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Friday, September 28, 2007

EBook Readers and the Library Police

I am a total bibliophile. I want books when I want them, and I'm always out because I read fast. And as a member of the three-minutes-in-a-drive-through, make-my-internet-faster, get-me-a-scannable-credit-card generation, I don't want to wait five to seven days for Amazon to deliver.

Yeah, I could go to the library - that is if the library police didn't have a warrant for my arrest. I still can't find that one book. But I'm looking library people! Honest!

So I'm thinking about trying eBooks. Instant gratification, right? And many print books are being scanned into electronic formats. It's cheap and easy for publishers. And it's a lot cheaper for me than those new $16 books I want to read. (Although Harlequin, I've got news for you - I'm not paying as much for an ebook as you charge for the real thing. Some of your eBook prices are delusional over there. We aren't stupid. E versions don't cost near as much as printing, paper, and shelf space).

Which leads, of course, to the question of how to access them. Ellora's Cave has a nice guide for those new to eBooks that outlines the options (they sell eBook erotica, so don't go there if you'll be offended). But they breakdown your ebook options.

I want to take my eBooks with me, or read it in the bathtub (hey, I'll be careful. I only dropped that one book that one time). I don't own a palm thingie, an IPod, laptop, tiny computer, or one of those jet-packed phones. The screens are tiny and hard to read anyway, and I'm old-fashioned enough to want it to look a little like a book.

So I've been drooling over the Sony Ebook Reader, which is way expensive (averages $280 on Amazon, but that's down from $350 at debut). But it's about the size of a paperback and can hold, like, 80 books. That is an 8 and 0 = 80. Squeeeee.

For a woman who chooses her purse based on how many books she can fit in that puppy, that's tome heaven. At first I didn't think these things had much of a future. I mean, all it does is hold books. It doesn't play fifty-thousand ring tones or connect you with Mars (it can play some unencrypted music files and display black and white photos). But I don't want a lot of crap calendars and stuff - I just want it to have books - lots and lots of luscious books.

And I started reading comments from people on different websites pointing out future advantages. On day my children may not have curvature of the spine or be able to claim they "forgot" one of their books at school if they're all on a ebook reader they carry with them.

Once most books have an electronic version, lawyers could carry around a whole law library, doctors medical texts, and me, the complete collection of Janet Evanovich books! No more buying bookshelves!

So it looks like I'll be saving up my money. And then the library police will never catch me. Bwuhoohahahaha!


roller coaster teacher said...

*Drool, drool* I bet I could load ebooks in my iphone. I'll check it out! Thanks...

PS - at open house, "fluency" was my buzzword - as in, reading and writing fluency. I think it clicked.

roller coaster teacher said...

Reporting back... it's tricky to get it going on iphone. I googled and found some user comments - I thought the easiest was to buy from, then sign up with, then load ebook to readdle. Big problem is, readdle only takes 8 types of files, and the ebooks file type is not 1 of them. I tried to convert ebook (duplicate) to pdf and txt so far, to no avail.

Well, the good news is, I bought ebook "How Starbucks Save My Life" b/c I heard the author interview on NPR and really wanted it. I read some on my macbook and it's good! So the past 2 hours were ... an interesting journey in cyberspace!

Tricia Grissom said...

Thanks for the info. I'm so behind technologically. You might want to check out - you can download audio books there to I pod thingies.

I'm going to check out ebooks and readdle. I guess they'll standardize everything evenually. It's hard to roll the dice and see who's tech will reign supreme with ebooks. Sigh.

glasshut said...

But I want to dog-ear the pages. Waaaaaa! And what will I use my book shelves for? At least the books keep the dust at bay. If the books are gone, I may have to dust once in a while.

Plus, I'm sorry there is nothing like pulling down an old worn version of your favorite book, stroking the tattered (dog-earred) pages and curling up in your favorite chair. And you can't leave them for future generations to drool over.

I still have my daughter's "golden books" that I am saving for the day (whenever that might be) when I can read them to my grandchildren. An e-book just doesn't seem to have the same staying power. I just can't see The Pokey Little Puppy as an e-book. And how do you "pat the bunny" on an e-book?

I want paper, and I want to kill trees.

Tricia Grissom said...

Glasshut, you little deforester, LOL, I understand.

All things being equal, I prefer paper too. But when I have to tote it, I think an ebook would be a god send. Just another tool in that great quest we call "reading anything we can get our hands on."