Tuesday, 16 November 2010
E-Readers and E-Books
I never thought I’d be giving e-readers a second look yet, if at all – I’ve always loved everything about real books too much. Surely nothing could beat opening up a crisp new book and settling down to turn the pages. Why would I ever want to read a novel on a screen?
Welcome to the second decade of the 21st century, where such musings are now being heard all over the country. So my husband and I decided to try it out and bought a Kindle between us as a joint birthday present. All the books from my Canadian publisher are released as e-books first and I want to read some of the North American authors I’ve got to know on the chat forums.
Well, big surprise: I liked it immediately. In fact, since I’m more ‘techy’ than my husband, he hasn’t even bothered to study it yet and it’s fast becoming my kindle! I’d read about the special e-ink that makes it read more like a print page than a computer screen, and I have to agree with that. There is no glare at all from the page - even in sun apparently, though I’ll need to wait until summer to test that.
It’s amazingly neat, thin and light and very comfortable to hold. Turning pages (forward or back) is a matter of pressing the button down either side. You can change the size of font, which is a huge consideration for people with less than perfect sight. And after it’s been switched off, you can go straight back to where you left off. I haven’t taken one to bed yet, as I’m reading a huge paperback there just now, but I'll try it soon.
The most magical thing of all is the ease with which you can access the Amazon book store and download books in seconds. Far too easy and convenient, but think how great that is for the authors! It stores a few thousand books at a time, the battery life is superb and it comes wi-fi enabled. What a difference it will make to travelling with books.
Okay, this is not meant to be an advertisement for one particular e-book, but it’s the one I happen to have. There’s also the Sony e-reader, the Nook (Barnes & Noble) and the I-Pad, all of which will have their own advantages. Meantime, I’m getting to know my new toy. So far, I’ve only downloaded a friend’s book and I’m greatly enjoying the reading experience (and the book!) during the evenings. I now have a list of North American authors to try next and this will be the easiest way to buy and read their books.
I’d be delighted to hear if anyone else has experience of any of the e-readers, positive and negative!