May 15th, 2010

Discussion Question: E-Reading

Do you use an e-reader?
If so, which one, and what do you read?

I'm debating whether I want to buy an e-reader.  Part of the reason is simply because more and more authors are willing to send me digital copies of their books to review, but less willing to send physical copies.  I can understand this - for a small press it's a lot more economical to send a .pdf than a hefty hardcover - but at present, I don't have anything to read the file with except my desktop, and that would be uncomfortable and would give me a headache.  I also really like the idea of getting newspapers and magazines through e-readers, and saving a tree or two.
But it's a pretty big investment!  So I dither and dilly-dally, and keep pushing off serious consideration of Nook and Kindles. 

The Amazon Kindle is the big name, and since I do a lot of shopping through Amazon it seems like it'd be the natural choice.  But I really not crazy about the way they've set up their digital content program.  The fact that they can 'yank' product you've already purchased back, or insert/edit different materials into something you own...that really freaks me out.  I don't know if other companies can do this, too; Amazon's the only company I can remember that has actually done it.

Sony produces the Sony Reader...and that's all I know about it.  Really.  I've never seen one, but they were being produced before the Kindle so Readers have been around for a while.  I think Borders may sell them?

I never go to Barnes & Noble anymore with the intent to purchase - I buy books on-line or at independent bookstores.  It's nothing against the company, really; they just don't fit into my lifestyle.  But they do have the Nook, which...exists.  Again, I haven't really researched the machine.

Then there's theApple iPad.  Based on the crummy name I'm not sure I could ever buy it (iPad?  Really??) but i like that the device is more than just an e-reader and you can do other things with it.  It also has color, which I don't think any other e-readers include.  (Correct me?)  I'm also not convinced that iPad would help with the eyestrain problem, since it has an LCD screen.  Finally, e-readers aren't cheap, but the iPad costs twice as much as the others. 

I know I'll never fully convert to digital books, but sometimes it sure seems like a nice thing to have.