Monday, September 20, 2010

To E-Read, or Not to E-Read

So, for Christmas last year, my boyfriend's parents bought me a Kindle.  I couldn't be more excited, and I stood by the door waiting on the day that it was to be delivered.  So I spent the entire day checking UPS to see how much longer I would have to wait.  I was also stressing out because I hadn't finished the book I was reading yet, and I wanted to use the Kindle as soon as I got it.  Anyway, although UPS's website said my Kindle was at the Atlanta delivery center, and was "in-transit" at 10:00 AM, I found out that they don't end up getting to our apartment complex until 7 PM at night.  Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise because I was able to finish the book I was reading by the time I got the package.

So, I got the package, tore it opened and started it up.  By the end of the night I had downloaded 10 or more of the free books, and was well on my way to being an e-reader.  There are so many great things about the Kindle.  I love that at any moment I have a library full of books in my purse.  It definitely saves me from having to lug around an extra book in case I finish reading one of them.  I don't like to be left empty handed, because I never know when I will be sitting around waiting on something.  

I had some reservations at first when I got the Kindle.  I am so used to the feeling of holding a book, and this was totally different.  Obviously it is much lighter than a book, and it is a lot easier to hold and manage.  The buttons are all placed perfectly, and I love the screen.  I enjoy reading everywhere, so as I'm sure you've seen on the commercials, I can read on the Kindle in the sun.  Majority of the time I hate reading books in the sun because it makes the pages so bright that I have to wear sunglasses just to read!  I'm also a sucker for the "book smell".  I guess if you aren't an avid reader, you won't know what I am talking about, but books have a distinct smell.  I love the smell of older library books; the smell of comfort!  Obviously the Kindle doesn't I was a little sad because it just didn't feel the same.  

I have an entire bookshelf full of books that I've bought along the way.  I'm pretty cheap, so I usually purchase my books at the Goodwill around the corner from my house.  Hardback books are $2 while paperback books are $1, you can't really beat that.  So at first I was trying to go back and forth.  I would read a book on the Kindle, and then read one off the shelf.  I'm still trying to get through the books on the shelf, but of course, I can't go into the Goodwill without buying a book, or five. 

One of the major things that has turned me off of the Kindle is the prices.  Like I said, I can go to the Goodwill and grab a stack of books for $10, but most books on the Kindle are $9.99 and up.  I'm not opposed to spending $9.99 on a book, however at the speed that I read (about 1.6 books per week) it isn't really economical.  So once I noticed the "free book" section on I decided I would just start doing that -- because what's better than spending $1 - $2 per book?  Spending nothing!  The only issue with this, is that a lot of the books that are in this "free section" are Christian Fiction books.  Even though I'm not religious at all, I thought that maybe I would give these books a try.  I didn't expect that they would be beating me over the head with the Bible or Jesus, but alas, they do.  

I've heard that there are a lot of websites that you can download free books from onto all types of e-readers, but I haven't found a site that I like, or that I am comfortable using.  It also seems that on these websites majority of the books are "classic"...which I'm not a huge fan of.  I've also found that as a member of GoodReads, there are often posts by authors telling you when/where to download a copy of their new books.  GoodReads is amazing (I will have to post a whole entry just devoted to it...that's how awesome it is.)  If you are an avid reader, and you don't use GoodReads---you should start!

So, I think that the Kindle (and probably any e-reader, although I'm not sure) has a lot of redeeming qualities.  I love the ease of use, having multiple books at a time, and the additional functions that the Kindle has (web surfing, a dictionary, the ability to make notes, "bookmark function").  However, I might just be purist, but nothing is better than cuddling up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee, my sweet little pup and a good book. 

What do you think?  Do you own an e-reader?  Do you have a good website that you like to download free books from?

Happy Reading!


Unknown said...

I have a nook and have been complaining about the prices for several weeks now. They just keep going up and up - I think the publishers have no clue what they are doing and are making mistake after mistake aliening the public.

It's amazing, first music, newspapers and now publishers all making THE SAME mistakes.

I actually wrote two posts about the subject:Rising Cost of eBooks

New Business Model? Advertising in Books

Unknown said...

Man of la Books -

Thank you so much for stopping by to check out my blog! I'm new to this, but I'm really enjoying it. I hope you will keep up with me, and comment all the time!

I totally agree with you. Publishers aren't realizing that the mistake they are making here is huge! And it's true, I didn't even think about it like that, but newspapers and the music industry have made the same mistakes as well.

Your blog posts are so interesting and I had a great time reading them! I'm following you and look forward to new posts!

Thanks again!


Julia said...

I don't have one yet, but I've heavily hinted I to anyone who will listen that I want a Nook for my birthday in a couple of weeks. I checked out prices between Amazon and B&N before I decided on which ereader I wanted.


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