wants to get some well-earned shuteye. E-books have the answer as usual. By setting my iPad to auto night theme, as soon as we switch out the lights my screen will automatically have a black background with a white type. Easily visible to me and no longer to a sleep deprived wife.
11. I can easily find read books
One of the problems with paper books are that once read they end up on a shelf with all the others. There’s seldom a rhyme or reason as to what order they are in or indeed where they will be stored. As a result, a little like the problems we had with vinyl album collections it was difficult to find the song that you wanted to. E-books, like iTunes, take care of that. I can sort my books into “fiction”, “nonfiction” or “business” as well as by “read”. This means that anytime I can easily reference what I need.
12. I increase my knowledge
One of the reasons I read, like many of us, is to increase my knowledge. Before e-books it was a real discipline and chore to look up words in the dictionary. Now they are built in.
In the days before the Internet, I would have to go to our extensive Encyclopedia Britannica collection (I know, it’s really dating me) and search for the reference. With an e-book I can easily access the Internet and search for Google and Wikipedia and even copy and paste into my notes so they are available in my reference pages for future use.
So as you can see, there are a number of really good reasons as to why an e-book is the best way to consume the amount of literature required. I do accept that looking at rows of books, picking them up and thumbing through can indeed be a rather satisfying experience.
However, like time, space is at a premium and I no longer have the luxury to be able to physically keep the amount of books that I have consumed and will in the future. I like the fact that I can store books in the cloud and they can easily be referenced when required.
I like the fact that I can find all my notes quickly and easily and I think it is super cool that I can carry a virtual library around with me all the time.
How do you like to read?
Peter M. Beaumont is a Management Consultant, Founder of ConnXN and is a Consultant for Pivotal Advisors. He is the author of The Relationship Roadmap and works with managers of B2B companies to increase profits quicker by managing Strategic Accounts differently. See more at www.ConnXN.net