On Books, Electronic and Physical
Over the last five or six years, almost all of my reading has been digital — PDFs and EPUBs on laptops, EPUBs on a tablet or smartphone, and on an ereader. A while back, though, I ran out of ebooks.
Sure, I could have bought more (there are several on my list), but I also had some honest-to-goodness, dead-trees books on my shelf. I decided to tackle them instead. It's been an interesting shift.
Understand that I've been reading books since I was about two years old. Until around 2006, very little of my reading was done on a device. I read ebooks on a Palm PDA (remember those?) and a pre-Kindle ebook reader. Later, I moved to an Android-powered media player.
All of that that rapidly changed when I decided to move overseas in 2012. I couldn't bring my books with me, so I loaded up a Kobo Reader with digital tomes. Since then, I've added more ebooks to various devices and that's been the majority of my reading.
Going back to reading physical books wasn't a sharp change. I have, however, noticed a few things:
- I've become more engaged with what I'm reading
- I can more easily go back to read a passage that sparked an idea or which vexed me
- The heft of a book is comforting
- I have to wear my glasses more often (you can't change the size of the type on paper)
I don't plan dump digital for the physical. I can comfortably live in both reading worlds. I will be going back to being a hybrid reader, though.