You know that feeling when you’re half way through a show and all you can think about is Edwardian bloomers? No? Admittedly my life is pretty strange in that respect but I know that I am not alone in leading a life that leaves little room for ‘me time’. I can barely stay on top of the business of getting through a day and then there is the added pressure of household chores, shopping, cleaning, cooking. Somehow in the middle of all of this for the sake of my sanity I have to find time to for me.
Being quite a solitary person it can be a bit awkward to say to people, “Look I’m sorry I just have to be by myself”. I love to chat and I love living with my friends but I still need to be left with my own thoughts. Most of the time I implement this through reading. I am sure you all know the joy of disappearing from yourself for a little while and thinking exclusively of another world. But right now I hardly have time for that. If ever I do get time to myself I open a book only to stare at the pages for 5 minutes before closing it again. The frantic nature of my life has disturbed the quite places of my mind so that any moment of stillness resonates with the absence of all the things I ought to be doing.
I have however, come to a sort of solution. For a long time now I have had a Kindle and so am by no means new to ebooks. However, I did recently get a new phone and the bigger screen has opened up a world of reading where I least expected it. I first came to this discovery when I was stuck on a train with nothing to read. At the time I was slogging my way through Bleak House and I found that I could download the ebook, for free, straight to my phone. This discovery has greatly changed my life and the way I read so I thought I would share some of my favourite things about ebooks with you.
Easy to Carry. You know that dilemma of “I have nearly finished my book should I take another one with me?”. Going on holiday and worried that you might finish your book on the plane out and then have nothing to read for the rest of the week? With ebooks this isn’t a problem. Take as many books as you like on one device. If you finish all of those? Just download some more (wi-fi permitting).
Free Books. Yes you heard me free books. A lot of classics or books in the public domain are available for free. That means you can download as many as you like and still stick to your book buying ban.
Protect your Precious Hardbacks. The other bonus of getting classics for free is you can own a physical copy in whichever beautiful edition takes your fancy, read that copy at home where it is safe from being left on the train or dropped in the gutter, then read the free ebook in whichever moments you can grab.
Make the Text Bigger. This one is perhaps a little more niche than the others but I love that I can adjust the font size on my Kindle. I am slightly dyslexic and being able to make the font bigger has made reading so much easier. As a result I read faster and with greater understanding and I don’t care if anyone is judging me when they peer over my shoulder.
Read Everywhere. Having ebooks on my phone is great because I take it everywhere with me anyway. No bulky paperbacks. No extra Kindle. Just the things I was going to take with me anyway. This means I ALWAYS have a book on me no matter what and as a result, I read when every the moment permits. Waiting for the bus. Read. Waiting in the dentists. Read. On the underground and want to avoid awkwardly staring at the person opposite. Read. The added bonus of being able to read in these otherwise wasted moments is that I am finally able to grab some precious escapism, free from that nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach. In those moments I couldn’t possibly be doing any of the many things on my to do list and with that knowledge I can finally leave the real world behind me.
I know that people say that ebooks have none of the magic of physical books and I agree. However, for me the act of reading is magical in itself, no matter how you do it. I still love physical books with their sense of wonder and beauty but ebooks have won me over with their practicality. I love that I can have the best of both worlds. Ebooks have enabled me to read more and I am grateful for that.