With the advent of the digital screen, we have seen books explode, followed by portable technology allowing us to have books read to us by engaging and pleasant to hear professional voice actors. Now we are faced with so much choice you may be wondering which is best for consuming the vast world of literature we are living in.
I have used all the common methods of reading for a while and have come to appreciate 1 over the others.
Here I am talking about the actual Kindle devices not the apps for your phone, computer or tablet. The e-ink displays on Kindle devices give them the biggest advantage other digital displays. This screen technology reads like paper and doesn't lead to eye strain after hours with the device.
Other benefits of the e-ink display include the anti-glare coating on the screen allowing you to read in bright sunlight just as well as a dimly lit room. And as a bonus the latest Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof.
When it comes to Kindle vs an actual book there are numerous other benefits that go well beyond being able to carry hundreds of books without increasing the weight of your backpack. For a start you can highlight and take notes on the books you are reading without defacing the book or carrying additional pens and paper. What more these notes are synced to your cloud notebook where you can read them from anywhere and even search them.
If you can search your highlights and notes then it makes logical sense that you can also search your books. Yes, with Kindle you can search the text of your book to find that specific point you wanted to quote.
Finally, the other big feature I want to highlight is the Kindle's offline abilities after you have downloaded a book you can do pretty much anything with that book offline and next time you connect everything from your reading position to the latest highlights will sync to the cloud effortlessly. This is great for the weekend getaway in the remote woodland escape.
The iPad shares a lot of the digital-book benefits of the Kindle and even has a Kindle app to sync with your e-ink device for continued reading. The advantage you have with the iPad is you also get Apple Books. This app has all the same features as the Kindle app but books are bought from Apple instead and can be cheaper at times.
The iPad is also fast, a lot faster than the Kindle devices and this makes taking typed notes much nicer than the Kindle as the on-screen keyboard of an iPad is something you can type at speed on. Apart from taking notes, the speed isn't really noticeable when turning pages.
The biggest drawback of the iPad is its screen. The screen is not bright enough to be read in the sunlight and is too bright to read in bed with the lights turned down. Not only that but the screen can make your eyes tired quickly with only an hour of reading at times.
Audiobooks are amazing, you get a professional voice actor reading you a book while you go about washing the dishes or walking the dog. Audiobooks are the ultimate way of multitasking while reading.
Of all the audiobook services I prefer Audible and have been a member since 2013. Over that time I have racked up over 2 months of continuous listening time. One of the biggest benefits here for me is the adjustable speed. During my time with Audible, I have learnt to listen to speeds between 1.5x and 2.5x depending on the narrator. This allows me to get through your average book in a little under 4 hours.
Audiobooks are not great for highlights and taking notes and for this reason, I tend to avoid non-fiction titles on the service as I will want to take notes on theses. When it comes to fiction books Audible is hard to beat.
After spending many hours or even days reading on each of these platforms over the last month I have come up with the following ranking for these devices:
That is right, I am putting the iPad last, the benefits of speed don't outweigh the screen problems for me. I love my iPad but its use in my life is not for reading books. I have placing audiobooks second because they are not good for non-fiction works and the Kindle comes in top place as the all-round device that does books justice. It just so happens that Kindle's are also cheap starting at £69 but I recommend you spend the extra and get the Paperwhite, you will thank me later.