Having owned several iterations of the Amazon Kindle over the years I was able to make the switch to consuming books on this new digital medium… albeit reluctantly. It took a while for the software to catch up to the fantastic e-paper display hardware for me to truly appreciate the benefits of being able to carry as many books as I wanted, have all my notes and snippets with me and organized, and being able to read a book instantly. Physical books will always have a special place in my heart but I’ve moved on and fully embraced this new digital medium.
Over the last few years my reading habits have changed considerably. I highlight and bookmark passages more, I look up definitions of words and I often will switch over to a web browser to expand what I’m reading about through a search or wikipedia lookup. As a result I found myself consuming more of my reading on my iPad and as a result making more purchase through the Apple iBooks store. As much as I appreciate the simplicity of a Kindle, there’s no denying that it’s far quicker and pleasurable to look up definitions, highlight text and now have a split view of a browser and book on a high resolution responsive iPad. My reading experience has been upgraded considerably and as a result I’ve purchased more books in the last 6 months than in any 6 month period prior. Additionally there’s the added benefit that I get to see charts, figures, illustrations, and book covers in full color.
Some have argued that this style of reading takes away from the joy of reading and being able to just focus on the narrative, and for some that may be the case. All my reading is non fiction. Instead of following a story line I’m engaging in the authors thought process in a silent conversation with them. Being able to augment the monologue with external references and points of view is not simply a nice-to-have but a necessity for me.
The added benefit of being able to do all my reading on an iPad is that much to my surprise I’ll find myself on occasion catching up on some reading on my iPhone… an exercise I never would have imagined voluntarily doing before. Finding myself sans iPad with a few minutes of downtime and knowing that my books are synced up already on my phone makes for a frictionless handoff to make it through a few more pages. I could never read for any extended period of time on my phone but for 10 or 20 minutes it’s perfect.
Being able to reference passages in conversation by simply pulling out my phone has been great. Instead of having a book collect dust on a shelf I can access it at anytime, anywhere in mid conversation or contemplation and read a passage verbatim. Wonderful.
When Apple released the iPad Pro 9.7 and introduced a new True Tone feature which in essence matches the ambient light temperature with that of the display I knew I had to see if it would improve my reading experience. As much as the benefits of iPad reading brings, the Kindle still had the better display for long reading sessions. Having made it through six books so far on it I decided to sell my Kindle. True Tone was able to remove the fatigue my eyes would experience at times on my older iPad and with all the added benefits the iPad has become my default reading companion.
I still think the Kindle is a wonderful device, especially to get lost into a storyline. For me though the iPad Pro 9.7 has allowed me to get the best of all worlds on a single device with the added benefit or eliminating carrying an extra device and charging cable on trips. Being an avid one bag light packer this couldn’t make me happier.