E-Reader v. Phone v. Good old fashion paper

  • E-reader
  • Phone/Tablet
  • Good old fashion paper

0 voters

I’m trying to decide which to go forward with. Thoughts?


I mean how else are you going to unlock that sweet Machamp mini game


What the fuck Machamp mini game are you talking about


Unless it is textbook for school, then I would much rather read a book on my Kindle. It’s far easier to read in bed with it. All of my worries about accidentally bending pages just disappear.


All have their strenghts and weaknesses. I’ve been reading the “Malazan Book of the Fallen” series on both a tablet (with the kindle app) and on paper, and have found it super usefull to look up weird words on the tablet, but much easier to check the appendix or the maps in the physical books.


I’ve never been able to beat a good e-ink device for reading out in the Sun. This may be because a lot of what I’m reading is long articles from the web (reformatted for the reader - maybe newer devices have better browser experiences but my Kindle is not one of the newer ones) and textbooks that weigh more than ten times that of a reader device. Some textbooks are terrible with Kindle formatting but other than those, it’s perfect for reading books.

Indoors then a nice cheap 7-8" tablet seems ideal with 1200p being more than enough (given decent vision) for reading. It’s a shame that bright light will, at the very best, turn your battery life into minutes, but more than likely will just make the screen useless for reading so why I’d only use a cheap tablet indoors.

Paper is the classic but TBH the form factor (unless you don’t care about accidentally creasing pages or ruining the spine) isn’t great, you’re far more likely to have a digital device on you for using those 10 minutes waiting for a bus than always pocketing bulky books, and you can’t change any of the font choices. I need the font big when I’m reading while I walk but prefer small when sat down.


The convenience of a Kindle is what brought me back to reading. That being said, I do still find a lot of joy in scouring used book stores for physical copies of my favorites. I see books and vinyl records much in the same way. I enjoy the tactile ritual of buying and storing and maintaining them, even if I consume the art within digitally.


Wait, you can read articles and stuff from the internet on a kindle? Like if I grabbed an article from waypoint I could read it on the kindle?


There is a browser built into the devices but it’s always been not-great (on my device it is listed as “experimental”) because the screen takes an age to refresh (rather than 30 or 60fps, it’s more like 0.5-2fps) but you can send articles (especially long ones) to the Kindle to convert.

The normal way is via the Kindle Personal Documents Service where you set up an email address (at Amazon) and then email documents like html pages or pdfs or Word documents and Amazon convert it to the Kindle format and send it to your device. You can also use 3rd party services to do the conversion that’s a lot like the Edge’s Reading View or Readability. Just click on a bookmark while on a page to feed it to Instapaper and that will do the conversion then send it to your Kindle.

Next time you pick up the Kindle, that really long article has been converted into a very short book and you can read it on the go (no WiFi required after the initial download).


Kindle, especially the old school Kindle 3G with the keyboard on it.

The only thing I use paper for is my organizer/calendar.


Okay this alone may have sold me on it. Is the quality good? How seamless is that experience?


The personal document service works really well as long as the things you’re reading are a format that’s well suited to the kindle. I tend to use it a lot with PDFs, since I read a lot of math papers, and in order for that to be comfortable I’ve had to look into tools for resizing PDFs without messing them up, but with that time investment it’s been really great.


I have a Paperwhite and I like it a lot - particularly the daily deals, though it leads to a “endless Steam library” effect for books - but I can’t get past physical books. Reading has slowly become part of my daily routine over the last few years and a big part of that has been lending & borrowing books with friends and coworkers.


I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get PDFs into a readable format. I have lots of economics papers I want to read but I hate reading at my desk. Same with articles; more often than not I just save an article to pocket then read it on my phone later when I’m more comfortable. If I could do the same with the kindle then I might just get it.


If you don’t have real books, you won’t make friends/conversations when people come over to your house and scour your bookshelves!


Depends which service you use. Some of the easiest (1-click) solutions are premium subscription services (I know Instapaper have some features locked behind a subscription) but the basics should be free and isn’t that much harder.

Set up your Kindle email address so you’ve got somewhere to send the documents to (takes a few minutes but Amazon have a guide and you only ever need to do it once), then you can just use the Amazon plugin if you’re on Firefox or Chrome. I click preview to make sure I like how the converted article looks (removing the banners and menus and only sending the body of the article) and then send it. Next time I pick up my Kindle, the article is in the index of things I can read. It even syncs progress so you can half read particularly long articles and then pick it up on your phone (on the Kindle app) and it knows where you got.


Oh my gosh this works exactly like pocket! I’ll have to figure something out for PDFs still, but this works perfectly, thank you!


Not much to add that hasn’t already been said. I always feel silly when traveling because I’ll have a tablet and eReader, but the backlight on e-ink devices doesn’t strain your eyes the way a tablet will.


I think that my e-reader is my favorite way to read, but a local used bookstore is my main source for books so it kind of collects a lot of dust.

It’d be different if I had a kindle, nothing ever goes on sale on the kobo store


To be honest, as mentioned by porglezomp above, Kindle auto-convert for pdfs is really hit and miss. It can make a right mess of some of them (not helped by how academic papers and textbooks are often formatted) and you start wondering if it’s worth spending 10 minutes hand-converting stuff (if you can convert from pdf to html then you can, assuming you know website design, fix the html and use that to send to the Kindle) or, at the minimum, finding tools for resizing pdfs to make the job easier for the converter tool.

Maybe it’s slightly better on newer devices but I’d expect you’ll want to be prepared to use something like this to get good and consistent results.