Bookish Ramblings: Things I learnt from Kindle Month

June was Kindle month for me.  This was a way for me to clear off some reads that had been on my kindle tbr for ages and shamefully I found some had been there for well over a year.  I may have also added to my reads along the way (oops) but it seems that some traditional publishers have now cottoned on to the fact that ebooks should actually be cheaper and I have manged to get some for £1.99 or even free!  This left me with a nice mix of Indie Published, Traditionally Published, and Small Press Published books to read.  As a bit of background, up until about 8 months ago, I resolutely read on my kindle, this had been the case for about 2 years and for the most part I read Indie. This all changed when I started camping last year and wanted a book that didn’t need a battery life and my love of paperback was reignited.

The first thing I found was that I read so much more quickly on Kindle, whilst I am only half way through my current read I will have that finished by the weekend and that would take my total reads this month to 10.  I know I read quickly but that is a lot even for me.  I think this is for two reasons.  Firstly, it meant that the book on my phone was the same as my main read.  I don’t pack paperbacks when I go to work, so this meant my lunch break reads were the same as my evening ones – so not having more than one book on the go at the same time was a bonus.  However, I did feel that I was more likely to skim read on my kindle, as if tapping a screen led to more urgency in my reading, it was definitely a weird side effect.

Kindle screens are not impervious to harm. Unfortunately my kindle must have taken a knock at some point as the screen has a smudge, which unfortunately means that sometimes a word can’t be read too easily, depending on where the paragraph ends. I know that printed works are’t without fault sometimes, but not on every single page of every single book. I found that reading from a kindle screen did leave me feeling more tired and my eyes felt worse off for it – I know that kindle should read like paper, but for me I now found it really didn’t.

Battery life.  I know that kindle battery life is actually very good but that all depends on a) whether you can find your charger and b) whether you have time to give it a full charge.  I found my reading was often disrupted by a warning message or when I went to switch on my kindle I was met by the exclamation mark of doom. I found I was doing quick 10 minute charges to get me through an evening. At least I had my phone as back up, but I find that I skip even more on my phone so it wasn’t ideal.  Obviously I wouldn’t have this problem with a paperback.

Kindle however is lightweight, I can read it most places and if i’m in bed and I drop my book it’s much less painful lol.  It also has the benefit of being able to be held in one hand, which leaves my other hand free for important things, like a glass of wine or a biscuit. I did frequently miss the feel of a paperback though, the action of actually turning a page and using a bookmark!

As I said at the start, I had a really diverse range of book sources this month and if it has taught me anything, it is that a traditionally published book isn’t an assurance as to the quality of the content inside. All my 5 star reviews this month have been for Indie titles and ones which had been truly self published as well.  This is the main thing I love my kindle for, the fact that books which may not ever be available in print form are available digitally and there are some wonderful ones out there.  To be fair there are also some atrocious one’s. To give balance, my least favourite read this month was an Indie too, but only just!   Did I want to reach for a traditional paperback this month? Frequently! But I wanted to see this little experiment through and I’m glad I did – it’s reminded me not to abandon my kindle as traditional doesn’t necessarily mean better but it’s also shown me that personally, paperback leads to a more enjoyable and more cosy feeling reading experience.

I’ll continue to read from both though and try and keep a balance so I can get the best of all writing worlds.

What are your reading experiences, do you have a preference of one medium over another?

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