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.
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.
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!