Brits read more books on holiday than their European counterparts, or so says a lastminute.com survey. It’s still only an average of 2.6 books over two weeks – why would you need a 3G e-reader to download more?
This question has bugged me for a while and, at first, I thought I might be missing something. But, after a bit of head scratching, I still can’t understand why anyone would need to download a book in such a hurry. Why couldn’t they just wait until they got back home to use their Wi-Fi?
Bank holiday ebook reading
If you’re off on a trip this bank holiday being able to access emails or check directions when you’re out and about is one of the great benefits of owning a smartphone. But being able to download a book to a 3G Kindle while lying on a beach? That doesn’t tally.
Books take quite some time to read and you can easily download a library of ebooks at home before you head off. It doesn’t take much planning. If I was off on holiday for a month with my Kindle, then I’d stock up on more books than I could possibly read in a month. There wouldn’t be that “OMG! I’ve run out of books” emergency moment that only a 3G Kindle could resolve. Those moments simply don’t happen.
And even if they did, are you ever really that far from a Wi-Fi connection? For a while I thought this was the one flaw in my argument – my city-living lifestyle might have caused an bias towards widely available Wi-Fi. Still, Wi-Fi is becoming more prevalent. Tesco, after all, is thinking of rolling out Wi-Fi across its stores and there’s basically a Tesco in every postcode, even in rural areas.
It’s not worth the extra cost
Accessing Wi-Fi to download books while grocery shopping, or while sipping coffee in Starbucks, might not sound terribly appealing. But you’re welcome to download your ebooks at home – my argument still stands.
The only remaining counter argument I can think of is those who want to have a digital newspaper delivered to their Kindle every morning. Still, is this a compelling enough reason to fork out an extra £41 on the hardware?
For me it’s a bit of a no brainer. The Kindle is a superb device and I’d recommend the £111 Wi-Fi version to anyone looking to buy an e-reader. However, if somebody told me they were thinking of spending £152 on the 3G model, I’d sit them down and ask them whether they really needed web access on-the-go. And I should imagine that, in most cases, their answer would be a resounding “no”.