Your Thoughts on E-Readers
In Case You Missed It
Last week, I wrote about the problems and solutions I see for e-reader technology, which was complicated this week by the release of the Apple iPad. The iPad will feature what looks like a very cool iBooks application that will likely compete with Amazon.com's (AMZN) Kindle, Barnes & Noble's (BKS) Nook and Sony's (SNE) multiple e-readers. I asked you to send me your thoughts on e-readers and many of you did, some of which are printed below. Thanks for writing in!
Thank you! As an owner of a first generation Kindle I fully agree with everything you wrote. I *really* want to upgrade my Kindle already, but I'm holding out for a Kindle with a color display. If Amazon (and the other companies!) don't get their acts together soon they're going to miss the boat. I happen to also have the Droid cell phone with the Google Android OS. I found a very interesting (and FREE) app known as Aldiko--it's a FREE e-reader for my Droid phone! There are a number of FREE books available to download through the app.
So if you are waiting in the sidelines to join us, the masses who enjoy our e-books, perhaps consider a cell phone with an e-reader app capability.
You missed my favorite drawback: Someone can delete your book without your knowledge. How ironic that it was "1984" deleted! This time it was private enterprise, next time ... government??
I have two of them [e-readers], and bought them for my adult kids and their wives, for Christmas!
What are the benefits? I recently took a trip and did not want to take the owners' manual for the camera, GPS unit, etc. With the big Kindle I just imported the PDF files and had lots of manuals and they did not take up any space!
Probably the best and the worst thing is hearing about a book that sounds good, and having it to read in less than 15 seconds. The next best thing is you can search a book, or all your books for a word. You can turn down the corner of a page and you can underline what is important and then get a print out of all your underlined stuff.
A student without one will be at a disadvantage.
I love them.
Green Valley, Arizona
I have a Kindle 2, had an original Kindle (sold it in two minutes at lunch). Background, I have read over 50 books on my palm devices over the years, small but clear screen, great while waiting in line or other times. But you are missing the point on the Kindle, it gets AP news, blogs, newspapers from all over the world, magazines, PDF files and books. I have hand problems so it helps me a lot. If I want a book that is part of a collection of favorite authors, I just buy a real book. Several friends have brought Kindles after looking at mine. It can open a whole world to you.
For the exact reasons you mentioned, I did not buy an e-reader (too new, wait to work out the bugs, I like the feel of a real book, etc.).
Yet, the kids bought mom and me a Kindle for Christmas, so I am using it. My first book, "Stones to Schools" by Greg Mortenson was so great that I wanted to share it. How? I bought a new real book from Amazon and had it shipped to my brother! Yeah, I bought it twice! Then I bought Mortenson's first book, "Three Cups of Tea," but will not buy my brother this one; if he thinks it is good, he can buy it himself.
End result, he will have two books he can share. I have two books stored away in a Kindle that I bought but cannot share. You know, when you find something that is truly amazing, you want to share it. Kindle had better find a way for me to do that or I will probably use it to download only the free books that are available and go to Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble to purchase all other books.
Another problem with the Kindle: It is a painful process, when reading in the middle of a book, to go back to a reference page (a map, etc.) that is located in the front of the book. And once you get there you have to zoom in to read the writing on the map. Now, where was I reading when I abandoned my place?
My bottom line: Don't buy an e-reader.
As an older adult with aging eyes I don't like to read on the computer or other technology at all. If I hold a book in my hand I can read comfortably by getting under enough light, and if necessary I can put one of those magnifying sheets on the book to make the print larger. I cannot do that with Kindle or computers and frankly I can barely see the screen on my cell phone. But the latter is OK because I only use the phone for talking anyway.
Park City, Utah
I agree with you completely. The e-bookers have not yet figured out how a love of literacy and sharing supports their model. Netflix is the perfect model.
Excellent idea, believe you're on to something. Which company will be the first to implement your idea? Good article.
I don't know which company will be the first to implement it, but the next letter writer may have some clues:
I just completed a survey for Sony today. I think I can safely assume from some of their questions that they are considering a Netflix-like subscription service, as you suggest.
Should be good.
Thank you for allowing me to comment on e-readers. Regarding the sharing of books, in my area there is a small store with hundreds of used paperback books of many different types and topics for sale. Most of these books are approximately $2. E-reader Web sites are asking $28 for a Clive Cussler action-packed book. It represents quite a difference in the price of enjoyment. If paper books are to be replaced by the expense of e-readers, I assume I'll give up reading. In my profession, I produce engineering component drawings from computers. That's nine hours minimum in front of a computer monitor. When I arrive home after my stressful drive, leaning over my monitor is the last thing I want to relax in front of. And that is why I need books.
Excellent editorial. A library approach could very well be created by Netflix or a similar entity. It would no doubt be appreciated and probably successful. What about Google as a purveyor?
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Until next time,
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