I love books. I also love having the newest technological toy. You’d think, then, that I’d also love an E-Reader. There are several good reasons why an E-Reader would be a smart purchase, which led me to the internet for research. All this research has done is convince me that an E-Reader may not be for me.

Sony PRS-900BC E-Reader

Sony PRS-900BC E-Reader

One of the reasons I have been interested in E-Readers is the price of e-Books. In many cases e-Books are cheaper than their paper counterparts. A comparison of my last six months of book purchases, however, showed the savings was not as much as I expected. My calculations showed that an E-Reader would have only saved me $14.48 in book purchases over six months. Some calculations showed that it would take 57 months for me to save enough with e-Book purchases to pay for the new $139 Kindle. While this is a savings, it isn’t large enough to justify the purchase.

Another thing people often rave about with E-Readers is the fact that they can be several books at once. If you are reading two traditional books at once, you must carry both around. This is a waste of precious purse space. Compare this to an E-Reader where forty e-Books take up the same space as one book. In this case an E-Reader is clearly beneficial. Personally, though, I would see little benefit from this ability. I read books so quickly that I am rarely reading more than one book at a time. With the exception of my doctor’s appointments, I do most of my reading at home. While this feature is helpful for many, it is not something that would persuade me to purchase an E-Reader.

Barnes & Noble Nook E-Reader

Barnes & Noble Nook E-Reader

It was pointed out to me that with an E-Reader, you can purchase books instantly. When Mockingjay was released, those with E-Readers could start reading promptly at 12:01 am while still in their PJ’s. This interest me due to my need to have things as quick as possible. If not for my Amazon Prime account–which sends me any book I order in two days or less for free–it might have been a selling point. While Prime can not deliver books to me at 12:01 am, it does guarantee I’ll have the book waiting for me on release day when I get home from work. This service is quick enough that I don’t find the instant delivery of an E-Reader to be a factor in the decision to switch from traditional books to electronic ones.

A final argument for an E-Reader deals with the paper that makes up traditional books. Pages of books are so easily torn or soiled. With an E-Reader you will never have to deal with a missing page or spill making a passage hard to read. Again, this really isn’t a deciding factor for me. As I read quickly, there is little time for damage to occur on my pages. A second factor is the large amount of paper necessary to make a traditional book. I alone probably have two or three trees in Harry Potter books. Do I feel like a bad person for killing all these trees I could be saving with e-Books? Honestly, no. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe. It does help to know that many of my books–like my two dozen Harry Potter books–were published by companies that practice Eco-Friendly Printing. Again, this just isn’t something that justifies an E-Reader purchase to me.

Amazon Kindle 2 E-Reader

Amazon Kindle 2 E-Reader

Until recently I just had little reason to want an E-Reader. That started to change when I was faced with two five-hour plane rides. While book portability was never a big concern previously, I started to see this issue in a different light. Currently my plan to read on the plane involves packing several books in my tiny carry-on. All of a sudden the ability to carry several books in one E-Reader is very appealing. Not only will I have to lug all of these books with me on the trip, but I have to bring them back home with me after I finish them. Carry-on bag space will be wasted transporting a book I will never again read.

There is also the issue of what happens when you finish a book three hours into a six-hour flight. Hopefully, I will have thought ahead and packed a second book. If not, I’m stuck browsing the SkyMall catalog for an hour or two. With an E-Reader–and the wifi connection on many airlines–this isn’t a problem. I can easily order up a new book and have it delivered instantly. What normally isn’t a feature I’m interested in becomes very appealing mid-flight.

While I am wishing for an E-Reader for my upcoming trip, I still think that this is a purchase I can justify for every day use. There is no arguing that it would be a great asset while traveling, but the benefits sharply decrease or disappear completely when I’m home. As I don’t travel often, I just can’t justify an E-Reader purchase. Perhaps I will check out a local library that is lending Kindles to patrons. That experience may help me see how much or little an E-Reader would impact my life. If that doesn’t work out, I may just steal my husband’s iPad for the plane ride. He loves the SkyMall magazine way more than I do so maybe he won’t notice.

8 responses to “E-Readers

  1. BN.com has a free download for iPhones, iPads, laptops, and other devices of their e-reader. It’s free and then you can download e-books to that. If you have a laptop or supported portable device it’s almost like having an e-reader, except a laptop can’t be carried around in a purse.

    • You are so knowledgeable about B&N! =) I really need to download something on my iPhone and see how I like it. I am a bit concerned that an 5 hour flight will kill the battery, but feel like this is a good option for when I’m stuck sitting in my doctor’s office for an hour. This is something I should really check out as I feel like it’s a better solution for me right now.

      • I use the B&N e-reader on my desktop and my phone, as well as Border’s e-reader and Amazon’s Kindle app. I like them all!

  2. I have a Kindle. I got it in Feb 2009 for Valentine’s Day from the hubby. This was before the price went down and before I had an iPhone and so could have had the free app.
    I loved it. Now I like it. Here is what I love and also why I now may not get one if I didn’t have one.
    I can take it with me and it takes up very little room in my purse. This comes in handy when going to Dr’s appointments for one thing. I can carry up to 1500 books in almost less than the space of 1. Also, I have a lot of free books that I got from Amazon on it. Most of the free ones were Harliquin romances but a few were books that were offered for free that otherwise I may not have ever known about. I have about 100 that I have yet to read yet just waiting for me. I have read a few of the free ones and found a few that I liked but wouldn’t have read normally. Also there is the fact that you get your book instantly, you can sample most if not all books before you buy. Also as you mentioned, they tend to cost less than paper books. You said you’d save about $15 over 6 months, that is like getting a free book or 2.
    Now for me the other thing is I can use my Amazon gift card money. Because I belong to this panel for moms that pays me $15 a month in Amazon money with chances a few times a year to earn extra this means I have a steady supply of amazon funds and I can buy paper books or kindle books.
    Another benefit had been that I didn’t have a lot of room for books, I had given my book shelves to Joshie for his toys and my books were stored in our basement (I ended up losing 5 boxes of books due to a flood 😦 ) so the kindle allowed me to have books around without taking up space I didn’t have. This has changed a little since I got a new book shelf and space to put it out and could start having books again. And in our new place I will have a little more room for more. But the space issue is nicely solved with the e-reader.
    If I didn’t have one I don’t know now that I would spend the money on it, I think I would save a little longer and get an ipad. With the free kindle app it would be the same size screen but do other things as well. Or maybe I would get the computer app and should start taking my mac book places? I dont know…But since I have one I don’t have to make that choice again…

    • The storage space issue in the house is something I also think of. I have a one bookcase limit for books. The top two shelves are HP books alone. That leaves 3 shelves for other books. At first I was bothered by my space limitations, but now I actually appreciate it. As someone who reads books only once usually, I found myself hanging on to a bunch of books that I would NEVER read again. My limited space really helps me keep only the books that I REALLY need. This allows me to pass along books to people, which I LOVE doing. With E-Readers you can have an insane amount of books at one time, but can never pass along your favorites to your friends. As I rarely reread this just isn’t a benefit I would enjoy, and I would miss giving out my well loved books!

      I’m thinking of perhaps asking for an E-Reader for a gift. This way I won’t be dropping $1something for an E-Reader, and can still enjoy the free book or two a month that e-books would allow me.

      Also: HOW DO I GET PAID IN AMAZON GIFT CARDS?!?!?!?!? :grabby hands:

  3. This is the exact same problem I have. Part of me thinks having an E-reader would be great, but the other part, the more logical part, tells me I’ll rarely use it. I’m a fan of physical books and holding it in my hands, turning the pages. I’m not even sure if I’d like an E-reader. And then there’s the issue of whether or not I’ll actually use it. The prices of e-books really isn’t all that cheaper than the physical copy (as you said) and I feel like it may not be worth my money to not have that physical book in my hands.

    My mother has been planning on getting me an E-reader for Christmas, but I’m not sure it’s worth her money. I prefer the Nook and the Kindle out of all of them and it’s not like they’re that cheap. $100+ dollars on something I won’t use/will rarely use just doesn’t seem worth it to me. Maybe I need to test one out like you and see if I’ll like it. For now, I’m still undecided.

    • I’m so glad I’m not the only person who is so torn on this!!! I was thinking of asking for one for Christmas, as that’s the only way I can really justify the cost, but was then afraid I’d never use it. I would hate to waste an expensive gift like that. I’m thinking trying one out for a few weeks is really the best idea before I decide if I want to dive into the whole E-Reader market.

  4. Pingback: E-Readers Revisited | IDK my BFF books

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