Digital Reading

It is with a touch of sadness that I have to recognize how one of my oldest habits is completing a digital transformation.

Reading Books with Kindle

I’ve been a fan of Amazon Kindle since the day I got my 4th Gen device. I have been an owner of another electronic ink device for 3 years prior to that. And still, somehow, I always chose to read the paper edition of a book if I had it.

But as I’m reading increasingly more of non-fiction (mostly technical books on systems administration, cloud technologies and DevOps), Kindle (and Safari on iPad) have won me over due to the purchased books becoming instantly available. In many cases, I would have finished the book by the time my paper book would be delivered from Amazon UK. And this one time, I ordered a paper book but then ended up buying a Kindle version cause I needed answers quickly and couldn’t wait any longer for it to be dispatched.

Shift Towards Kindle Books

I still read a lot of regular books, especially the ones I don’t see myself even re-reading again – it’s still convenient enough to read them once and then to pass them onto the next reader.

But lately I started noticing the shift towards Kindle books – not only because it’s quicker and more convenient to buy them but also because I love highlighting text for note taking so much.

In recent years years I had re-purchased some books in Kindle format as part of tidying up my home office – I would sell or gift the paper book but keep its electronic format. Sometimes I would even re-read parts of a book just to make bookmarks and highlighting notes in the Kindle app.

I would also re-purchase a few books that I expect myself re-reading, again for the benefit of taking notes.

But what happened today really surprised me: I decided to buy a Kindle edition of the book while I’m still reading a paper copy. It’s a loan from the library and I quite like the book, so what I realized was that I was completely unprepared for taking paper notes while reading a paper book. I’ve come to expect these notes to be available in electronic form almost instantly, and making notes on paper now to convert later just seems like a completely unnatural way for working through a book.

Don’t think the switch to digital reading is complete just yet, but paper books are slowly taking an unexpected role: I use them for discovering new interesting topics and thoughts, but more often than not I switch to the digital version as soon as I can (which, starting today, may well be before I finish the first reading).

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