The e-reader debate

I have been thinking about getting myself a Kindle. Well, technically my mom is giving me $200 for my birthday and told me that I could buy myself a Kindle with it, or whatever else I wanted to buy.

However, there’s a lot of guff coming from the literary crowd regarding Kindles/Nooks/E-readers in general. My English major friends (including one of my coworkers) believe that nothing can replace the feeling of a paper book in your hand, the turning of pages, the smell of new books, or old books for that matter, deep in the corners of your library.

E-reader advocates say that it’s much more convenient. You can read anywhere. If you’re on the subway (or MARTA if you’re in Atlanta), on the beach, on your lunch break you just whip it out and turn it on. It’s light. It’s fast. And it’s not like reading a computer screen (no back-lighting). It’s easier than trying to dig through your bag to find a book, turn to the correct page and find your place.

I’d want a Kindle for the convenience factor. I really want to be able to read on the beach when Sean and I go to Tybee Island, but also on my lunch break at work, etc.

I’ve heard that the selection of Kindle books is not very large, but I only heard that from one person. And that will obviously change as more books come out.

So, any thoughts? Do any of you have an e-reader? Or are any of you avidly against them? I need to decide soon!

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5 thoughts on “The e-reader debate

  1. I figured I should throw this out there, even though Carolyn has probably forgotten all about this. I looked at an iPad vs. Kindle debate, and the iPad won by a mile. The Kindle is better in bright light, true, but in low-light, such as indoors, the Kindle apparently becomes unreadable. Add to that the fact that the iPad has more features, the much more intuitive interface, and the iPad/iPhone/iTouch trinity has a Kindle app, it seems like the Kindle is going to quickly get overshadowed by the iPad in the future.

  2. I understand the predicament. Phillip wanted a Kindle for Christmas and I was a little horrified. I love having tons of books, mostly because it gives the illusion that I’m intelligent. I love libraries and the way books smell and all that good stuff. For Christmas one of our gifts was a Kindle from my parents and I love it. We were supposed to be sharing it but I’ve kind of held it hostage for the last month. One of my favorite things about it is that you can get a lot of the classics for free, you can also get books by new authors for free and can sample any book before you buy. So if you’re iffy on a book you have a chance to preview it. You can also get e-books for the Kindle from quite a few libraries now, I haven’t done this yet but I plan to. I definitely think it’s worth it, mine is the 3G+Wi-fi which comes in handy because if you have a phone signal you can connect and download books even if there isn’t wi-fi access available.

    Hope this helps a bit!

  3. I was just researching this a week or so ago. I use to give the whole nostalgia for turning pages, smelling the book thing, but I’ve gotten over it particularly as I have become a two or three book at a time reader. It’s difficult sometimes to carry a couple of novels, a book of occasional poetry, and a writing pad, etc.

    BUT, this is what I found in my research: many of the books I would like to read again and several of the ones I would like to read in the future do not yet have e-book versions for any of the e-readers. So, that kind of kills it. Also, I agree with Brandon that the iPad would be the way to go with all its other added conveniences; however, my understanding is that its shiny, backlit screen, while not as bad on the eyes as some make it out to be (according to an optometrist in an article I read), is difficult to read in the sunlight. And wouldn’t you know it! I do about 65% of my reading outdoors.

    My verdict: wait just a little bit longer until I can get what I really want.

    P.S. I miss Jazz Band.

  4. I agree that there’s nothing like holding a paper book in your hand, and it seems easy to waste money by buying a book and having it disappear in your reader’s storage (It’s a little harder when you have 500 pages of paper sitting in front of you.)
    However, since it seems inevitable that paper books are gonna go the way of the CD, my personal opinion on it is that I’m gonna save my money and wait for an iPad, since it has the power of Apple and iTunes behind it, and can do other things besides simply books.
    And as far as limited selection, there is e-book conversion software such as Calibre which will transfer e-books from one format to another.

  5. I’m on the fence about this as well … a few friends have Kindles & others have Nooks. One thing I have learned is that you can share Nook purchases with other users so if you have someone else considering buying one and you have similar interests that might work for you. Also e-library availability is limited + with huge waits. I’m a library user and it bugs me to buy a book if I can get it from there for free – but – sometimes the wait is too long and I just break down and buy it. Grr! I think the price point is going to come down again this year to around $99 for either but unfortunately probably not before Xmas. Lastly – you have to buy accessories. They don’t come with the cover & reading light so you need to know that up front. Good luck! If you buy either- please post a review 🙂 MJ

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