Your Thoughts – E-readers

A friend asked me why I hadn’t posted anything on my blog about e-readers since I’m not only a writer, but uber-geek.

My friend has an e-reader she’s very happy with. My sister-in-law loves her Kindle. With the iPad coming out, my friend just thought I might have an opinion about books and technology.

Well, the thing is, I don’t have an e-reader. I read books the old fashioned way most of the time. Audio books are second on my list, and usually reserved for errands, chores, or to listen to while traveling. And, as geeky and gadget-happy as I am, I don’t feel the need to buy an e-reader. It’s just a personal choice and no reflection of what I think of them or the publishing industry at all. Maybe it’s all those buttons or that e-ink looks terrible. Maybe it’s because I’m used to holding a physical book.

I see the value and the attraction in e-readers. For what it’s worth, I like any method of getting more people to read more books. I confess that the iPad is pretty darn cool when it comes to the way a book actually looks on screen. And, while I love the fact that the iPad isn’t just an e-reader, I think the other features and future possibilities of devices such as Apple’s new device are an entirely separate subject for me. Trust me, don’t ever get me started on the future of technology.

I guess I would read some books on such a device, but I’d prefer that such a device did multiple things. And it’d have to look more like a real book. So, why am I not standing in line for the iPad? Besides the lack of money, I see this device has great potential. Enormous, in fact. But, it’s just not there for me – yet. When a device can replace my laptop, I’ll rethink things. Yeah, one small screen, touch-type keyboard, all my Mac apps, app store apps, an SSD drive, and a book-like case to carry it in? Now we’re talking. Well, when my beloved laptop dies. See? Told you not to get me started.

Anyway, since I don’t have a real opinion on e-readers except that they’re great for those who love them, I thought I’d ask you. How do you feel about them? Do you want one? Do you already have one? Share your thoughts and experience with the rest of us.


11 thoughts on “Your Thoughts – E-readers

  1. I have recently started reading on my IPod touch and it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I downloaded some free books to test it out and realized that’s it’s pretty darn cool. I was worried that it would be hard on my eyes, but nope, it’s not!

    The great thing about using my IPod is that I can download a book the second it comes out instead of having to wait for a chance to get to the bookstore…and what if the bookstore is sold out? (Which recently happened to me)

    So, although I won’t totally convert from real, paper books, I do like having a few books with me at all times (because I never leave home without my IPod)

  2. The way things are going in reviewing circles, its not going to be long before you have to have an ereader. Currently I’m an old fashioned guy as I love getting the paper books, they evoke a feeling, they have a certain scent about them but most of all if you love the author you can get them signed. Thats the key thing for me.

    Now whilst I could get the ARC’s (Advanced Reading Copies) earlier by going for the e-reader I have problems staring at the screen for a long time.

    Part of the thing that stops me is that I’m old fashioned. Part of it is that the way technology moves I’d buy one and five minutes later there would be a better one that does more, looks nicer and is easier to use. Also the price of the damned thing in the first place (although if I’m honest if a publisher wants to buy me one as they’d save x amount on postage and printing then I’ll give it a go. LOL)

    The other thing that I see the E-Reader doing is destroying the need for authors to attend signings as you have nothing to sign. Thats part of the fun of books for me. The only time that I see the need for one would be if I were to go on holiday as I could get a ton of books for a small weight allowance upon the E-Reader. However powering the damn thing is the problem in that scenario.

    Yet as a bibliophile with a solid collection I’d worry about storing the e-book, yes you could x amount on a CD but they wouldn’t look great on a shelf and I’d soon loose track of what was where and when let alone what I’d do if a disc was corrupted.

  3. A few years ago, I grumbled when my husband “wasted” money on a little handheld computer/pda thingy. (Can we see that I am not a tech girl?) Then when we got called out of town unexpectedly, he downloaded the proper software and bought me few ebooks, and I loved it. πŸ˜€

    Once we were back home and I could get my hands on paper books, I forgot all about it. He used it a bit more, let out (then) toddler play with it…the damned thing hasn’t worked since and hasn’t really been missed.

    I could *almost* live quite happily letting people with money to “waste” on such things do so…And if I had a Kindle, Amazon could go into at any time and erase my purchases? Not cool. But I’ve gotten a couple of ebooks to review and I seem stuck on the first page or so of each. If I’m on the computer, I’m doing homework or writing. Or, okay, playing stupid Facebook games. I’m usually not reading a novel. I’d love to be able to transfer those books and curl up in bed with them or carry them on the train. And, even if I’m not a tech girl, the iPad looks good.

    …That’s a lotta babble, huh? Short version? If I win one for free, I’ll enjoy the heck out of it. Otherwise, e-readers are more gadgets I don’t really need.

  4. I have an ereader, but I prefer paper books. Having said that, if a friend sends me a manuscript, it’s easier to read on the ereader than the computer (especially if I’m not line editing), and I don’t have to waste money/time/paper printing it out. Some sites also offer ebooks for free or cheap. It’s a way to try out a new writer without running across them in the used bookstore (or hoping our little library has them).

    But I don’t use my ereader a lot. This summer, we’ll be taking another long trip, and I’m figuring it will come in handy then, but for now, give me my paper.

  5. It’s a matter of time before I go the ereader route, likely an Amazon Kindle. The iPad isn’t for me as I require more productivity from a device of that size than just an extension of an iPhone (which I already have). Let’s face it, more and more we’re going to lean towards digital print. After all, it saves trees, doesn’t it?

  6. If I was given an e-reader I would try it, but I wouldn’t buy one. I’m not sure if I would like reading from a small screen because I would have to bump up the print size in order to see clearly and therefore I would see a whole page and possibly not even a whole line at once. That would detract from the reading experience.

    I love books as physical objects. Most of them transport easily and can be carried about from room to room etc. The corners of pages can be turned down, if I want to, in order to mark my place. And, if I own the book it is mine. No one can delete it.

    I also wonder what will happen to small pubishing houses if e-readers dominate the market.

  7. The one thing that I don’t worry about is small presses with e-readers. IMO, big presses are too stuck on the old model when it comes to getting e-books out. I write ‘in my opinion’ because what do I know? It’s my knee jerk reaction to want to slap someone, though, when it’s explained that distribution is one of the reasons that my e-books cost almost as much as the print.

    For small press, this means not having to pay a printing company, not having to pay for shipping or storage, which could translate into more money directly to the authors or indirectly through more advertising.

  8. I would never stop reading (and collecting!) “real” books. It’s not just the words but the whole feeling and the whole book culture that I just couldn’t give up.

    That said, I could also see myself getting an e-reader – pariticularly the Sony one, it looks good to me – mostly for travel. I’ve done one long-ish trip (9 weeks), and hope to do more – and an e-reader would have been a godsend! Do you know how heavy novels get in your backpack? πŸ˜‰

    I could also see myself reading newspapers on an e-reader or using it as a more accessible internet connection.

  9. I am not sure how I feel about this one. Normally I would say no to ebooks, I love paper books to much. But I can see why they are becoming more and more popular. Also cheaper to produce, but you can’t beat a real book. xx

  10. I’ve been surprised at how many of my books have sold in the e-version. It opened my eyes to just how much the e-market has grown. My sister has a Kindle and LOVES it. She probably does 90% of her reading on her Kindle now.

    I’m with Michelle. Once they come up with a better (lighter) version of the ipad that has more functionality (not to mention a better name), I could see myself going for it. But I can’t see giving up on paper books altogether. Paper books are much better for reading in bed. πŸ˜›

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