Three Reasons My Kindle Makes Me Read More



When I read an article a few weeks back stating that, on average, people reportedly read 30% more thanks to electronic reading devices like the Kindle, I was speechless.

Not in the shocked I-can’t-believe-that-nonsense kind of way I feel when my BFF sends me Yahoo’s Weird News of the day clippings, but shocked in the “So that explains it!” brainwave of recognition.

It’s true.

Since switching more than 50% of my reading to my Kindle (I do still love me a hardback), I am reading more. Although for the past few years I’ve read around 115-120 books a year, this year I’d finished 75 by early June and aim to hit 150 by New Year’s Eve.

I’ve always loved reading, though, so did a little old $79 reading device really change my behavior?


And here’s why.

Three Reasons My Kindle Encourages Me to Read More

1. My Kindle is Always With Me.

The lightweight nature of a Kindle means that I bring it everywhere, in a way that was not always true of books. Even though I’m the girl that moved to far-off countries for 6 months and packed a suitcase of no less than 50 books, or the girl that chose hostels the world over on the sole basis of the quality of their book-swapping shelf, I still used to find myself without books at rare, horrid moments. With a Kindle, those moments are less.

2. I Read Many Books at Once.

For someone who reads 5 books at one time (i.e. me), having a Kindle is a dream come true. I can go to a cafe, on a plane, or to the dentist and bring all my potential reading material with me, easily switching back and forth. Most importantly, when I get bored with one book and might otherwise turn to a magazine on the dentist’s coffee table or in the backseat of the airline seat in front of me, I just switch Kindle books.

3. I Can Immediately Buy (and Read!) Any Book I Want.

It amazes me to think how differently my 9-month trip around the world, or my years living in rural Africa or in a number of countries random countries would’ve been if I had been able to order new, shiny books right when they came out.

This is a complete and total game changer for someone not living in the USA with instant access to overnight shipping on Amazon or a Barnes and Noble up the block.

Furthermore, the few experiences I’ve had not being able to download a new book on Kindle (while travelling in Southeast Asia last year I couldn’t download Kindle books in 2 of the 7 countries I was in — turns out there are a very small number of international limitations) has made me amazed that I ever lived without it.

(Obviously, the downside of this is that my spending on books has significantly increased in the past 18 months, but I’ll set that aside as this isn’t a post about personal finance…)

All in Kindle, my Kindle has rocked my world.

So, what about you. Do you read more with your Kindle (or Nook…or ipad…)? Why or why not?

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33 thoughts on “Three Reasons My Kindle Makes Me Read More

  1. Absolutely true and I had that realization very easily several years ago because… the best time for me to read is in bed at night before I go to sleep. The wife likes to turn in a little earlier than me — I’m a night owl — so reading in bed is the absolute best time for me. So I’ve been reading on my Kindle for iPad and iPhone for years.

    That said, I’ve had a new revelation as I’ve analyzed falling off of some habits I need to maintain like exercise, nutrition and reading…

    I’ve decided with Kindle on the iPad or iPhone, I’m too much of a *distracted* reader and I end up in email or on the internet when I should be reading. I’ve always been a nay-sayer when it comes to having a dedicated reading device because I’ve got everything I want or need on my iPad. But that, I’ve decided, may actually be a problem.

    So I’m planning to purchase a low-end Kindle reader-only device and see if it doesn’t make a difference having a reader and *only* a reader for reading.

    So that’s an additional take-away on this column is — Kindle = yes, absolutely. Kindle Only = may be a good choice to keep from distracted reading.

  2. I love my kindle! And I get free books all the time! Business, health, self help, faith based books, whatever u prefer u can get them free. I’m a person who likes to learn all the time. So this allows that without spending money on books. I do, occasionally, buy one but not very often.
    Another reason I like my kindle is so that BOOKS do not take up space I have enough clutter I have to purge as it is.
    The ONLY thing i do NOT like about my kindle is that I have to have WIFI to surf or download something etc. That is very upsetting but as long as I have a book already downloaded on the device I’m good to read!!!

  3. I live in Nigeria and finding a good library isn’t easy. I read English and French books. Have been using Kindle on my Chromebook and on Android phones and tablets for the last 3 years. Besides the choice of books and the convenience (always there, always synchronised, read many books at same time), I love the highlights option that I can retrieve through the Amazon website and collect as references/snippets in Evernote for instance.

  4. I read occassionally on an iPad but still throw books in my purse all time. Any comments on the experience between reading on Kindle versus iPad?

  5. I love my Kindle. You might check your library’s lending policy for books. I can check out 12 books for 21 days at a time and it’s glorious.

  6. I definitely read more because of mobile devices. Whether it’s books, blogs or articles I find myself reading whenever I have a spare moment. However, I can’t read more than one book at a time because I start getting concepts and storylines mixed up.

    Yay for technology.

  7. I have found that #2 on your list is so true. I used to stick to 1-2 books at a time, but with my Kindle I can read 3-5 regularly, and I love it. I think that helps #1 and #2 on your list fit together. It’s hard to carry around a handful of books, but I love having a great variety with me at all times.

  8. i am coming late to the party, but wanted to point out that some libraries have really great selections – colorado springs, for example. west palm beach has a pretty decent selection and the city library (downtown not the county one) has a very liberal policy – their website says they will give a card to anyone who lives, vacations, visits, etc. so you just have to go get a card and then you are set to borrow from there legitimately.

  9. I LOVE my Kindle. I love to read, but due to difficulty holding books with my arthritic hands I was finding it labor intensive. I also am spending more and more time waiting for my husband as he does errands. My Kindle allows me to enjoy those moments reading. I’ve decided the only downside of my Kindle is that I can’t read in the dark. I take it everywhere I go. Now I can read my Bible, do a study, or just enjoy a novel anywhere I go. Thanks for sharing your goal. I think I’ll have to give that a try.

  10. Kindles are just awesome. So many books…so little time. Even snuck in reading a few books while working (Shhh! don’t tell the boss!)
    Only downside for me is on planes you have to shut it off on takeoff and landing…which leaves you with in-flight mags (boring!) So if you have any clout with Amazon, get ’em to add an in-flight mode? Please?

  11. I get a ton more reading in with my iPad. I have all the reader apps. I love being able to have all my books with me no matter where I am. When the little one is in dance classes, or even a long line at the bank or grocery store, I am prepared! I thought I would hate reading books electronically but I am a convert.

    As you said, the ability to download what I want when I want has changed everything.

    • Also, as someone else pointed out — the ability to download a FREE first chapter and get hooked (and then buy…)

  12. Last year, after reading an article (on my phone) on Scorsese film ‘The Age of Innocence’ I had an urgent desire to read the original book. I found I could download it in seconds (on my phone!), along with a whole library of Edith Wharton books. Having them to hand (never without my phone, and of course no signal required), to read on the tube, in waiting rooms, anywhere has changed how I read, and was the best mental palate cleanser when otherwise engrossed in my own writing – not to mention acquiring a new literary specialist subject. Not sure if a Kindle would be just another thing to carry…

    • Also some classic authors are free — even better! I can’t read much on the phone though…I read one entire book on a plane once on a phone and didn’t want to open my eyes for a day after that…;)

  13. I definitely read more since I started reading digital books (on a Palm PDA *cough* years ago). And it’s definitely because it’s so easy to have with me all the time. And holding the Kindle is easier for me than holding a paper book, especially now that margins are getting so close to the binding. Forcing a book open so I can read the first word of every line was a bummer.

  14. What a great point! My wife has actually started reading because of a Kindle. I bought her one last October as an early (very early) Christmas gift (once the $79 came out). Until that point, I don’t know that she’d read an entire book EVER in her life. She struggled with dyslexia in school. Since she got the Kindle last fall, she’s read 12-15 books!

  15. Great post! I read more with my Kindle Fire too. I like being able to look up words right there (and I’m looking forward to when you can do this in a foreign language on the Fire), and I also like being able to search for words and characters’ names.
    I check a lot of books out from the library. No overdue fees from forgetting to return the books – they just disappear. If you are in CA, you get a library card from basically every major city you visit and have access to their online collection –awesome!
    Finally, are you signed up for the Amazon Kindle Daily Deal? Every day a new book is on sale from between .99 cents and $1.99. I buy a lot of my books that way.

    • I *thought* I signed up for Amazon daily deals but they aren’t coming to my email — is that where you get them? I have definitely snagged a few though and LOVE them — wish there was more non-fiction, though.

      I’m impressed you can read so much on a fire…my eyes can’t handle much ipad reading…;)

  16. Yes- I definitely read more electronically now – Kindle and iPad. Books and articles. Social aggregation. curation and discovery is part of the story – surfacing things I really like.. But like you, because of the ease of access and 1 click to buy, my book spending has gone up as well. It has replaced buying magazines at the grocery store checkout – as the main “impulse” purchase in my life.

    As BJ Fogg would say in his persuasion design bootcamps at Stanford “be clear about what you want people to do, give them a simple path – and it happens” (my paraphrasing of him). eBooks have definitely accomplished that from a purchase point of view – as long as the content is great as well. And there are probably more great books out there to read than we will ever be able to do in our lifetimes.

    • Yes! What’s the crazy stat about how many more books have been published in the past few years since electronic books…?

  17. I love my Kindle. You might check your library’s lending policy for books. I can check out 12 books for 21 days at a time and it’s glorious.

    • What library?!?

      Mine offered about 150 titles, so it wasn’t very good at all! But I’ve been thinking of signing up for a library in another area that’s really good at Kindle loaning. I wonder how I could find out the BEST libraries for kindle lending…

      • I’m in Indianapolis. I bet it’s tricky to find some library that’s big enough to have enough titles and small enough not to have a huge wait list.

        • You know, I don’t know why, but I’ve been doing that too. My wife doesn’t give me reasons, tuhgoh. She just makes fun of me. It’s usually some off-the-wall word that doesn’t really make sense in the sentence it’s in. To save face, I’m going to say it’s an epidemic sweeping the nation. Beware, James. Zombies are next.

      • Claire, most major publishers don’t make their ebooks available for library lending. What you see at libraries is pretty much what they can get. So Amazon, B&N etc. make money by selling ebooks. So in many cases it’s only revolutionizing reading books for those who can afford to purchase whatever they want.