To e-Read or Not to e-Read, That is the Question

Friday, May 11, 2012
I've long poo-poo'd the idea of using an e-reader.  You see, I love books:  the way the feel, the smell, the weight, the turning of each and every page.  Very old fashioned, that's me!  And don't get me started on how bookstores get my heartbeat racing!  The idea of adding another electronic device to the ever growing army of computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc has always made me cringe.  Heck, I don't even have a cell phone!  And yet, I'm seriously considering getting myself an e-reader.  'Tis true. 

One of my biggest concerns was my eyesight. Like almost everyone else in my family, I wear glasses. All the time. I need them to read, write, use my computer, drive, and watch TV. Staring at a mini computer screen to read a book makes me worry that my eyesight will deteriorate more rapidly than it will already. However, the more I talk with friends, family and coworkers who use e-readers, the less concerned I am. They all claim its the same as reading a book and they've had no problems with their eyesight. I guess I can scratch that off of my list.
Kindle Touch (source)
I'm becoming more appreciative that the reader would be lighter and thinner than even a paperback book. Rather than carrying my book to and from work each day, I leave it in my office to avoid stuffing it into my bag and adding to the already heavy weight I pack each day. I know, paperbacks don't weigh that much but it adds up. Also, the ability to switch between numerous books, depending on my mood, is very appealing.

So, now that I've pretty much made up my mind, which one do I get??? I'd asked this question previously on Facebook but try as I may, I can't find the conversation in the stupid "Timeline" that FB now uses. I apologize to my readers who are also friends on FB and are reading this ... again! It boils down to either a Kindle or a Kobo (the touch version of both) and, to be honest, I've almost settled on the Kobo. A couple of coworkers and my stepmother have one version of the Kobo or another and they have nothing but positive things to say about them. I could have sat for an hour questioning my one coworker about her reader! She has an older, non-touch version of the Kobo and even that wasn't bad; however, whichever reader I get, it MUST be a touch version.  
The Kobo Touch (source)

So, dear readers, what are your thoughts? To e-read or not to e-read.  Do you have a preference for one brand of reader over another?  Pros/cons.  Hints, suggestions, cheats?  Best place for free books?  Any info would be appreciated.


Katie said...

I actually just jumped on the e-reader bandwagon myself. Just this past Sunday I got a great deal on a Kindle Touch at Target (apparently they are taking them all off the shelves soon). I'm obsessed with it already and don't know how I lived so long without one. I don't know anything about the Kobo but a lot of my friends and family have Kindles and have nothing but great things to say about them. Plus I don't see how you could go wrong with an Amazon product and their store has every book known to man!

DavidTW said...

Actually, the Kindle store doesn't have every book known to man. Yet. You'll not find Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mockingbird, for example. That aside, I have nothing but good things to say about my basic Kindle. Easy to read; light; convenient; cheap. Buy one! I can give you website tips later.

I put the link to your original FB thread on your FB link to this post.

Sniffy said...

Kindle. The fact that you can read your material on a number of platforms (Kindle, iphone, ipad, android) is a huge bonus. I bought my mum the basic wi-fi one and she loves it. The display is wonderful and it's very easy to use. She's not up on technology, so I just buy her a book from the kindle store on my pc or mobile app and it appears in her reading list immediately. Great product.

mister anchovy said...

I don't know. I read a book on an ipad and it was and OK experience. I think it would be perfect for camping, for instance. I like the fact that ebooks don't take up space. I'm not ready to give up on books just yet.

Karen said...

Katie: Why are they taking the Kindle Touch off the shelves? Something to worry about? More people I know have a Kobo so I'm being heavily influenced that way.

DTW: thanks for the link to my FB query. As much as I trust your judgement/recommendations, I'm not sold on the Kindle. The fact that you just said they don't have two of my fave books just put two more X's in the NO column ;)

Sniffy! Another Kindle fan, huh?! I don't need the multiple platforms - I don't have any of those things and will only be reading books on the e-reader or in actual book form.

Mr. Anchovy: I'm not ready to give up on books either but it would be really useful to only carry one small, lightweight item back and forth to the office, on the bus, etc.

Thanks for your comments everyone!

DTW said...

Those two books aren't available for Kobo either, though, Karen.

For better or worse, I think I'd trust Amazon's track record and likelihood to succeed when choosing an e-reader...

Karen said...

DTW: From what I've been able to gather from a quick Googling, those two books aren't available for any device - likely due to the authors still holding the copyright and not wanting to go digital.

I did a quick survey of some of my office mates, family and friends, and those with readers all had a Kobo, a Sony, or used their iPads. No one had a Kindle (any version). Perhaps the Kobo's are popular amongst CDN's due to their availability through Chapters Bookstores.

One of the main reasons I'll be going with the Kobo (yes, I've decided) is the local library. The Kobo and a number of other devices are compatible with my library's digital offerings but the only Kindle that I'd be able to use is the Fire. Considering how often I use the library, I just can't ignore that. Perhaps in the future I'll try a Kindle but I think they're going to have make some changes before I do.

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