Rock, Scissors, Kindle

I am, without a doubt, a book publisher’s dream. Simply because I love books; I love to read and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. Back in my commuting days I could devour as many as three books in a week (I kid you not), but this has reduced of late to a more sedentary pace of one a fortnight.

But this passion comes with a few storage issues. I may re-read my books regularly, but there is still a rapid stream of paper bound beauties pouring into my house on a regular basis. I have visions of one day waking up and no longer being able to see daylight as they have been piled so high, or being buried alive and eventually eaten by bookworms.  Ok, I exaggerate a little, but you get my point, there’s only some many I can stuff onto my bowing bookshelves or in a box (or two) under my bed.

Last year, I went on holiday to Egypt, my husband planned to do his Advanced Open Water Diver course out there so I went prepared. I had more books in my bag than I had knickers. Knowing in advance that the airline would have a problem with my literary overindulgence I also paid for an excess baggage allowance. Some women take too many shoes, I take books. Well shoes can be an issue to, but that’s another story.

Now, the obvious answer to my book storage sagas would of course be an ereader, and I’ve been umming and ahhing over one for about a year. But, I just can’t seem to be able to make my mind up.

There are a few barriers that seem to be getting in my way:

1.COST.

Why aren’t e-books cheaper? Surely the cost of digital books is much cheaper than the print, production and distribution costs for their printed counterparts?

2.TECHNOLOGY

The technology is relatively new and there are bound to be bigger and better ereaders emerging in the future. Fine, like my mobile I’m happy to upgrade it at a later date. But I want to be able to take my digital library with me. I’m already planning on replacing some of my favourites novels in digital format, I don’t want to have to do so again. Epub seems to be emerging as the proprietary format of choice, but big players like Amazon have their own chosen only usable on a Kindle. What if I got to the expense of purchasing all of these and then when my ereader joins the pile of obsolete technology I will have just thrown my money away?

3.THE IPAD

Apple have had the technology sector all a flutter with the news of their iPad for over a year. As a lover of my iPhone  I eagerly awaited development news to see if this would be the ereader for me. Firstly the ereader functionality will not be available for its UK release? What is it about us in the UK that always seem to miss out on the good releases? Secondly, it does not use E ink technology, so there is still the risk of eye fatigue and problems viewing my book when reading in the sun by the pool. Thirdly, of course the price, while it’s much more than an ereader it’s also much more expensive than one

4. SHARING

Any book lover likes to share their passion and what better way than to swap books? The nook is the only ereader so far that allows you to lend a book to someone for a couple of weeks and it’s not available in the UK. So say good-bye to sharing.

5. PRETTY IN PINK

It shouldn’t be important, but it is. Half of them are really ugly. I like pretty colours, you get them in ipods so why can’t you in ereaders? Ok, you can get nice cases and this is probably what I’ll do, it’s what I did for my iPhone. I’m not stupid, I know better technology is more important, but why can’t they look pretty too?

6. SPEED

I’m a fast reader, as my three books a week can attest, will the page turning technology keep up with my superman eyes?

We saw MP3 players revolutionise the music market. They look great, you can share music easily. Are ereaders going to do the same? It seems to me it’s about time the publishing industry got serious about digital.

4 thoughts on “Rock, Scissors, Kindle

  1. I too am getting fed up with the UK/European markets being so far behind the rest of the world as far as technology is concerned. Not only tech, but games, dvds, probably even upholstery. And when they do turn up here, the price is always a more significant impact on your bank account. Surely the European market has enough power and pull now to be on par with, maybe not japan, but at least the US.

    Good points about the format issue too. It hadn’t really crossed my mind. Will we have another Betamax/VHS or HD-DVD/BluRay showdown again. If we do, you can guarantee it will affect a lot of people negatively.

  2. Hey! I have a kindle, I adore it. As for colors, you can get really inexpensive decal, skins…. so it can be pretty! you can see an example of mine here (as well as links where to find them): http://www.kindlevixen.com/kindle-resources

    As for page turns, it is pretty fast. Kindle also lets you adjust the font so you can fit more on a page or less on a page (bigger font). I am a really fast reader and haven’t had any issues!

    🙂 Good luck in your decision! I do adore mine but I have some complaints, tho it is more to do with formatting/drm than it is with the device itself.

  3. Hi Kindle Vixen,

    Thanks for your comment. I actually took the plunge and purchased a Sony ereader about a week ago. So far, I’m loving it – the convenience is the biggest seller. My handbag is much less cluttered! I’ve got used to the page turn too, it took a while to get used to but after a while I was not even registering I was pressing the page turn button.

    Laura

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