Ereader vs Phone

Day 179/365- Kindle   Galaxy Nexus

Roger Luo via Compfight  Sean Kelly via Compfight

I have recently come to a startling conclusion about my ebook reading habits. I don’t use my Kindle 3 nearly as much as I do my Galaxy Nexus phone, for reading ebooks. Before I had the Nexus phone, I used a Droid. The screen on the original Droid was small and not very comfortable for reading. But I read on it anyway because it was convenient. Standing in line or sitting and waiting for a haircut were perfect times for reading on the Droid.

But whenever I wanted to sit back, relax and read a good novel, I reached for my Kindle 3. It was bigger and easier to read than the tiny Droid screen. I could also take it outside whenever I wanted and I had a built-in light on the leather case, so I could read inside at night too. It was my default ebook reader.

Then I got the Nexus phone and much to my surprise, I find myself picking up the phone to do my reading and not the Kindle. I never imagined that the bigger screened Nexus phone would have changed my reading habits, but it has. Another reason I reach for the phone more than the Kindle is proximity. I usually always have my phone with me and I don’t have to get up and find it. Who knew I could be so lazy?

I have no problems reading on the Kindle 3. I love the experience. It’s singular and focused, just like a real book can be. No distractions, just me and the voice of the author in my head. I still use it to read, but just not as much as I used too.

The Nexus phone has the Kindle app and it also has the Nook app and a bevy of other reading apps. So my options of what to read expand when I’m reading on the phone. But that’s not really a big deal for me as most of my ebook library is on the Kindle.

What was interesting to me was that more and more I’ve passed on the Kindle and just read on the phone. Even when both were in reach on the couch. Sometimes it was whatever was closest but usually, the phone won out on the distance battle. In examining my reading activity on the phone, I realized that I was doing more than just reading a book on it. I was reading the news and checking in on Twitter and Google Plus. These are activities that you can’t really do on a Kindle 3.

But they are activities you can do on a tablet. So would I use a Kindle Fire or some other tablet as much for my reading? No way to tell, since I don’t own a tablet of any kind. However, I think the phone will win that battle too because of the convenience factor. The phone is still always closer to me in my pocket than any tablet would be.

I just found this interesting as a reader and thought I’d point it out to my fellow writers and readers. Will the larger screen phones start to compete with ereaders and tablets in your home?

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Bill B.
    May 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I noticed a similar transference between my Sony e-reader and my Droid Incredible. Yeah, three years and counting on that phone. Anyway, for me it’s the same: whichever is to hand and most convenient. We have four readers in our household, basically: Sony, laptop, DInc, and tablet. In contrast, my wife only reads on her Sony, but I find I read on all four.

    If all four are to hand, the tablet wins out due to the form factor. It has a larger screen than my Sony and is much lighter than the laptop. Like you, though, if one of the others isn’t to hand, I’ll grab the phone rather than get up and go get the Sony or tablet. If none are to hand, I’m more likely to get the phone than the Sony, laptop, or tablet, though.

    Overall, I have never had a problem reading on the phone (or before that on the PDA). I was more happy with the portability and the ability to have a whole series to hand and I was never bothered by the phone screen size. This could be, though, because I was reading on my PDA and phone before I ever had a dedicated ereader.

    The tablet is easy to leave laying around the house, readily accessible and taken from room to room or passed from person to person. So, the tablet is a combination ereader, internet browser, editor, and notepad.

    However, for serious writing, I still fall back on the laptop or desktop, but that’s more because of the keyboard than anything. I type faster on a physical keyboard than I do on the virtual keyboard: better tactile feedback. For me, that’s critical: I touch type and don’t always watch the screen when I write my stories. I could add in a bluetooth keyboard, but what’s the point of carrying two pieces of hardware (tablet & keyboard) when I can just as easily carry the laptop?

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