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Even Though E-Readers Are Useful, You’ll Want to Be Wary of These 8 Things

Even Though E-Readers Are Useful, You’ll Want to Be Wary of These 8 Things

Reading on the Kindle is becoming better and better over time, but there are some downsides that even the perfect e-readers can’t overcome. There are quite a few benefits that people sticking to their e-readers are missing out on. Here are some of the things that people in love with their e-readers should be wary of.

1. You absorb less.

The detraction against e-readers that’s getting the most attention is the evidence that, when you use e-readers, you don’t absorb as much of the text. A study covered by the Guardian gave 50 readers a short story to read, half on a Kindle and half in paperback. The people who read the story on a Kindle were found to remember far less plot details such as characters, settings and objects. The lead researcher theorized that the act of flipping pages give readers of physical books a sense of progress that readers of e-readers lack.

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2. You can’t take easy notes.

On e-readers there is no truly efficient way to take notes. The process is twenty times clunkier than taking a highlighter to a paperback. This is a major problem for people that read for research purposes, rendering especially e-ink readers largely ineffective. Those type of people would be better off reading print copies or with tablets.

3. It’s harder to flip backward/forward.

Flipping through pages is one of the most significant features that separates printed books from e-readers. With a Kindle or a Nook you’re either dealing with a small touch screen or turning a page at a time. If you need to reference different parts of your book frequently, a physical book is the way to go.

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4. No color.

E-readers like the Kindle and Nook with only black, white and shades of gray will never do art books the justice they deserve, and that’s only one kind of book that needs color. A lot of book categories (such as travel and nature) would benefit from color photographs. Most comic books that aren’t The Walking Dead are collected as full-color graphic novels. Even novels can benefit from a splash of color (The Awkward Human Survival Guide uses the occasional red to great effect). Never underestimate the limitations of e-readers that lack the full color spectrum.

5. You don’t get to feel a book in your hands.

Holding a book, especially a well-worn book with a lot of character in the form of tears and crumpled pages, is a cherished experience, bringing you back to the first time you read it. Plus, every time you read that book again you add a little more history to it. The same connection can’t be easily achieved with e-readers.

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6. You have nothing to put on your bookshelf.

For a long time, the bookshelf was a literary buff’s trophy room. Up for display are all the great fiction and nonfiction that they’ve enjoyed over the years. Well, ostensibly; we all know the poser who keeps the work of Shakespeare on his shelf to impress us. As e-readers rise in popularity, the bookshelf-as-trophy room is becoming a thing of the past, and that’s a very sad thing.

7. You can’t sell it later.

This is especially a concern if you’re buying textbooks, which even as e-books are wildly overpriced. Amazon is a great resource for selling used textbooks at a price close to the amount you paid for it. If you’re spending the little money you have as a student for overpriced files for your e-readers, then not only will you suffer from all of the other disadvantages on this list, you won’t be recouping any of that heavy cost.

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8. You can’t get it signed.

There’s little more satisfying than reading your favorite book after it’s been signed by the very person who wrote it, and few moments as special as getting it signed in the first place. You can’t get those moments with e-readers, unless maybe you get the signature engraved on the back of your Kindle/Nook. Actually, that would be kind of awesome.

Featured photo credit: Karin Lizana via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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