Friday, January 14, 2011

The E-Reader Debate- Opinions?

The other day I received an email from an author asking if I would be willing to review one of their books in PDF format. I declined because and I let them know that while I could love to read their book and review it, I didn't think that I could commit to reading an entire novel on my laptop (seriously, my eyes would go all wonky and I would get all distracted by  the internet and whatnot), and their response to me? "You should really consider getting an e-Reader." It's not as if I haven't thought about getting an e-reader before, because I have. But there are just so many questions I have...
  • If I were to buy an e-Reader, would I actually use it (seriously, I bought an Ipod Nano a few years ago when they first blew up and I rarely use it... In fact I don't know if I could even tell you its current location). 
  • Would it even be worth it to even buy an e-Reader if I didn't plan on buying e-books... (Instead I would only use it for free books from such sources as Netgalley, from authors who want me to review their books, free releases by authors such as Shannon Delany's "Beasts and BFFs" or Rachel Vincent's "Reaper" because I would still plan on buying real books)? 
    • I understand that buying e-Readers is more environmentally friendly and a lot of people say that it is cheaper buying e-books than real books... But I disagree. Take "The Lost Saint" by Bree Despain for example, it is $10 for an e-book or $15 for a hardcover copy of the book. Yes there is a $5 price difference but because I am superbly technically challenged I feel like I could easily lose my e-book downloads and then what am I left with? Nothing. I would have to repurchase any of the books that I had and lost. But with a real book? I have it forever and I can't really just lose them). It isn't like I just read a book and toss it out (thus making me un-environmentally friendly)... I keep them and constantly reread them (this situation is kinda like my music situation- I always buys CDs as opposed to downloads because I am continuously losing data on my computer, forgetting to back-up stuff and whatnot, but because I buy CDs I can easily redownload them, whereas I cannot if I were to just have one downloaded copy of it- I would have to buy everything that I lost again, doubling my costs).
  • What is the best e-Reader? I have done some research online about various e-Readers/ reviews, but I would love to hear what some of you think about your e-Reader. Do you like yours? Would you recommend it? What have you heard about other e-Readers?
  • And the question that I am having the hardest time answering. At this time would I rather spend $150+ on an e-Reader (where I could potentially have thousands of books on it but may only occasionally use) or would I rather buy 15+ books that I would most likely continuously reread from Amazon for the same price?
It's a tough call- I would love to hear what you think!


  1. I was kind of at the same point you're at. For the most part, MMP books cost the same practically for both hardcopies and e-copies. So what's the point?

    I have done reading on the computer and it does strain my eyes as well. I have remained on the fence about ereaders for a very long time. Sometimes I think maybe, others not so much.

    The decision was made when my sis got me one for xmas. (Of course it was a Kobo and ended up not working with my laptop so I returned it and eventually got a replacement kindle)

    The way I see it now is that books I'm skeptical about, especially some hardbacks I can get for a decent price.

    But I will still likely be buying hard copies of books because it's what I've always done. And really when the prices are nearly the same, my answer is why not?

    Plus this way when I get to meet said authors, they have the actual book to sign!

    Sorry if I didn't really help your dilemma since I'm kind of in the same way of thinking as you are! Luckily my sis made the decision for me otherwise I probably wouldn't have gotten one. I did notice a few kindle books that I'm interested in being vastly cheaper vs their hardcopies. So it's a 50/50 kind of deal for me.

  2. Well thanks Jessica! And that does help, just knowing that I am not the only person out there experiencing this... ;)

    What I was thinking was that if there was a book on Net Galley that I was really excited to read, I could always get it from there, read and review it, and then decide afterwards about whether or not I liked it enough to purchase it (I am one of those people who hate buying a book that I have never read before because in many cases I find that I end up not liking the book and then I kick myself because I could have bought a book that I had already read before/ really liked/ thought that it was worth having my own copy).

    Hmmmm... I wonder if my laptop and a Kobo would be compatible. I noticed that this week Kobo's are on sale for $99. Did you have difficulties returning yours (just in case I were to get one and my laptop and it didn't get along)? And I also have to take into consideration exchange rates and whatnot. I don't believe that I can buy E-books on, therefore I would have to buy them off of So depending upon the exchange rate of that day, an E-book and a paper book could really end up costing the same amount.

    As someone who was on the fence, do you find that you do use your Kindle quite a bit? Or do you find that it does gather quite a bit of dust from sitting around unused?

    My birthday (or Christmas) needs to come sooner so that I can received one as a gift too- that would make the whole decision process eay! ;)

  3. I have a Kobo, but to be honest, I don't read PDFs on it. Doing so involves setting the page in landscape mode and then clicking three times to read the whole page. It's a bit of a nuisance. So I still read PDFs on my computer (little bits at a time... it's too hard on the eyes otherwise). But I do like reading books in the EPUB format (which is what the Kobo, Nook, and Sony use).

    As for losing e-books, I haven't had that problem. I buy most of my EPUBs from the Kobo store, which keeps on file which books you've purchased. So you can redownload them if you need to. You don't have to pay again.

    I like the fact that I can read NetGalley books in bed (instead of in front of the computer), but most of them are in PDF format. I've also discovered that my library has a decent e-book collection (mostly EPUBs), so that is a huge cost-saving measure... if you're willing to wait out the waiting lists, of course. The Kindle doesn't have library capabilities (yet), so that's something to be aware of if you want mostly free stuff.

  4. Ok so here's the thing... since I live out of the US or any other english speaking country, my access to print books in stores is limited to buying online.

    so, I started looking into ebooks because they didnt require shipping... from then on I started reading on my laptop... I have about 6 dif ebook readers on my computer, so I could read any format...

    I finally gor my Kindle last september and it has been amazing!

    I still buy print books, sometimes its the same book I got as an ebook... but its awesome to immediately get a book when its out. and quite frankly it saves tons of space on trips, cause then I dont carry tons of books with me LOL

    it also really helps with NetGalley and books is PDF I get from authors... eARCs are here to stay and an eReader is your best friend. You can convert a pdf book to kindle format and it makes it all easier!

    I havent used any other ereaders, but I LOVE amazon and my Kindle is awesome!

    hope I helped even if just a little LOL


  5. Whereas Im different , I have a Kobo and I use mine constantly and have 500+ books stored on it , I love it to bits and i get alot of downloads from Netgalley and when I do VBT the authors send me ebooks instead of print and there are so many free sites where you can get the latest books to download onto your ereader

  6. I was in a similar situation just before my birthday last year. I'd lusted after an ereader. For me, the best thing about ebooks is that they are space saving. My house is a clutter magnet, as is my inbox.

    I was bought a Samsung 65 ereader for my birthday, which I adore. I have bought some ebooks, but for now I'm mostly using it to read the review ebooks I have. One thing I have found with it is that some EPub books come out in teeny font, so I'm still trying to find out if I can change the settings somehow.

    Having an ereader, for me, is so much easier than reading on my laptop. It's mobile and takes up a lot less space than the book equivalents. I'll still buy books though :)

  7. Thanks ladies for all of your input, I appreciate it so much!

    @La Coccinelle, that is great to know that they keep everything that you purchase on hand, because as mentioned, I have a habit of deleting files and whatnot and then having to repurchase them (one day I swear I will no longer be technically challenged!)

    @Larissa, I think that if I were to buy an e-reader I would buy a Kindle, it seems to have the best reviews (no offense to y'all who don't have a Kindle)... Plus, I am a total Amazon junkie.

    @Phantom Paragrapher... 500 books on it? Me= more than a little bit jealous! ;)

    @Michelle at Clover Hill Book Reviews. Yeah, I think I would be the same, still buying books. I am not going to lie, I kinda like the shock value of my bookshelves. My friends and family know that I love to read and all, but I don't think they comprehend exactly how much I love to, so when they see my bookshelves they are taken aback. It gives me a good laugh. ;)

  8. It depends on what you want to do with it. If it is just PDF books... you can do that on a Kindle, Nook, and Sony. NetGalley right now is having probs with Kindle and only Carina Press is available. If you want to borrow from the library (providing your library does ebook lending) it is usually only done in adobe format (Sony, Nook, Kobo). Trying to think of other issues, but can't think of any off the top of my head right now. :)

  9. Thanks Melissa! That is really helpful. I was thinking that I could also put some of my school notes on it, the majority of them being PDF, but some of them are in adobe (so clearly that wouldn't totally work). And how cool is that that your libraries loan out e-books? Heck, my local library only just got online audiobooks!

  10. Something else you have to keep in mind when thinking about buying an eReader: we're Canadian. The Amazon Kindle does not have as many titles available for Canadians as they do Americans. I don't know... I have many of the same fears and concerns as you about eReaders. Ultimately, I don't feel it is a necessity for me right now when as you say, I could buy tons of books with that money instead.


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