Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kindles and iPhones and Nooks! Oh, My!

I'll admit that when I first heard of e-readers, I wasn't excited. I love books--not just the words inside, but the look of a book, the feel of it in my hands, the turning of a real page. E-readers seemed...wrong. I wondered if reading from a device would add eye strain and feel less cozy. And in a world that was focusing more on screens with each passing day, I worried about the impact e-readers would have on books, which had always felt so timeless.

The first things that started to make me question my bias against e-readers were blog posts by agent
Kate Schafer Testerman in 2008. Her hubby had given her a Kindle as a wedding gift and she loved it. Then I heard about other people feeling the same way. They said the Kindle was compact, lightweight, and actually reduced eye strain.

Huh. I pictured traveling and how much easier it would be,
toting less weight. Plus, the eye strain factor is huge for people who spend a lot of time reading. I continued learning more good things, and my opinion began to change.

Presently, the reports keep coming in as they rise in popularity and more types of these devices become available.
Here is an October 27th
Publishers Weekly article about the nook. Literary agent Nathan Bransford talks about e-readers regularly on his blog; he wrote about them Wednesday and he briefly touched on them again Friday (third paragraph) when he did his This Week in Publishing summary. On November 12th, Publishers Weekly had an article about children's books on the iPhone. (Side note: JUST ME AND MY DAD, the title in the article, was huge in my house when my kids were little. Mercer Mayer's Little Critter = happiness.)

While I'll always
LOVE book-books, I'm now incredibly curious about e-readers. I haven't tried one yet, but I'd like to. There seem to be so many benefits to them and, like it or not, they may be the books of the future.
Books, after all, aren't becoming a thing of the past; they're adapting. In my opinion, this is a good thing.

What are your thoughts? Do you own an e-reader? Would you like to? If you have experience with more than one type, which device would you recommend?


Tamika: said...

I shared a lot of your views initially too. Not knowing enough about them made it easy to dismiss it as a fad.

But I started my research and I've heard wonderful things. It's good to know that books are adapting to the changing times. We never want people to stop reading!

Bane of Anubis said...

I love the idea of e-readers, but the cost right now is too high... I'll wait until they drop below $100.

Dawn Simon said...

Tamika, I agree. I think anything that makes books more accessible and helps them get into more people's hands is a good thing. I just had to open my mind and learn the facts. :)

Bane of Anubis, I plan to wait for the price to drop too. In the meantime, I'll put some effort into at least trying one out.

Deb@RGRamblings said...

I've never even seen an e-reader! My initial reaction was that I wouldn't want to give up my books but I'm leaning towards getting one now.

I have carpal tunnel and it's getting painful for me to hold books. Also, they are more environmentally friendly.

Like you and Bane, I'll wait until the price drops.

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

I was just like you, so skeptical because I loved books themselves. But I was running out of places to store my books and there were all these e-publishers that seemed to have great stories only available in e-format. So I broke down and bought a kindle (i think it put it my amazon car three different times over a few weeks before hitting purchase.)

Verdict: I ♥ my Kindle. Love love love. It feeds my immediate gratification monster. I want a book right now--60 seconds it's downloaded wirelessly. Greatness. And I forget I'm reading on a screen, the e-ink thing is really cool. Sometimes I lift my finger to turn the page without realizing it, lol.

And the price is getting better, it's cheaper now then when I bought mine.

Dawn Simon said...

Deb, sorry to hear about the carpal tunnel. You're right--maybe an e-reader would be extra nice for you. And oh, good point--no paper.

Roni, thanks for sharing your Kindle experience. I've only heard good things from Kindle owners! Storage and immediate gratification: two positives. That's so funny about lifting your finger to turn the page; I'm glad it still kind of feels like a book.

Today I asked to see a nook at our local Barnes & Noble, but they said they won't have any to experiment with until Wednesday or Thursday of this week. While I won't be able to buy one any time soon, I kind of just want to play with one.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I'm really curious to see how they work. I've never touched one, but I know my eyes are tired if I'm on the computer too long. If they actually do reduce eyestrain that's pretty cool because I think they'd be awesome for travel. And critiquing manuscripts.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

A Kindle is on my Christmas list! I'm scared of how many books I download. Ha ha!

Tom Bailey said...

I do not use e-readers but I have a good friend that put out an ebook that was found by a famous agent that got her a contract to write a book.

Dawn Simon said...

My thoughts exactly, Sherrie! I haven't touched one yet, either.

Rosslyn, you'll have to tell us what you think if you get one (when you're not reading all your new e-books)!

Tom, that's great! I'm happy for her. And thanks for visiting my blog!

Stephanie Faris said...

I've never owned an e-reader but I'm getting an iPhone next summer. Nathan Bransford has said the iPhone reader is really good, so I'm going to give it a try before investing in a reader.

Paul said...

I don't own an e-reader but I think the more ways to get books to people the better.