I've been mulling over the idea of ereaders for several months, weighing pros and cons and coming up about 50-50, until today. Book buying isn't usually an issue for me. I've always been fairly content to buy used paperbacks from secondhand stores, library stores and trade stacks of books with my literary friends. Lately, however, my system isn't working. I don't see my friends often enough (I'm talking to YOU, dear B-1) to swap books quickly enough to match my appetite. Haven't borrowed a library book in years since realizing that I'm simply not grown-up enough to return them on time. The fines were a killer. There aren't any good used bookstores nearby--plight of the motherlovin' suburbs--and I am rarely able to get to the library store during the three hours it's staffed by genial senior volunteers.
I was staunchly pro-print. Books are tactile. You can dog ear the pages and write in the margins. If you drop a novel in the bathtub, you simply let it dry out and continue reading its rippled leaves. Finish a book on a trip and you can leave it behind in the plane's seat pocket for another traveler to discover. Best of all, books are desert island-proof--no batteries required.
Conversion has been a slow process. My right hand got tired holding up "The Girl Who Played with Fire." It was no easy feat to iron my hair while reading it, the book balanced on the sink's edge, a giant clippy holding it open. I finished the book and was hungry for the last novel in the series, but alas, it's only in hardback. I considered ordering a used copy online, but would have to wait a week to get the book. The ebook was also significantly cheaper than the print copy, but I wasn't yet swayed.
Anyway, it came to a head today. I went to Borders, determined to find a good book but scanned the shelves in vain. No Caitlin Kiernan or Jeffrey Ford. I searched for several other authors names and couldn't find their work. Emma Donaghue and Sarah Waters were in trade paperback only. I settled on Mike Carey's Vicious Circle.
If I had an ereader, I could have practically any book I wanted within minutes. Oh joy! Not to mention that writers get better royalties for ebook sales, a strong selling point. My books take up a lot of space--the big dust-magnet stack beside the bed, the boxes in the garage, the teetering piles on the bookshelves. People with Kindles say they love them, and there is that new 3G wireless version...but the Kobo has nice 'handfeel', the Nook has a big touch-screen (buttons seem annoying) and seems like a great value, as does the Sony reader (except for the 'flash' when turning pages). So tell me, if I'm going to take the plunge, which model is best? If you have an ereader, which one and what you love about it (and what's not so great)? If you're on the fence about it, check out the links below.