I Unintentionally Read A Book On My Phone

Last week I wrote about speed-reading business books, which is still much easier for me to do with a physical copy of the book. Any book I really love I buy a physical copy of, and there are still plenty of places where a physical book makes the most sense (the beach!), but most of the time I prefer reading on my trusty old Kindle.

A few weeks ago I bought a book from my phone and had it delivered to my Kindle. When I first went to read the book, I didn’t have my Kindle handy so I started reading on my phone within the previously rarely-used Kindle app. You know what? The Kindle app is surprisingly good. I liked it so much that I kept reading on my phone…and finished the book without ever turning on my Kindle.

If you use an app like Twilight on Android or the new Night Shift on iOS to limit blue light exposure at night, it limits the negative aspects of using a back-lit screen when you read at night. Battery life is much better on phones than it was a few years ago. Screens are much better. It almost makes you wonder if a Kindle is really even necessary to buy and read Kindle books!

The phone has the same advantage that the phone always has over other dedicated-but-better-overall alternatives: it’s the device that’s always there. I don’t always have my Kindle or a book handy, but I almost always have my phone within reach. I noticed that in those moments where I have 1 or 2 or 5 or 10 minutes to kill, I’d open right up to the Kindle app instead of needlessly scrolling through news I mostly already knew. Subsequently, I finished the book much faster. I think that’s a net-positive for me. I’d rather finish a few good books and read a few less repetitive sports blogs.

The next Kindle book I get I’m going to experiment with doing the same thing. I’m curious if the pattern will continue. The new Kindle devices are always tempting but if I decide I don’t need one I may be glad that I’ve resisted.

4 comments on I Unintentionally Read A Book On My Phone

  1. Scott J says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I read Kindle books exclusively on my phone (Android). As you stated, you won’t always have a physical book or Kindle with you but when I get stuck in line at a store – Boom – phone comes out and I disappear in my book for a few minutes. The ONLY downside is that reading in bright sunshine is a struggle. That’s where a Kindle wins out but I’ll take the “always on me” phone convenience over the “occasional outdoor readability issue” any day.

  2. Tim says:

    I stumbled onto this gem too, almost by accident. I purchased a Nook in 2012, I always kind of hated it, but felt I had to use it to justify the purchase. I definitely lost out on that deal, I’ve read maybe 7-8 books on it. I ended up using the Nook app on iOS most of the time because I always had my phone with me, and battery life is great, etc… But the app is just meh, even little things like turning pages was needlessly painful. I tried the Kindle app because there was a free book from Prime membership that I wanted to read, I have not opened my Nook app since! I LOVE reading on my phone with the Kindle app on iOS – I still cannot believe I’m saying this. I run the configuration you mentioned, NightShift with inverted colors late at night and it’s PERFECT for reading in bed. I never have a chance to read outside, two kids make sure I don’t sit much when the sun’s out and we’re outside 🙂 I think phone size is a factor, I have an iPhone 6S and it’s almost too big, I loved reading on my 5S, my wife’s 6S Plus is just too big to be comfortable with, as I feel most tablets would be.

    • Adam McFarland says:

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one! Agreed on the phone size. My Nexus 5x is perfect, I think the 6P (and similarly an iPhone 6S Plus) is potentially too big. One other benefit I’ve found is that the app is always up to date with the latest Kindle features, like the new page-flip feature that my old Kindle will never have.

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