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Smell of books or convenience of e-books?

by Rinku Khumukcham
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I like to read a book by holding it in my hand instead of reading one online. I have heard a lot about e-reading, but the desire to feel a book or newspaper in my hands while reading is always on top of my mind. When the pandemic changed many habits of people in the last two years, how could the habit of book reading remain untouched? Many people have made e-books and e-reading a part of their habits. To explore the available options, I organised a discussion around the topic to find out what the authors and book lovers were thinking on this. Carrying bulky books when you are travelling creates problems. On the other hand, it is always better to download your favourite books on your phone, tab or Kindle and read the books as and when you want. Amazon Kindle is said to be one of the best e-reading apps. You can download the app from Google store and use it on smartphone, tab or laptop. There are many other apps out there, but Kindle is said to be the most popular. 
If your eyes start straining after reading or if you want to enjoy a book while working, audio books are a fantastic idea. Audio books are a bit expensive as compared to e-books. One month free subscription is given on the site, after that they may charge a fee of Rs 99 for a book every month. Some audio books are also available for free. An author said that “the habit of reading is her super power”. She has a point, because the more you read, the less it is. Reading a novel or stories enhances imagination and reading non-fiction books enhances knowledge. Whatever is read, it improves vocabulary also. To get into the habit of e-reading, download the Kindle app on your smartphone and try reading free books. Then see what you like more. Try audio books as well. Once this test is complete, decide how you want to read. Well the truth is that reading is important, the method of reading is secondary. 
Reading e-books on a tablet has its own fun, it comes with a lot of features. As far as distractions are concerned, turn on the Zen mode to avoid notifications. The Paper White Kindle is expensive, but it offers a great experience for e-reading, such as reading in the dark or reading under the sun. Charge its battery once and it lasts for a week. The dictionary function is also available when you tap a word on the screen. There are many apps like Kindle app, ePub app, Kindle reader, Google Playbook etc. which can be installed on a smartphone to enable you to read thousands of books on the go. One author said she enjoys reading books on her tablet through the Kindle app. Not only can the font size be increased on it, but there is also a facility to highlight important text and she is able to make notes also. According to the Association of American Publishers, the demand for e-books was low in 2014, but in 2020-21, the demand for e-books was 22 percent higher. The survey also showed that 90% of the readers were college students. 
(*** The writer is a senior journalist and columnist.)

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