I Have a Confession About Kindles, Ereaders, and Phone Apps

Kindle DiscussionIt’s the never-ending discussion between bloggers and readers: physical copies or electronic? And if you prefer electronic, do you use the Kindle, Nook, another ereader, or the various apps that can be put on phones and tablets? So many choices! I’ve always been on the side of physical books, my general excuse being “there’s nothing like holding and smelling the actual pages!” And this is true, but I’m here to say something else: I lied. 

Yep, I admit it. My old excuse was just a cop-out because I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like ereaders of any kind. But this last week I finally put my finger on it! I know exactly why screens versus paper is so important to me.

When I read on my phone (I use the Kindle app), or the rare occasions I pull out my Kindle (a very, very old version, without lighting or any of that “like paper” tech they have now), I always feel like the words are watery. Yes, watery.

I always feel like I can’t quite get a grasp on the sentences – sometimes I have to read it a few times over, because the letters float off the screen a bit. They get fuzzy around the edges, and blend together. I never have these problems with a paperback! And usually I end up getting a headache if I read too long on them, which is why I always die a little inside when I see that an ebook is more than 250-300 pages long.

So, there’s my confession. I really don’t mind ebooks. I don’t think they’re somehow “not real reading.” I actually like how cheap and portable they are. I just can’t read the darn things!



36 thoughts on “I Have a Confession About Kindles, Ereaders, and Phone Apps

  1. Uhm, watery words? That sounds HORRIBLE, KAYLA. WHAT.
    Do you wear glasses? Maybe you need them.
    I have glasses, and sometimes I’ll look that the computer or my book and everything’s just a blur and then I realise how truly terrible my eyesight is, haha >.<
    I went through a kind of phase with my e-readers, where I was solely using them for reading. I liked it enough, but the experience isn't the same. Since then I have swapped back to my beloved paperbacks/hardbacks. But I still have ebooks that I eventually want to read 😀

    • Yes! And I actually recently upgraded my prescription from -2.25 to -2.75. So I’m officially pretty darn blind 😉

      Every once in a while I’ll get a free Kindle book, and I just have to read it, so I put up with the screen. But as far as consistent reading? Can’t do it!

  2. Huh, I haven’t heard that before. Maybe updating to a newer edition of the Kindle may help? Because the font on e-readers and physical books seems rather the same… I’m not sure, but like you I enjoy the fact that e-readers are so portable. Nothing beats real paper for me, but I’ve grown accustomed to reading on all types of devices.

  3. I can see the many practical reasons for a kindle and if they get people reading that maybe wouldn’t read otherwise that’s great but it’ll always be paper books for me. Reading off any kind of screen just reminds me of work and considering reading is an escape from work for me, that’s not good! Real books are also prettier! 🙂

  4. I really love my kindle, and get what you are saying about watery words. They do blur after a bit. You might know this already but there is a setting where you can change the number of page turns before the screen refreshes (I can’t think of the actual technical word right now) but it stops the blurriness. Then again it could just be your eyes, which I get too. I used to have that problem when I was younger, and even though your eyes are supposed to get worse as you get older and have kids, mine got better (weird I know!). Maybe give that setting a try if you didn’t already. 🙂

  5. I really love my Kindle because it doesn’t make my eyes hurt and I can still read on the go but still there is nothing like reading a physical book and holding that in your hands, flipping the pages *sighs happily*

  6. Watery words? That sounds like it would suck:( I love my Kobo, it opens up so many more reading possibilities, but I still spend so much money on physical copies even if I own the book in ebook form. And I do find the ereader apps on my tablets turn the pages more smoothly than my Kobo does. But they don’t look pretty on shelves and you can’t lend them out so physical copies will probably always win out for me.

    • I’ve never looked into Kobo – it’s always been Nook or Kindle for me, since they’re both so heavily advertised where I live. The apps are smoother, but the blurry word thing happens more often than on the actual device I’ve found.

  7. That’s so interesting! I’m sorry that this happens to you 😦 I also prefer physical books, but I LOVE my Kindle for its portability and (sometimes) cheap prices. That sucks you can’t enjoy yours as much as other people 😦 Maybe Chiara’s right, haha…do you need glasses? 😛

  8. I would really strongly urge you to give the Kindle Paperwhite a try, or any other device with an E-Ink display. It’s a pleasure on the eyes. There’s no backlight (unless you turn one one, for when you’re in the dark.)

    I used to be a physical-copy-only guy myself, but the amount of books I’ve been able to read since getting a Kindle has skyrocketed. I can carry my entire library around with me anywhere I go. Now, I buy books first on the Kindle, and then if I really like them, I go back and buy the hardcover for durability over the long term.

    • I’ve heard that the newer versions with the E-Ink are better – I’ll have to check it out someday!

      I just love the feel of a hardback; it’d be really hard for me to give that up, even if it means portability.

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  10. See the thing is, that’s why I at first hated readers. I hated reading on screens. That’s why I researched and bought the one I have now and well its perfect. I get to control the background color (I pick the real life paper color), the font, how separated the lines and letters are, until I have completely changed the settings so that it looks like I’m reading a real book. That’s why I went for the slightly expensive e-reader. It was all about the settings. 😀

  11. I’m the say way! I love physical books so much, I just feel they say more than kindle books.

    I don’t have an E-reader but I do have a kindle app, but I only have five books in it because I just don’t like the format. Reading loses a lot of the magic for me looking at a screen.

    Great post Kayla! 🙂

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  13. Watery text? That’s strange! Does it happen straight away or do you have to read for a while before it happens?
    I do find that when I read an ebook, my eyes sort of move faster over the words, so I don’t take them in as well. And apparently you remember a book better if you read it on paper rather than in ebook form- which I’ve found is actually true for me. Those are probs the main reasons I prefer physical rather than ebook.

    • It usually takes a while to happen – not always instantly. And I’ve found that I don’t remember ebooks as well either! There was this series by Jeri Smith-Ready that I read AGES ago, but always forgot about it because they were hidden at the very bottom of my Kindle queue.

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