Tuesday, 16 November 2010

E-Readers and E-Books

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation
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!



CarolB said...

I gave in and bought a basic Sony e-reader this Spring and I love it.
Drawbacks vary,from some authors not having their novels in e-books yet, to their not being available in the format you need for the region (country) you live in- more of an issue for overseas readers I think.
Plus the recent 'agency model' issue affecting the selling price.
But it's great being able to have dozens of books available to read anywhere whenever you want.
Hope you enjoy the experience.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for that, CarolB. Good to see you've had a positive experience on the whole. I'm hoping to get a proper look at a friend's Sony in December so I can compare it with the Kindle.

Bill Kirton said...

I'm at the stage, Rosemary, where I'm realising that it's sometimes easier (and certainly quicker) to get hold of something you want to read if you go the e-route. So I'm grateful for all info on the various machines.

(And I hope they're giving you a percentage for your efforts.)

Anne said...

Hi Rosemary,
I love my kindle! It is great for travelling - I usually read a book a day on holidays and with the luggage and weight restrictions on aircraft these days, the choice might be books or clothes! But with my kindle I can "carry" a suitcase full. And the whispernet even worked on a Caribbean cruise...

Rosemary Gemmell said...

You know, that's one of the addictive things about e-books, Bill. When you realise just how quickly you can obtain and start reading them.

I'm interested in people's experience of them - and of course mine will be in e-book first!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Anne - great to know you're a fan of the Kindle too! I agree that the e-readers definitely come into their own for travelling.

leelasoma@hotmail.com said...

Hi Rosemary
I don't have an e-reader but more and more friends are giving positive comments so maybe Santa will be bringing one for me this year. From an author point of view I'm thrilled that my far flung family in almost every continent is able to access and buy my book immediately.Great blog by the way. I found it only because of your FB update!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Leela - I knew I should be mentioning it on FB sometimes! Thanks for your comments.

You've highlighted another great advantage of e-books, when people have friends/family around the world and want to buy your book without high postage or long delays. Hope Santa is kind to you!

Michael Malone said...

Hi Rosemary, I just ordered myself an early xmas present and I've gone for the kindle. I love getting new toys.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I'm sure you'll enjoy it, Michael. I'm still amazed at how easy it is to download the books!