How To Level Up: 4 Phases Of Embracing The Ebook

We all have a bookish habit we are stuck to. Maybe its time to try something new! Read on to find out if eBooks are for you!

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Hands holding a eBook reader, coffee and food on a blanket behind. Stars around the reader.

There is no better feeling than pages through your fingers or the smell of ink and freshly pressed paper. Just the sound of the creasing crackle of a book spine makes me bounce for joy, ready to pounce inside the story… And yes, I do have the tendencies of a hand-rubbing, maniacally chuckling super-villain and break my book spines. Sue me!

However, as much as I love a pretty physical copy and all these magical sensations they come with, I decided to try reading ebooks on my phone and a Kindle for a whole month. And I have decided that this process has four phases of adjustment.

Phase One: Lost In a Starbucks

Things are going smoothly; you’re immersed in the story, the characters, and the world within those digital pages. But then, it happens – those ingrained bookish habits kick in.

You find yourself trying to do book things. You lick your finger to unstick a stubborn page. When you first open a book, you go to the middle, stick your nose to the crease, and take a wafting sniff. All are normal book things. However, shame floods over you as you glance up at the Starbucks barista, catching their deadpan stare as you’ve been caught red-handed sniffing an electronic Kindle and slobbering your DNA across the screen.

A woman sipping coffee in a coffee shop and reading off her electronic device.

I know these are niche quirks, but I personally had a difficult time trying to adjust. It felt a little awkward seeing a light emanating from my phone and reading it in that manner. It was different, but I am a stubborn lady, so I pushed onward! Which led me to phase two…

Phase Two: The Dark Side

Alright, confession time – everything I said in phase one? Total fabrication. Welcome to the upside-down world of phase two, where I’ve done a complete 180 on e-reading. We all have those simple pleasures of life. And this is the phase where you discover that reading an ebook is fun!

"I read it on an e-book" painted between two windows on the side of a house.

You know those moments where you try hard to focus on a spicy scene but can’t or want the action sequence to be better-paced? This is where I figured out that sometimes it’s not the pacing; it is my distractions that keep me from being invested. You glance over to the next page. The entire rest of the book weighs heavier on your right palm. You wonder how this will go, but you’re constantly being distracted by the huge whopping brick of pages to come.

In ebooks, there are no distractions, no extra weight on your opposite hand. You are completely encompassed in the page you can only look at. Ebooks are cheaper, lighter, and faster, with a shiny, sparkly appeal that is hard to resist!

an ebook reader and hefty paperback books stacked up behind it.

I call this the “dark side” phase due to a dark, sinister thought that came to my mind while finishing a rom-com. A confession I hesitate to write at this moment. A secret that will ruin me. Deep breath… I think I might prefer ebooks to paperback. And it may be wrong, but it feels so right! (Hence having an existential crisis in the middle of a Starbucks.)

Phase Three: The iPad Adult

I may or may not have gone a little overboard… Maybe I became obsessed. After a good few weeks of speeding through books in hyperdrive, I soon realized that I needed a little balance in my life. I became the iPad kid of book reading… Yeah…

light of a phone emanating onto a woman's face in the dark bedroom.

This is the phase where you read too much. Ridiculous, I know, but hear me out. I devoured books at an alarming rate. And if you’re like me, you end up speed-reading through pages, often skipping over crucial plot points and details. Sure, I was reading more and quicker, too. But it felt like wolfing down a cliff bar between classes and calling it “lunch.” Spoiler alert: it’s not lunch, and you never truly savor the taste.

This is what leads us to the phase where you realize you have a problem.

Phase Four: Homesick

I missed my pages. I missed reading books that didn’t feel like scarfing down a pocket-warm chocolate bar. I even missed those moments when a promising read takes a nosedive midway through, but you soldier on because, well, you’ve already invested $18 at Barnes and Noble… Yet, what I missed most was the post-book ritual: reading the last page, closing the book, and cuddling it to my chest.

A girl, with a big smile, on a couch hugging a blue book.

I found that I need a good balance. I enjoyed certain genres (romcoms especially) on my Kindle and phone, but I found that reading fantasy was frustrating. The maps at the front, the glossary at the back, and I was always standing somewhere far from those two locations.

So, I had a good look at my reflection… of my phone, and I developed a decent system. It was easier to read quick novels on my phone and to buy the books physically if I knew I’d like them or if they were a genre I needed a copy of.

The Result?

Overall, I enjoyed this experiment and will most definitely read more books on my phone from now on. However, I do enjoy a good physical copy sitting handsomely on my bookshelf. So, if you read the physical versions of books, try something new.

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