Today I have reached the fine old age of 70, and started the day with a long lie in, and a read on my trusty Sony Ereader, and I fell to contemplating the various advantages that ereaders, of whatever make, offer us old folk as opposed to traditional paper books (which I also read, though less and less often I have to confess).
When reading in bed I prefer to lie on my side, unlike my wife, which I have always found a bit awkward with paper books, as when reading the page nearest the bed, if you see what I mean, I had to awkwardly hold the book up in the air in order to get the page flat in relation to my eyes. This problem was particularly acute when reading any sort of hardback book too.
With whichever ereader I happen to be reading (I have a number of them here), I do not experience this problem, as effectively an ereader only has the one page, so once I am comfortably positioned, I need never move again, simply with a flick of my thumb change the pages on the ereader…. Truly comfortable and easy reading.
So on the reading comfort front, an ereader is way superior to any paper book.
The next advantage that an ereader has over paper books is the ability to change the font size (the size of the letters on the page). In most ereaders one can choose from a ridiculously tiny font to an equally ridiculously huge font, and of course, a number of intermediate sizes. This is great for me, as owing to the fact that both the lenses in my eyes have been replaced, I seem to need rather a lot of light to see by, and in the case of reading, unless I have a really bright reading light, I need the letters to be fairly large to be able to comfortably see them. With an ereader, this is no problem, so I can adjust the letter size to meet any lighting level I happen to be in when reading. Try that with a paper book!
And this changing of letter size is truly simple too, just select the appropriate menu, choose the size I want, and Voila, there it is. Great stuff.
Remembers where I stopped reading.
I tend to drop off to sleep while reading, and with paper books this has become a real problem, as I always lose my place when the book falls to the floor from my sleeping fingers, so the next time I want to carry on reading, the first thing I have to do is spend time trying to find where on earth I had got to in the book. This is one of the problems of getting older I have found. With ereaders, no such problem. They mostly turn themselves off after a certain period of no page turns, and remember which page was the last one on the screen. So when I turn it back on, it goes straight to the last page I was reading… A wonderful function for people like myself…
I am in good physical condition, so have no trouble with heavy books, paper ones or electronic ones, but many oldies do experience trouble holding heavy books whilst reading. All ereaders are light, some amazingly so, but all of them are lighter than any paper book of more than a few pages, so for those with arthritis, or any other physical problems that reduce their ability to hold heavy objects for any length of time, an ereader is superb.
One handed reading.
As an extension of the benefits of lightness, ereaders can of course be read with only one hand too, both to hold it and navigate around your ebook, so as has been noted a number of times by people who have commented on various posts here, those who only have one hand can easily read with an ereader.
Ease of buying ebooks.
Another advantage for those oldies who have limited or no real ability to get out and about, is the ease of finding, buying and downloading ebooks with some ereaders, most noticeably the Kindle and the iPad,
In the case of the Kindle, if you have one that works with 3G connectivity (the system that mobile phones use) then you can so simply use that to get new ebooks… in a matter of minutes. A real wonder for any bed-bound old folk. Well, obviously a real benefit for any bed-bound person.
Cheap and free ebooks.
Most older folk are on restricted budgets, and have to be very careful about spending money … Here is a truly great benefit of ereaders for us ancients, the amazing quantity of highly readable ebooks that you can get for free, or a mere couple of dollars… compared to paper books, which generally cost a damn sight more!
Anyhow, these are simply a few benefits of ereaders for us older folk that sprang to mind this morning, as I munched happily away at my birthday breakfast in bed – with my ereader in one hand of course
A really wonderful device for the old folk.
Thus, for the above reasons, and probably a lot of others I haven’t mentioned above, any old person who is able to understand how to navigate around such a device, will find an ereader a superb object to own.
Image courtesy of http://boomertechtalk.com
Share with us:
Do you have any thoughts on the use of ereaders for older people? And have you any ideas about other benefits that they might offer us oldies?