June 20, 2014

Altered Reading Habits: How E-books Have Changed My Life

Last week I was looking at my reading stats in preparation for doing a "best of the first half of 2014" post. And I was blown away to realize how much e-reading I've done lately.

From January 1 - May 9th, I listened to 3 audiobooks, and read 31 books; all print copies. So in 129 days, I read 34 books, an average of 1 book every 3.8 days. Which isn't bad; but does mean that it would take me 380 days to read 100 books, and my goal was at least 104 this year (2 per week).

But then, on May 10th, I downloaded an e-book version of Twenties Girl from the library, and my life suddenly changed drastically. (This sounds melodramatic, but wait for the math!)

From May 10th to June 14th -- 36 days -- I read 16 books. One audiobook, 3 print copies, and 12 books on my phone. So in that 5 week range, I averaged one book every 2.25 days. If I kept that pace all year, it would mean 162 books this year; which would be the most I'd ever read (as far as I've tracked anyway).

By adding e-books into the mix, I started reading almost 70% faster. Which is completely nuts. I think a couple of things contribute to that crazy statistic.
  1. Juliet's getting squirmier when nursing. It's a lot easier to hold a small phone out of her reach than a large book. So I'm way more likely to read on my phone while she's nursing.
  2. I've been spending phone time reading, not playing games. I had been playing tons of games; but I've dropped a lot of them - most notably Candy Crush, which I have bitterly turned my back on. Stupid level 181.
  3. The book selections. Because I've only read free e-books from the library, I tend to download what's available immediately. So of those 12 e-books, 4 were Agatha Christies, which are fairly short.
  4. The novelty. I'm sure at some point it will seem less exciting to be able to instantly start a new book without even having to get up out of my chair to walk over to the bookshelves. And probably at that point my reading habits will slow a bit.
  5. The ease. I find myself reading 5 pages at the park, or 10 pages while pumping gas in the car, or 15 pages while cooking dinner. I don't always have a book with me, but I do always have my phone. And it's amazing how those little bits and bobs add up.
So, I have to say, I'm officially in the "yay" camp now for e-readers. (You may all now quietly snicker "I told you so".)

I told Noel that a Kindle Fire or iPad mini is definitely on my birthday/Christmas list this year. (The one plus to being born the week of Christmas... if I want a big ticket item I can tell people to merge the two!)

Do YOU read e-books faster than print ones?

This post is part four-ish in my e-reading saga. Check out why I didn't like an e-reader at first, when I solicited your opinions, and when I admitted that e-reading was kind of great.

P.S. All math double-checked by my mom. Because she's the queen of percentages (and discounts, and coupons!).