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Alumni Posts

The E-Book Experiment

by Alumni Posts on November 28, 2011

in Academics

Over the summer, I got it into my head that an e-reader would be an awesome thing to have for school because it would save me from having to carry around a bunch of paperbacks for class.  (You know, because I take so many incredibly reading-intensive classes as a computer science major…)

Before school started, I purchased one and have been using it to read the e-book versions of the paperbacks we’re studying in my Intro to Religious Studies class.  I know people are writing about Thanksgiving this week, and I suppose my tie-in with that would be that I’m thankful for my e-reader.  Since I can check library books out on it, I’m reading more fiction these days than I have since my junior year of high school, when I still had time to read for fun!

Here’s my evaluation of using an e-reader in class:

Pros:

1. It technically does lessen the load in my bookbag, but really, a paperback’s not that bulky or heavy to begin with.

2. I don’t ever write in books (it’s just a quirk of mine), so the inability to put sticky notes or draw arrows in the margins with the e-reader isn’t an issue for me.  I do sometimes use the note-taking function on it, though.

Cons:

1.  When the professor says “And on page 28, he references…” I have to scroll through my book or do a search for the quote because my page numbers aren’t the same as my classmates’.  In reality, though, this can happen even when you have a paperback.  Just beware.

2.  The battery dies sometimes, and it’s a real bummer when you put off a reading assignment until an hour before class time and realize you’ll need to wait a half an hour until the machine’s charged up a little to do your reading.

All this to say:  if you’re thinking about getting an e-reader, don’t buy it solely to reduce the load in your tremendous book bag!  A lighter book bag and less hassle with paperbacks aren’t really worth the $100 or so you have to shell out for the machine, making this a pretty flimsy argument.  If you’re anything like me, though, the book bag argument might help you rationalize the purchase, and as long as you know you’ll end up using it the most for pleasure reading, you’ll be fine.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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