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As a student you will be spending a lot of time with your head stuck in a book. On top of your core reading list there will be the recommended reading, the further reading, and your specific essay topic reading, not to mention the ‘I don’t understand the basic reading so need to read a Key Stage Three Text Book’ reading.  As an English literature graduate I have read my fair share of books and for a long time, almost the duration of my degree, stubbornly stuck to the ‘books are best’ mantra. I have at times been known to vehemently proclaim that nothing can replace the ‘earthy smell of a well read book’, but all of that has changed. Whilst the matte screen of a Kindle will always struggle to smell of anything let alone evoke waves of nostalgia from its reader, it, in my eyes, is the perfect means of study for any student embarking on a university career. Ereaders can play a huge part in streamlining your study time, leaving you free to enjoy other aspects of university life, or indeed study more. I had my Kindle for only the last term of my degree and it proved invaluable even in that short space of time. Having it saved me hours of keyword searches, days of waiting for the post to arrive and pounds in eye tests and anti-glare glasses treatment. The Kindle is a students’ best friend and here’s five reasons why.

  1. The Kindle Email address. When you register a Kindle you are automatically assigned a Kindle email account with which you can send documents straight to your device. That means you can read course information and pdf’s and even proofread your work if the mood takes you.
  2. Free Books. Project Gutenberg is the oldest online digital library. From it you can access and download any of it’s 42,000 public domain books for free. But here’s the clever bit, Project Gutenberg provides a Kindle compatible version of most of its titles, meaning you can save and send any number of the 42,000 books to your Kindle with that nifty little Kindle email address mentioned above.
  3. Journal Access. As you probably know all too well academic journals can be the make and break of an essay but reading them can be a chore. Most universities give students online access to scholarly journals, which means that you can read them online or save and print them to read in hard copy. Although both methods aren’t impossible they are inconvenient. Reading a 20 page academic journal on a computer screen is certainly not good for your eyes, and with all of the distractions that a computer provides getting through just one can be tough. To avoid this many students print out their articles and although easier on the eyes it can be expensive and impractical. It takes time to work out whether an article is relevant to your research, if you were to print out all of the potentially relevant articles you (and the rainforest) would be bankrupted pretty soon. Not to mention how difficult it is to read 25 pages of printout on public transport. Once again this is where the Kindle wins out. Simply save your desired articles to your computer and send them to your device. Simple. No more eyestrain, no more frantically trying to shuffle your printouts back into chronological order, no choice between dinner and printer credits. Oh, and you can read it on the bus before a lecture. And don’t worry, the Kindle comes with a handy highlight feature making it easy to bookmark pages, make notes and come back to them. Great for quickly gathering together important quotations for essays and presentations.
  4. It’s Speedy. Ever realised that you need a book desperately, for an essay, maybe it’s core reading, or you just really need to find a quotation? The library obviously doesn’t have it. It was checked out three weeks ago by one of the more organised amongst us. Amazon obviously stocks it but you need it now and with super saver delivery you could be waiting forever. Many a student will turn to a high street supplier at this point; an option that is usually extortionately expensive and means going outside, not great when you have a serious amount of work to be doing. Downloading a Kindle version of your text, however, takes no time. And if you’re really pushed the Kindle allows you to conduct keyword searches, or use the x-ray feature to scan for key characters, themes, phrases and passages. Perfect for that looming deadline.
  5. Comfort. The Kindle somehow seems to eliminate the age-old problem of finding a comfy reading position. You know that feeling, the one where you need to carry on reading but even turning the page is far too much effort. Well the Kindle has no pages, so no page turning is necessary. Prop your Kindle against a pillow or your knees, put it on your bedside table or, well anywhere. That need to shift from side to side each time you turn a page is vanquished and although it sounds supremely lazy, as a student you have to read bucket loads of books so finding a comfy way to do so is important. And it’s light, really, really light. Those of you who have had to carry a textbook or two into class will really appreciate this. No extra book bag necessary, a book with 1000 pages fits just as snugly into your bag as a newspaper. Backs and Bag Straps saved all-round.

So there it is; five great reasons that as a student you should invest in a Kindle. Although I’ll always love a good book, bookshop and all that comes with it the Kindle is practical in so many academic situations that it would be silly not to get one.

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