How an eReader Rekindled My Love of Reading

The fact that I love to read is not a new topic on this blog. Last year, I wrote two posts dedicated to reading and my personal book collection (aka my wannabe library). The first post explained how my love of reading began, which included memories of dealing books behind Mom’s back when I was 5, and my more mature goal of building a library for my friends and future kids to borrow from anytime. In the second post, my attitude had shifted quite drastically, as I slowly began to realize my shelves were full of books I would never read again (and was even a little embarrassed to own).

How my 20+ yearlong addiction to hoarding books suddenly ended still confuses me to this day. Maybe it started after I moved all of them in heavy boxes for what seemed like the dozenth time, magically without ever breaking my back (or Dad’s, for that matter). Or perhaps I really did outgrow the “things” I no longer needed. Really, my best guess is that after two years of digesting textbooks and never finding the time to read for pleasure, I was just sick of reading altogether. But I think I was even in denial about that…

In having only 16 days to pack up my apartment in Victoria and move across the country, I made a lot of executive decisions: a number of things were tossed, donated, or left in the lobby of my building for someone else to enjoy. One of my biggest purges involved going through my 100+ books and getting rid of anything I hadn’t read in years and couldn’t imagine ever cracking open again. Some went to good homes (my friends), others were donated, and in the end I think I packed the rest of them in a box and a half (compared to the 3+ boxes I usually hauled from move-to-move).

Then there was the stack I brought with me from Victoria to Toronto. You see, when I finished school, I thought I would automatically start reading for pleasure again. I was the girl whose Dad used to rag on her for falling asleep with the light on and a book covering her face. I consumed words like there was no tomorrow and always went through the last 100 pages of a book like my life depended on finishing it. But for the 2 years I was in school, I think I read… 3 books for fun? Now, guess how many I brought to Toronto with me? Twelve. And guess how many I’ve read? Zero. (Ok, maybe half of one.)

I know. I’m crazy, right? But hear me out. For starters, I don’t really know what I was thinking. I guess I assumed that, since the only thing I was bringing to Toronto was clothing, I could at least squeeze in a small bag of books from home. (I should also note that about half of them are personal finance books, making it even worse that I haven’t read them.) But I just couldn’t find the time or the motivation to read any of them. Much like the tone of my blog, I’m definitely someone who reads about whatever I’m interested in that moment. And none of those books made the cut.

Then, the unthinkable happened: my parents bought me a Kobo Glo for Christmas. As the girl who used to be mildly obsessed (ok, seriously obsessed) with having her own library of books, I was also the girl who swore she would never own an eReader. “I love the feel of books.” “I love how they smell!” Blah blah blah. All of those thoughts went out the window, as soon as I held my Kobo in my hands. And I don’t know why or how to explain it… but that tiny little thing has been turned on almost everyday since.

First of all, tossing it in my purse and reading it on the TTC is just too convenient. Since I commute for two or more hours each day, I try to squeeze in 20-30 minutes of reading at least one way. Then, the fact that it lights up means I can read in the dark – and I do, all the time. I can also read while laying down on my side, holding my Kobo with only one hand. (It’s the little things, people.) Finally, going back to the fact that I like to read about whatever topic interests me at the moment, there is no better tool than an eReader, where I can download what I want instantaneously.

Guess how many books I’ve read on it since Christmas? Seven! And I just started my 8th book yesterday (seen above). Now, I’m not saying everyone should run out and buy eReaders… and I’m sure I’ll still buy hardcopy versions of some books, cookbooks, etc. But if you’ve ever thought that an eReader was stupid or silly or “just another screen,” I encourage you to try it just once. Unlike an iPad, where you have access to the Internet (aka distractions), my Kobo does nothing but let me read. And the fact that I can download books from library websites for free is just an added bonus.

How do you feel about eReaders?