Give Me the Simple Life: E-Readers

Hands holding tablet

Most likely, you or someone in your family has a Kindle, Nook, or an app on your phone or iPad to read books electronically. A few years ago, I gave Kindles to my children for Christmas and they were a surprise hit! They love their Kindles and read far more on them than they do hard copies of books.

Not me, though. It hasn’t been as easy to adapt to reading a thin tablet in my hands. A lot of people say they can’t give up the feel of a book. I understand that.

Seems like there’s a place for both e-readers and traditional books . . . but I do think e-readers are worth getting used to. While there are drawbacks (like . . . when your daughter moves to China and packs your Kindle charger in her suitcase), it helps to consider the benefits.

The obvious ones:

  • Lightweight, easy to travel with.
  • Saves trees.
  • Usually, e-books are cheaper than hard copies.
  • Lots of great deals to try new or free books.

The less obvious ones:

  • You can save your highlights and send them to your computer. That beats the double process I have to use by putting a post-it tab in the book and later typing it into a Word doc.
  • If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow a book from the Amazon library—one at a time, but you can keep it as long as you want.
  • Public libraries now have e-books available. And no overdue fines! The book just slides away when it’s due. Your highlights and notes, though, will be saved.
  • When taking off or landing in a plane, you are able to keep reading your book, while others have to turn theirs off. 🙂

So what are your thoughts about e-readers? Are you sold on them, or are you resistant? I’d like to hear your experience with this technology. And let me know any benefits or drawbacks you’ve found.

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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Melanie Backus says:

    I love to hold a book in my hands. It just fits and it feels good and I will always enjoy that. I do have to say that these readers have made my life easier when my husband insists on me turning off the lamp when we go to bed and I still have a great read going. I just pile up the pillows between us, turn on my side and read away while he snores!

  2. I love my Kindle because I can take it with me wherever I go and always have endless books available! However, I do love having a book in my hands and prefer that whenever possible.

    I love to read books with my children and I like for them to see me with a book, instead of a tablet, in my hands! Handwritten letters and notes have nearly been forgotten with the advances that have been made in technology. I don’t want the love of books to become lost!

    • I agree, Britney–there’s nothing quite like receiving a handwritten note in the mail. I’ve received a lot of thank you notes this summer from high school and college kids…and their mom has addressed the envelope! What’s up with that?!

  3. Karen Hansen says:

    I love my Kindle and it keeps my allergies down as dust and I don’t get along. This way I can take out a book from the library and it’s brand new all the time. I don’t have to worry about what’s on it.
    On the other hand it will never replace the feel of a good paperback book when I’m curled up reading.
    I love to read my grandchildren “real” books. Childrens books just don’t seem the same electronically.

  4. Lisa says:

    I love my e-reader, I never run out of reading material and a new book is always at my fingertips.

  5. Donna Heaney says:

    I just can’t do it. I get the whole convenience thing, the availability of books, the cheaper price, etc.,etc but I just can’t go there. I need to feel a book. I love the smell of a new book and the smell of a really old book. I feel like as a society we are too concerned with convenience over tradition. That’s the end of my rant. 🙂

  6. Donna Harmon says:

    I love both!!! I would never want to give up my books, especially those signed by authors, but I LOVE having hundreds of books at my fingertips any time day or night!

  7. Laura Deibel says:

    I love my Kindle! My books are always with me via the Kindle app on my iPhone. Sometimes, I get stuck at a car dealership or the school and I’m without my book. No problem…just pull out the ol’ phone. I still enjoy the feel of a book in my hands, but I appreciate the convenience of syncing to all of my devices. Interestingly, my 9 year old son, prefers a good old book! He is part of the technology era and likes “old school” reading:-) And thankfully, he is an avid reader!

  8. Ann Watts says:

    I didn’t think I would like my Nook when I got it almost three years ago – I recently bought the HD+ and just love it. I have carpal tunnel and other hand issues, and it is so much easier on my hands – not to mention that I can read it in bed and not have to have a light on or hold it – can prop it up. My husband has frequent Dr appointments and it is so great to take with me and not have to have two or three books (He bought my first one for me because he got tired of seeing books all over the place). I wouldn’t give it up for anything!!

  9. Diane Hurd says:

    My daughter let me borrow hers when my mom was in the hospital thinking it would be a distraction, and it was, I could only turn it on. Couldn’t figure out how to get a book on it. Maybe it’s my age, but give me a book, I wonderful hardback, and large print book and it is like you have given me the world.

  10. Keri says:

    I love my Kindle Fire, and the fact that I don’t have to have a reading light late at night. Lol..with a little one that is when I get to read…in bed before I pass out. However, I still check out books from the library, I love them, the smell of the printed paper, the feel of them. They remind me of my mom and as much as I love my ebooks, I will always get books too.

  11. Jean Hill says:

    As long as I have Miss Acer and her charger with me, I know I’ll always have access to my books. I do love to browse book stores though but never buy – I just go to Amazon, search for something particular and bingo – in a matter of seconds, I have access to it. I haven’t bought an actual book in almost two years (not counting cookbooks – do not like having them on my Tablet.)

  12. desiree says:

    i do both they are great and not heavy

  13. Donna Brookmyer says:

    I love the feel of the book in my hands, although I do have carpel tunnel and sometimes drop it while reading, which is frustrating! I do have kindle on my computer and buy books from Amazon. I still like the “old” ways of reading books better!

  14. Guess I’m old fashioned, but I love my print books. I love holding them and haaving my library shelves. Of course I would lose them in a fire, hurricane, flood etc. when might still have the Kindle. But, as often as purses get stolen these days, would sure be easy to lose your Kindle, and they aren’t cheap. I would hate to try to find a book among several thousand on an e-reader. I’m not very tech savvy. I was always a letter writer and hate they have fallen by the wayside. I’m not much to read in bed, unless in the hospital. Even then would be cheaper to replace a stolen book than Kindle. And, yes people do wind up without them in the hospitals. The tech generation is moving too fast for me. Just computers everywhere like airports. They should realize there are still a lot of folks still without computers. Don’t think I would enjoy FB and emails, etc on e-readers like my larger screen. Sure have loved connecting with the authors, tho. Maxie

  15. Jackie Tessnair says:

    I love them both…I love to hold a book the best though,but with so many books only being available as a ebook now,I have to read those as well.But nothing will ever take the place of a book in my hand.

  16. Barbara Prisinzano says:

    I have tried so hard to use the E-readers ,an Nooks ,Tablets. I just cant seem to use them. Sorry!! It makes it so hard when , its only on Nook,E-reader, Tablet. Please don’t stop the Books, Because when they stop I stop reading!! “Barbara Prisinzano”

  17. Suzanne,
    My daughter has a kindle and loves it. I would like to get one but my Mother and I share the cost on books. Right now books are what we get. I do love the book in hand but would love to try at kindle.

  18. Dana Carrier says:

    I am a tactil/visual person, but I don’t get the whole “feel of a book in my hands” thing. If I have words with me I am happy.

    I bought my original Kindle while deployed. The down time of travelling in and out of “country” was humongous (sp?). To be able to have unlimited reading was wonderful.

    I now have two Kindles, the kindle for PC on two computers and the app on my iTouch. I have words with me no matter where I am. All kinds of words. One Kindle is devoted to Bibles, Bible study, devotionals and non-fiction. The other is all fiction. That’s an entire library that can fit in my handbag. How cool is that? I would love to have a Kindle Fire, but that is not in the budget. Thanks for letting me say my words.

  19. Krystine Vollan-Reavis says:

    I use my Nook for all my books. I wish I had hard copies of books for all that I have, but realistically, I can hold so many more books in my hand in my Nook than what I can carry in hard copy. I have also used it for my college classes, one which I had 42 books I needed. I saw so many people trying to carry books when all I had was a small device. What I do miss, is being able to have signed copies of my books.

  20. tracey berthiaume says:

    I gave up paper books about a year ago. I read 5-7 books a week and my hubby complained about all the books laying around the house. Plus There are so many free books to supplement when funds are tight or next book by my favorite authors haven’t come out yet. I also love the adjustable font size as I have an eye disease and small print bothers me. I started with a nook but found amazon to be cheaper than barnes so i now have a kindle. I have about 300 books on it and about 270 are read already including all of yours Suzanne.

  21. Erin Reed says:

    I resisted my Kindle for so long, because I want to have my own personal library, but since having my Kindle I have realized the many wonderful gifts a Kindle can bring. I am an avid reader and want to read new books in the middle of the night. A Kindle allows me to do that. If I finish the first book in a series, I can pop over to Amazon and buy the next in the series. It is the greatest thing ever.
    But do not get me wrong, I LOVE my books. There is nothing like the feel of a book in your hands. I dream of the day I have my library, recliner and fireplace, to read one of my many books from my library. But I do love the prices of the E-Books!

  22. Kathy Faberge says:

    I do both. I have had a Nook over 3 yrs, however, I still read books, too. I especially like my Nook when I travel. I can bring so many books with me! Love it.

  23. Susan LaRue says:

    I got my Kindle last year, and I debated long and hard whether or not I would even use one because over the years I had pretty much stopped reading. My daughter loved hers and convinced me to give it a try. I was a voracious reader back in my younger days, and once I got my Kindle I’ve gone back to reading almost non-stop. I understand that some people love the feeling of holding that book in their hands, and some other members of my family agree. I, however, will never give up my Kindle!

  24. Cheryl says:

    At first it took me awhile to get used to my Nook and not a real book. Didn’t think that I would. But now I am so used to it, when I do have a real book, it seems strange, and I can’t wait to read on my Nook again. I love being able to look up the meaning of a word right on my screen when I don’t know what it means and I love just going on line and buying a book while at home. 🙂

  25. MARY T says:

    I have been an avid reader for years and did not think I’d like an e-reader. However, I jumped in with both feet, and purchased a Kindle Fire. I absolutely LOVE it! I have over 800 books on it, and if I never download another book, I’ll still have plenty to read. My only complaint is that I can’t categorize and sort my ebooks like I can my “real” books.

  26. Andrea Woodard says:

    I love my kindle and have many books on it, but I also love to hold a book in my hand and read it cover to cover.
    Now I can have the best of 2 worlds, my kindle and reading a paperback or hard cover book. I don’t think I could ever totally give up paperbacks. Although, for traveling my kindle would be more practical.

  27. Lee says:

    I LOVE to read….anything. I’m one of those people that reads the back of the cereal box, fine print on my prescription, and the wording on signs. So, that being said, I love to have a book in my hands (it doesn’t run out of power, or have any issues downloading), but I love how lightweight and portable my iPad is for bringing a ton of books w me on vacation. I go through so many that just bringing one paperback for a weeks vacation isn’t going to cut it, so, I love my books, but I love the e readers too.

  28. Donna says:

    I still love to go to the library and look for books! It’s holding an old book, turning the pages, and the old smell, that still draw me back. I do have a nook that I use, but the libraries are still, and always will be, my favorite!!!

  29. Sherri Smith says:

    I definitely prefer having a book in my hand. I own a tablet, and a kindle but the majority of the time I prefer having the feel of the book in my hand. Turning a page isn’t quite the same. Hearing the paper crinkle, being able to go back a few pages to that part in the story you missed because reading too fast. Hopefully hardback books will never go away!

  30. Sherri Smith says:

    OH! But, I do enjoy the tablet and kindle, for when I’m at work or at a restaurant. I tuck it into my purse and then select a story I want to read. Easier than taking a stack of books to try and decide from. Plus, with my tablet, I can read under the cover of darkness. Benefits to both, ereaders and books.

  31. Mary says:

    I never thought I’d like an e-reader until I won a Kindle Fire. Now, I have tons of books on it and not lots of already read books laying around. And the e-reader is so much easier to carry around with you. But if I can’t find a title except book form, I’ll buy it and read it.

  32. Linda Dietz says:

    Please, oh please just give me a book! I tried…really tried to bond with my Nook. But in the end I had to admit my Nook wasn’t a book. And that’s the end of my sad tale of woe!

  33. Susan Campbell says:

    It has to be a book as a reader is just not the same.