My Current Obsession with E-Books

Posted June 6, 2016 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Features / 36 Comments

My Current Obsession with E-Books

A few months ago I talked about how I was having trouble finding my groove with audio books, and it was frustrating me since I spend 15+ hours a week just commuting, and I needed a way to work reading into my weekdays without having to physically carry a book around. My backpack is already heavy enough, and it’s a hassle to pull a add carrying a physical book around throughout my commute that includes driving, riding a train, and then walking to my office. Add in the fact that I can barely read in a moving vehicle without getting motion sick, and I was pretty much convinced there was no way I was going to meet my reading goal this year.

However…

A few weeks ago I saw on Twitter that The Serpent King, a book that I had heard many good things about, was on sale on most e-book platforms for $1.99. I’ve been trying to be more conscientious of my book budget lately, as well as the limited shelf space I have, so I thought buying the e-book on sale would be a good compromise. I own a small handful of e-books (less than ten) that sit on my iPad (mostly unread), and I thought that this one might suffer the same fate.

How my iPhone 6 Plus S Changed How I read E-books

For Christmas this past year, my parents gifted me the rose gold iPhone 6 Plus S, which I insisted upon size-wise because the larger screen would make it easier to keep up with some of my blogging related activities (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) I initially didn’t realize that my new phone would impact the way I read as well. I had always heard some bloggers mention that they read books on their phones, and I always thought it was such a strange way to read. However, while waiting for my delayed train one morning, I decided to download the copy of The Serpent King that I had bought for my iPad to my phone as well (thank you, cloud-based iBooks storage) and I started reading it during all of the little spurts of “down time” I had throughout my day (waiting for the train, on my lunch break, waiting in line at the grocery store, etc). Before I knew it, I was hundreds of pages into the book in a matter of days, even though I rarely make it that far into a novel during a work week. To make things even more convenient, I could pick up right where I left off on my iPad when I got home and was tired of holding my phone.

Then Came Overdrive…

I had tried Overdrive with little success when I was trying to get into E-Books, as I found it to crash a lot and their audio book selection to generally be slim. Yet after I finished The Serpent King in a matter of days and was looking for another book to keep on my phone for when I was out and about, I decided to check out their selection. I was thrilled to find that my local library had MANY titles I was interested in available through Overdrive, and I immediately downloaded a few to keep on hand for the next few weeks. While I prefer the ease of the iBook format in switching between devices, the amount of highlighting and annotating that can be done, and the app’s ability to switch the screen’s lighting to be easier on my eyes depending on where I am, Overdrive has continued to allow me to find time to read throughout my workday when I’d otherwise really not be able to carry a book around. Not to mention I feel as though I’m reading much faster when I read on my phone for some reason.

Increased Work Week Reading Pace

I used to struggle to finish a book a week, but since I started reading e-books on my iPhone I’ve been easily meeting that goal. As I continue to leverage my newfound fondness for e-books, I’m hoping to increase my reading average from 4 books to 6-7 books per month.

E-Books Read in the Past Two Weeks(1)

On average, it takes me 3-4 days to complete an e-book on my iPhone, which is almost the bulk of a work week. The beauty of it is that most of the time it takes me to read these isn’t even my usual “designated” reading down time when I am home, it’s when I’m out and about or doing errands/chores. Before I know it, I’ve finished a book!

Places I’ve Found the Time to Read on My Phone

  • Waiting for my train in the morning and afternoon
  • On my work breaks without ever having to leave where I am
  • While waiting in the car for Max to run an errand
  • While getting my nails painted
  • While getting my hair cut
  • While walking on the treadmill at the gym or on the elliptical machine (it’s a huge incentive to work out when you know it’s synonymous with reading time)

All of these small bits of time throughout the week may seem insignificant (5 minutes here, 15 minutes there…) but overall they can add up to several hours of reading time that I would have never gotten in otherwise!

So, Am I Totally Converted to E-books?

If being converted means running out and buying a Kindle or pre-ordering all of my anticipated new releases via iBooks, then the answer is still firmly NO. I’m so glad that e-books have found a place in my daily routine through a device that is SO convenient for me, but the convenience is what lures me to them, rather than the format itself. However, I do believe I read a bit faster on my phone, and I’m more likely to try out a book on my phone that I’m on the fence about, rather than investing in a physical copy or driving all the way to the library and hauling it home.

How Do E-Books Fit Into Your Reading Lifestyle?

While I may seem pretty late to the e-book game (I refused to read them for a long, long time) it’s definitely a new, valuable asset to my reading schedule and one that I think will benefit my reading habits and blog in the long run. However, I want to know how E-books integrate themselves into YOUR reading lifestyle. Are they a occasional method of convenience, or do you reach for them more than physical copies? Do you read e-books on your phone, or an actual e-reader? Do you find switching up methods of reading helps you to read faster or more books? Let me know in the comments!

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36 responses to “My Current Obsession with E-Books

  1. While I’m always and forever going to be more of a physical book reader (because there’s really nothing quite like the feel of a book in your hands and turning the pages), I do love e-books for pretty much the same reasons you’ve mentioned above. I like that it’s so convenient to read them (especially when I want to carry a smaller bag or just bring my phone around), and that it’s easy to read them across multiple devices (particularly for Kindle). And I also love that I can get them for a cheaper price AND I have access to so many via my library! (I also read a ton of my review books this way.) I’m definitely an e-book fan, even though my preference still lies with the physical books ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hi Alexa! Do you find that you leverage your Kindle for galleys from sites such as NetGalley? I find it’s really inconvenient to download them to my iPad (a lot of freezing issues) so I’m hoping a Kindle would help get me more into e-galleys!

      • Yes! I definitely prefer reading them on my Kindle. There are occasionally formatting issues, which is from the publisher’s end, but otherwise, my Kindle has been great for reading my e-galleys!

  2. I love that you’ve found a way to read more! I read on my phone if I don’t have another book around too. I do have Kindle for egalleys and ebooks though. I have been really great about not buying nearly as many physical books lately so I tend to hop on ebook sales like nobody’s business. My TTT for tomorrow is all about why I love my library and I talk about risk-free reading (because you can take out a book and return it after hating it, with no regrets!)… I feel like cheap ebooks and overdrive copies definitely add to that less risky reading. I hate wasting money and shelf space on books that aren’t perfect for me. ALSO does your library have Hoopla? An even better selection of ebooks is on there!!

    • Wasting money on a physical book that you end up not liking is the WORST (also, I’ve noticed the prices of many popular YA hardcovers have been going up…it used to be $17.99 and now more and more are $19.99 or $21.99…) I feel like if I had a Kindle I would read e-galleys a LOT more too. I haven’t read many because they never seem to download well or easily onto my iPad. And I am so confused about Hoopla! I looked on their website and I didn’t see any of the FOUR library systems I belong to listed ๐Ÿ™

  3. Me and audiobooks still have not found a way to work together, haha. I have a 5s with only 8gb of space so reading on my phone is pretty much not an option for me unfortunately. But I do have a Kindle and find that I read ebooks SO much faster than physical copies! Not even because I take it places I wouldn’t take a physical book like most people. I honestly have no idea what it is. Maybe because I can read it in the dark? I DON’T KNOW. But I LOVE how much space it saves too!

  4. I absolutely love that you’ve discovered ebooks! I have a dedicated Kindle exclusively for ARCs and purchases, I put my free ebooks on my iPad, and I keep my phone for whatever I’m in the mood for. Unfortunately I don’t have much downtime to read as I drive to work and my husband doesn’t drive so when we go out and about I don’t get the luxury of reading on my phone! But it certainly is convenient and there if I need it. And Overdrive is AMAZING. If you have more than one library you can access I totally suggest signing up for that one, too.

    • I belong to a few library systems so I’m starting to use more and more on Overdrive! I’m thinking a Kindle might be a good investment, especially for E-Galleys, since I find that trying to download them on my iPad never really works quite right! Plus Kindles just seem so much more compact, convenient, and lighter!

  5. I first started eReading on my phone but the small screen (iPhone 3 :P) was really hard on my eyes so I invested in a Kobo and have never looked backed! I even own a Kindle now too.

    I’d say 85% of my reading is eBooks. They’re cheaper (though not as much now) and no physical book space–which was great when I was moving a lot for school. I also read a lot of library books so not having to make a trip there anytime I need a new book is great.

    For audiobooks, I had a lot more success with non-fiction reads. Fiction I get too distracted with; but non-fiction doesn’t always require my full attention.

    PS love the Bloglovin’ Hello Bar ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I’m actually stalking Kindles on Amazon as we speak trying to decide if it’s worth the investment! I feel like I’d use it mostly for e-galleys and library check outs (I agree, e-books really aren’t that much cheaper!) and physical book space is realllly starting to become an issue in my apartment. Do you use your Kindle for your library downloads? Do you use Overdrive?

      And thank you, I was inspired by your Hello Bar ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • I use my Kobo actually for library books. In Canada, with our Overdrive library system we can’t get mobi (Kindle) versions of books–but I know that you can in the USA. Then I use my Kindle mostly for e-galleys since their “send to Kindle feature” is really handy and I’m running out of space on my Kobo …. ๐Ÿ˜›

        I only use the Overdrive app for audiobooks now on my phone.

        I think Kobos/Kindles are a great investment. The money I’ve saved by getting eBooks from the library has surpassed what I would have paid to read those books–especially because I come from a small town library that shares its eCatalogue with other branches, so I have more books at my disposal than I would with their physical collection (hope that makes sense). And eBook deals are great! You can get books under $5 when they have a good sale. AND the space you save on your bookshelf is always a bonus ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I’ve recently started to see the benefits of reading on my phone as well, but I read only articles and blog posts on it. I sometimes read ebooks but I don’t think I retain as much from them as I do when I read the physical book.

    • I definitely can see how some people wouldn’t retain as much info from an alternative reading format. I suffer from this prboblem myself with Audiobooks. I love listening to the radio or non-fiction narratives through audio, but the minute it’s for a fiction book I have a hard time concentrating for some reason!

  7. I read almost entirely ebooks, so I love ’em! I have a kindle that I use at home, but I also read on my phone a lot. I didn’t use to though, it seemed weird to me too (I had a kindle, but the phone still seemed weird), but now I’ve found that I get more reading done too. I also use Overdrive as well as Hoopla for borrowing books, but I usually just end up reading books I own since I have the kindle app on my phone.

    By the way, I don’t know if I’ve ever been to your blog, but it’s so pretty! I love the teal colors ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Kristen! Teals and blues are my favorite colors, so I feature them as much as possible here in my little corner of the internet ๐Ÿ™‚

      Now that I have found I love reading on my phone so much, I am debating whether or not I should invest in a Kindle or other type of “true” e-reader. I’ve heard that they have “soft screens” that are much easier on your eyes, but I’m wondering if I’d ever use it or if I’d still rely on my phone mostly. I am going to have to check out Hoopla, it’s been highly recommended to me ever since I mentioned that I use overdrive!

  8. I definitely read a lot more books on my phone than physical books, though I do feel a bit sad sometimes since I only have a few collections of physical books. I find reading on my phone very convenient as well, which gives me more time to read on places where reading with a physical book would be a hard thing to do, which then makes me finish books faster than usual. Though I do read more ebooks than physical books, I still love reading paperback more than ebooks. The feeling of reading on actual printed paper is just a lot better. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post, Cristina!

    • Thank you, Mara! I admit I am a HUGE fan of paperbacks, and up until recently always had one on me. It’s become hard to haul around a book in an easy to reach place on top of my work backpack, lunch box, waterbottle, etc, so reading on my phone has added so much more convenience. I will say though that when I’m home (and definitely before bed) I much prefer a physical book!

  9. Oh man I am an ebook lover. I read on my kindle and phone probably like 80% of the time. It is just so much more convenient for me. Also cheaper. I am glad you have found a use for them even if you still prefer the real thing ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post!

    • I’ve actually found that buying ebooks isn’t always that much cheaper than physical books (at least in the case of paperbacks) but I love when you can find great ebook deals of the day! I’ve definitely leveraged ebooks more for library books than purchases, but I love the ease of annotating with my iBooks app.

  10. I do love e-books. Since I moved to China 4 years ago they have been my lifeline, since getting physical english books out here is both expensive and pretty difficult. That said, I still love the feel of a real book in my hands, however thanks to the kindle app on my phone, I agree its easier to get through books quicker. Just when I’m in a cafe or have a spare moment, its so easy to whip out my phone and get lost in another world. Great post – thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Sarah! I can imagine that moving abroad would pose major challenges with physical books! I went to Europe for vacation a few years ago (my first time abroad) and made the mistake of bringing FOUR hardback books…my back was not happy that I had to haul those around, and it was a huge pain! I’m toying with the idea of maybe investing in an e-reader (I think they have screens that are less harsh on your eyes?) but I feel like I would still keep buying the books I REALLY wanted to read in physical format.

  11. Ally

    I am highly suspicious of the e-book . . . I still love dragging a book around and keep one in my car that I am currently working on. I call this my “car book.” however, one day I may convert, or try a book like you did, although I think I’ll need a bigger phone. a physical book is still best at bedtime as the light from the reader could interfere with sleeping.

    • I definitely switch back to a physical book when I read before bed, since I think the light from my phone or iPad would definitely irritate me. After I am at work all day my eyes tend to get tired from staring at a screen too. However, you could try one on your iPad mini, it’s the perfect size to read an ebook on!

  12. My thoughts exactly Cristina. I’m a physical book fan through and through but lately I’ve definitely been warming up to ebooks as well. It’s nice how you can have all your books in one place and how they’re portable. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

    • Hi Zoe! I cannot tell you enough how much more I use the library now through apps like Overdrive. It’s so convenient to have them on the go with me and the second a hold becomes available I can just download it to my phone! Thank you for the lovely comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Ahhh I so agree with how convenient ebooks can be! Like I will 100% buy a physical book over an ebook, still. But I adore how I can curl up under my blankets with my iPod to read and not smash pages of a physical book. And reading while commuting is super handy too! And also I find I read faster with ebooks? I don’t know why. XD It’s easier to go faster with a smaller screen? hehe. Anyway. I’m glad there are good uses for book ebooks and physical books! (Also I read on my iPod, so basically phone size. it’s not ideal, but it can work!)
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • Right? There’s something about ebooks that makes me read faster too! I’ve actually heard this from A LOT of other bloggers, I’d be so curious for someone to research if HOW the information is transmitted in an ebook format alters how fast we are able to read it. I suppose I do feel more accomplished that I read “more” pages in a shorter amount of time if reading on my phone.

  14. Very interesting contribution to the physical copy / ebook debate. I have to say, when the debate first arose, I was team physical copy. And I still love real books. The smell, the feel, the design, the physicality… But I do read SCORES of ebooks. They’re cheaper, durable, and portable. And I’m very comfortable with reading on a screen. I started young, reading fanfiction online, lol!

    • Oh my gosh, I never thought about the comparison of reading fanfic to ebooks but you’re totally right! (I was allll about Harry Potter fanfic in middle school). I’m definitely someone who’s still overwhelmingly for physical books, and I continue to buy all of the books I REALLY want in a physical format, but I’m reading so many more ebooks now, and it’s really, truly increased how much I read overall.

  15. I commute many hours per week too for university, so I love having my Kindle always with me, also it isn’t too bulky or heavy, so I can easily carry it with me everywhere. Paper books will always be my favorites, but ebooks are much more affordable ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ebooks are definitely a lifesaver when it comes to convenience and portability. I don’t like to carry too much weight on my back while I commute, so reading on my phone has really helped! I still adore my physical books but I save them now for at-home reading.

    • Ever since I started reading way more ebooks I’ve come to appreciate their convenience and notice the inconvenience that can come from physical books (especially how easily they can get damaged when transporting!)

  16. I LOVE ebooks just because they offer so much flexibility! I always read real books when I’m at home and not exercising but whenever I’m out and about, it’s so nice to just pick up my phone and read a book while I’m waiting for something. My most frequent use is when I’m exercising though. It’s also a really good time to do audiobooks if I’m running around my neighborhood or something and it’s not a good idea to not be looking at the road ๐Ÿ™‚ If I read while on a stationary bike, I can get so absorbed in a book that I’ll finish it and totally forget that I’m biking! As a person who doesn’t cherish stationary biking (I prefer running or elipticalling (is that what it’s called??), this is pretty awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you’ve found something that works for you and you can read as many books as your heart desires!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    • I am right there with you on reading e-books while exercising! I hate the stationary bike too, lol. I use my phone to read ibooks and library e-books all the time while I walk on the tradmill or am on the ellyptical machine at the gym, and it’s a huge motivator for me (and also makes me feel really productive, since I’m technically multitasking).

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