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The value of ebooks: 04/20/19

Glasses and a book

Two years ago this April my daughter was bridging from junior to cadette in Girl Scouts. Locally there is a tradition of walking across the Golden Gate Bridge to literally bridge. She and I participated.

By the time we had reached the party at the other end, I realized I couldn't read the map on the back of our participation badges. The day before my eyesight had been fine. I thought maybe it was the heat and fatigue; April tends to be one of the hottest months in San Francisco.

The next morning I still was struggling to read. After six months I finally gave in and had my eyes checked. I needed glasses. My right eye, which as a child was found to be "lazy" but not so bad to need correction then, has now gone extremely farsighted. Both eyes are vaguely astigmatic too.

Now two years later I'm finding that even with my glasses I can't read some printed text. There are even some extreme cases where even with the help of a magnifying glass, I can't read the type face.

And that's where ebooks come in. Although the majority of the books I read are still in print, certain books: graphic novels, nonfiction reference, and literary fiction I'm buying as ebooks now more and more often.

Ebooks have the advantage of adjustable fonts or in the case of graphic novels, they can be zoomed in on to see the panels better.

I read ebooks on my phone or on my computer. My phone is better at handling image heavy ebooks. My computer is better at text heavy ones.

Recent ebooks I've read:

  • The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht
  • Bat and the End of Everything by Elana K. Arnold; personal collection
  • Ghostbusters: Crossing Over by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening (Illustrations)
  • Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
  • Buried in Books by Kate Carlisle
  • Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Volume 1 by Hinowa Kouzuki
  • Rainbow Brite #2 by Jeremy Whitley and Brittney Williams (Illustrator)
  • Fearless Mary: The True Adventures of Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver by Tami Charles

Comments  (8)

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Comment #1: Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 07:24:04

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

I'm always afraid of losing my vision; it would be a tragedy if I could not read. I'm glad you were able to solve your difficulty in reading by changing your type of reading to ebooks.

Comment #2: Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 20:36:00


Right now ebooks account for about 3% of my reading. That might go up if a change in glasses doesn't improve things. I also do listen to audiobooks, but they aren't great for the heavily illustrated books.

Comment #3: Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 09:10:13

Bryan G. Robinson

First, I'm sorry to hear about your eyesight. But I'm glad to hear that adjusting ebook fonts is helping. For me, that's the main reason I like ebooks. I hate squinting at books, especially what is usually extremely small print in mass market paperbacks. I'll be honest that I tried once reading on my laptop, but was too distracted by the other tabs? I guess? I don't know, but I do know that it didn't work.

Comment #4: Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 20:41:00


It's not dire yet. Ebooks and audiobooks combined make up 6% of my reading. I also need to invest in brighter lights for reading (and painting). I read in 50 page bursts and then give myself permission to do something else. That keeps the distraction down. I don't own (and don't want) a dedicated ereader.

Comment #5: Sunday, April, 21, 2019 at 11:21:57

Laurel-Rain Snow

I didn't think I would enjoy e-books, but I was wrong. Now they are my favorites, for the reasons you mentioned.

Have a great week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

Comment #6: Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 20:41:00


I'm not to the point where I'd call them my favorites. I still like physical books and being able to hand them down to new readers when I'm done. But they are useful.

Comment #7: Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 15:02:36


I was reading a physical graphic novel the other day and was really feeling the lack of adjustable font. Also, my Kindle is so much lighter than a hardback and easier to hold than a fat paperback.

Comment #8: Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 20:46:00


I don't have a Kindle or other ereader. I don't mind the heft of the books, yet. Most of the books I read are around 250 to 300 pages. But maybe that will change.

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