Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Will e-readers replace real books?

This question was asked on a forum and I thought I would turn my answer into a blog, however be advised that what follows is just my opinion.

Apparently the Kindle, Sony e-reader, Nook, etc were the hottest selling gift item this holiday season, and one of the posters had watched a TV show promoting them where an expert said this is the digital age, paper books werebecoming a thing of the past. He pointed out advantages of e-readers is that they can hold up to 1500 booksand downloading books is cheaper than buying paper books; apparently some authors are writing specifically for e-readers now.

So what do I think... will e-readers replace real books?

I have an sony reader and I love it, I got it about 9 months ago, we even have one in the school library (love the sony- not keen on kindle: some things I have read about them disturbs me- including an article where people had bought 1984 and then someone discovered they didn't have the right to sell it, and they withdrew it- including stopping access to all who bought it, because it is all stored online... eeek, but in a book shop if you bought it you bought it- to me it seems like renting the rights to read the book, but that is only my opinion, with the ereader all my books are mine and stored on my pc)I am certain Kindles suit a lot of people, but they are not widely known in the uk, sony is bigger here, helped no doubt by them being backed by Waterstones.

I love paper books too, and I see them as complimentary, I will still buy books I want to keep in paper, but books that I may read once I will get in e copy- it makes travelling so much easier, I just have my reader and the charger and about 400 books! LOL

I bought an 8GB SD card for mine and it has about 150 on at the moment and nowhere near full, the SD card makes it so easy to transfer books, I just shove it in the lappy, put them on, take out, and put in the reader and tadaa.... there they are, you can also transfer books directly to the reader using the library software it comes with, it also come with 100 free books! Classics... and some great reads there.

Also books over 100 years old are out of copyright and you can usually get free e editions, which is great for me as I love Austin, Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes! (It's the English Teacher coming out in me! :D)

Eventually yes I do think paperless books will become the norm and paper books something special, but perhaps that is what it should be, space for many people is becoming a premuim, and I have 2 suitcases of books in the shed- these are to sell as second hand, I already donated about 4 boxes worth to a charity shop when I moved. I just didn't have room for them... even now I am running out of book shelves, hampers, etc. The eformat means I can get what I want, and read it where ever I want!

The only thing I would say is get a decent cover, I didn't like the tan (shit) brown one mone came with, I bought a cute pink one with a stand so I can read and stand it on a table, which is handy sometimes... (I have recipes on it too)

You can also put your own stuff on, type it in word and convert to a pdf... ooo and you can put pictures (black and white currently) and music on it! Handy for those who love audio books.

The screen is designed to be able to be read whichever way you tilt it, but as it is not back lit it does not hurt your eyes, however it does require good light to read. You can buy a cover which has an inbuilt screen light, I know people who have bought these and LOVE them- it means they can read in the dark and not disturb their partners... me.... I turn the light on!


Have I sold you on them yet?


Sparklybearsy said...

Im so old fashioned its unreal! Take your flying birds and books with no pages and shoo!! HAHA!

well im not quite as old fashioned as that, but i am dubious about Ereaders. I DO read ebooks but i find my mind wandering to other things. Ereaders while practically, i can see the use in having that in your bag and not a 600 page hardback book - but they're so impersonal, they have no character like a book does, no smell.

I do think in years to come Ereaders will be the fore runner in how we read and books become something special (like the In Death series set in the future, everything is E read and Roarke has a special library full of rare books...GO READ IT JULESY!! hee! )

For right now im still firmly on the side of actual paper, page turning books with just a sprinklin' of ebooks every now and then.

Minx said...

It is on the table, ready to read when I finish Spider Touched... which is on my EREADER!

Jusy said...

Anything that can get digitized will. Books are next. Look what happen to cameras (no more film), vinyl records (seeing CD's slowly dying due to deline of CD player and rised of music players).

Ebooks, regardless of the hardware, meets the needs of NOW and portability.

I've loved ebooks since I was introduced to it almost nearly 5 years ago. Love having the ability to read any book whereever I am, regardless of the time.

My reader of choice is my Palm Centro. Yes, the screen is smaller than the dedicated readers, but it is what I'm use to. As it is also my phone, datebook, emergency camera, connection to the WWW, and other entertainment device, it's ideal for me. I like carrying light. Plus, I can read in the dark :)

The Book Vixen said...

I don't have an ereader perse but I do have some ebooks on my iTouch. I've downloaded the Kindle app, Stanza and the B&N ereader. Truth be told, I have over 70 ebooks on the thing. But have I read even one? No. I know I can't really compare my tiny iTouch to a Kindle, Sony eReader or a Nook. But an ebook is an ebook.

I like the feel of a book in my hand. I like to look at the cover (sometimes lots of times). I like the feel of turning a page. I like page numbers. What can I say, I'm a touchy-feely kind of gal :D

I get the whole 'save the planet' and 'save the trees' agreement. I only save the books that I absolutely love and the ones that are signed. Other than that, I swap on PaperBackSwap and Goodreads. So I try to do my part.

I haven't read an ebook yet but I can see the benefits. It's portable, you can take it anywhere and have hundreds (if not thousands) of books at your disposal. You can get a book in mere seconds. This would have definitely helped me with my book emergency yesterday! Then, of course, there's the ease of bringing it along with you. I don't know what I'm going to do when I start reading Under the Dome. It's over 1,000 pages!! I guess I'll need to get a bigger purse for when I eventually start that one. But one huge (in my opinion) downfall to ebooks is you can't get an author to sign your ebook.

The Book Vixen said...

And by "agreement" I meant to say "arguement".

SusiSunshine said...

I'M so for ereaders but unfortunately Germany is so behind in things like that! We have a few ereaders out there but most books are so expensive I would never think of buying them. Luckily I prefer to read in English at the moment and I can get most of those way cheaper as the German ones.
I don't own an ereader and you my HTC Touch Diamond for reading ebooks and it's not really comfortable. A bigger screen would be great but the netbook is not handy enough. I would love to have an ereader but at the moment they are too expensive for me- poor student I am! *sigh*
I think ebbooks will get more common but I so hope that real books won't disappear. I love the feel and smell of a real book and never want to lose the possibility to read the real deal.
Does that make sense?

Minx said...

Yes you all make sense and make valid comments, I do agree with Judy that as time goes along everything which can be digital will be, when I think of cameras and mp3 players and societies need for instand gratification. I did a photography course at college and learned how to develop film, and it was so much fun, but alas something which won't happen much now. But like most people I take pictures on my digital camera, store them or put hem on a photo cd, I don't print them.

And I agree with those of you who love the feel of a book, I love real books, the smell, the rough paper, the covers and spines. I love my reader for convenience and space saving, but maybe not so good for reading in the bath!

There are good points on both sides.

I think there is room for both, certainly in the foreseable future.

jaymzangel said...

I agree that both sides have a valid point but for me, I adore my paper books. the covers, the feel, the smell of them. it breaks my heart to think that one day there would be no more libraries (public, school or private) for me to go to & enjoy. for me, libraries will always hold a bit of magic.
however, I do have ebooks on my lappy (mostly erotica =D) & I appreciate the convenience that they afford. but as bear said, my attention wanders when I read ebooks, which is why all mine are fairly short with a few exceptions.
also, as far as lending or gifting books is concerned, ereaders take some of the magic of that away.
for instance, my grandmother gave me her copy of Gone With the Wind when I was a teenager. it is copyrighted 1940 & on the title page she has written her name & February 1941 when it was given to her. it is precious to me because along with my mom, my grandma was one of the ones who fed my insatiable appetite for books & reading. I was the kid who got in trouble for reading TOO much. I'd be reading when I was supposed to be doing other things. =P
I, in turn, gifted about 3 boxes of the books I loved most from when I was a kid (R.L. Stine, Babysitter's Club, Richie Tankersley Cusick) to my little cousin Kaitlyn. she was & still is a voracious reader just like me. I love the idea of passing things that I love so much on to the ones I love.
my book is now one of the few things I have to remember my grandmother by so while I find the digitalization of everything very convenient, if it takes over completely it will definitely be taking away the magic of what books are to me.

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