Getting Back into Reading
I used to be the type of person that can finish a book in a weekend. Or, if I really like it, in one seating! That was years ago. I always felt like I didn't have any time to read for leisure in university, and when work came around, I was "too busy". On average, you can finish a book in ~5 hours. Instead of reading, I'll binge watch an entire series in 10 hours. I just didn't put in time to read.
I've made it a goal this 2021 to get back into reading, no more excuses. I bought a Kindle (Kindle Paperwhite 10th Generation, to be exact) in April of this year to reduce the friction. I'm just at home most of the time due to the pandemic, so why not?
So far, so good! I've read 6 books in a span of 4 months, 6 more books than I've read in 7 years! (cause I haven't finished any 🙈)
Let's be honest, this post is just to justify my Kindle purchase. And maybe a nudge for you to buy your own!
"But a Kindle isn't a real book!!!!!" - that's what I said. I didn't want to buy an e-book reader for this reason. Oh, how wrong I was.
A Kindle is lightweight and thin. It can easily fit into any bag. I don't run the risk of ruining the edges, or accidentally spilling it with liquids like a physical book. It's easy to carry without needing to take extra care of it. It's just a little wider than a regular phone. For comparison, here it is with my iPhone 11 Pro Max.
These days, I normally read right before I sleep. It's good for avoiding my phone at night. It's easy to switch to Dark Mode with a single button. Although, I wish there was a functionality that can automatically change it depending on the time of day. Do note that not all kindles have dark mode.
The Kindle Oasis, a more premium version, actually has a setting for warmth, to control blue light, but that's way above my budget.
There are a ton of options for changing the appearance when reading—fonts, margins, line spacing, orientation. I'm quite a slow reader, so when I saw a tip on Tiktok for reading a bit faster, I changed my default settings to be larger and narrower. (See below.)
I also like to change the font depending on what I'm reading. A sans-serif font for non-fiction and a serif font for fiction. Just ~ vibes ~
Highlighting a word or a phrase let's you learn more about it through the dictionary, Wikipedia, or translation.
Kindle even has an X-ray feature which lets you quickly look up people and terms. I found it particularly useful when reading about Greek Myth. All those places, gods, and goddesses!!
Whenever you start a book, it automatically gives you the option to mark the book as Currently Reading on Goodreads. As you read, you can just click on Share to post about your progress. When you finish the book, a prompt for your rating is seen, with free text to write in your review.
It's one of the apps that you can use, so you can use it to check on your Reading List, friends' progress, or a book synopsis, without going on another device.
For non-sideloaded books (i.e., books purchased directly via Amazon), your highlights and notes also sync with Goodreads, and you can choose which highlights you want to share publicly, which looks like this:
Some books also come with a tie-in of the audio version to listen while reading. The Kindle only supports bluetooth devices though, no 3.5mm port to connect to.
You can't keep it in a bookshelf, let your friend borrow it (unless you lend them the Kindle itself) and most of all, smell it. Ahh, the smell of physical books is just chef's kiss.
The Kindle uses an e-ink display, which means it can only show black and white colors. Grayscale. Reading any illustration-heavy book with a ton of colors wouldn't be delightful on this thing.
(Recommending this book for software design!)
It's a piece of tech that you have to charge. Albeit having an amazing battery life (one charge lasts me two weeks of reading for about an hour a day), it still has its limits.
Imagine going on a long travel day and your Kindle runs out of battery in the middle of it. A physical book doesn't have a battery.
For me, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages by a mile. I've read a lot more than I ever thought I could, in a span of a few months.
And right now, I just want to travel again so I can read more in transit!