Full disclosure: I LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader.
I’ve been an avid reader from childhood.
You’ll often find one magazine open on my kitchen table, a newspaper beside it, another magazine on my bathroom counter and an article on my computer screen. You’ll rarely find a “real” book open, unless it’s a gift from a friend. When I’m reading a book, it’s almost always one of my Kindle ebooks.
Ebooks are popular with seniors like me because they’re so much easier to deal with than “real” books, newspapers and magazines, plus they’re cram packed with useful features.
Change the font size
On a Kindle, if the default font size is too small for your eyes, you can just tap the screen, select the font symbol, tap the size you like, tap the close symbol and there you are!
You also can adjust the line spacing, so you can see more “air” in what you’re reading. I’m sure other brands have a similar function.
For the fun of it, I put a beloved “real” novel on my kitchen scale. 1 lb! 10 oz (760 g). My Kindle weighs 7 oz (240 g). How much easier is that to hold, whether you’re reading in bed, at a table or in your favorite easy chair?
And by the way – remember packing two or three real books for a vacation trip?
This is a little extreme, but I read when I’m shaving. My ebook reader lies flat on my counter. A finger touch turns the pages. (I used to hold the pages of my real books open with a hair brush.) An ebook is really, really easy to handle.
It’s not like trying read a computer screen
Ebook readers have a matte screen that doesn’t glare like a computer screen. The fonts are specially designed for these readers. They are about 4 times sharper than fonts on a computer screen. And the screen is not backlit. The light doesn’t scream into your face. It softly illuminates the “page” that looks very much like paper.
So much reading in my pocket!
That novel I weighed is just ONE book. My Kindle now contains 43 BOOKS! I’ll be able to load thousands of ebooks before it’s full. And, on Amazon, I have over a million titles to choose from at under $4.99 CDN. And the ebook really does fit in my back pocket. (Note: some resources are available only in the U.S.A.)
A former colleague who lives in Vancouver has over 600 books in her e reader. She reads in bed every night. Her books come from a discount source called BookBub, where the price is generally USD $1.99, and sometimes as low as $0.99.
Another friend, who has about 3,000 paper books in his library, really likes his ebook reader because he can keep a bunch of books at hand in one place, always know where they are and not have to lug the weight. He prefers the ebooks for reading fiction, but finds that fact-filled non-fiction is easier for him to research in paper form.
Build your vocabulary
An ebook reader also can help you build your vocabulary, learn about the author and connect with like-minded readers–all without leaving the page!
Enjoy reading in the bathtub? Try a waterproof ebook reader.
The U.S. bookseller Barnes & Noble makes an excellent ebook reader called the Nook GlowLight Plus. CNet’s review calls the Nook GlowLight Plus comparable to my Kindle Paperwhite, with that waterproofing advantage.
So you can read in the tub or tube around a swimming pool and read to your heart’s content.
The CNet review points out that the Kobo Aura One ebook also is waterproof. The Kobo has one feature that I’ve become used to on my iPhone: ComforLight PRO changes the screen illumination changes to a warmer color as daylight fades. The blue-white of the daylight screen becomes a yellowish light that’s much easier on your eyes when everything around you is darkish. Apple research says that it makes it easier to fall asleep afterward.
What about the feel, even that smell, of paper books?
There’s still a powerful cultural force that tells us that paper books are “real” and ebooks are not. The heft. The act of really turning pages. The ability to peek forward of where we’re reading. And the picture of ourselves that we get from looking at shelves fat with books. (That last one goes away as soon as you downsize to a condo and have nowhere to put all the bookshelves. You become selective very quickly.)
So yeah, I still flatter myself as a reader by picturing real books. But in reality, I’m totally committed to ebooks on my book reader.
So what’s the price of entry?
Under $100 gets you a very good basic ebook reader. A little over $100 CDN buys a Kindle Paperwhite. The Nook GlowLight Plus is about $100 USD. And there’s no price posted yet for the Kobo Aura One. You can spend hundreds of dollars more, but you really don’t have to.
So I’m out to make ebooks popular with seniors…with more seniors
I really believe ebooks are the most senior-friendly way to read. Just add it all up: convenience, access to more books than you can dream of, lower cost than printed books, adjustable font sizes, a built-in dictionary and more. How could you not try one?