Torn Between Two eReaders

I’m kinda stuck. On one hand, I’ve got my beloved kindle paperwhite. And on the other hand, I’ve got my iPad. Both have pros and cons. The weird thing is, I’ve been a stalwart kindle lover for a long time; it’s been no contest. But that started to change recently.

Kindle eReader

I still think the kindle is the best eReader. I’ve even had a blog post in draft for a while now, talking about how and why it’s such a great device for consuming book after book.

There’s the kindle’s gloriously no-glare eInk screen. And the awesome long battery life. And the superb 6″ one-hand friendly screen size. Plus, it is the epitome of a distraction-free, single-purpose focused book reading machine.

Those are shiny superlatives, don’t you think? And good reasons to keep loving my paperwhite.

iPad eReader

I would stick with my kindle, but the idea of my iPad becoming my eReader materialized in my brain the other day. It’s kinda crazy. Maybe it was inception. Read eBooks on my iPad instead of my kindle? What happened?

Well, first off, I love using my iPad. It does a lot and does it well. And lately I’ve been leaning towards relying on it more because it’s just that good. It is my primary computer. I’m iPad-first and iPad-mostly. I rarely use my Windows PC; I would like to be iPad-only.

This touches on a bigger debate I wrote about recently: single versus multi-purpose tech.

Books App

So I decided to try Apple’s Books app. It was updated with a new look and I had not checked it out. When I did, wow, I liked what I saw.

Browsing the Books app is really nice. It has nice typography or fonts, the layout and organization so far seems easier to navigate than the kindle, and all the book covers are in vivid color! That is super nice when you’re used to grayscale cover art.

It also has features akin to the combo of the kindle with goodreads, like To-Read, Reading, and Finished lists. It lets you rate and review books. And there’s even integrated audiobooks right in the app – something I might try.

Checking out the Books app, the cherry on top was a book sale where I found one of my top books To-Read marked down to $2.99! I bought it right then, so now I have an epic sci-fi to dive into on my iPad! It’s Dune.

As I thought about reading on my iPad more, an obvious feature escaped me at first: I can also read on my phone – bonus! This would let me read a book in a pinch anytime or anywhere because my phone is always with me.

What about the backlight and eye-strain issue from reading on a tablet versus the kindle? Honestly, it’s not a big deal to me. I read on my phone and tablet all the time. My eyes are either not hurt by it or are so used to it that it makes no real difference.

Kindle App

Next I tried the kindle app. As expected, it has all the basic features of my kindle paperwhite for organizing and reading books. The one thing it lacks software wise is the built-in ability to buy kindle books in the app (lame, but not a deal breaker).

With two great eBook apps on one device, it’s like shopping between competitors; I can buy books from either and avoid them being all in one basket.

Choosing One

I don’t know if I am willing to ditch my paperwhite. I’ll have to keep weighing the pros and cons of reading exclusively on my kindle or on my iPad.

The thing that seems to be pushing me towards my iPad is a desire to minimize the number of devices I have, to simplify.

It’s a bit of catch–22 though. While I may end up with fewerdevices, it also means I will rely on my iPad to do more. It’s shifting complexity from one place to another. But physical clutter outweighs digital clutter I think, so it’s a net gain.

If my iPad also becomes my eReader, then I’m asking it to do one more thing. Yet that’s exactly what the iPad was designed for: doing certain computer-ish things really well. Overall, it’s still a simple device.

Being the tech-geek that I am, you can bet I’ll be trying out my iPad as my eReader for a while. Time will tell if I am willing and able to say good-bye to my kindle’s eInk screen.

What’s your favorite way to read books?