11 Reasons For Skeptics To Switch To An E-Reader

by Emma Oulton

There are two types of readers: those who like e-readers, and those who wouldn’t give up their physical bookshelf if their lives depended on it. But even if you’re in the second camp, bear with me: there are 11 big reasons to switch to an e-reader that might just convince you. They may not smell quite the same, but you know you can buy that scent in a bottle now, right?

Physical books might be prettier. And sure, the rustle of turning pages is a little more satisfying than the click of an e-reader. E-readers don't look so pretty on Instagram, either. Physical books, with their decorated spines and handwritten dedications, are always going to be the most romantic — but for your everyday reading needs? I think it's time even you skeptics gave e-readers a try. Because let me tell you, they revolutionize the whole reading game.

And hey, just because you've switched to email now doesn't mean you can't still handwrite a letter for special occasions — right? The same goes for books. When you fall head-over-heels in love with a book, you can still get your hands on the hardback. But for your morning commute — it's time to make the switch. And here's why.

1. You'll never find yourself without a book

I'm a speed-reader, so it's not uncommon for me to finish up a novel before my train's even pulled into the station. With a paperback, you're left desperately begging the person across the aisle to swap you their Story of a New Name for your My Brilliant Friend . With an e-reader, you can download the sequel in a matter of seconds. With e-readers, a whole library of books is at your fingertips.

2. No seriously, you'll never find yourself without a book

Even if you're as disorganized as I am, and often leave your e-reader at home — you still won't find yourself stranded. Depending on which model you go for, many e-readers let you pick up where you left off on any other device. That means you can keep reading on your phone, or your iPad — or even on your computer while you're pretending to work. (Don't tell anyone I told you that.)

3. You can make notes without damaging your book

I was a Lit student, so reading a book without making notes just feels wrong. I'm a big fan of dog-earing books, or even of scribbling a few heartfelt thoughts in the margin — but even I draw the line at scrawling all over them. With an e-reader, you can make as many notes, and virtually fold as many corners, as you'd like — without leaving a trace of permanent damage.

4. There's more room in your suitcase for bikinis

The main purpose of going on holiday is reading, right? But if I have to cram 12 whole books into my suitcase, there's no room for the cute outfits I plan to wear while I'm reading them. My e-reader means I can travel light and still spend my entire holiday with my nose in a book.

5. You never lose your place...

If you're as clumsy as I am, you'll know the pain of dropping your 750-page book and totally losing track of where you were. Flicking back to find it is a dangerous game: flip too far, and you'll accidentally uncover a major spoiler. Eek. An e-reader is the perfect solution: every time you open it up, it takes you exactly to the last page you read. Problem solved.

6. ...and even if you did, it would be no big deal

Even if the absolute worst came to the worst, and you somehow lost your place because your little sister borrowed your e-reader and skipped ahead, it's still no big deal getting back on track. Thanks to the handy little search feature, you only need to type in the last words you read and you'll be right back where you need to be.

7. You'll actually understand everything you read

Nobody knows every word in the English language, so when you're reading, at some point you're bound to come up against some words you've never heard before. Sure, you could look them up in the dictionary every time — but let's be honest here, you don't, do you? With an e-reader, it's simple. Just tap on the word that's stumped you, and it will give you a dictionary definition right there on the page. (Unfortunate side-effect: you might find then yourself tapping on the pages of actual physical books — which can be pretty embarrassing.)

8. You're in less danger of spoilers

It takes some serious willpower not to glance ahead when you're reading a particularly exciting book, and I've ruined more than a couple of dramatic moments by simply flicking my eyes to the bottom right corner of the page when I was supposed to have my eyes firmly top left. With an e-reader, you have fewer words on the page at a time, so there's much less temptation to skip ahead to the exciting part.

9. Nobody will judge you for what you're reading

E-readers soared in popularity when Fifty Shades of Grey came out; suddenly, readers could indulge in a little BDSM erotica on the subway without anyone giving them a second glance. You can even get false covers for your e-reader: mine makes it look like I'm perpetually reading Charles Dickens — and nobody needs to know I'm usually reading Harry Potter instead.

10. You'll never run out of space in your house

If you're lucky enough to have a large bookshelf, then having a huge collection of physical books is the dream — but in a dingy flat in the city, it's a bit of a challenge to find space for all your books. Every last nook and cranny of my tiny bedroom is stuffed with books — and there simply isn't any more room. With the help of my e-reader, I can suddenly fit an infinite library — all in my handbag.

11. You have one hand free for your glass of wine

Reading with one hand is usually a pretty dangerous exercise that's bound to result in you dropping the book onto your own face. E-readers, on the other hand, are so small and light that it's easy, and you don't even need to use your other hand to turn the page. Once you've had the luxury of reading a delicious book with a refreshing glass of wine in one hand, reading will never be the same again...

Images: Giphy (5); The Chortle/YouTube; Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle