At risk about sounding like a holy teenager on Booktok, let me cut myself some slack for a second: I’ve read about 100 books so far this year. It turned out not to be difficult and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. My goal for 2023 is to read 200 books.
When I was a child, I loved to read. I always had my nose between the pages, much to the chagrin of my parents, teachers, and anyone who tried to talk to me at the dinner table. Like many of my friends, I stopped reading a lot when I was growing up, I gradually stopped doing things that were difficult. Reading was too much work and not enough fun. In the summer of 2020, my friend gave me a Kindle as a gift, and ebooks have changed my life. None of this is new — the Kindle itself has been around for more than 15 years, and digital books are much older — but it still feels like it’s on the decline. Let me also highlight their benefits.
Books but Good
I enjoy a good physical book as much as the next dog, but over the past few years, I’ve found myself slowly reaching for them. Ebooks do not take up any space. No need to schlep them around in a bag, no late fees if you forget to return them to the library, and no lost coffee disaster worries. Having thousands of ebooks in your pocket is a plus, but a small discount isn’t the best value for an ebook.
Having a dictionary built into the Kindle laws. First reading 5 percent of Gravity’s rainbow It would be very difficult if I can’t look up words on the fly. It goes twice to the built-in translation tool, and a quick Wikipedia look and helps when trying to build a picture in my head. The favorite flowers of the protagonist are zinnias – what does this look like? Digital readings allow you to get answers on multiple taps. I also like that I can put in sections for the types of ebooks that are really inspiring.
Kindles have Amazon X-Ray for supported titles, which allows me to look up things like family trees in epic sagas. Game of Thrones. This ebook reader also gives me a pat on the back when I break a new reading habit. Gamified reading is amazing and motivates me to keep going. Most importantly, most of these devices stay within the reading area so I don’t have to move or take out my phone and get distracted.
I have also found ebooks to be more accessible than physical books. Changing the font size or style, background color, brightness, and temperature of the screen will prevent eye strain. It’s easy to get rid of bad kerning effects, and you can see the details of the illustration. Take it, look closely!
Judge them by the Veil
Reading will slow you down if you stop doing what others think. You don’t need to read the latest history or self-help book. You don’t have to read Dostoyevsky or Pynchon. Why would you start doing something difficult just because you think you have to? This is not a high school English class. No one can give you a bad grade.
The process of choosing a physical book can be both stimulating and overwhelming. Is the librarian judging me for not remembering the Dewey Decimal System? What was the name of the list that my friend’s friend mentioned on Reddit? Finding and trying new books is best done on your own in your pajamas.