Friday, February 18, 2011

E-Readers...My Confession...

If you are a regular reader here, you may have read some of my rants about e-books and e-readers in the past. I have issues with them. Serious issues. With the whole idea of e-books and with the specifics of e-readers in general and, especially with the Evil Kindle, in particular.
I have tried to control myself and not write about the subject recently because I was starting to annoy even myself.

So, this may be a shocking announcement, but the other evening after work, I went to the local Best Buy and plunked down my hard earned moola and bought myself a Nook. Yes, an e-reader Nook!

You may ask..."Why? Have you changed your mind about the negative aspects of e-readers? Don't you still love 'real' books?"
And the answer is no, I still have serious issues with e-books and e-readers. And yes, I do not think the experience of reading a real book, holding a real book, smelling a real book, looking at a real book on your shelves, will ever be replaced with an e-book. It just reached a point where the negatives were starting to be outweighed, or at least balanced out, by the positives.
It is like I made a list, with the pluses on one side and the negatives on the other, and the positive list appears to be a tiny bit longer.

As my tidying up of the house at Christmas reminded me, I am running out of space for books. I took a number of the piles I had scattered about, of books read and, more importantly, books unread, and put them in big plastic tote boxes. 4 big boxes just dented the surface.
So, thought I, maybe I should borrow more books from the library. And then I noticed that I could also borrow e-books from the library with a program called OverDrive. Either way, I do not have a physical book to deal with when I am done. And it is free.
I tried it on my phone. Granted, the number of books available at this point is rather limited...but it is so easy. And so cool, as I read the Fanny Flagg book I recently reviewed on my phone. You might think it would be too small on the phone, but actually, it was fine for me.
Then I read a review of a book, the book I reviewed yesterday, Confessions, and it sounded interesting. But it is only available as an e-book. Yes, I could buy it and read it on my phone or my netbook, but I figured, with the e-reader prices where they are now, so reasonable, maybe I should just take the leap into the 21st century.

I had done some reading about the different readers out there and had pretty much made my mind up as I went to the store to take a look at all the different offerings out there. But the saleswoman at Best Buy, a fan of the Nook, cinched it up for me.
So why a Nook...and not say, an Evil Kindle? Because, first of all, I do not want a reader I will always call in my head Evil. I have a strong objection to Amazon's proprietary software on the Kindle. Yes, if you are a computer genius, there are ways around it. But I am not that smart. I prefer the Nook and it's ability to easily deal with several different formats.

I like that the Nook is compatible with library programs like Overdrive and that again, easily, I can borrow books from my local library with a Nook...and can not with a Kindle.
Also, recently I have downloaded a number of e-books, most advanced review copies, from NetGalley. I have read them on my netbook, an OK experience but not ideal. One that I thought would be better, without question, on a dedicated e-reader. But as those of you who know NetGalley may have noticed, they have had some issues recently with e-books being downloaded to Kindles for the last few months. When I received an e-mail from them saying that maybe in the next few months the Kindle issues would be fully resolved, and which I assume means maybe it will not be resolved in the next few months, it was the last nail for me in the Kindle coffin.

Personal, I like the look and feel of the Nook better. I find navigation with the bottom color touch screen more natural. I like the options on page turning more. I like that you have the option of adding more memory by putting in an micro SDHC memory card. A battery you can replace yourself is a plus. The Nook uses page numbers, which I like. The Nook is clean and neat, with just a few buttons and very easy to use without reading a manual. From what I can see, the books available are just as numerous and about the same price. About the same number of free and 'deal' books on each site. And the basic readers of the Nook and Kindle are about the same price. OK, I decided to get the 3G/wifi Nook for $50 more. And a cover. And a wee light.

So, I did it. I bought a Nook.
And how do I like it? It is nice. It is light and easy to hold. It is nice to know that you can download a bunch of books and always have one on hand. For $6 I bought 100 classics, so I will never run out in a pinch...lol As you know, I read at work at night. Now I can have a few to pick from on hand without having to drag several heavy books in my tote bag. More room for snacks! I like that it marks what page I was on when I come back to read it again. And the books are so neat and tidy, never out of place. I can create shelves, different shelves to put them on.
Yes, I may have a touch of OCD.

But, I still have issues. I was looking at a book this morning. I checked it out on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Both had the e-book available for instant download for $9.99. Or I could buy a 'real' book for $8.99. Or I could buy a used hardcover or paperback for a penny + $3.99 shipping for a total of $4. With the two cheaper version I get something that I actually own and can do with what I want. Give it to my Sil, loan to a friend, give to the library, sell online, trade at BookMooch or PaperBackSwap. With an e-book..I have a file, that those who sold it to me, depending on their deals with the publishers, will tell me what they will allow me to do with it. Now the Nook and the Kindle 'allow' me to 'loan' most books...once, for a period of 14 days. Period. Wow, how nice of them.

And then there is the issue of spending a large sum of money on something that is tied to a business that may not exist a year, or 5 years, from now. Or to a reader that the company that makes it might phase out at some time in the future, requiring me to buy a new 'update' or reader to access my books. Don't think it can happen? Think those books are safe?
Ask owners of the Kobo, tied to Borders, who is about to declare bankruptcy. I got an e-mail from the president of Borders today, telling owners of Kobo, among other things, not to worry, that their books were safe and available on the Borders site. OK, maybe if the worse happens and Borders disappears, you will still have access to yours books... in some way. OK....I am not worried.
Maybe because I do not own a Kobo.

Honestly, I do not plan on buying a lot of e-books. I intend to use it for library books, and free downloads from NetGalley and other places where I might find a great deal. For a few real bargains, like the 99 cent Laura Lippman book, the first in the Tess Monaghan series, that I downloaded from B&N. Little ventured, little lost.

But, I have also found it will take self control to have an e-reader, something I have little of.
Say I am at work, and just finished a great book. I look on the Nook and see the same author has several other books.
Oh, that one looks good.
Hit BUY and I will have it on my Nook in seconds...seconds....just seconds...

Oh, temptation, thy name is Nook!

19 comments:

  1. Well, wee Caite, I am so proud of you! I think there is room for all forms of literary media in our lives. I will never give up my printed books, but boy, when I load up for a two week trip to Poland, or three week trip to Indiana, there is nothing nicer than having my reading happiness all contained within my little device!

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  2. I have always thought the convenience, especially when traveling, was the real plus of e-readers.
    but I still have issues...lol

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  3. This is a red letter day! First I get an e mail from a friend saying her husband started cooking and now you bought an e-reader. Phew! When I leave the house today, I'll be sure to watch out for the flying pigs!

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  4. I may have to cave as well. I am totally out of space for books, but can't bear to part with any either! I love books, but it's so out of hand...

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  5. I am glad to hear you are enjoying your new Nook. I am still on the fence, maybe if I ever get all my books read than I will think about an ereader.

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  6. I don't use my eReaders much and I think some of it has to do with the fact that I'm old. I want something tangible - not a file - when I spend my money.

    I tried to get an ebook from my library to load onto my Sony eReader and it was so complicated, I just gave up.

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  7. welcome to the dark side . . .

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  8. I am going to keep my eye on your thoughts as I thought about getting one to use with my public library.

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  9. I went to Barnes & Noble earlier this week, Nook in my purse simply out of habit. I had my basket full but the line for checkout was long so I sat down and pulled out my Nook and checked my E-wishlist...and what did I discover...3 books in my basket were on my e-wishlist and were cheaper in e-book format. Back on the shelf they went and I punched the Buy button on my Nook instead. I love my Nook for reading in Bed on those cold winter nights when only one hand has to stick out from under the covers! Don't miss out on the Free Nookbooks either!

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  10. I just got a Sony e-reader a few weeks ago, after resisting for ages but finally, like you, finding the "pro" column was getting a little longer than the "con" column. I doubt I'll ever actually buy a book for it, but I love the access to free classics and e-galleys. And I'll admit that what seems like a disadvantage with the Sony (lack of wireless) will be an advantage for me. Because I have to hook the thing up to my computer to add books to it, I'll have plenty of time to reconsider possible impulse purchases ;)

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  11. Kaye! Duck! Pigs aloft!

    Jill, I know of what you speak...as I wade through piles of books.

    Gigi Ann, if I wait until I finish all my books, I might be dead.

    Kathy, I must say I had no problem...which is unusual for me.

    Kaye, thanks...I think...lol

    Nise, considering the issues Kathy had, you might think of finding someone that has use their e-reader in your local system and see what their experience was.

    You are right Cheli. it makes the one handed reading much easier..no matter how 'big' the book.

    yes Teresa, I see your point on that...and here I got the 3g as well as the WiFi...loI can get a book anywhere!

    But I am cheap and hope to control myself and keep with the free books, very cheap books, and free galleys.

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  12. I will refrain from laughing at you. I knew you would cave someday. There are just too many good things about e-readers that cannot be ignored. I'm happy for you!!!

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  13. yes. I appreciate the not laughing at me part...even if I doubt your sincerity.

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  14. Cheli and I were in the Barnes and Noble together that day with both our Nooks. I specifically got the Nook to read Net Galley and Overdrive Books, but find as I read on it, that I really like it much better than I thought I would for reading.

    I agree that nothing will ever replace the sensual experience of holding, smelling and flipping the paper pages of a real book, but boy do I like the convenience and light weight of the ereader. Enjoy yours, and congratulate yourself on a very smart decision.

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  15. My youngest daughter bought herself a color Nook a while back and lent it to me for a weekend to see how I liked it. I liked it. It was just so darn convenient to throw in my purse and whip out anywhere I had a minute. I read several books and magazines. Personally, I'm holding out for an iPad, though, and I'll read on it along with all the other great things it offers. I do love the idea of the Overdrive program at the library.

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  16. Tina, liking it more than I though is one of my fears...lol

    jac, I considered the color Nook...or even an iPad, but I want to go with an e-ink reader. My bro has an iPad and HATES that he can't read it in the sun because of the glare. But it is sooo cool...

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  17. Cait, I have a Nook too (actually, two: regular and color) and I'm very fond of the Nook. I chose it over the Kindle because of the proprietary format issues that Kindle has, as well as the ease of backing up, storing, and library-swapping epubs. So I loved your blog post.

    Do email me sometime about backing up your NookBooks to your local computer, if you're interested. I swear, you don't have to be a computer genius to do it. :)

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  18. I own a Nook and am in love with it. I mostly use it for the books that are hard back and huge so I don't have to carry around 40lbs or when I go on trips and need to take a few books with me. I agree that Nook is better than kindle simply bc of the amount and types of things I can download to it. It is a bit more like a tablet. I also went with the color so I could blog and check my email, etc while out and about. I can't wait to start downloading from the library, I haven't done that yet.

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  19. What sold my Sony to me was the Overdrive library. So absolutely convenient, so absolutely free. I have yet to spend a cent on any eBook purchases and my Sony has paid itself off twice over (and I got it back when prices were still pretty high!).

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