Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sony E-Reader

 This is a continuation of my last Wordless Wednesday post, the words to go with the picture.

029

As an ex librarian I have never been very keen on the concept of eBooks! I was never going to want to read one.  

Then I was offered the chance to review a book offered in this format. I nearly turned the opportunity down as I do not like the idea of reading books on the computer and this would have been my only option!

It was therefore a surprise when my husband offered to buy me a Sony E Reader for my Birthday.

The Sony E Reader actually feels like handling a small book so I am finding it much more reader friendly than I expected it to be.

I have also realised how useful it is going to be when we are travelling. No more trying to squeeze extra paperbacks in the suitcase. I am sure we will still take real books with us, but the extras I have always packed in the past, just in case we run out of reading material can now be in eBook format.

It must be obvious to you all that I love books, otherwise why would I be here writing this Blog? I always thought I tended towards the viewpoint that reading was all about the book. It was only when I started to think about this new to me concept of digital books that I realised that this is not actually true. For many years I have actually been listening to novels first on cassette tapes, then CD's and enjoying the experience. So it is time for me to embrace 21st century technology and start listening to more podcasts and reading eBooks. Which ever way I choose I am still going to be able to discover new characters and places.

I have learnt that my love of books is just as much the physical handling of books as the stories or facts they contain. When we lived in the UK I had a vast collection of books which I trimmed considerably when we moved to Italy. Thanks to sites such as Bookcrossing and Bookmooch I have learnt to be far less possessive about my books, especially paperback fiction.  Of course that raises a downside, as eBooks cannot be passed on to others via sites such as these.

I will never part with my non fiction library either though, as for me using the computer to look up facts is just not the same as browsing the pages of a real book!

I have already discovered a couple of other advantages to owning one, besides travelling which I have already mentioned. It is easier to hold in bed which is a bonus. Secondly it takes up less room in my handbag for those times when I am waiting somewhere!

There is also of course the green issue to consider in that more eBooks means we are saving paper. I am concerned though on the impact eBooks will have on the future of libraries and book publishing in general.  I am torn on this one as I do like to think I care for the environment!

Although my  Sony-reader is never going to replace my beloved books it is a gadget that I am sure I am going to enjoy owning.

What do you think?

13 comments:

  1. i've briefly used a kindle, just to see. And my response was basically the same as yours...it's amazing how handy it is and that it doesn't seem like reading on a computer. BUT...I agree with your comments about the nature of books and reading.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am not sure about reading in this format. I think I would have to try it and see. But I love the feel of a real book, but who knows in the future. As you say it would take up less space and there would be more room in the suitcase for other things.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can definitely understand this being the thing to have if you were travelling! But as someone who only travels to work and back, I really can't see me ever using one.

    Even then, they just seriously freak me out! Argh! Nooo! It all just seems like blasphemy to me!

    I've got my own ideas here:
    http://subtlemelodrama.blogspot.com/2010/03/on-reading-steve-wasserman-on-fate-of.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm the wait and see kind of person. I warmed up to blogging; I may warm up to Kindle or Ipad.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Lindy,

    I was very skeptical about e-readers, too. Then last Christmas, my daughter's boyfriend received a Kindle as a gift. I spent several hours reading, testing, playing and generally admiring the gadget.

    What amazed me was the e-ink; the print which doesn't strain your eyes. However, other features, such as being able to surf the net completely disinterested me.

    I haven't bought one yet - I'm going to wait a while longer and see how the market settles on THE e-reader to have.

    However: no e-reader will ever replace the sensuous delight of feeling, smelling and devouring into a real book!

    ReplyDelete
  6. SomeBirds, Cathy, lakeviewer and Amanda - Yes, I think they are here to stay but I hope and pray they never replace our beloved books completely.

    Bethany - I will pop over to your blog and read your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  7. i hope they don't edge out 'real' books. it is amazing how quickly they are growing and unfortunately the publishing world is not shifting its structure quickly enough to keep up. it is very precarious for the authors!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Priya I do agree that it is a precarious time for authors and not just because of the advent of ebooks, but sadly because of the world recession in general.
    I know of an author who has a dedicated following after publishing three excellent titles yet she still cannot get the next two published!!
    I hope and pray that real books do not disappear, I do not think this will be the case!?

    ReplyDelete
  9. This was an excellent post. As a self-published author, I have many mixed feelings about these contraptions. First of all, I have none, which already is saying something in itself. I also do not have a Wii, Playstation 3 or anything of that sorts. Why? Technology is fleeting and finicky. Will the ebook stay around? Yes! But the format will change and change and change. Because basically, more than one company handles it. One will come out with a model, then they'll make a new model, then a new one. Look at the kindle. They already have a Kindle 1 and a Kindle 2. When does the Kindle 3 come out? The kindle 4. When will the kindle 1 be obsolete?

    That is why I treasure real books, real physical books. The format will not change, there's no risk that you'll ever lose your books, or that you're book will somehow become destructed and destroyed, and all your books are now gone.:(

    However, many self pubs use this exact technology because they can sell their books. A book for 14.95 by an unknown? Eh. A kindle book for $2.95? Sure, why not.

    There are actually a great deal of self pubs only publishing this way though, although I don't know why. I'm friends with many self pub authors and for some reason, they refuse to create a physical book. I have not done so, I love real books and couldn't dream of not offering mine as such.

    Of course, I have nothing against e-books. Especially when they help advance careers. In fact my own site reviews these kinds of books w/open arms. I can only read pdf e-books though.

    I am actually very pleased about certain aspects too, such as I offer my own book for FREE with simple membership fee, or completely free to ARC's. However, it's only in one format, pdf. Once again, the formatting issue pops up.

    There are also sites that are really abusing ebooks as it makes piracy so much bigger. Ebooks are much more likely to get stolen and may contain DRM on them (Digital Rights Management) In a way it's good, but I personally hate it. I don't believe in 'share your computer with a friend and they can read it.' Real books don't work this way. I would really love a piece of technology instead that makes copying the book impossible (as much as we could), but allow it to be moved from computer to computer. I don't foresee anything like that happening though.

    I also have been getting a 'feel' out there for how many people have this. I have conducted small interviewing outlets where even authors themselves answer. My most significant discovery?

    Most people do NOT have kindles, nooks, sony's and such. Perhaps for the same reason I don't? I've even had authors who release their books in these forms, but do not actually have any ebook reader themselves!

    There is too much publishing on it, and not enough people using it is what I've discovered. This might change, but I still believe books will be more preserved and cherished in a physical format.

    I must also say that being able to self-pub in minutes online with ebooks has drawn out many authors who do not take time to edit their work, to get their work reviewed, etc. This may be the biggest impact e-readers have had. If you want to write a 2,000 word story and want to publish it, you may now can.

    Of course, physical self pubbing is similar, but authors who tend to go this route seem to have more editing done (my own opinion) as they still have to actually pay money for proof copies, ARC's and such.

    In conclusion, I think this was one heck of a comment, but I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful post to comment upon.:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Melanie - Welcome as my latest follower. I am delighted that you appreciated my post and took the time and effort to write such a comprehensive response. I found your viewpoint very interesting and unsurprising as you make it clear early on in the piece that you are not a gadget type of person. I love my Wii :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Abhinav - I am glad you found it useful, all the best with your project.

    ReplyDelete

I indulge my love of books with this blog and it makes it all worthwhile when you leave comments. I really am interested in what you think so do let me know. I have decided as the nature of this review blog makes for conversation in the comments, just to reply here and not individually, so please subscribe to comments or call back again to stay in the conversation. Thankyou for your continued support.