Monday, January 17, 2011

E-Books and Me: A Discussion

For Christmas, the cc bought me an eReader. I had only sort of wanted one since they came out, but he had a good argument. My books won't fit in our place and are still mostly residing at my mother's house. Maybe later this year we will finally have enough room, but just in case that doesn't happen I can put books on an eReader and then I don't have to worry about space. Then, I can resume buying books once in a while and actually know where they are AND maybe get them read. He made a good point and I agreed that I wanted an eReader for Christmas. I still bought books, though. All the books in my list of books I was looking forward to in 2011? I pre-ordered them all and they will be physical books. They are series and authors that I love and will want to hang onto for years to come.

Just because I was getting an eReader, though, I had no idea what I was going to do with it once it arrived. Would I even like it? Would it be something I love for a moment and then get tired of? I opened it up on Christmas Day and discovered that I love it. It came loaded with 100 classics and I always feel like I don't read enough classics. Why buy them, though, when they are available free? It is much more affordable to read them on an eReader. It is not taking away from authors, either, because they are dead. I feel no guilt. Plus, I am currently making a list of books I have read either through my eReader or the library that I want to own. If I see them at a second-hand store, I will buy them then. If not, they are just books that I will buy when I have more space.

I actually have reasons for why I like eReaders:
  • The big one is space. I don't have room for everything that I read... Once I read a book I do tend to decide if I want to keep it or discard it, but sometimes that doesn't help much.
  • Money! I want to read classics, so this way I can read them for free and buy the ones that I really love at a later date if I want to.
  • Font size. I hate really little font in books. I will either not read or put off reading a book because of it. With an eReader you can change the size and this means I am reading books I probably would never have read otherwise.
  • Page count. I am really good with books in the 300 to 400 page range. Bigger than that, though, I tend to start them and never finish them! With an eReader you have no idea how big a book is. I just read and don't worry about it. With paper books I am constantly checking to see how many more pages a chapter is or how many more pages the book has left. The eReader counts down the pages and tells you how far you are from the end. I actually read ebooks faster!
Those are just the reasons that come to mind. What is it that you love or don't love about eReaders? I have seen lots of posts about the subject, but I am still curious about this issue.

Another thing I have seen circulating is piracy issues. Some authors have found ways around this by supporting the free downloading of books. Last night I downloaded a whole series of books by Lois McMaster Bujold from Baen Books. I am excited because I have always wanted to read the series, so now I can read them and then decide if I like them or not. If I do, you can bet that I will buy them. If I don't, then, well, I didn't waste money. I don't feel guilty if I get a few free books here or there, though. I used to buy books just based on recommendations, but I have to be picky about that nowadays. When you don't have space for anymore books you have to do what works. There are sites that are even starting to make the first book in series available for free. I think that is an awesome idea because if I like the first book I will buy it and then buy all the rest of the series... I have to have complete sets!

What are your thoughts on free ebooks? Do you think they have their benefits, or are they a bad idea entirely?


  1. I just got a kindle today, I'd been using the app on my iPhone for a while, but the screen is just too small so I decided to take the plunge & buy a proper one.

    The main reason being the same as yours, space.
    Obviously, just having bought it I can't say how great it is just yet, but I think it'll be very handy.

    I use the free open source calibre library to manage my ebook collection as it allows you to change formats so any free ebook/pdf/word doc can be read, which is very useful

  2. I think I'll be using my ereader more in the future. I used to have a hard time not flipping, but since getting used to audiobooks, I've solved that problem! Weird, huh?

  3. As we've discussed before I really want my own Kobo, especially for all the free classics! The space thing is a very good argument though because I don't have nearly as many books as you but my shelves are getting out of control! I like the concept of reading on an e-reader I think but at the same time I may very well not like it too. Hard to say. Guess I will have to get one one of these days and see!

  4. At first I was very resistant to the thought of e-readers replacing my beloved paper book, but after using my son's Kindle while he was at boot camp...I fell in love! I have yet to buy a book. Amazon has the best free downloads and to date I think I've downloaded 25+ books!!! It's paid for itself in my mind!

  5. I'm quite happy with my nook. I haven't used it all that much yet (you've seen my list of TBR books), but it'll definitely get more use in the future. Like you, I have no space for more paper books and with a move coming up, I've become even more aware of that fact. E-books will never completely replace paper books for me, but they do make a nice addition.

  6. I get mildly jealous every time free ebooks start floating around, and all the people with e-readers can party with the free books. It's just not the same when you read them on the computer.

  7. It looks like you have the newest version of the Kobo. I got mine around May or June 2010 so I have the ancient version. LOL! Yours is suppose to be faster better graphics, etc. Also I have to plug mine into my computer to download books and charge it.

    I love it though! Studies show that people read slower on ereaders but I find them faster. Like you I like a bigger font, so I think I read faster because I am not squinting. LOL!

  8. I bought my Kindle for travel, and it's excellent for that, it certainly hasn't replaced paper books in my regular life (and I doubt it ever will).

    I hope you enjoy the Vorkosigan books! Bujold's one of my favorite authors, and it always seems like not as many people read her as she deserves, so I hope you get converted into a fan!


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