Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do you like your eReader?

In the past several months, it seems like everyone's gotten an eReader. If in the days of the book blogger survey only around 30% of bloggers used any kind of eReader, I'm sure the result today would be very different. Everybody chooses their own eReader based on their own personal reasoning but here's the thing: almost nobody seems to actively hate the eReader they already have. In fact, whether or not they wanted one, most people seem to like them.

I spoke to a colleague a few days ago about eReaders, mentioning that I had one. She responded by saying (with a slight shudder) that she could never have an eReader. "I like the feel and the smell of a book way too much," she confided in me. She seemed surprised that I, being such an avid and devoted reader, owned one myself. I was reminded of Trish the Book Lady, who recently wrote about her decision to get an eReader. She wrote how having an eReader changed the way she read, but not necessarily in a negative way.

It's true. One of my aunts declared several months ago that she didn't want an eReader. But a stubborn daughter bought one for her mother anyways and today ask my aunt and she'll tell you how much she loves her Kindle. "It's so convenient," she tells me. The lightweight, wireless device makes for comfortable reading. For me, Artemis represents a completley different kind of reading. Not because of internet access (which I don't have), not because I necessarily find it to be more attractive and stylish than a book, but because of the wealth of free books (more on this later this week). Furthermore, Artemis gives me the option of reading multiple books at once. These days, I read one print book, one classic eBook and one more modern eBook. That, at the end of the day, changes the way I read.

So why is it that readers love these devices? Why is it that we all hesitate jumping on the bandwagon at first, but over the course of two or so years, we've gradually accepted eReading into our daily cultures? And the fact is: have we really forsaken "real" print books, to be replaced by digital copies?

Like with all technology, eReaders aren't to everyone's taste. And perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps many have found their reading unchanged by their Kindle, or Nook or iPad. For me, at least, the change has been clear. And, for the most part, positive. What about you?

9 comments:

  1. I like my Kindle very much. It is easy to use, comfortable to read on, and since I only read free books on it (which means mostly classics, those books I always mean to read but haven't gotten to) I have saved a bundle in not buying print copies of classics which means I also save on shelf space.

    The only thing I don't like is that my husband and I share one Kindle. I've been thinking recently of getting a second but have been considering something besides a Kindle so I can borrow ePub books from my library.

    You've got a Sony with a stylus, right? That is attractive to me. How well does it export your handwritten notes?

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  2. I was hesitant getting an eReader at first, like most people, but when I finally got one as a gift I found I love it. I still like real books but I love the ease of my Kindle and the ability to take notes, highlight passages etc. I don't like writing in books so my eReader gives me a different option.

    My mom wasn't too keen on eReaders but after seeing mine she recently picked one up for travelling. Now she can carry lots of books with her but has extra suitcase room for clothes.

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  3. I bought a jetBook lite around the beginning of the year and like it much more than I'd expected. It's a very basic, small reader without Internet access that takes regular AA batteries... and reads Russian out of the box. It was also cheap, only $85, including a case and ear light. I prefer books on paper with covers but bought the reader because so many Russian books I want to read are difficult to find in online bookstores in the US but are available, legally, online.

    I, too, read a little differently with the jetBook. I especially miss flipping through the pages but I've gotten better at keeping my notes in a journal rather than in the margins and back cover. Other positives: adjustable font size and not having to deal with bindings/pages that won't stay open!

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  4. I love my ereader. I was slow to acquire one only because I was waiting to be able to afford one.

    I've notice 2 clear changes in my reading habits.

    I'm more likely to be reading more than one book at a time. Previously I'd carry the book de jour with me wherever I went, but the portability of the ereader has spoiled me -- I leave my hardcovers at home but take my ereader with me everywhere.

    I'm more likely to read "blockbuster" type books (eg, the Larsson books, Cronin's The Passage), because as e-editions they're cheaper and more portable. I never had anything against such books, but with a limited budget and with limited shelf space, I used to be more discriminating about what I'd buy. And these sorts of books tend to be faster (more mindless?) reads. But, they haven't supplanted my usual literary picks, so I think I'm reading more, and more diversely, than I used to.

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  5. I'm one of those still hesitating about jumping on the bandwagon. I want a Kindle but have so many print books on my tbr mountain (and I also use the library a lot) that I feel it hard to justify spending even more on my bookish hobby. I'm likely to give in around about May I think, so it's interesting to read your views and those of people who've commented.

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  6. I own a Sony Reader Daily Edition, the latest model. I love reading digital books and have been doing so for the last five years. There are some pitfalls with embracing this technology with publishers like Harper Collins wanting to cap how many times an ebook can be checked or geo restrictions, price disparity when compared to print, there are a lot of issues involved that may make owning a digital device a risky investment. I love it though and wouldn't want to read anything else. Plus, I know how to strip them for my own personal use because that's when you have true ownership of the books you buy.

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  7. I bought a Kindle back in September and I love it. I originally made the deal with myself that once my TBR shelves were clear, I would get a Kindle. Then I realized that was never going to happen, so now I use it to download my TBR hardback books that I wouldn't be able to lug around in my bag (yes, I paid for these books twice but it is worth it).

    I tend to not keep a LOT of the books I buy. To go from my TBR to my Keep shelf I have to really, really like it. To cut down on trips to the book bin/library to discard books I use my Kindle first. If I really like the book I go buy the hard copy (paperback version) for my shelf.

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  8. I like me ereader, but it won't make me stop reading paper books. I like mine because it opens up new ways to read -- I can now get ebooks through Net Galleys, Project Gutenberg, and my library, all without cost, beyond the ereader itself. The possibility of all those free books was just too much to pass up.

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  9. I bought a Nook, rather unwillingly to some degree, for two reasons. I can borrow library book with it..I can download free books from NetGalley to it.
    Otherwise, quite honestly, I usually still find myself reading a 'real' book.

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