My Favorite Digital Reading Setup Ever

So far, anyway

I’m always curious to try some new piece of technology, whether hardware or software. It might be that I like to fiddle with things. Or it might be that I like new and shiny. It’s probably both.

Sometimes I find some piece of technology that feels like a it has a perfect use case for me. A primary source of delight for me these days is the combination of my BOOX Page reader and the Readwise Reader app. 

Since I first discovered them a few years ago, the BOOX devices have held a certain appeal for me. I’ve tried several of them. I first had one of the their e-readers a few years ago, and then traded up to a BOOX Nova Air. It included a stylus and a slightly bigger screen. I thought I might want to use it for handwriting alongside reading. But it was a little too slow, and I realized that writing on an iPad still provided better access to my handwritten notes.

My son uses a larger BOOX Tab Ultra for some of his schoolwork, and I often envy it. But again, when I’ve fiddled with it, it’s just a little too big for how I would want to use it. And being so entrenched in the Apple universe, the iPad still serves me best.

But when it comes to just reading, I will always prefer an e-ink screen. A few months ago, I bought a BOOX Page. It’s just right.

If you aren’t familiar, the BOOX devices run their own custom version of Android, so you can install other apps on it — for me this has included the Kindle app, Everand/Scribd, and Logos Bible software. It works really well for all of these. I also have Day One on there, and sync my Obsidian database to it. If you can… why not?

But the ideal use case came to me a few months ago as I revisited Readwise and their Reader app. I had first tried out Readwise when it was primarily a service for capturing highlights from other reading apps, and making them available for you in other notes or as review tools. It just wasn’t a use case that had enough appeal to me, so I didn’t stick with it.

I read about a year ago that Readwise had also introduced a Reader app to function more like a feed reader and read it later app, but I was content with the other tools I was using at the time. But when I got the BOOX Page, I revisited their Reader app, and discovered that it can handle epubs as well. It was a little rough to use when I first started, but it also happened to be the week they were rolling out a big upgrade to allow pagination with epubs. Ever since, just about anything I’ve read has been read through Reader. I use it for feeds, read it later, and all my books. 

The main appeal is the seamless capture of all my highlights from what I read into Obsidian…something which the Readwise service was originally built for. But now it essentially is my reading operating system, a place for all my reading to gather — placing articles beside books beside feeds in a way that I never realized I wanted. In the past, these were often spread across different apps, and often, feeds or articles were neglected. 

Of course it takes a little effort and, uh, finagling to get my ebooks into epub format for Reader. But it’s doable. And everything syncs beautifully, so even though most of my reading happens on my BOOX Page, I can pick up any article or book on any other device if I need it for reference or want to fill a few minutes of waiting to pick up one of my kids from something.

I’m still BOOX curious though. I find myself too often looking at their other devices. The Tab Mini C has a color screen and drawing capabilities, but it’s just slightly bigger and I fear would lose the ergonomic reading focus. The Palma is very appealing, almost like a large phone, but not really something I want to spend money on since it seems like it would mostly fill the same role as my Page. 

What it all comes down to, though, is that I have a reliable tool that is relatively distraction free, and always ready for my attention. And delight.

About John Chandler

I am a spiritual director, occasional podcaster, and a freelance WordPress developer.

I am also interested in finding meaningful ways of living beyond my work, which seems to include a lot of reading, watching baseball (Angels!) or football (Broncos!), playing board games, eating salsa, and wishing I was hiking more. Oh, and coffee.

I live on the desert edge of Phoenix with my family – with previous stops in Austin and outside Seattle as a grown-up, and SoCal and Colorado as a youngster.

You can find more of my meanderings on my

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