Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Do I need an ebook reader?

I've just bought Bernita's book Dark and Disorderly. I'm going to have to wait to be able to read it because it's not published yet but that's just the start of my problems. I don't have an ebook reader so I'm going to have to read it on my laptop, or rather my Beloved's huge 19" widescreen laptop that's really a "luggable", so I can't take it to bed with me. Maybe that's just as well, though. I gather the book is scary!

I wish Bernita could persuade Carina Press to go into print but that's not likely to happen. It's highlighted the problem I'm having, that there are so many good books available to read online and reading them on a laptop just isn't the same as sitting on the settee with my feet up.

One problem is that there are so many ebook readers to choose from and I don't want to end up with the equivalent of a Betamax. Then I'm not sure that my favourite authors are available in ebook format or at least not at a price that I'm willing to pay. The paperback of Tanya Huff's latest book The Enchantment Emporium cost me under a £5, but as an ebook it would cost nearly £8, partly because it's available in the US and the dollar to pound rate doesn't favour the UK at the moment.

It's all very confusing. I know some of you have ebook readers that you're very happy with so maybe you'd like to let us know how you get on with them. And if you don't have an ebook, then I'd love to know what you think too.

22 COMMENTS:

Simon Kewin said...

I use my 'phone as an emergency eBook reader and I've found that - despite the small screen - realy great. I've read quite a few things on it now and it's definitely persuaded me that a dedicated device would be good. As to which, though, I'm not sure either. Kindle is popular but it's too Amazon. The iPad looks good but it's so tied to Apple. I think the jury is still out.

fairyhedgehog said...

Simon, I so planned on using my phone as an ebook reader! It's a Nokia 5800 so it's got a decent size screen. Sadly, I can't use the mobipocket reader on it - in fact quite a few programs don't work on it. And reading .pdf files is a bit of a pain.

Maybe when my phone deal runs out I'll try and find something better.

Or maybe I'll ask for a dedicated reader for Christmas!

cassandrajade said...

I still doing the research on e-readers as they've only really just become available in Australia (okay they've been here for six months but that is hardly time to really know which one is going to stay the distance). I know I 'm currently reading on the computer and that just isn't going to cut it long term so I'm very interested in what people think of the different readers available.

sylvia said...

I've used my phone as a reader but really not very fond of it and I don't think I'd use it other than in duress. I'd rather read PDF's on a laptop personally.

I really do like the Kindle - I'm currently reading a draft manuscript on it which is pretty neat. But my latest book purchase was half a dozen print books and one e-book, so my loyalties are still with the printed page.

One thing I like about the Kindle is that it's cut down my tendency to print things out from the web to read away from the computer. Instead I drop it onto the Kindle (or convert it via Amazon and then move it, which is free and only takes a few minutes) which is saving us a lot on ink costs. But it's a problem for proofing as I can't scribble in the margins (I hate the keyboard and would rather they used that space for more screen to be honest).

....Petty Witter said...

Personally if its not available in print I'm not interested - I don't personally like audio books though they of course have a part to play and I certainly don't like the idea of an e-book. Surely this author is missing out on a huge chunk of the market?

Michelle Scott said...

I just bought an e-book reader, and I love it! Part of the reason why I spent the money was exactly what you mentioned - there are a lot of great e-books out there that are not in print.

My goal is to begin a new blog soon that reviews only e-books that are under $5.00 (US). I think with so many talented authors now self-publishing, it makes a lot of sense.

Old Kitty said...

As I'm a technophobe and tend to run away from anything beginning with e-, I'm absolutley no good to you here! But I'm very interested in the comments though - I'm marvelling at how others really really like these things! :-)
Maybe they'll help me get over my phobe phobia!
Take care
x

Richard N said...

Are you good folks aware of the fact you can get a good, free, format converter for Ebooks?

http://calibre-ebook.com/

I use it to convert ePub books to LRF for my Sony 505 reader, but it can do all manner of conversions - and it's easy!

When I got my Sony my wife liked it so much we ended up getting another one for her less than a month later... we've been using them both for over a year now and they're wonderful.

They don't have the 'tactile' advantages of a traditional book, but the readability is at least as good with not the least amount of eye-strain... and they do have a substantial advantage over traditional books if you've got arthritic fingers in that they weight about the same as 150 pages - so if you, like me, struggle with the heft of a 500-page book salvation is at hand. :-)

Richard N said...

@ Michelle - when you start that new blog you've just got yourself a reader!

It's an excellent idea for a blog and has the potential to become a valuable resource.

stacy said...

I'm researching, too. I would love an iPad, but the Sony Reader is more in my budget.

Bernita said...

Fairy, thank you!
The irony is, at the moment,I don't have an e-reader either.
Carina titles are available in epub, pdf and prc formats and are drm free.Print is a future possiblility but not a present one.

raine said...

I don't have an e-reader either. So if there's a digital book I really want to read, it's the old desktop for me.
Have viewed both the Kindle & iPad. Verra nice, I could do with either. :)

And I have no doubt Carina Press will eventually go to print.

Taryn Tyler said...

I personally can't really get into reading unless I have pages in my hand that I can smell and stroke and dog ear and press flowers in. But that's just me.

Whirlochre said...

An ebook reader?

Heck, I'm still dancing naked before a roaring bonfire in the hope that my shamanic wrigglings will inspire Geoff to crack the reading aloud Jackanory thing.

fairyhedgehog said...

cassandra, it's hard enough working out which readers will stay the course over here, and I think we've had them longer than that.

sylvia, reading on a small laptop might be OK. One that I could have on my lap! A reader that you can make notes on sounds like it would be good.

Petty, Carina press are part of Harlequin publishers and they are currently only doing ebooks as a niche market.

Michelle, you idea for a blog sounds excellent. I'll certainly sign up for it!

Kitty, it must be hard being an online technophobe! At least you've mastered the internet.

Richard, I hoped you'd weigh in. The Sony readers do seem to be the best available in the UK and I love the idea of their light weight and being able to carry an armload of books in one hand.

stacy, I thought the iPad's were a bit on the big side? Sony does a touch sensitive reader, although that's a bit dearer than their normal one. I've been lusting though!

Bernita, you're welcome. I couldn't resist your book after reading the excerpt.

raine, Kindle and iPad are nice - but expensive!

Taryn, pressing flowers in, now there's a thought! I like the smell of new books but I'd gladly trade that for being able to carry more books with less weight.

Whirl, maybe you could put up a podcast of Geoff reading aloud as soon as your shamanic wrigglings do the trick.

stacy said...

Hey Fairy, Nathan Bransford talks a little about some new e-readers here: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/05/this-week-in-publishing_28.html

And he reviews the iPad here: https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#search/nathan+bransford+sony/1286038f21318348

Sorry I can never remember how to create hyperlinks in the comments.

As I come across more info in my own research, I'll send it along.

fairyhedgehog said...

stacy, thank you! (The links come up as links in my gmail, so that works out well!) I'll look into those.

fairyhedgehog said...

PS the second link didn't work for me.

stacy said...

I'll try sending it via e-mail.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks!

platypuspower said...

I think real books are better, because I can snack while reading, unlike reading e-books on my laptop. I'm afraid crumbs will get into it. But that's only my opinion :D

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi platypus! Good to see you around again!

I agree about the snacks and soup and laptops really don't go together!

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