Friday, May 21, 2010

That Must Be Some Kind of Record!

E-readers are getting a little less horrifically expensive. There are few people, I would hazard a guess, who would benefit more from an e-reader than I would, and not just because half the boxes in my last move were books. It's mainly the portability. If I had my druthers, I would have a book with me absolutely all the time. The number of times I've found myself in a doctor's office with nothing to read but their crappy, dogeared magazines has made me absolutely paranoid about keeping a book in the car. And every time I go into the city, I love to take the train--3 hours of reading! What could be better? I'll tell you what. Reading the 3 hours and not having to lug the bastard all over the city when I'm not reading it, that's what.

One of my friends just bought a Kindle and loves it--it goes with her everywhere, and she's thrilled. If I could carry an ebook like I carry my cell phone, I would be seriously excited. (And, yes, I can read on my cell phone, but it really is small--5" is about the smallest screen I want to use to read a book. Plus, dammit, I'm lazy. I don't want to have to do 10 page turns to a standard paperback page. It would make me even more sarcastic than I already am.)

I'm not keen on the Kindle. It's all about the proprietary format. It drives me insane that I would have to jailbreak a book that I bought. I'm happy to give money to writers and publishers--my life would suck without them. But I do like to know that when I buy a book, I've bought a book. So I've been looking at all the entry-level e-readers out there and figuring out which ones I'll watch and at what point they're a bargain, and when I would let myself jump at a bargain. Ideally, I'd buy an e-ink book before a really sexy Android mini-tablet seduces me, because I'd like to at least try e-ink. It seems like it would be easier on my eyesight.

And I'm reading the comments and reviews everywhere. And today I read one that I wish I could find again, because it would be awesome to link to it. It was from a woman whose husband had bought her an e-reader, and she was absolutely delighted with it. Not only was it cool and sexy and convenient and just generally keen, but it had really increased her time spent reading. And her comment ended with something like, "I've read four whole books this year. That has to be some kind of record!" I'm pretty sure it was from December.

For the record, I finished a 5k, but I know I'm not this lady.

9 comments:

Seeker said...

I totally agree with this. I am a BIBLIOPHILE....I like a book in my hand and books on the shelves...except at some point one HAS to let go lest one ends up as one of the stars of HOARDERS:BURIED ALIVE!
I will be curious about your e-book exploration.....

Shifter said...

I've been drooling over readers as well. Kindle sounds cool, but I so agree with the proprietary format thing. Which also nixes the Ipad for me - Apple comes up with the coolest gadgets and then pees all over them with their DRM and proprietary stuff. So I'm waiting eagerly for Google to start pushing an android style tablet. I haven't heard they are, but assume they are, and also assume if I looked I would indeed hear they are.

Seeker said...

I have NO CLUE what you are talking about Shifter...except that iPAD is nixed, Apple pees on things using a body part DRM, you are waiting for Google to send a robot with a pill, but maybe they won't....

Katy said...

It sounds like lots of Android tablets are in the works. Dell has a mini tablet coming out (allegedly this summer) that's going to run on Android--it sounds like an e-reader option (6" x 3" x 0.4" ish), and of course it will do other things. I am loving my Android phone, and so something like this would be ideal, except it's a Dell. You may remember my story about my Dell laptop, so I am wary. The alleged specs (not announced by Dell, but based on a leaked But it's rumored to have a snapdragon processor (like the Nexus One), lots of memory, wifi, etc.

If Amazon keeps its promise and releases an Android Kindle app this summer, you'd be able to use that, as well as pretty much any other ebook format you want. (Check out Kobo--Borders is hawking their very reasonably priced ereader, but they are also an ebook retailer--they have very competitively priced ebooks, and sell them in ePub and PDF formats. Their selection lacks Amazon's kindle depth, but it's still promising.)

There's no word that I know of on what Dell's tablet will cost. And did I mention it's a Dell? But they are probably not the only ones coming out with an Android tablet, and if you're really lusting after an iPad the "Streak" or its larger 7" brother (speculated for release around Christmas) are probably not going to light your fire anyway. Google is reportedly developing a tablet--the New York Times had a story that was very, very vague. I'm sure it will be big like the iPad, which is sexy, but which will in no way keep me from lusting after a purse-worthy device.

What? Don't look at me like that! I work with software developers, business analysts, and accountants. I do a lot of reading before I buy anything, and I suffer from eternal analysis paralysis. I have many, many useless facts and factoids.

Katy said...

D'oh, meant to say that although I hate Dell, the tablet's leaked specs are tempting...

Katy said...

While I wasn't looking, Nvidia previewed their Android tablet:
http://goodereader.com/blog/tablet-slates/nvidia-previews-android-powered-tablet/

Shifter said...

I'm just adding a comment so we can have a thread with 7 comments. A T&S record! Thanks for the info Katy, and for the outside observation of what this all sounds like Seeker. "Apple pees on things using a body part DRM" is exactly right :o)

Sara said...

I would love love love to have an ereader. I originally lusted after the Kindle, but agree that the whole "you don't actually own this book and we can erase it at any point for any pissy reason we want" makes me wary. So I've decided no to the Kindle.

I fooled around with an iPad in BestBuy the other day and really liked the e-reader aspects of it. The page turns are really fast, and take very little pressure/motion on the touch-screen. But it's more than a little pricey.

One day they'll come out with something that convenient and doesn't cost as much as a computer, I hope.

Katy said...

Sara - you might want to check out the Pandigital when it comes out. It's hooked up to Barnes & Noble, but it runs Android, so you should be able to throw some other ereader software on it, and it's $200. (Smaller than the iPad, though.)