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Modern technology is changing everything about how people live their lives, and reading is no exception. Over the past decade, the popularity of eBooks has been on the rise. Despite growing acceptance, there are still a surprising number of people who just flat-out refuse to try going digital.
It isn’t just serious literature fans in love with the smell of old books who are holding out, either. Average people often claim that they just prefer regular books. The thing is, most of the people who claim to be adamantly against eBooks have never given them a fair try. Read on to find out why everyone from casual readers to avid literary enthusiasts should consider making the switch to eBooks in 2021.
- Access to Tons of Options
The best paperback or hardcover books are not always easy to find. While most local bookstores and even online retailers offer fairly restrictive options, eBook marketplaces like AlkeyTAB offer an incredibly wide selection. Whether readers are looking for a pleasure read or accessible learning materials to investigate their favorite subjects, they’ll be able to find an eBook that fits the bill online.
- Free Up Extra Space
Most Americans don’t have room in their homes for full libraries. They purchase books, read them once, then give them away or go through an epic hassle to resell them online. With eBooks, there’s no need to worry about building a separate addition onto the house to accommodate shelves filled with new reading materials. The digital format means it’s easy to store as many books as readers want on a hard drive or in cloud storage so they can be revisited over and over.
- Access from Anywhere
While most serious eReaders prefer kindles or dedicated tablets, there’s really no need to buy new hardware. Modern cloud syncing allows readers to access their digital books from smartphones, tablets, and even computers. Many vendors let users sync books between multiple devices, too, which means readers can pick up right where they left off even if they’re using a different device.
- Easy Ordering
When people buy print books, they only have two options. They can head out to a bookstore, which can be a huge hassle depending on where they live, or purchase books online and wait for days or weeks for them to arrive in the mail. With eBooks, there’s no need to leave the house and orders can be filled immediately. Just find a good book, purchase it online, and download it instantly to any compatible device.
- More Affordable Pricing
Buying new print books costs a lot of money. Avid readers routinely spend $30 or more on hardcovers and reference books, and even buying used will only save a few dollars here and there in most cases. That can be a serious problem for frequent readers who don’t have it in the budget to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on their favorite editions.
Compared to print books, eBooks are very cheap. Even new releases typically cost less than paperback editions, and many fantastic options are available for $10 or less. Fans of classical literature will find that many of their favorite books in the public domain are available for free.
- No More Guilty Pleasures
Ordering eBooks is anonymous, so there’s never any reason to be concerned about what other people will think. Want to read romance novels, fantasy stories, or even erotica, but afraid of being judged by the cashier? Making the switch to eBooks lets readers of all ilks immerse themselves in the books they love without having to consider what other people might think. The ability to download books from home removes the guilt from guilty pleasures and turns every book back into what it should be: a satisfying, personal experience.
- Lower Carbon Footprint
While it’s true that manufacturing specialized eReaders comes at an environmental cost, it is offset by the elimination of paper. Producing one Kindle releases as much carbon dioxide as cutting down trees to print around 22.5 average-length books.
As long as readers intend to download 23 or more eBooks over the course of owning an eReader unit, they can consider themselves good environmental stewards. Add the elimination of shipping via eBook downloads to the equation, and it becomes even clearer that eBooks are the eco-friendlier option.
- Great for Managing Vision Deficiencies
Most specialized eReader units allow users to customize the appearance of the text. Readers can change both the font and its size to match their personal preferences. According to researchers, that means using a font that’s set to at least 12-point, if not larger, and sticking to easily readable fonts like Times New Roman.
For those who are used to being limited to large-print sections at bookstores, the difference is amazing. It means they can download and read all the same books as their friends without vision impairment.
- Easy Access to Dictionaries and Translations
Not everyone has a degree in English. Reading challenging books can feel out of reach when it requires pulling out a paper dictionary and looking up words every page or two, but eReader units allow users to download the dictionaries of their choice.
Readers who are trying to improve their foreign language skills also find that translating difficult words or phrases is easier when reading eBooks than it is with a paper copy. Those who want to improve their readership without devoting a ton of time to learning new words can also find eBooks written to be concise and easily accessible.
- Easier Navigation
Just about all eBooks come with a clickable table of contents to make in-book navigation a breeze, and searchable content makes it much simpler to find favorite passages. Some companies even manufacture eReader units that allow users to annotate texts, highlight essential passages, or even use stylus pens to add hand-written commentary in the margins. With cloud-synced eBooks, all those personalized changes will also be saved to readers’ files so they can be accessed from any device.
- Never Leave a Good Book Behind Again
Have a vacation coming up and want to make sure there’s plenty of good reading material on-hand? With paper books, that requires taking up tons of room in suitcases and lugging around heavy bags, but eBooks don’t weigh anything.
All readers who use eBooks have to do is download their favorite novels or reference guides to their devices then pack a small, lightweight eBook reader in their carry-on luggage. From there, they can bring dozens, or even hundreds, of books to the beach or the side of the pool without having to worry about throwing out their backs.
- Read in the Dark
Specialized eReader units and ordinary portable devices are backlit, which means readers can enjoy their favorite stories even in the dark. That can be a huge advantage for couples who like to read before bed but don’t want to wake their spouses. It can also save parents a lot of headaches and give them some extra reading time while young children are trying to nap.
So What’s the Catch?
If eBooks are so amazing, why isn’t everyone reading them? That’s a hard question to answer since there are so few downsides to going digital. Let’s be fair to those who are still opposed to eBooks, though, and review a few of the top reasons people are hesitant to make the switch.
The only real practical downsides of eBooks are that downloading them for later reading requires an Internet-ready device, and that device needs power. The good news is people who don’t have it in the budget to purchase a specialized eReader unit can access the most popular digital books from their smartphones or regular tablets, both of which are rechargeable.
Unless readers are planning to trek off into the wilderness and bring a ton of reading material with them, they have little reason to worry about battery life. Plus, those who want to be on the safe side can simply bring along a battery pack.
Overcoming the Metaphysical Hurdles
Finally, some people are hesitant to make the switch because reading an eBook just “feels different.” That’s not a practical concern, but a personal, metaphysical one. Some people have yet to embrace the digital revolution, but the reality is, it’s already here, whether they like it or not.
As more people switch to eBooks, it will only become harder and more expensive to find paper copies. Why not at least try the new format now to see if the many benefits of eBooks are truly outweighed by metaphysical drawbacks like the lack of “book satisfaction?” Downloading a few eBooks doesn’t require anyone to part with their beloved paper copies, nor does it come with a long-term commitment. It’s worth overcoming those paper book prejudices and giving it a fair shot.
The Bottom Line
Technology is changing every aspect of people’s lives, including how they access information and enjoy their favorite stories. In some cases, that can create a legitimate cause for concern. With eBooks, the few downsides such as needing to keep devices charged are certainly outweighed by the many benefits of embracing this particular form of technological change.