Tag Archives: E-Readers

E-Readers Revisited

Last September I posted my thoughts on the topic of E-Readers. I summarized that I would love such a device but cannot justify the cost. I concluded that it was not something I needed at the time.

Recently I have found myself with some quiet time holding my daughter while she sleeps. This has been a great opportunity to get some reading done. Unfortunately the fact I am holding a sleeping baby makes it hard to turn the pages of the book. It crossed my mind that an E-Reader would easily allow for one-handed reading. My wonderful husband suggested that perhaps this would be a good Mother’s Day gift. This seemed like the perfect idea.

Nook E-ReaderThe question then became “Which E-Reader should I buy?” I narrowed my choices down to two; the Nook and Kindle. I compared them to determine which was the right one for me.

One feature I considered a “must have” was a 3G connection. This would allow me to purchase a book at any time. Both options include this feature. The Nook–like my iPhone–takes the internet connection one step further and allows you to browse the web. I did not want to pay extra for this feature since I would not use it. Another feature the Nook had was that it displayed in color. I could not justify getting a device with color–again it is not something I would ever use.

Kindle E-readerIn comparison the Kindle was filled with features I would use. The fact it was not back-lit meant I could easily use it in direct sunlight. The Kindle mobile app allows me to read my books on my Macbook, iPhone, or iPad. The syncing feature allows me to pick up exactly where I left off no matter the device. My Amazon.com addiction–90% of my books have been purchased from the site–was another plus for this device. Purchasing the E-Reader from Amazon meant I could continue on with my shopping habits.

In the end the thing that finally made my decision had nothing to do with the features of either product. As a Mother’s Day special, Amazon offered a free $25 gift card with the purchase of a Kindle. This was the perfect thing to start my collection of E-Books. With my husband’s credit card in hand, I ordered the device and eagerly awaited its arrival.

Kindle App IconI have had my Kindle for two months now, and I am very happy with the decision I made. I find myself frequently enjoying how I can easily download several sample selections to my Kindle to peruse. I can determine if I’m interested in a book before spending money on it. I love being able to easily read books with one hand. Since I can purchase a new book at any time, means I always have something to read. I could go on and on about all the reasons I love my Kindle.

Now that I have an E-reader, I eagerly endorse them to anyone who asks. I initially thought I would miss having paper books, but that hasn’t been the case. I think this purchase has been instrumental in me meeting my reading goal in record time. These devices may not be for everyone, but I am really glad I finally got one.

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E-Readers

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.