Thursday, October 16, 2008

ereaders...anyone?

Okay, I'm coming out of the closet. I'm admit, I'm an ebook author and I don't have an ereader. How many of you ebook authors are like me, you write them, but you haven't gotten around to buying the handy device that allows you to read them. Well, up until recently I've been content to read ebooks on my computer. I'm now finding that to be a pain in the ass. Why? Because I have too many favorite ebook authors now. I want to be able to take their books with me when I go somewhere, just like I do my paperbacks. Or, I want to be able to sit on the couch, or in bed and read an ebook. I can't because I don't have an ebook reader.

The other day I told Regina that I really want an ebook reader and I'm not waiting until Christmas to have one, dammit! I've been saving little bits of cash here and there to buy me an ereader. I had every intention of getting the ebookwise, it's affordable and convenient and I've heard good things about it. When I told my husband that I'm going to buy myself an ebookwise (at $140 that's damned cheap!) he said, why not buy the new Sony. I said, because I don't have that much to spend. He, being the sweetie that he is, has offered to pay half, so I can have the Sony ereader. He's the electronics man around the house and he seems to feel I'd like the Sony ereader. So, for an early birthday present (Nov. 17th) we're going to get me a Sony ereader. Yay! This means no more sitting at the desk to read an ebook. I can carry it with me to games and cheer competitions. I can sit on the couch and read an ebook. I can download hundreds of ebooks and even my own too. How cool is that, right?

But this got me to thinking. There are several cool ereaders on the market today. I'm curious, which one do you have, or WISH you had?

The Kindle, Amazon's baby...




The Sony, of course Sony couldn't let Amazon have ALL the fun...
or the Ebookwise, affordable and the size of a paperback... If you DON'T have an ereader, I'm curious why? Is it the cost? Is it just that you haven't gotten around to buying one? I kept blaming it on the cost, but the truth is, with all the paperback books I've bought just this month alone, I could have had that damned ebookwise! I added it up. I went to barnes and noble once, I bought a few books off Amazon, and I went to Borders twice. I've spent $110 on books...and that's not included the two times I went to the UBS and bought books...Is that crazy or what?

It's funny how we justify $10 and $20 at a time, but dropping $100 or $200 suddenly seems like such a big deal. Think about it for a second. How many books have you bought the last few months? And be honest! Here's another little test...how much have you spent in cell phone bills in the last few months? lol


61 comments:

lorrilynnebrown said...

I have an ebookwise that I have had for a couple of years. I do love it - the backlight lets me read any where, it doesn't weigh much and the size is compatible with my purse.

Yes, I often have to convert my books from Microsoft Reader or PDF files, but there are free or cheap converters that do that with only minor occasional glitches.

The only thing I don't like is that it can't read the secure formats. I can understand the publisher's concerns, but if Itunes can figure it out, you would think that the book industry could too.

Kelley Nyrae said...

I really want one. I think the Sony looks great. You'll have to let me know how you like it once you get yours.

Leah Braemel said...

I have a Sony 505. And love it. (although I'm a little bummed that they've come out with a new version with a built in light.) Initially I didn't like the Sony - even considered taking it back because it couldn't handle PDFs but they came out with a firmware update and it's no problem. One addition I've made is I don't always use the Sony Library software to convert my existing ebooks that are LIT or HTML format because Sony can't convert them. I use Calibre - it's a free easy-to-use program.

Why not the Kindle? I'm not in the US. So that's not an option for me. And I'd never heard of the fictionwise one until after I'd received my Sony. Which was a birthday present from my DH - gotta love a guy who spends that much to feed my reading addiction.

Dara Edmondson said...

I'm like you, Anne - I don't have one, but I want one - a Kindle. I've looked at several and the Kindle feels most comfortable to me.

Anne Rainey said...

Lorrilynne--I'm afraid when I get my Sony ereader I'm going to be totally lost as to how to use it! Hopefully there'll be easy instructions. Plus, the hubby is good for that too.

Yes, I definitely want it to be backlit. I want to be able to read in a dimly lit room without any trouble.

Anne Rainey said...

Leah--You're husband sounds like a keeper!! I love when they support our book addiction! hehe!

Anne Rainey said...

Dara, I'll be honest one of the reasons that has pushed me to buy one is my oldest brother. He's so resistant to the tech age and he's falling behind. He thinks computers are a waste of space and he wouldn't know what to do with an ipod or gps. As I watched my daughter the other day using her ipod to watch an episode of Supernatural, I thought, things are changing and they're changing fast. I'd better get my ass in gear, or I'll be like my brother, frowing and grumbling about things he doesn't understand.

Anne Carrole said...

I love my Sony reader. And if you have trouble with text you can just save a pdf file as "save as text" in Adobe before loading into the Sony Library, and it generally eliminates any text issues (you lose just a bit in fomatting). I take it everywhere and it is my preferred way to read my books now--hands down. Even when a book is in print, I look for it in e-book format. I actually like the fact that I load the books to my computer first because if I, heaven forbid, lose my e-reader, all my books are still on the computer! With the Kindle you load directly to the the device. Plus, for me, it's essential to have a reader that is compatible with pdf files since I often get ARCs. Go for it, you won't be sorry!

Anne Rainey said...

Hey Anne--so whe you buy ebooks you always buy the .pdf format? That's what I do now and I didn't know if I'd have to buy a different format in order for the Sony ereader to recognize the file type.

Also, can I still buy ebooks from various sites, or do I have buy from the sony ebook store? The reason I ask is because I know that when I buy ebooks straight from the publisher's store, the author gets her/his full cut. And I want to be able to continue to support my favorite authors...

Liane Gentry Skye said...

I never thought I could love any ereader, but I do love my Kindle. Backlight bothers me, and the Kindle doesn't have it.

It was a huge decision for me to make the purchase. When I found out an agent friend was using a kindle to read manuscripts while she travelled, it perked my interest. The only downside I've found is that the page turn buttons are a bit hyperactive.

I'm so thrilled with my purchase that I want to share the joy. One of my lovely readers will be able to *win a brand new Kindle* during the month of December to help me celebrate the release of my upcoming Christmas novella. :)

Anonymous said...

I love my Sony reader. I just recently bought the light (which is attached to a cover) and well worth it for the winter months. I carpool and I can use this to read in the car. It lights the entire screen and just folds in front of the screen. I plan to use this cover for the winter when it is darker and us the other in the summer months (the light does add weight to the reader. It is a book wedge light made specially for the Sony reader.

I love the fact that I can carry so many books with me and start a new book anywhere I am. I can read inside or outside. I never get a headache from looking at the screen no matter how long I read.

The downside is that I cannot read my e reader in the bathtub. But I could not read any ereader there.

I love mine. It makes me a very happy person. I also figure I have made up the cost in what I spend on ebooks versus what I spent on paperbacks. (Although I do still buy paperbacks. My preferred format is now electronic books.

Jena

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add taht I have not bought any books from teh Sony store. I buy .pdf directly from the publisher. I also occaionally borrow library books and can read them (for 3 weeks) on my reader.

Jena

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

I have two ebook readers. I have the old Reb1100 which is an older version of the ebookwise. On the plus side, it's backlit with a couple of options for font size. On the negative side is its weight. It's sort of heavy.

My other ebook reader is *sigh* Amazon's Kindle. I LOVE it, especially the instant gratification of being able to download a book just about anywhere. Unfortunately it's not backlit, but okay I can turn on a light. The other problem is that the next page buttons are too big. It's nice that they're located on either side, a convenience to lefties and righties, but they're too big leaving very little room to hold the reader comfortably. I get around that by leaving the reader in the firm-backed leather cover and hold it like a book. Doing so leaves one had to hold the book and the other to hit the next page button. I'm a leftie, but using my right to hit the next page isn't a problem.

Dr. Karl E. Taylor said...

I'm employed in technology, have been for over 20 years now. That said, I have a room full of "state of the art" gear that, well, you can't buy any longer. Either the "state" or the "art", failed.

The eReaders look good and I admit, are tempting. But I understand the way technology works. What's hot today, can be in the bargain bin tomorrow. Remember the Newton? Handspring? OS/2? Lots of great products, no where to be seen today.

This does not mean I don't have e-books, and that I don't write for e-publishing. I do on both counts. I save and store my tech writing in PDF and PDB formats. Many of the people I work with use Palms, smart phones and PocketPC's, these to formats fill the bill very nicely. And I am a huge opponent of DRM, the secure formats.

Will I own a custom eReader? Probably not. My main reason is really very simple. I read a book to get away from the technology.

Katriena Knights said...

I bought an eBookwise recently and I love it. I have cranked through more books on that than I have paperbacks over the past few months. I particularly like reading in the dark before bed, because it helps me get to sleep. :-)

Anny Cook said...

I have a Sony--for a couple years now. And I will update soon to the newest one and pass this one on to my friend.

According to my tax guy a digital reader is tax deductible for me because I use it to promote my books. I keep a sample of my work on my reader. When people ask about the reader--and yes people do!!!--I let them read a sample of my work on the reader.

I take it everywhere and use it everywhere. People are fascinated with it. And they love to "try" it out.

Anne Rainey said...

Hey Jena--Thanks for commenting! I'm glad to know I can buy directly from the publisher when I get my Sony! Yeah, I'll probably still buy paperback books too, but the price difference is too good to ignore. Figure a full length novel at the store can run you anywhere from $7 to $30, while that same book will be available at fictionwise for $5...the savings adds up! And I love that you can borrow from the library too. Neat!

Liane and Marie-Nicole--You two are making me very jealous!! LOL

Anne Rainey said...

Hey Dr. Karl--I can totally understand your need to get away from the tech stuff! I have two guy friends, both are programmers, when they need some downtime the gadgets get turned OFF. LOL

Anne Rainey said...

Katriena--Oooh! I can't wait to get an ereader, and you just pegged the reason too. I want to be able to buy as many books as I want and just read til my little heart's content! LOL

Anny--YOU! I could kiss you! I remember you telling us beofre about the tax deductable thing. I told my husband about that and he was very pleased to hear it. Thanks for that tip!

Regina Carlysle said...

Damn! Just checking this out. I've been blogging on myspace and in general...wasting a bunch of TIME. I'm soooo glad you're breaking down and getting one. Yes, I looove my ebookwise but when I get a new one, I'm thinking about the new Sony. Did you know BestBuy carries them???? How cool is that?

The ebookwise IS awesome though. The price is soooo right at $140 and when you consider the amount of money spent plus the storage involved with paper books, this is just the BEST. In the past, I've spent roughly $300 sometimes more on books in my local bookstore. This WHOLE year, I've spent less than $75. That's less than the price of the ereader. It's a money saver, convenient, fun to read on and well...LOL...I just can't say enough about this method of buying and reading books.

Genella deGrey said...

I have a sony & purchase ebooks directly from the publisher, too.

I downloaded my cover onto my eReader to see what it will look like when it's released. Total squee moment.

:)
G.

Molly Daniels said...

Hopefully I'll be getting the Sony one for either b-day or Christmas:) Currently my e-books are on either floppy disks or CDs, and even a couple are on my flash drive. I want to download all to the flash, and then to the Sony so I can quit buying those getting-harder-to-find disks (my CDW quit on me!)

Sophia Danu said...

Good blog! I don't have an ebook reader, but this has been helpful because my hubby and I have talked about getting me one. We looked at the Kindle, but it seems here that the Sony is the most liked. Cool!! Thanks for the info!

Anne Rainey said...

Regina--ugh, storage! I totally hear you. Our house is not very big, so as a result most of my books are in boxes in the basement, which sucks. Yet another benefit of buying ebooks and owning an ereader, my books will no longer be in the basement!

Genella--I'm totally with you! I want to see my books and covers on my ereader. How cool is that?! :)

Leigh Court said...

I have to admit I'm a "want to hold a book in my hands" reader, but my husband travels a lot on business, and he loves his Kindle!

So I'm sure I'll eventually come around...

Leigh

Michele said...

I only have a palm pilot to read ebooks away from my PC.
Those readers look AWESOME and droolworthy!

I love ebooks because they allow access to the types of romance genre not readily avaliable in print, esp. in my little country town. M/M? ::shudder:: yet it's what I want at times and ebooks offers me that freedom of choice.

I have an OLD Palm pilot, courtesy of a very special friend, otherwise, my butt would be spread from coast to coast from the time I've I would have spent at my PC>

Isn't technology Wonderful???

Michele said...

sorry for typos...I'm at work and sneaking in. LOL

Regina Carlysle said...

Know all that remodeling I'm doing at my house??? I had to do heavy duty closet/drawer cleaning and I SWEAR...I think I bagged up FOUR lawn bags full of old paperback books. WOW....Space! We now have CLOSET SPACE again!!!

I also like the instant gratificatioon of ebook readers. If someone has a new book out and it's available in ebook format, I can get on late at nice or over holidays and have it in my hands in a few SECONDS. THAT to me is amazing.

Regina Carlysle said...

Ooops. Here I GO again. LOL. I got my ebookwise for Christmas and the family was cracking up because I instantly got set up and started dancing around because I'd just bought BOOKS while in my jammies!

Anne Rainey said...

Michele--I hear ya! It'll be awhile before I see a m/m book in one of our bookstores! Good thing there's epublishers!

Anne Rainey said...

Regina--I didn't think about the shopping convenience. I do like the idea of being able to grab it off the ebook store, all the while wearing jammies! hehe!

Sarah Grimm said...

When I read Ebooks, it's mostly on my laptop. When not at home, I'll use my palm cell phone. I've thought about getting a reader, but haven't yet as the computer is my preferred way of reading.

Maryann Miller said...

I have an Ebookwise and generally love it. However, today as I was trying to upload some books from my computer to load into the device, I kept running into problems. The site for uploading was obviously busy, but it was frustrating not to be able to get these books loaded before I head out of town.

Other than that, I really like reading on a device like this. Had a Rocket for many years and used it for reviwing e-books, reading e-books for fun, and for judging contests. Sure beats trying to read on the computer screen or printing pages of PDF.

Desirée Lee said...

I have a Sony Reader that my ex bought for me as a Yuletide gift two years ago. I love it except for that it is not backlit.

At first, it was hard to find books for it but since ebook readers have grown in popularity, a lot of places are formatting books in the Sony native format (.prc IIRC).

I know the Sony displays PDF's but it draws them like an image and it is hard to change the font size unless it is converted first. Maybe the newer versions of the reader have fixed that. I have the first generation of the device.

I have seen the Kindle and it's a neat device. If I did not already own a reader, I would consider that.

I have not personally seen the ebookwise one so I can't say anything one way or the other about it.

Since I already own the Sony, I do not plan to buy another ebook reader anytime soon.

Carpe Noctem,
Des

Desirée Lee
Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy
http://www.desireelee.com
des@desireelee.com

Barbara Scott said...

Thanks for your blog today. It gives me more info for my own research into what ereader to buy. I have a Palm Treo which I quit using as my phone because I fell for a freebie flip phone. Now I miss having those books in my purse,
What OS does the Sony work with? PDF? Were you able to access all your stored ebooks and move them to the Sony?

Susan Macatee said...

I'd love to get one, but just can't afford it. Maybe someday ... Sigh.

Linda LaRoque said...

I've had the ebookwise reader and had for over a year. I've had a few problems downloading some formats, but not sure if it's the reader or the publisher. I love that it's back lit and I can read in bed without bothering my husband. I've also downloaded a work in progress and edited by highlighting errors.

Linda
A Law of Her Own
www.lindalaroque.com

Regina Carlysle said...

Hey Barbara! I'm not an expert on Sony on BIT (I have the ebookwise) but I THINK my friends who have it load html AND pdf on these. If I'm wrong, I hope someone corrects me on it.

Anne Rainey said...

Des--I'm sort of waffling now btwn the new Sony version and the Kindle. I'll have to have the dh take a look and see which is the better investment. That's more his area than mine. LOL

Barbara--Leah said in her comment that the older version couldn't handle .pdf format, but then they offered an update, and now it can. Not sure about the new Sony ereder. I'd like to know that myself actually. And your welcome! I hope all the comments have been helpful in your buying!

Linda--what a GREAT idea!! There's been so many times I've wanted to continue editing, but was tired of sitting at the desk. I never would have thought to use the ereader for that! Thanks for the tip!

Anne Rainey said...

Here's the Best Buy link to the new Sony:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8586185&st=ereader&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&id=1190676990769

Though I don't see that it's backlit...is it or no?

Regina Carlysle said...

I think one of the differences between the new Sony and the old one is the new one is backlit. It also lets you run your finger across the "page" to turn it. Cool.

Regina Carlysle said...

SOmething about the new SOny was posted at The Wild Rose PRess. Bet she'd post that article from Sony about their reader again. We should ask about that. YES...it is backlit, Anne. That was one of the main things that caught my interest.

Anne Rainey said...

here's the link to the lates version of the Sony Ereader...damn I want this thing! LOL

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921665562069

anny cook said...

Hello Barbara! I have the OLDEST Sony reader. I use HTML and convert it to .rtf ... however, the newer ones support pdf, etc. And from what I understand from talking to owners, they have no problem downloading their libraries. I suspect that I will purchase the newest one with all the bells and whistles after Christmas. My current one is nearly three years old and it's doing just fine so I'll probably pass it on to a friend.

Anne Rainey said...

WOOHOO!!! I just pre-ordered the newest version of the Sony ereader! I cannot wait to get it! Yay!

Regina Carlysle said...

YAY!!!!! That's GREAT Anne. OMG...you're gonna be soooo hooked. Do you know when it comes in?? Damn. I'm excited for you.

Diana Castilleja said...

I have a Sony Clie, an old model PDA. I've been drooling for ages for a new ereader and the man even asked about it for a christmas idea. He can't really justify the cost for a one trick pony present though. I did point out he spent the equivalent for his Wii, but that's something we all use. Kinda.

I'm seriously looking at the ebookwise or the Sony. One of the things that I like about the Clie although it has been a hassle with getting each book to the right connection file-is that I can read Mobi, PDF, and PDB (eReader) on it. I'd say 95% of my purchses are in PDF form now. Although I'm checking out the Calibre that was mentioned. The last converter I had, had an annual license. I'll take free any day. ;)

I buy on average 3 ebooks for every 4paperbacks, so I'm not slacking on supporting my friends and favs. ;) I'd just love to have something a little larger than a postage stamp size screen to read it on.

Crystal Adkins said...

I have the ebookwise...which I'm selling if anyone is interested. I like it ok, but the print is too small for me most of the time and I just don't like it. I'd rather read online to enlarge it to what I like. It is easy to configure and you just download your books onto it with ease. It just isn't for me I guess. I do admit that print books are my fav. and to me they're just comforting but I also do quite enjoy a good ebook as well :)
Crystal
crystaladkins722@gmail.com

Connie Northrop said...

Anne I love my Sony! I can probably help with questions too.

Catherine Bybee said...

I'm so glad you blogged this subject. Sounds like I need to pick up the Sony. I don't like problems with downloads. Life is too short for that garbage.

The reason I haven't bought one is because I don't have a place to shop them other than on-line. I like to hold a purchace in my hand and see how they work.

Is Best Buy the only place that has them? Can you only order them on-line, or have any of you found them physicaly in a store?

Catherine Bybee said...

I'm so glad you blogged this subject. Sounds like I need to pick up the Sony. I don't like problems with downloads. Life is too short for that garbage.

The reason I haven't bought one is because I don't have a place to shop them other than on-line. I like to hold a purchace in my hand and see how they work.

Is Best Buy the only place that has them? Can you only order them on-line, or have any of you found them physicaly in a store?

Rob Preece/BooksForABuck.com said...

I love my eBookWise and am happy to recommend it--it is a bit older (heavier) technology, and it doesn't have the cool wireless connectivity that the Kindle does, but you can read it in the dark.

I also use an aging Palm--which I like because I can throw it in my pocket and always have it with me. The eBookWise is a bit bigger than pocket size, which is a good thing when it comes to screen size but no to good in carrying on walks or whatever.

Rob Preece
Publisher, www.BooksForABuck.com

lindseye said...

I have a Sony ereader and they are available at the Sony online store and at Borders which is where I bought mine. I load all PDF in mine and the print is sometimes to small. The page can be enlarged but sometimes affect the formatting but I ignore that. My main complaint is it is difficult to refind passages to reread because I often do not think or know I want to bookmark something until the end of the story.

Connie Northrop said...

Lyndseye,

The PDF problem and small print..they have a firmware update that lets them be more adjustable. If that is still too small you can set the print to be landscape instead of portrait. That makes the fonts even bigger.

Carolan Ivey said...

I have a Sony that I bought from a friend when she upgraded to a Kindle. I do like it a lot but the screen contrast could be a little better, and this model doesn't have a backlight option - which extends battery time but no night reading without a lamp. Another drawback is that while it WILL read multiple formats, you have to make sure the font is large enough. The enlarge font button on the device doesn't make it big enough. The typical ebook in pdf or html has to be specially formatted for Sony or else you need a magnifying glass to read it. Happily I have Acrobat Standard so I can, if needed, reformat a PDF with a larger font.

Typical of Sony products, though, it's sleek and light, easy to slip into my purse. And easy to figure out how to use intuitively.

I like my Sony - but having played with my friend's new Kindle, I've got ereader envy. :)

Titania Ladley said...

Hey, Anne! I read ebooks on either my puter or my AlphaSmart, but I do plan to buy a reader some day. Cost is holding me back simply because I can't justify the money when I already have a means to read ebooks. But it would be nice to curl up with a reader instead of my laptop. :D

Aww, what a sweet hubby! And by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hey, we're close in date. Mine's the 25th of November. :)

Titania

Anne Rainey said...

carolan--I'm cracking up over your 'ereader envy' comment. LOL

Ti--November birthdays rock! hehe! Happy early birthday to you!

When Iwas researching this new Sony Ereader, I realized this is their answer to the Kindle. This is good for all concerned, because competition will bring prices down. One huge point in Sony's favor, you can buy books anywhere. With Kindle you can only buy them at Amazon...

J.K. Coi said...

I have the Sony, and I LOVE it!

Laura said...

I have both the eBookwise and the Kindle and the Kindle is my favorite. I love it! I love that you can download samples of books and buy books without having to connect to a computer. It's genius!

One of the posters said you can only buy Kindle books from Amazon which is incorrect. A lot of ebook sellers now sell the Kindle format or you can purchase a book in PDF and have amazon convert it to Kindle format for free (it costs $.10 each to have it downloaded to your Kindle automatically but it is free if you connect your Kindle to your computer.)

Laura

Anne Rainey said...

Laura--thanks for correcting me on that. I had been reading a news site where they did a comparison to the Sony and it said that. Sorry for the misinformation! :)

Delle Jacobs said...

I'm like you, Anne, I'm an ebook author without an ebook reader. I've had ebooks out since 2000 and I've read hundreds of others. But no reader for me. I haven't found one that satisfies me, so I keep on reading on my laptop.

I think the Kindle is ridiculously expensive and I don't like the Sony's proprietary attitude. I did look at a Sony at Fry's Electronics, but I wasn't really satisfied, not for the $300 tag.
And the EBookwise, while less expensive, hasn't proven satisfactory for my friends who have it.

I've been waiting for a new one, Astak Mentor, that was supposed to come out this summer but didn't, so I had to go on my Mediterranean cruise without a reader. Now it's supposed to come out at the end of November, and there's no mention at all of the smallest size that didn't make its summer debut. Supposedly this one will be around $200, but I have the feeling it will be more in the Sony price range when it finally comes out.

In the meantime, I put my money elsewhere. After lugging my 7.8 pound laptop all over Europe, I was more determined than ever to get a mini laptop for travel, and I found the MSI Wind for $400, once all discounts were in. Battery life is only 3 hours and it weighs 2.3 pounds but it works for reading as well as note-taking and quick bursts of writing because I just pull it out of my purse and start using it.

So I guess an ebook reader is pushed farther off into the future for me now.