Picture of e-reader and cellphone | e-readers versus phones
Personal Blog, Reading

E-readers Versus Phones or How I Lost a Travel Pillow

What does a pillow have to do with e-readers versus cell phones? Just read the following very sad story, and you just might be able to figure it out.

It all began when my siblings and I were on a whirlwind tour of Europe, so much of a whirlwind that most nights were spent in airports since we traveled at night and went sightseeing in the day. All that to say, we were very grateful for our travel pillows since we didn’t have proper beds and were frequently sleeping on the floor.

I had taken my old e-reader with me. I didn’t want to risk anything happening to my nearly new one. Now, this old e-reader had one problem (well, maybe more than one, but one main one that was really annoying). The problem was that it would freeze up and not start working again until the battery went totally dead, and it was recharged.

We were on our flight from Paris to Rome when a very sad event occurred. I wasn’t planning to sleep on the flight; I wanted to read. But after just a few minutes, my e-reader froze up. I knew there was no point trying to get it to work, so I pulled my travel pillow out of my backpack and prepared to sleep.

What Happened Next

We were all in different parts of the plane (one of the perks of traveling as economically as possible), so I was by myself except for the stranger in the next seat. Thankfully, I had a window seat, so I leaned against the side and finally dropped off to sleep. I slept so soundly that I didn’t wake up until we were already parked at the airport in Rome and it was time to get off.

Disoriented, I unbuckled and pulled my backpack from under the seat in front of me. Then I stood up and got in line. Did you notice I didn’t mention getting my travel pillow? It had fallen between my seat and the side of the plane, and I was so half-asleep, I didn’t think to get it. It was left behind.

For the rest of the trip (it was only about half over at this point), I had to use either my backpack or one of my siblings’ pillows that they kindly shared with me sometimes.

E-readers Versus Phones

E-books are often a more economical reading option than regular books. But what about the devices you read them on? Is reading from a screen worth it? In June’s Last Tuesday post, let me tell you about my e-reader and compare it to a phone. E-readers versus phones: are there separate benefits for each of these devices? Are all screens created equal? Let’s find out!

What are the benefits of using an e-reader?

  • Less Distractions
  • Less Stimulation
  • Can Unplug From Technology
  • Have a Long-lasting Battery

An e-reader has less distractions.

The two kinds of e-readers I’ve had both have the ability to connect to the internet, but they have no web browser or options to check your email or go on social media. The only thing you can do on them on the internet is download new books.

Some e-readers are different and have browsing options, but they don’t have to. And if yours did, you could always disconnect from the internet. So, with an e-reader, you can read and not get distracted from your book to see who liked your Instagram post or check what your favorite Youtuber’s new video is about.

E-readers are for reading and that is about all you can do with them, at least the kinds that I’ve had. If you’re easily distracted while reading, I would suggest reading on an e-reader with limited internet rather than reading on your phone.

Open book, candle, and coffee mug | e-readers versus phones

There is less mental stimulation with an e-reader.

This point and the next would apply to the e-readers that have a paper-white screen. This is a particular type of screen that doesn’t have a light except for a natural back light. Because of this difference from a phone screen, the reader will not have the stimulation that comes from a cellphone, tablet, or laptop screen.

e-reader on lace background | e-readers versus phones

That means you can lay in bed at night before going to sleep and read on your e-reader to relax, and not have the mental stimulation that you would have if you were on your phone. And, as I mentioned in the last section, you wouldn’t be tempted to check your email or waste time on the internet. You could relax and read and enjoy your story without distractions.

Open book, candle, and coffee mug

You can (almost) unplug from technology with an e-reader.

This goes along with the last section. E-readers are technically technology, but they are also very different from most technology. Some of them do have games; my first one had Sudoku on it. But they can still hardly be classified as being technology.

I have technology free days once in awhile, but they don’t include my e-reader. Because of the white background, reading from it is hardly different from reading an actual book. I do still prefer reading from a real book, but an e-reader does a good job of simulating a real book.

An e-reader is no more likely to keep you glued to it than a good book is. And when you’re on it, unless you’re reading something that’s not worthwhile, you aren’t wasting time as we often do on phones or computers.

Open book, candle, and coffee mug | e-readers versus phones

E-reader batteries last a long time.

Phones have to be charged pretty often. And since we use them for so many other things besides reading, that makes the battery drain even faster. It’s a little inconvenient to either have to put my book down to go charge my phone or go sit somewhere where my phone can charge so I can keep reading. My choice of whether or not I would keep reading would probably depend on where I was in the book at that time, if I could put it down or not.

I can read on my e-reader for days (not all the time, of course) and not have to charge it. The battery typically lasts for hours, even when I keep it asleep rather than turned off to make coming back to my book that much quicker.

e-reader and cell phones | e-readers versus phones

Now let’s move on to to the other half of our e-readers versus phones discussion: phones. What points are in their favor?

Open book, candle, and coffee mug | e-readers versus phones

What are the benefits of a phone for e-books?

I’ll admit it, I’m partial to e-readers. But to be fair, we have to discuss the benefits of phones because there are some benefits.

  • More Likely to Have With You
  • Easier to Download Books
  • Not All E-readers Have Lights
  • Less Likely to Have Glitches
Open book, candle, and coffee mug | e-readers versus phones

You’re more likely to have your phone with you.

An e-reader is pretty portable, but it’s still bigger than a phone. And let’s admit it: we all take our phones pretty much everywhere we go. So if you’re somewhere and you have unexpected time to wait, you can pull out your phone and read while you wait.

But with an e-reader, unless you anticipated time waiting, you might not have thought to grab it. Unless you are like me and take it to almost as many places as you take your phone.

Most of us, though, wouldn’t do that. So with your phone and the e-books you have on it, you would almost always have ready reading material, no matter where you are.

Open book, candle, and coffee mug | e-readers versus phones

It’s easier to download books onto a phone.

My Nook e-reader can download books to it directly from the Barnes and Noble store, but that is not where I get most of my books. Most of the books I read are in the public domain and come from places like Project Gutenberg or Google Books. So I have to download the e-books onto my laptop and then transfer them via a USB cable to my e-reader. It can be a bit of a hassle, especially if I don’t have a cord handy.

cell phone on lace background | e-readers versus phones

With phones, because you can do pretty much the same things on them as on a computer, you can download e-books directly to your phone. There’s no need to mess with a cord. You can just find whatever book you want to read, hit the download button, and it’s ready to read!

Open book, candle, and coffee mug | e-readers versus phones

Not all e-readers have lights.

My first e-reader did not have a back-light, so if I wanted to read in the dark, I had to have a book light or a flashlight with me. It wasn’t always convenient having to carry one with me, and there were times when I was in the car at night and wanted to read, but didn’t have a light handy. Or the flashlight might be too bright and be disturbing to the driver.

All phones have a light on them, so if you have your phone with you, you can read whatever e-books you have on it, whenever you want, whether it’s noon or midnight. And they don’t put off so much light that they are going to be very distracting to those around you.

Open book, candle, and coffee mug | e-readers versus phones

A phone is less likely to have glitches.

Remember the story I began this post with? The story of my e-reader that froze up? It was my e-reader glitching that cost me my pillow. Otherwise, when I left the plane in Rome, it would have still been safely stuffed in my backpack. And the rest of the trip would have been more comfortable for all of us.

My current e-reader has a glitch that is also a little annoying. At various times, it will randomly scroll through the pages of my book as fast as it can. Then when it stops, I have to go back and find my place. It doesn’t happen often, but it does do this once in awhile.

e-reader and phone | e-readers versus phones

Phones do have glitches, but not as commonly as e-readers. And when they do, a restart usually has them in full working order.

Open book, candle, and coffee mug | e-readers versus phones


So, are you convinced for one side or the other in our discussion of e-readers versus phones? E-readers are definitely my favorite, though I do read on my phone. I’m in the middle of a book on my phone right now. But the handful of books I’ve read on my Android Kindle reader don’t compare to the probably hundreds of books that I’ve read on my Nook e-reader.

Which if any of these devices do you use? If you’ve used both, which was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Before I go, I’d like to share a little more with you about some upcoming changes here on the blog. Thursday is July 1st, and that will mark the halfway point of the year. I’ve been evaluating my goals for 2021, and I’ve seen areas where I need to make some changes throughout the remainder of the year.

I’m going to be having a more consistent blogging schedule. Now, I have been posting regularly, but not on the same day. Except for my Sunday Devotionals, all my blogposts will be posted on Wednesday. Previously, reading posts were on Tuesday, writing, music, etc. On Thursday, and Grace Reid stories on Saturday.

Also, for at least the remainder of this year, I am not going to be doing the Monthly Reading Challenge. I still encourage you to read as much as you can, but I’m just not going to be able to keep doing those posts for right now.

My goal is one post every week with two devotionals a month. I hope you enjoy the new schedule! If you haven’t already, subscribe to the blog to get email notifications about new blogposts and products in the store and access to the freebies archive!



  1. Bethany

    I also prefer reading on a Nook over my phone. It is bigger and feels more like a book and less like a screen. I would definitely recommend going with a paper white e-reader, since it gives you a break from the stimulation of a regular screen. Great post, Hannah!!

    1. Thanks, Bethany! Yes, a paperwhite e-reader is the next best thing to reading an actual book! Glad you enjoyed the post!

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