Thursday, April 5, 2012

A-Z Challenge: E is for E-Readers

E is for E-Readers

I have a confession to make: all the years that my husband craved an e-reader, I thought he was silly. What could ever replace the feeling of a solid book in my hands? Then, when I bought him a Kindle for his last birthday, I changed my tune. I was wrapping it, and I noticed how light it was, and how neatly it fit in the palm of my hand.

I was converted, then and there. I still have an ever-growing stack of books on my coffee table, but I love having the freedom to throw my e-reader in my purse and have access to more books than I could possibly read in an afternoon.

Pros and Cons: First, the Pros

1. Travel: I have destroyed so many carry on bags simply because of cramming them full of books. Now, I just take my Kindle, and I have enough books with me to cross the Atlantic and come home again.

2. Revising: I have developed a revision method that relies on using my e-reader. I read my manuscript on the Kindle, keeping an open notebook beside me. Because I can't write on the actual document (the note function takes me too long), I write my comments and changes in freehand. Every four or five chapters, I move to the computer and make the changes. This has really helped me improve my work: until buying an e-reader, I sort of flailed at revisions.

3. Free books: there are many, many classic books that are available to download for free, and many new authors will sometimes run promotional deals where their books are free for a week. Because of my e-reader, I have been able to re-read old favorites and experience new books that I might not have otherwise picked up. But honestly, who can resist free?

4. Dictionary function: so cool. If I could give every public school enough e-readers for each student to use, I would. Can you imagine the potential for active reading that exists when the dictionary is contained in the same place as the text? No more excuses!

5. Libraries (also a con: read this article about libraries and e-readers). A lot of public libraries are expanding their collections to include e-readers, but this also means that libraries are struggling with copyright concerns.

Now, on to the cons:

1. Nothing replaces the feel of a real book

2. Highlighting/annotating takes a bit more work on an e-reader

3. Can’t use it during take off and landing when flying: enough said.

4. % rather than page number: I'm a bit OCD, so this annoys me. I'd rather know that I have forty-five pages left than know that I've read 77%.

5. Libraries (see above)

Still Undecided? Check out these links for more information:

7 things you need to know about E-Readers

Compare and Contrast reviews


Do you have an E-Reader? If so, why did you buy one? If not, why haven't you bought one?

Remember to check in with the other A-Z challenge participants!

17 comments:

  1. Oh, no.4 on the con list makes me want to kick something! I hate the progress indicators in Kindle readers (and apps)-- what's 187256 out of 456827 mean, ha?! Where's my beloved page number 113?! Argh!!

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    1. Lol. But still, even for the minor annoyances, it's really cool to have such a portable library!

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    2. Absolutely! Being able to read books on my phone has seriously reduced my to-read list!

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  2. I had to laugh at the dictionary feature, because just last week a friend of mine was relaying a story about her daughter. Seems she was reading in an actual book, and when she came to a word she didn't know, she was frustratedly tapping the page. Took her a minute to remember she was reading in an actual physical book, and not on her kindle.

    Kids these days!

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    1. Hey, at least she's reading actively! (I wish I could get my students to do that...)

      Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I still don't have one - and I'm getting close but I can't stand that Kindles are Amazon only and Nooks don't work with Amazon. I'd like one that I can download from anywhere I choose to. But I'm thinking within the next 2 or 3 months I'm going to cave.

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    1. I didn't even think to mention that as a con! You're right, I dislike the proprietaryness of the different companies (but I still buy physical books from multiple sources, so I guess it all evens out).

      When and if you cave, stop back over and let us know which one you buy and why!

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  4. I'm still holding out I think out of sheer stubbornness at this point :) Glad it's been so revolutionary for you!

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    1. I was truly shocked at what a difference it's made, for revisions, at least! :) I understand the stubbornness: I was right there with you until last fall. Be strong!

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  5. Funny that you mention the editing. I do the same thing. It's similar to printing it out, but cheaper, and more compact. Like you said, you can't fiddle-faddle with immediate edits. You have to read through, make notes, to the end, without the constant edit-write-edit cycle you fall into with a computer.

    My biggest con is that they are fragile. My first one busted -- I think it was a heat-spot defect, but I may have cracked it, too. You can drop and step and sit on a book, and stuff it into your suitcase, but you can't do that with your e-reader!

    At least, you can't do it more than once.

    Love the free books, hate the upfront cost. Love the compactedness, hate the fragility. Love being able to switch quickly between books, hate not being able to flip around the pages.

    Love-hate, love-hate, e-readers!


    - Eric

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    1. Eric,

      I didn't even think of the fragility! You're right, they are much more destructible than books (although, I've been known to love those to death, too).

      It can't be easy, right? We have to feel conflicted! But it sounds like the things you love at least balance out the things you hate.

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Jen

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  6. What kind of e-reader do you have? Highlighting is a bit finicky on my Kindle Fire (or maybe it's just operator error), but when it works it's very simple and kinda fun.

    I found the % a bit disconcerting at first, but it's just about getting accustomed to it. Now I like it.

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    1. Sarah,

      I just have the basic no-frills Kindle. I admit, I haven't experimented too much with the highlighting, so maybe I should give it another go!

      Thanks for posting :)

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  7. Clearly, our house needs one! I'm drooling over the thought of having that many books in my purse at once! Thanks for the info.

    I can imagine missing the dreamy feel of soft pages though. And the old book smell, maybe that's weird but I like it.

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    1. No, I agree: there's nothing quite so comforting as the smell of a used book store!

      That's why I love both (not that I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too...)

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  8. Found your blog via the A to Z....love your tip on editing. This has been a struggle for me, your solution is simple but effective. Thanks...added you to my daily reader.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! Great to have you here!

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