Electronic Books

The Power of eBooks

With a child under one year of age, I spend a lot of time in a rocking chair. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the fact that I get to rock my youngest son to sleep, but it does pose a problem when trying to read some of the books that I have around my house recently.

The size of the books I am reading make rocking a child to sleep untenable. A physical book is just not doable in the slightest. So I reach for eBooks as my preferred method for reading many of these more-technical books. The power of eBooks settle into a few categories:

  • Size is obvious. I can hold many books on a device smaller than a single paperback which allows me to read with a small device only in one hand. That’s a requirement. I do use my iPad for some reading, especially books with lines of code, but the iPad Air is too large to use with one hand comfortably so I tend to stick to the iPhone or Kindle when rocking my son.
  • Storage ties in with the first reason. My bag can only carry so many physical books, and it is even limited by the physical size of a physical book (my current CLA reading material does not fit in anything but my backpack). However, an eBook fits in everything from my iPhone to my Mac mini at work. I can store many more eBooks in a bag than I can a physical book.
  • Syncing is lovely, and needed. Whether I’m using Kindle.app or iBooks.app, the fact that I can start a book on one device, quit, and then pick up right where I finished before on another device is great. It is also mostly needed when switching between lighting situations. Where I have a lot of light I’ll usually choose the Kindle, but at night I will be reading on my iPhone.
  • Speed is the final one I’ll throw out there. I can find a book I want to read and have it, right there, that second, with no fuss. There is no shipping. There is no waiting. That is both good and bad. Impulse purchases can get a person in trouble.

Even with everything stated above, I still prefer to read a physical book. For now it is always a tradeoff, and it can be an expensive one to keep all of these books around. The benefit physical books have is that I can find used ones. At least, that is a benefit for me.

2 thoughts on “The Power of eBooks”

  1. Do you use a subscription service for your ebooks or do you buy them as needed? I see you have an OReilly book on Kindle there and that’s what I’ve wanted for a long time. I use Safari Books for my tech reading and I haven’t found a good way to get that on my (traditional) Kindle.

  2. I usually purchase them one at a time. O’Reilly has a nice setup on their site where they will automatically push their Kindle version to your Amazon account so you can pull it down from all of your Kindle devices. Very easy. I usually watch for huge deals.

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