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Sunday, April 22, 2012

eRead All About It!

I don't have an eReader. (Or is it e-reader?) Well, whatever it is, I don't have one. I still feel ambivalent about reading on a screen versus reading a physical book. This is true despite the fact that every single friend I have who has had the same reservations and gotten an eReader anyway has loved it. Without exception. Nobody has said to me, "Wish I hadn't spent the money on this." (But if that's your feeling, please chime in and say so in the comments section.)

Recently I found out that Amazon offers free Kindle apps for the Mac, the PC, the Blackberry, the Android, the iPhone, the iPad...probably for other devices as well. That's what I'll do first, I suppose, download a free app and see how I like reading on a screen. And then I'll decide.

But I'm so ambivalent that I haven't yet downloaded a free app either. I never did like change. Will let you know when I have done this first baby step.

11 comments:

Jeannine Hall Gailey said...

Dear Jessica,
I was given an e-reader - the Kindle Fire - as a gift at Christmas. I originally felt cranky about e-readers, but now I love mine - just know it has limited functions; good for reading transitory books you don't want to keep a copy of, magazines you don't want cluttering up your house, or streaming content such as television shows you only want to watch once. It is not made for anything lasting, after all; how long will my current version be "current" and everyone will be encouraged to go out and buy the next version, etc. But it is a Godsend for long hours at the doctor's office, car repair, etc. I was actually really happy to be able to read my current book and my friend's anthology, Fire on the Tongue, on the e-reader, of course, because there isn't much poetry available on e-readers yet. The formatting is difficult, I understand.

Shawnte Orion said...

I don't have one, either. While I love the whole tactile experience of books as objects, my main reservation, as a poet, is the issue of linebreaks.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Thanks for your comments, Jeannine and Shawnte. I haven't read anything on an eReader and had no idea linebreaks and poetry formatting were an issue. Thanks for the warning.

Chris said...

Stay strong, Jessica, and continue to hold out. I vow to NEVER submit!

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Chris, you and I, living abroad, may not have a choice. Shipping costs may just drive booksellers to offer only ebooks (in English) overseas at some point. And there won't be a trading market for used books either, I suspect, as more people switch over. Sigh. Maybe I'm wrong though...

Mari said...

Jessica, poetry's next and they're working on the line breaks issue. "Progress"...! Like Jeannine, although I don't have one yet, I can see having an e-reader for things I'll only read once, and reference material. And I can see its usefulness for wiling away the time, and for travel w/out the bulk and weight of books.

Mary Bast said...

I bought a Kindle and tried it for several weeks and I hated it, gave it to a friend who travels a lot. We have a great library and a local branch within biking distance (not that I bike there). You can't flip through a Kindle, though you can mark pages. Try the computer screen version and you'll see what I mean. The "cloud" app I have on my computer allows me access to some free or very inexpensive stuff ($2.99) I want to give a quick read. Otherwise, I'm sticking with real books.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Mari, I'm sure I'll eventually end up with one, as I pay so much in postage for my book buying now, but I really don't think I'll love it. But you're right, it does have certain convenient features.

Mary, I miss the Alachua County Library system. They were the best; every poetry book I put on their suggestion list they bought. You don't need a Kindle with such a great library, that's true.

Perogyo said...

That's what I did at first- downloaded Kindle for iPhone, and that's what got me addicted.

It's worth noting that the only English ebook reader that will support overseas is the normal Kindle, not Kindle Fire or Kindle with ads.

To be honest, I rarely trade old books in Japan anymore, as most people are in Tokyo and once you add up shipping it's cheaper to buy books new from Amazon with free shipping.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

The other advantage for us living her in Japan with tiny homes and no storage space is that we don't have to have stacks of books everywhere...on the floor, on the counters, under the desk where I would put my legs if there weren't several hundred books stacked up....

Still, I hesitate.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

I meant living HERE in Japan. Let's just leave out the HERE. Most people who read this blog don't live in Japan (I get stats about the country of origin, by percentage, not by view, in case you are wondering).