How I read


Why I only read books on my iPad or in hardback

I love reading. I love learning and I love stories, and reading the writing of others—whether the wisdom they have to share, or the stories they so wonderfully weave—is something I treasure immensely. If I was forced to make a choice between either only having books in the house or only a TV, it’s my TV that would get the boot. Sadly, I might also lose my wife if the TV was to go. But, like I say, I love reading. (Rachel, if you’re reading, that’s a joke. I promise.)

Reading enriches my life to a much greater extent than television ever manages to. I love great TV shows and enjoy great movies as much as anyone, but if the choice had to be made, I would rather have books to read than TV shows and movies to watch.

For someone who loves reading so much, it may be surprising to some that most of my reading, probably ninety percent or more, is done on my iPad. Though some people feel that the texture of a physical book and the sense of actually turning the pages is part and parcel of the reading experience, that isn’t always the case for me. Or, at least, it’s not often a deal-breaker for me. In fact, I prefer the convenience of having all my books with me over and above any connection with a physical book.

This is particularly the case with paperback books. The truth is, I genuinely prefer reading on my iPad to reading a paperback book. It’s more than the convenience; I actually like the experience more. I just don’t think there’s anything remotely special about a paperback book. The same, however, cannot be said for hardback books.

I recently spent some of my Christmas pennies on collectors editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I’m currently half-way through The Hobbit and I’m throughly enjoying the experience of holding the beautiful hardback book as I read. There is an experiential dimension to the hardback reading experience that the iPad just can’t match.

Since I can’t afford to buy all my books in hardback, and run I the risk of losing my wife (again) if I further clog up our house with any more books, I suspect my book buying habits that have formed in recent years are now largely set in stone. That is, I’ll do most of my buying and reading of books on my iPad, but when I come across special books that I know I’ll want to keep and treasure, I’ll get the hardback version and enjoy that.

When religion goes wrong

Children of your father in heaven