There's been a lot of buzz about e-books lately. The Blood Red Pencil Blog is running a series on all aspects of the digital world. The New York Times will be doing best seller lists of e-books. More and more authors are taking their back list titles and offering them digitally. More and more companies are coming up with e-reading devices. You can read a book on something as small as a cell phone, or as large as an iPad. Or, on your own computer, laptop, or netbook.
One thing that seems to hover at the base of all these discussions about "the future of publishing" is that some people seem to think it's all or nothing. There will be e-books OR there will be print books. But isn't everything about choice?
I have shelves and shelves of print books. I have boxes and boxes of print books, awaiting bookshelves. Even here, there are choices of formats. Hard cover? Trade paperback? Mass market paperback? And what about those newer tall skinny paperbacks? So why not a choice of electronic as well?
I've had my eBookwise for a fair number of years. When I bought it, there was no such thing as a Kindle, or any other e-book reader. It's served its purpose well. However, content for my eBookwise is getting harder to find now that there are so many readers with all the bells and whistles.
I looked at others, but the flash and delay when turning pages bothered me. Users say, "you get used to it" but what if I didn't? After the seamless page turning on my eBookwise, I was afraid that could be an issue.
After much deliberation, I ordered a Nook Color. Before it was released! (and I never do that). And paid a higher price than if I'd bought another reader, but it had the one feature I wanted. It's back lit, not e-ink. I'll sacrifice a lot of other features, but those are my choices. My favorite feature of the eBookwise is it's back light. I can read in bed. In the dark. The contrast adjusts to suit the light level in the room. I LOVE that feature. I refuse to give it up. All those itty book lights brag about how bright they are. No thanks, I prefer not to blow out my retinas at 2 AM if I wake up and want to read myself back to sleep.
There are those who want to read out in bright sunlight. E-ink is perfect for that. So are paper books.
Another "problem" with print books that's become more obvious when I use my e-reader is that for whatever reason, the print on paperbacks often runs well into the center gutter. This means that to read it, I have to exert a degree of effort holding the book open. Which requires two hands. And isn't relaxing. I actually get wrist strain with some books, depending on thickness. And hard cover books are heavy. They also require 2 hands to read. Which means I have to keep picking up and putting down my adult libation of choice.
Now, by choice, I'm trading in my pushbutton page turning for a touch screen. How will I like it? I will be back once I've had a chance to test it. It's due to ship from the manufacturer on the 19th. And, worse-case scenario—if I don't like it, Hubster should. He's seeing great pre-reviews in places like PC Magazine, and it does the two things he needs: Reads pdf files and displays in color, which is perfect for his scientific journals.
Causes Terry Odell Supports
Pro Literacy Worldwide, The Nature Conservancy, The Adult Literacy League, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society