Exploring the E-Book: Tablet

Other posts in this series:

Exploring the E-Book: Laptop
Exploring the E-Book: Mobile
Exploring the Audiobook

Over the past few months I have been reading books on different devices, to explore the reading experience in ways that I haven’t yet tried. Up until now, I have tried audio books, reading on my phone, and reading on my laptop. None of these experiences were bad, and I actually really appreciate the benefits of all of these formats. The only thing I had left was to try reading on a e-reader or tablet. I purposely left this one until last. I think that a tablet or reader will be the most similar to an actual book, and that my reaction would therefore make or break electronic reading – because I was either going to love it or hate it. For this test I used a touchscreen tablet with Windows 8, reading with both Kindle and OverDrive.

Reading On A Tablet

I was expecting to like reading on my tablet, much like I generally liked reading on my phone. I was not prepared for how much I like it. I love it. My tablet is the same size as a typical book, so holding it is incredibly comfortable. Plus while reading in bed, it’s actually easier to curl up with than a large book – I don’t have to struggle to hold the pages up! The weight is really nice too, maybe a bit heavier than a paperback, but lighter than a hard cover.

I was surprised by how much I liked the look of the book on the device too. It looks like a book. Even after reading for a couple of hours, my eyes didn’t get tired from reading on the screen. I also really liked that there were different settings for lighting and page layout, so that no matter where I was sitting to read, I could adjust the settings for comfortable readability.

The Reading App

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I would enjoy the tablet as much if it weren’t for OverDrive. Not only do I love reading with this app, but it’s the ability to access library books instantly. I love how fast and easy it is to go from browsing books on the library’s digital shelves to reading them. I can choose a book and download them to my tablet immediately. This way I can still use the library and access books for free, but I have the ease and convenience of using the internet.

My only complaint about reading on my tablet wasn’t even to do with reading – it was setting up OverDrive on a Windows 8 tablet. It was not an easy set up. I had to download extra parts and tweak others, and in the end could not open any .pdf format book. I had to email a librarian, who had to email an OverDrive representative, only to come back and tell me that OverDrive on Windows 8 cannot open .pdf books. While that’s not a problem, it does create an extra step to make sure books I want to read are in a compatible format – something I wouldn’t have to worry about with a paper book! ;)


Technical issues aside, I am very happy reading on a tablet – I have read more ebooks than real books lately. While I was never against ebooks before, I suddenly understand why people prefer e-readers; it’s not necessarily that I’m choosing ebooks over paper books, I’m choosing the convenience of them. Don’t get me wrong, I will never give up on real books – but for right now I am really enjoying the experience of borrowing digital titles from the library and reading them on my tablet.

4 comments on “Exploring the E-Book: Tablet

  1. And the weight of an actual non tablet kindle or nook is even less. And, for me, more convenient. The eInk technology has even less eye strain because there is no backlight plus they can be read in bright sunlight.

    • That’s good to know! The overall size of an ereader does appeal to me. The tablet I used was slightly too big for me to bring on the bus to work, so I’m jealous of my friends who have these smaller devices that can be thrown in a bag or purse and brought anywhere. Still, I enjoy that the tablet is multifuntional, and I can do other things – like go on Goodreads! :) I think it would be a pretty tough decision to choose between the two.
      Thanks for your input!

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