Thursday, December 1, 2011

Do I Want an E-Reader?

Since giving up my high-tech career, I have fought tooth and nail to get away from the technology world. Sure, I use e-mail and, obviously, I use a digital camera and blog, but I tried to set that as my limit. I finally got around to adding a smart phone recently, telecommunications being the bane of my existence for so long I resisted.  Over the past several years, I’ve watched as several family members purchased e-readers and thought I’d never want one. I like books. Real books. I like the smell of books, the feel of books. Why would I ever want an e-reader?

I have since come to realize, I consume large amounts of books. I’ve always resold them after I’ve read them, but the post office recently increased its shipping rates, while Amazon didn’t. Now, to resell books there, you actually lose money. Without the outlet of selling them, I’m getting buried in books. As I type this I have three books on the sofa with me, six books and a magazine on the coffee table, what looks to be about 15 or so books in a basket on the floor, and about 50 lbs of magazines in an old apple crate. That doesn’t include what is on the bookshelves, or the sack of books my mother gave me that is sitting in the corner, or the box of quilting books left over from retreat for that matter.  This is just what I can reach from the sofa in the living room. I’m starting to see the value of an e-reader.

But which one? I don’t just read novels. I read everything, children’s books, how-to books, non-fiction, fiction, photography, quilting, cook books – No, I don’t like to cook but I do like to eat. That’s not the point. What I’m getting at is, I don’t think the el cheapo e-reader would be the right one for me, but do I really need to go to a full-blown color Kindle-Fire or Nook Tablet?

Thoughts? Opinions? Tell me your experiences.

28 comments:

ErikS said...

You will be happy with either one but if you already use Amazon a lot, I would go with the Kindle Fire. The new Nook Color actually has a faster processor but that only comes into play if you are going to be watching movies or playing games on it.

When I had my Nook, I just added the Android Kindle app and had the best of both worlds.

Historical Ken said...

Kindl's are very good - my son has one and loves it.
If I read more novels and less history/informational books, I would probably get one. But considering that I almost never read novels/stories, I would have little use for one at this time.
So I suppose it's what type of books you find yourself reading most...

Beth said...

my parents & brother went together to get me a kindle for this years b-day. i love it. most books are not in color ...so it really feels like you are reading a book. now if you wish to do things like search the net or read a maagazine that should be in color ...i would say just get the magazine or get online. i have a friend who has the nook ...she loves that one because of the barnes & noble help people & the ability to flip the pages within the nook. (i've never needed help so far, but my mother-in-law has a kindle & has contacted amazon about any issues & they have been very helpful) wish there were not so many options, picks or choices. hope you can figure it all out easily. (:

Tammy said...

If you want an outlet for your used 'regular' (average priced) books, paperbackswap.com is a wonderful place to go. You have to list 10 books and the system works on credit. You do not get any money for the books, but instead get credits. You pay postage on any books ordered from you and on the books you order the postage is paid by the sender. It's great, and I've gotten some really nice books--there is a huge selection as the membership is large. They also have a 'market' where you can sell, I believe. That is an old school comment from someone who still doesn't want an e-reader or kindle. Maybe someday, but for now, I still want to hold a 'real' book when I read.
Tammy

Carolyn said...

E-readers intrigue me but I haven't stepped over...yet. I work at my computer too much, I want to curl up in bed with a real book. I joined Paperbackswap.com a couple of years ago and now for just the cost of postage I can read my favorite books at my leisure.

Pam said...

I agree with Carolyn. Get involved with PaperBack Swap and you can keep the books moving in and out of your life. You can put books that you want on your Wish List and when the book is available they email you and mail it. Easy-peasy, wonderful!

I love the feel of a real book and prefer to limit screen time and technology.

Blessings,
pam

Rita said...

My daughter is 34 and she has a Kindle. Not a Kindle Fire which just came out recently. Maybe you could enjoy a simple Kindle and see how it goes. They are less expensive and do a great job. My daughter is the bookkeeper at our library and is an avid reader. Loves getting free kindle books through blogs. Try it! I think you'll like it. : )

stringsattached said...

I have a Nook Color and love it - especially now that I've upgraged with a Nook to Android card. The card makes the NC function as a complete tablet as well as an ereader. You choose how to open it up each time you power on. There are Kindle apps and Google books apps etc to open up a whole other avenue of material. (Through the Google Books app you can get many of the Godeys and Petersons's magazines as well.) There are two groups on Ravelry for both the Kindle and the Nook, check them out to get some really great info.

Karen Anne said...

Here the "friends of the library" group accepts book donations and sells them to benefit the library for 50 cents paperback, $1 hard cover, from a bookshelf at the library check out desk.

Also various groups like the local pet shelter have book areas in their rummage sales, same price as the library or less. So there's a lot of used book circulation for minimal cost.

Paperbacks can go into recycling.

I use "Kindle for pc," which costs nothing to download from amazon. I use it to read stuff on my pc when I'm too lazy or the weather is too bad to go to the library. Lots of books (Jane Austin, Sherlock Holmes...) for it are free. Otherwise I don't spend more than $1-$2 for one for it, just my decision.

It's not like reading a real book, however. There is something calming about the paper experience that is just missing from an e-reader.

Old House Lover said...

I don't have one, but my wife has a KIndle Keyboard that she uses for only reading fiction. To help determine what is best for you I'd take a look at the books you've read over a past period (month, year, etc.) and see how many are available from each etailer like Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble to find out what is available on each platform. Then if you read a lot of larger books or books with color and or illustrations then the Kindle Fire or Nook Color are probably higher up on the need list than if you read a lot of text only type books.

Me and My Stitches said...

I have a Kindle and I absolutely love it! It's perfect for me - I love to read, but I do not like to have a lot of stuff (books) everywhere. I also love that it's easy to travel with and you can download a new book anytime you need one. I have downloaded about 100 free books now - which is also awesome. It does not bother me at all to hold the Kindle, instead of a book. And, if you fall asleep while reading in bed, it's not as heavy to drop on your face as a hard-back! (Am I the only one who does that?)

Kellie said...

Amazon has a FREE kindle for PC you can download (and some free downloads). Try it for awhile and see if you like it.

I have over 10,000 real books and cannot GIVE away any of them...no one wants them. I have right now fifty cookbooks I would love to find a new home for and many others...

Library won't take them, schools won't take them, no body wants the poor things! lol!

Anyways, I tried the Kindle for PC from Amazon and found I did not like it so much. But that is just me. :)

Tombstone Livestock said...

you could do a "swap" event ... local winery has a Diva Party couple times a year. The last one was a Sip and Swap, everyone brought 3 items to swap. It was open to all kinds of items. You could make yours a Books Only .... do Coffee and desserts. Or since Cookie swaps are so popular right now everyone bring X of books and X number of cookies to swap. All you have to do is provide the coffee/tea and location. That way you get new books to read, outlet for those you don't need, and a party. Save technology of something else.

Whosyergurl said...

Christine,
E-reader? Nooooooooooooooooo. The only thing I think I *might* want one for is that you can look up words instantly. Or for travel. But there is something so cozy about having my book on the plane when it is dark and the little light overhead...ahhhhh.
I sell my old books to Half Price.
xo, Cheryl

Karen Patrick said...

I was like you until Tim got me a Nook for Christmas last year. I love it. It holds 3500 books in memory with access to millions online. Right now I have about 110 in memory and still have 94% of my memory left. You also have access to all major publications. I have the Nook color.

Karen Patrick said...

I should mention also that there are also over a million and a half free books available.

krisgray said...

I'm with you - I prefer an actual book. However, I am weekly library patron, using interlibrary loan when they don't have a title I want to read.

My husband gave me his iPod when he got his iPhone and I downloaded the free Kindle app. There is a blog that announces daily deals where books are offered for free or reduced prices. The screen is small but is nice for toting around. It doesn't replace real books for me, just augments my opportunities for reading.

Callie said...

My daughter has an iPad. I think it is so great that she can check out ebooks from the library. I love hardback books, but I only buy hb books I love and that I will be rereading.

Sure hope you are working on your book! Please don't be put off by the suggestions. Keep writing!!!

clairz said...

As a retired librarian, I thought I would never want an e-reader, but I received a Nook as a gift and really do love it. I love it even better when I can borrow, rather than purchase, e-books from the library.

However, we also just bought a Kindle Fire and I think you would find it perfect for the kind of reading that you do. It's also nice that it is backlit, for nighttime reading (the Nook is not).

I still borrow lots of books from the library, but it's nice knowing that I always have more available on the e-readers, and they are wonderful for trips, too.

Old House Lover said...

Jayne, I remembered a few more things that you might want to consider concerning an eBook reader, specifically the eBooks. When you purchase a printed book you own it, it's yours to do with as you see fit, you can read it, loan it, trade it, give it away, sell it or even burn it (but I hope not). When you purchase an eBook all that changes. The eBook is sold to you and only you, it's connected to your account id. In some instances it can be loaned for a specific number of times for a specific number of days, but this is not true in all cases. You can not LEGALLY trade it, give it away or sell it. Heck I'm not even sure that you can will them to someone else when you're gone. So, they may not take up all that space but they definitely do have thier drawbacks, if that matters to you.

One more thing I just thought of about eReaders like the Kindles (excluding the Fire) use a display technology called E ink that just like a printed book requires illumination to read (i.e. you can't read it in the dark unless you have some form of lighting). eReaders like the Kindle Fire and the iPad use a backlit LCD display so no exterior illumination is required. Many say that the E ink is easier on the eyes because it's more like reading on paper.

Anyway, hope some of this helps with your decision. Me, I'm not giving up on printed books just yet.

JodyB08 said...

I have an iPhone and was able to download a kindle app to it that I use now. That might be something you can do. The app was free and there are some free books on amazon.com's kindle site.

Old House Lover said...

Christine, sorry I refered to you as Jayne in my last comment, I was having another middle-aged moment of insanity. Sorry.

KathyC said...

I have a Kindle and a Kindle Fire. For reading books, the Kindle is fantastic - easy on the eyes, lighter weight, high capacity. The Fire had my books on it too but the screen is lit and it is not as comfortable to read on. The Fire is great for media in general and quick access to the web. I highly recommend a Kindle.

Michele said...

I have a Nook Color and love it. Wasn't sure if I would but I like the ease of getting another book once I've finished one without having to leave home. I also download books from my local library on it. Wouldn't want to be without it now even though I do enjoy the feel and smell of a book.

Michele said...

I have a Nook Color and love it. Wasn't sure if I would or not. I like the fact that I can get a new book without having to leave home or I can download a book from the library. It's been great..also has apps you can become addicted to if you aren't careful!

Anonymous said...

I have a Nook Color and love it! I was slow to warm up to the idea but I am hooked. Upshot is if you get one we can be Nook friends and trade books...I read anything and everything too! AzAndee@cox.net

Cheryl said...

I have a nook first edition so my knowledge is skewed a bit but here are some things to think about -

- what sort of things do you read? are they available in format for e-reader?
- is color essential?
- Kindle format is proprietary - nook reads ePub format and pdf I think.
- does your local library lend ebooks? if so what format?
- eInk is not backlit so light in room is essential. Color nook is like a computer screen - no room light necessary.
- do you already own ipad or tablet? I think both Kindle & nook have free app to read on those devices as well as on computer.

I really like my nook - I mostly borrow from my local library but have purchased a few free or inexpensive books from B&N. I can also find books in ePub format from other sources but haven't tried that yet. My mother got the nook color as she wanted to be able to get magazine subscriptions on it that made color important.

We went to BestBuy and were able to handle both Kindle & nook but the proprietary format swayed us away from Kindle.

The person who commented about not being able to share or give away has a good point. Publishers have made some titles available to "share" but it is only once for 14 days & I can only share with another nook user. Not sure if this aspect will change much in the future.

Sorry to ramble on

Becky Caudill said...

I don't trust people that don't have books in their houses. That said, I have moved to an e-reader and I'm kind of in love with it. I started first with a Kindle and it was great but then when I got an iPad I downloaded the Kindle app and I love it even more. Another good thing is that my local library now loans books on Kindle so I never have to leave the house! (Joking, kind of.)