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TSS: Thinking About Ebooks

Today I had planned to post about my new deliberate reading strategy, which is basically just a return of my TBR – review – library book rotation, but it already isn’t working out so well for me.  I like piling the books up in the order that I should read them, but the minute I land on a dud or feel like I’m not really happy with what I’ve chosen, I start to question what I’m doing.  For example, right now I’m trying to get through The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, perfect timing since it just got longlisted for the Booker prize, but I’ll confess, I’m not crazy about it.  I don’t really know why, but I just don’t think I’m a fan of David Mitchell’s prose and I’m not really seeing where the story is going – so I’m already impatient with it and worried that a few books are going to slow down my reading.  My goal was to slow down my reading, but this isn’t working as well in practice as I had hoped.  I’ll have to go back to the drawing board, I think.

Anyway, what I want to talk about now is ebooks.  I’ve had a bit of a perfect storm this week leading up to the fact that I am considering getting an ebook reader.  First off, the new Kindle 3 is actually in my price range.  It’s also going to have a dedicated UK ebook store, the lack of which has put me off other devices in the past.  Secondly, we are finally putting our anniversary trip to Paris (I can’t tell you how excited I am) in motion for October and I’m going to be on trains for about four hours each way, but don’t really want the weight of multiple books on my back while wandering around the city.  And, to top it off, I ended up reading an ebook on my computer yesterday and today and I really dislike that experience.  I also know that I could access at least some of the galleys on netgalley if I had a Kindle (unless a UK Kindle will struggle with this – a question I must ask!) and there are a number of exciting books there I’d love to read on release.

I don’t actually plan on buying too many ebooks full price for the device, but that option would be nice too.  My husband is fully in support of the plan because he hates the huge number of unread books I have stacked around.  I don’t want to give up paper books, though, and I always feel like I don’t really own the books I have in ebook format, especially knowing about DRM restrictions.  Amazon isn’t very good about this, so even though we might end up with access to Kindle for Android on both of our mobiles in a year or two, I’m still hesitating.  A couple of years ago I would never even have considered purchasing a Kindle, and I’m not even sure when I changed my mind about that!

So, what do you think?  Is an ebook reader a good idea? Do you have one and enjoy using it?  Help!

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  1. TSS: Leaning towards ebooks
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13 comments to TSS: Thinking About Ebooks

  • I’ve tried to read ebooks on my iPod Touch, and it was okay. But when I read for relaxation, it just doesn’t work. I remember during Classics Month I read several books on my iPod, and even though I enjoyed the books I just missed paper books SO MUCH. I’ve also heard that people read significantly slower on eReaders than with regular books (but maybe you want that?).

    Sarah from Monkey Bear Reviews got an eReader called a BeBook or something like that–it’s really working out well for her because it doesn’t have the DRM and geographical restrictions of a Kindle, so she can read books published in the UK or the US, or the EU. You should check out her blog to see if that would be better for you than the Kindle.
    heidenkind´s last post …Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong

  • I have a couple eBook readers and don’t use them very often. I think I’m like you, when I have an eBook, I don’t feel like I really own it. I know other people who love their eReaders, so everyone’s different.

  • I bought a Kindle around Christmas, and I use it infrequently. I must say that the technology is kind of distracting. It’s much harder to lose myself in the story when I have to constantly push buttons. It’s not really a bad little device, it’s just that I am not that used to it yet and I have so, so many paper books lying around that I hardly ever use it. I think I got it for the same reason you are thinking about getting it. Namely because my husband doesn’t want me adding a whole bunch of new paper books to the already toppling piles. I guess there are advantages and drawbacks to owning one. Just something to think about.
    zibilee´s last post …Lit- A Memoir by Mary Karr — 432 pgs

  • Tony & I just bought ebook readers not too long ago (just over a month now, I think), and we are loving them. We did not go the Amazon route because I dislike feeling tied to a single purchase source, and some of Amazon’s privacy and DRM policies trouble me (like when they went and deleted everyone’s copy of a certain book a while back… it troubles me that they have that power). We went with Sony eReaders, which may actually wind up being cheaper than Amazon Kindles… We wrote a rather extensive post about them, which you might enjoy: http://www.stephandtonyinvestigate.com/?p=3570

    Also, I can’t stress enough that we are a multimedia household. We continue to read paper books alongside electronic books, so for us, it’s not an either/or situation. The ebooks are great for things in the public domain or borrowing certain modern titles from the library, but when it comes to adding to our collection in a substantive way, I still prefer paper books.
    Steph´s last post …Puerto Rico- The mainland from coast-to-coast

  • I have started reading ebooks on my iPad, and I quite enjoy the experience. The ipad’s display is really nice. It also has apps for the Kindle and the Borders app, so I don’t feel quite as tied down to a single publisher.

    I must admit that I enjoy reading books with illustrations (children’s classics such as Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland), and chick-lit, thrillers, and such.

    I tried reading the Gutenberg books and I just could not move on. However, I really do think e-books are the next wave of publishing; the format and the technology is only going to get better and the prices even lower.

    If you are unsure about committing, wait awhile and see…
    Nishita´s last post …Ridiculously Marked up Goods in Bangalore’s Commercial Street

  • I am extremly tempted but am going to have a look at the prices of e-books in the new amazon.co.uk store before making a final decision.
    Jessica´s last post …Things we have learnt from books N1

  • Ooooh Paris! I am so jealous. I got a Kindle when they first came out (3 years ago I think?)and, while I used it a lot at first, I eventually got burned out and missed paper books so much that I put my Kindle down for at least a year. I have recently come back to it and decided that there is a nice balance. I definitely think and ereader is a great investment, but, like you already figured out, you can’t get rid of paper books all together.
    Stephanie´s last post …Part 1- The Brothers Karamazov

  • I know we talked about this on Twitter, but yes, yes, yes! I’m lost without my Sony for when I travel, and you travel so much! Plus being able to get books you want from Amazon’s dedicated UK store would be nice, plus every time you come home, you can load up your Kindle with US books you want and not have to lug/ship tons of books home!!
    S. Krishna´s last post …Book Review- The King’s Mistress – Emma Campion

  • I have mixed feelings on this as well. At first I said I’d never get one, but not I’m reconsidering. I’ve heard rumors about an ereader coming out from Google that will have some pretty amazing features though, so I might wait for that one.

    That said, I DO have the Kindle App for my Droid phone and I really like it. I’ve got a ton of free books on there and one that I paid for. Is that App not available for you yet?

  • When I ordered my Kindle two years ago, I had no intention of it replacing my “real” books (and in fact, I have purchased more “real” books over the past 18 months than any other time in my life – so the eReader has not decreased my support of the industry). I did order it because I like to have reading options when I travel, but don’t like the weight of all those books.

    What I have discovered is that my Kindle has become my classics library. I LOVE downloading all the public domain titles and having them available to me in one 2 pound device. I like having a built-in dictionary so I don’t procrastinate building my vocabulary. I like that I can change the font size to coordinate with the weariness of my eyes. And I like that I can annotate and/or highlight portions of the book to access at a later date.

    I hope you are pleased with whichever device you choose.

    And….might I add….I am more than a tad jealous of your upcoming trip to Paris :)
    Molly´s last post …TSS- The First of August

  • I wouldn’t buy a Kindle, because I have issues with Amazon, but the new Kindles are CHEAP, and I hope they will push down the prices of other devices that I would consider (the Sony or the Nook) even farther. That being said, I can see why you would choose a Kindle, being in the UK and actually getting a dedicated ebook store.
    Jen – Devourer of Books´s last post …The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory – Book Review

  • Amy

    I have a Nook and like it a lot. It was a birthday present from my husband. He thought it might help get rid of or at least make the piles of books smaller. We’re still debating whether or not that’s actually happening. We decided on the Nook over the Kindle because the Nook allows PDF files and I can download books from the library. I haven’t tried it yet but looked at it the other day and it seems pretty easy. I’m not sure about the library lending overseas though. I find it incredibly easy to read and easy to use. It’s great for travel too.
    Amy´s last post …July 2010 Wrap-Up

  • I know there are a lot of philosophical debates about e-readers, but I have to say that I love my Kindle. I got mine almost three years ago, and I love the way it has freed up my reading. Rather than clogging up my library account with a lot of fast, easy reads, I now buy them for super cheap on my e-reader. Why? Because I like to put on hold the hardbacks and hard to get books at the library. I also really enjoy the fast escape into the kindle. I haven’t had an issue at all. In fact, I love that I can’t see what page I’m on, so I don’t fret about how far I am into it. Also, since I travel back and forth to Hawaii all the time, it really helps alleviate the number of books I pack.

    Listen. You know yourself. The Kindle hasn’t eliminated my piles of books, but has given me another easy way of carrying around a large number of novels in one little space! Good luck with whatever you decide. :)
    Becky´s last post …Review- Frangipani by Celestine Vaite