Thursday, March 11, 2010

The great E-reader debate

For starters, let me sy that this is not a blog comparing e-readers.  I don't have enough knowledge about most of them to provide the necessary information and I really don't have the desire to research it all.  That said, I have been investigating e-readers for my own personal use and have to admit I am still utterly confused, but close to a decision.  Those who know me well may be very surprised to hear that I am considering an e-reader purchase.  I do a lot of reading in the bath and this is obviously NOT a good reason to get an e-reader... water and electronics don't mix well at all!  However, I also do a lot of reading out of the bath.  I have also suddenly found myself with an unusually large amount of ebooks (most in pdf format) that I would like to read.  Since I prefer paper format, I have usually printed these books out and read the hard copy, but with so many books in my que this is very environmentally unfriendly and just not practical.  With the weather starting to get nicer, I don't want to be stuck indoors reading while the warm sun calls to me through my window either... so what's a girl to do?  The answer... get an e-reader so I can take my books and blanket out into the sunshine and catch up on all my reading wherever I want to be instead of tethered to my laptop (which has a limited battery life not conducive to lots of outdoor reading).

I have narrowed down my choices to the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook.  Both have features that I would find useful.  Both allow you to read pdf files, both have expansion slots available, similar price points and a large selection of titles available.  One advantage of the Kindle is the read aloud feature on pdf files.  I love this idea in theory, but I'm not sure it's something I want in reality.  Sure, it would be really nice to have my e-reader reading me a book out loud while I wash dishes, do the laundry, or drive in the car, but would I really use it?  I usually like to listen to music while doing those tasks and I'm sure my iPod plays music better than any of these e-reader devices (which all support mp3 files BTW).  Plus, I can always plug in my laptop and have pdf book read to me directly from Adobe reader.  The other advantage is that the Kindle's wireless connectivity seems to be more versitile allowing you to download ebooks at many more locations.  Both of these readers require you to get books in their specific format, although the Nook allows you to share your ebooks with another Nook user for 14 days (nice little extra feature if I knew anyone else with one of these things... which I don't).  The kindle has a hardware keyboard, while the Nook has a touch-screen keyboard.  They both have a dictionary feature... yippee... no lugging that big book around when I'm reading complex subjects.  They both have hundreds of thousands of free books and allow you to read newspapers and magazines.  Yikes... such a tough choice!  I guess I just need to let this one sit for a few days and let my mind sort it all out.  I'm sure I will end up with something I really like no matter which one I choose.

Bottom line, I really just need to make some kind of decision before the weather gets nicer.  I will also be able to clear out a lot of my extensive book collection (which is starting to take over the house).  It would definately be easier to have some of these titles in elecronic format (especially books I usually use for reference since the readers have the ability to highlight and annotate) and it would take up a lot less space.  So, soon I will be taking the plunge and getting myself an e-reader.  Do any of you have any thoughts on the matter?  I'd love to hear them, especially if you have used one of these devices before!

1 comment:

  1. Update: I purchased a Nook from Barnes and Noble and I absolutely love it! I have gotten through 1 1/2 books so far simply in my spare time (waiting for kids basketball games to start, waiting in a long line at Walmart, etc.). It takes away a lot of stress when you can choose to simply open a book and get some work done instead of being annoyed that you are stuck in a long line. I even started reading Newsweek magazine again... it is delivered right to my Nook without my even having to think about it and is there for me to read at any time. Never more will I get stuck reading a year-old issue of People at the dentist while waiting for my kids to get their teeth cleaner... I have been liberated! :)