Books, Reader, Reading

How do you use your reading device?

The topic of this post came to me as a question while responding to a comment on my last post. I confess, I rarely learn all the functions of my electronic devices, and sometimes, even when I know about them, I forget to use them. It doesn’t help that most of these devices no longer come with print manuals. Having to access an online manual annoys me.

Anyway, the electronic device in question today is the e-reader. I have a Kindle, a Kindle 3 to be exact, the one with the old-fashioned button keyboard. I’ve used it for almost two years, but I’ve not used it fully. I know how to open and page through a book, of course. I’ve tried the read-to-me feature, but the robotic voice drives me nuts.  I even know how to send documents to my Kindle by email.  But there are other features I’ve never used.

I’ve used the Menu button mainly to access the Wireless function and the “Go to” function, but only to go to the beginning or end of the book. I have never used: Search This Document, Add Bookmark, Add Note or Highlight, etc. Until two days ago, I didn’t even realize the progress bar that appears at the bottom of the screen as you read shows tick marks indicating chapter beginnings. And then I found out you can skip forward and backward through these chapters by clicking.

Yeah, I’m an electronic doofus.

The thing is, I read e-books differently than I do print books. I prefer the print version of reference books and books I will likely read more than once—like those of my favorite authors. Those are the books I add bookmarks or notes and highlights to. I use my e-reader mostly for easy, quickly read fiction. I don’t believe publishers will cease printing books in my lifetime, though I do expect to see a steady increase in books published in digital format only.

Now, here’s my question—rather, series of questions—for e-reader users. How do you use your e-reader? Do you use all its features? Do you add notes and highlights the way you do in print books? Of the books you’ve read in the last year, what percentage were digital? Do you read all types of books on your reader or do you prefer to read certain books in print? If you’d like to answer an e-reader question I didn’t ask, have at it.

20 thoughts on “How do you use your reading device?”

  1. I’m almost complete convert to eReading, especially since getting my Kindle Fire HD (and you can adjust the brightness of the screen as well as the font size, so that might help some people). I use highlights extensively for academic reading and this version of the kindle renders them so much more accessibly than the previous version. These days, unless I absolutely MUST have a book (it’s course work maybe), I pass if it’s not digital.
    Like you, Linda, I haven’t explored all the options but I am more likely to do so because the interface is so much more engaging. Yep – I’m a sucker for colour!


    1. One of my granddaughters has the Fire, Suzanne. While I agree the colors are pretty, and it’s cool for its other functions, reading on it is exactly the same as reading on a computer screen to my eyes. I do think I’d really enjoy the touch screen though.


      1. Is that the case even if you turn down the brightness? You’re right, the touch screen is a gift and the functionality is superb, it would be a shame to miss out on that if there were a way round the reading problem. Still, we can’t have everything, can we? 🙂


        1. The Kindle Paperwhite has a touch screen, but is not backlit, Suzanne. It has tiny led lights hidden along the bottom that light up the screen, so that’s easier on the eyes. It’s not color though. It also doesn’t have audio, so no text to speech. But it will be a while before I save up for a new purchase, so Amazon might have a new one by then.


  2. How do you use your e-reader?
    I use my Kindle 3 (same one you have) for reading other people’s manuscripts. I’ve occasionally bought a book and read it on there, but I prefer print still.

    Do you use all its features?

    Do you add notes and highlights the way you do in print books?
    Absolutely. This is why I love my Kindle. It’s like reading on paper, but no waste. I use my Kindle to copyedit my own books before publication, and to read my manuscripts as I write. It gets me away from the computer so I can just relax and read.

    Of the books you’ve read in the last year, what percentage were digital?
    Probably 35% were digital.

    Do you read all types of books on your reader or do you prefer to read certain books in print?
    I read all types of books on my reader, but I do prefer manuals and such in print.

    Also, I just got an iPad mini and I think it’s going to replace the Kindle for a lot of things.


    1. Wow! Thanks for answering all my questions, Michelle. 🙂

      You must be more nimble than I am if you copyedit on your Kindle. I read my work on the Kindle in front of the computer, so I can enter my notes in Word. Clumsy I guess, but it works for me.

      Enjoy your mini.


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