Monday, 12 April 2010

To eRead or not to eRead...

What do you guys think of the new batch of eReaders? Do you think it's something you might buy into? When they first started coming out, I couldn't imagine giving up actual books for something that you download. It's not real that way. You can't loan it out or lovingly dog-ear passages for later. You can't compulsively collect them and cram your bookcase to dangerous capacity with downloads. Nope, I thought there was no way I could ever be swayed into getting an eReader. No way, no how.

I figured I was too much of a collector - the binders full of clipped magazine articles and recipes are evidence enough of that. Then a few thoughts started to occur to me...

Thought one - I'm pretty sure I went through this exact same self-righteous nonsense when music downloads first started coming out. Sure, I would download a song here and there, but it would never replace buying an actual CD - no way, no how. Jump forward to today, where I can't remember the last time I bought an actual CD and loathe the ones I already have. The CD's are dirty and dusty and take up far too much room. I never know what to do with them, yet somehow we can't part with them. For now, they're sitting in the basement in grocery bags. Shows you how important they are.

Thought two - Under the Dome by Stephen King. Seriously, have you read this monster? I got it Christmas and was super excited to read it. However, the size was so incredibly daunting, I found that I kept delaying reading it. At 1088 pages and as a hardcover, it's a monster to drag around. If I wanted to bring it to work to read, I would have to carry it in its own bag. Right now, even though I'm really enjoying it, it's been pushed aside for the much more streamlined "Dead and Gone" Sookie Stackhouse paperback. Honestly, Under the Dome could make me switch to downloading books. If I could compress that tome into a slim, sexy little device and read it wherever, whenever - I have to admit, I would be a happy girl.

I would still miss having the actual book on my shelf though, I don't think anything will ever change that. I was checking out an online discussion about eReaders (where someone else mentioned that Under the Dome was making them consider getting one) and someone suggested that they include the download of a book with the actual book - similar to how you can get DVD/Blu-Ray combo packs. I really think that if they started to do that, I would be inclined to get one. It would be the best of both worlds - a lovely new spine to showoff on your bookcase, but not so much junk in the purse. (And you all know about my purse by now!)

So what do you think? I'm not sold yet, I'm still too attached, but I can actually see the day where it could happen for me. What about you?


Jenn said...

I have been considering an e-reader. Specifically, after some research, a Kindle. It's more of a storage thing for me. I am literally running out of room for my books! I feel like storage might be less of a problem if I store them digitally.

And, like CDs, only buy the ones I really, really love:) Because of course I can't stop buying books completely. ;)

ashlie said...

Yeah, it was shockingly easy to let go of the CDs and now we only buy them for bands that we have complete collections of type of thing...or if I want to listen to it in the car, since I don't have a direct link for my iPod in the car, just the crappy through the radio deal. I don't know though, books are such an emotional attachment! I think I could only buy into it if I could have the best of both worlds, although book storage is a problem for me too... What made you decide on a Kindle?

Jenn said...

It was the only one so far that boasted the ink-paper screen. So, no glare in the sun, and much more like reading a piece if paper with ink on it, rather than reading a computer screen.

I have to think of my eyeballs at some point. 8+ hour days days at the job that is 80-90% screen time, and then time at home too—of course:)

I am a total Mac-o-phile, so I waited for the iPad to come out before deciding, but that thing? It's heavy on the screen-glare and was designed for many uses besides e-reading first, and so as an e-reader, I feel that it would just be okay. The only plus I could see is that it can be rotated any way that is comfortable. The Kindle has to be held one way.

I also like that the Kindle is directly linked to Amazon, has the built in dictionary, book-marking, marginalia, etc. functions. I think that the fact that it was designed for e-reading and for buying e-books is what makes it the one that I'd buy.

Because, like you—I LOVE my books. So if I'm gonna try digital, I'd want something more than just an "okay" product.

There you have it, my insanely long—yet passionate—response to your very simple question:P

I'll have to keep you updated if and when I do purchase a Kindle. Let you know if I feel like a traitor or not:)

Falen said...

Under the Dome was the straw that broke the camel's back for me as well - loved it, really wish i had had an ereader for it. It was even more difficult for my mom who has arthritis.
I'd like an iPad, but i'll wait for them to drop in price

ashlie said...

@ Jenn - thanks for the info! Yeah, I've really been considering getting one, but I feel like it's a big choice to make. I was excited about the iPad too, but you're right, it really feels like more of a multi-purpose device rather than just an eReader...we'll see what comes along next!

@Falen - I'm now convinced that Stephen King has some sort of stake in Kindles or something. I keep hearing the same thing from people - that Under the Dome was the book that made them consider the switch! It's so frustrating, because it's so good, but so cumbersome!