How eReaders can win over bookworms

I would imagine the literary enthusiasts at The Hay Festival represent something of a tough crowd for eReaders.

Can hardcore readers be convinced to convert to eReaders?

Attended by self-confessed bookworms and leading authors, the festival in Hay-on-Wye in Wales is awash with people listening to readings and turning pages at their leisure in the sunshine… or at least sheltering from the rain and merrily reading.

But can the most dedicated readers be convinced to ditch their paperbacks in favour of a small, handheld electronic device?

Handing an eReader to a bookworm might receive the same response that you would get if you put a half pint of shandy in front of a real ale drinker. Yes, it’s technically the same sort of product, but it just feels entirely different.

If we’re being honest, there are certain things an eReader can’t give you. The smell and feel of a book when you open it for the first time and the joy of breaking its spine will never be replicated when you settle down to read an eBook. I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying to break the spine of an eReader, anyway.

The same could be said if you’re the sort of person who likes to spend their afternoons leafing through old titles in bookshops, hoping to find that rare book with a limited printing run.

Searching for eBooks is certainly a lot easier and you can be sure to find what you are looking for within seconds, so at least what it lacks in romance it gains in efficiency.

But if bookworms are willing to look beyond this traditional element, then eReaders have already made great strides to remove reasons for doubt.

Some say they’re reluctant to come home from work after looking at a monitor all day, only to focus in on a book on yet another screen. But eReaders like the Sony PRS-350 have paper-like touchscreens which are not backlit, so they won’t hurt your eyes.

While regular readers might be used to the feel of a book, surely few could argue that they are more comfortable than a lightweight eReader. Smaller and thinner versions also fit easily into coat pockets and pouches on laptop bags – keeping commuters happy.

Overall, eReaders have plenty to offer even the most traditional of readers. After all, if you’ve got an insatiable appetite for literature then surely you’d much prefer carrying around a small device rather than a stack of books.

Are you a keen reader? Could you be convinced to get an eReader or will you be sticking to paperbacks and hardbacks? Comment below…