Four unexpected benefits of an e-reader.

When my new e-reader was delivered seven days ago, I was prepared to love it.

I looked forward to that new gadget feeling, as well as being able to access books, even brand new releases, without going to the bookstore or library.

And I do love those things.

But now that I’ve had it a few days, I’ve discovered a few benefits that I didn’t expect:

1) The page I’m reading is always on the same side of the “book.”

I read every night in bed usually while lying on my left side, with the book propped on the mattress, held up by my right hand.

This is comfortable, even though half my face is buried in my pillow causing me to read with just one eye, but more so when I am reading the right page than when I am reading the left page.

On the right, the whole left side is supported by the bed. I have to hold the entire book up when I’m reading the left page.

But with an e-reader, there’s just one page. And it’s on the right.

2) I can read in the dark.

I have never read in the dark before, not even under the covers with a flashlight as a kid. I didn’t know I would enjoy it so much.

For some reason, reading in the dark allows me to more fully engage in the story.

Maybe there are fewer distractions. I can’t see my cat walking by or the pile of Kleenex on the bedside table that I should get up and put in the trashcan.

I can concentrate entirely on the book.

Plus, it will be very handy if the power goes out.

3) I can look up the definition of words.

I’ve always enjoyed the dictionary. And the thesaurus. Especially the thesaurus

But I don’t usually bother to look up words I’m unfamiliar with when I’m reading because I’m lazy. It’s too much effort to get up out of bed and walk all the way over to the other side of the room for the dictionary.

But with the e-reader, I can look up works with just a click.

This has been especially helpful with the first book I’m reading, The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie, because it’s British and mentions things and places we don’t have in the U.S.

I’ve already learned that Calvados is a French apple jack and Belgavia is a district of west central London.

Would I have enjoyed the story less if I hadn’t known these things? Probably not. But education is never a bad thing.

4) The “portraits of authors” screen saver.

I like having a different author greet me every time I open my e-reader.

Edgar Allen Poe, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson have all graced the page.

Huh. I wonder if it only features authors with three names.

There is one thing I don’t like about my new e-reader though. I miss bookmarks.

Sure, there’s a digital version of bookmarks, but I was working my way through a deck of cards, grabbing another out of the pack when I lost one. Now I’ll never get through all fifty two.

Enough of this rambling. I’m going to turn the light off and read.

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