I have taken the plunge and finally decided to get an eReader.
Actually, I decided to take this plunge back in November of last year, but I couldn't make up my mind about which one to get. I had originally been dithering between a Sony Touch and a Nook (if you can even get it in Canada), but I then saw the Sony Reader Daily Edition and thought I would hold out for it to come to Canada.
And then I got really fed up thinking about it and so stopped for about four months.
THEN the Kobo came out which I got REALLY excited about because it's Canadian (or at least part of it is).
But I continued to put that purchase off for a few months and Amazon finally brought the Kindle to Canada. BUT I had vowed I would never ever purchase a Kindle - because of the proprietary digital format, Amazon's infamous clawback of content people had purchased and their alleged draconian dealings with publishing houses. I love standards - ePub all the way!
A couple other things happened along the way. We moved and did a thorough de-cluttering, giving away over 200 books. We now have only two bookshelves (probably still about 200) but they are filled with old favourites as well as a very tightly curated "to read" shelf. I like not having to dust a lot of books. Also, many of the publishers who send me books for review have started to offer eBook versions. THIS was a much welcome occurrence - eBooks take up much less room and I don't have to wait for UPS to deliver them.
So, that sealed it and I committed to making an eReader decision. But which one? When in doubt, ask Twitter. I put up a poll. It got 6 votes: 3 for Kobo, 2 for the iPad and 1 for the Kindle. In retrospect, I probably should have tried Hunch as well. But, in any case, I bought the Kobo (I also have a couple of friends who have one who recommended it).
- It's not a touch screen. It never occurred to me that it wouldn't be a touch screen. My model of handheld devices has totally changed since having an iPhone. Isn't everything a touch screen? No.
- The big blue button makes an audible clicking noise. I read pretty quickly. And typical eBook pages have fewer words than a regular book. I am clicking this button constantly. It is noisy.
- There is no annotation feature. Again, it didn't occur to me to check the list of features because I assumed it would have this. It doesn't.
- It is slow. Slow to boot up. Slow to load a book. Slow. Slow. Slow.
- The communication between the KoboBooks site, the desktop and the Kobo is confusing. Plus, you have to use Adobe Digital Editions to authorize the device for DRM restricted books. Understandable, but the Kobo is a little temperamental. I had to reset it twice and it doesn't always transfer a book on the first try.
Why I don't absolutely hate the Kobo:
- It came with 100 classics nicely formatted. So all my Jane Austen favs are pre-installed and I don't have to go messing around with editions on Project Gutenberg or Google Books to find something that works. I actually did try loading one, but it was a scan of a book rather than the plain text and it was unreadable. This pre-loaded library has saved me a little time.
- The actual reading on it is delightful. The eInk screen is nice and bright and clear. It is lightweight and comfortable to hold. Even the button is in a good location for right-handed readers. It's just loud.
Well, the non-touch, no annotations and noisy buttons were all deal breakers for me. So, I passed the Kobo onto Rosemary. What next? Kindle? NO!
Sony Touch. I actually already had a case for it because my friend Whiskey Priest was EXTREMELY pro-active in buying me a birthday present last year. He got me the gucci-deluxe eReader Cover with Light! Well since I already had the case, why not get the reader?
Why I do not love my Sony Touch eReader:
- Screen is dimmer than I would like
- The case smells funny
Why I do not hate my Sony Touch eReader:
- Touch screen! The stylus works better than your finger, but once you get the pressure and swishing movement figured out (think Wingardium Leviosar), it works just fine.
- Annotations - it's like reliving my Palm Pilot days - I just scribble right on the screen in with the text.
Some things I have learned so far on my eReader journey:
- MobileRead has a lot of smart helpful people on it.
- Calibre is the ONLY software to use to manage your library. It converts to different digital formats as well. So, say if you somehow removed the DRM restriction from a format, you could then reformat it in ePub format (yay open standards) to read on your own reader (and NOT SHARE ILLEGALLY).
- eBook prices vary widely and finding them isn't easy and worrying about formats is a hassle.
And it's the last one that is going to be the next big hurdle for me truly adopting the eReader. I checked the price of Samantha Bee's book "i know i am but what are you?" - on Amazon, iBooks, Sony and Simon & Schuster (publisher) it is $11.99. But, you can't get it in Canada through Sony. On KoboBooks it is $17.99. On eBooks.com it is $25.00. Finding the best priced eBooks is a pain. Worrying about formats is a pain.
Amazon makes it seem so easy-peasy.
But isn't getting a Kindle giving into the dark side?
It's just one more step towards homogenization and corporate dominance.
But then, I happily buy music off iTunes (though when they have what I'm looking for, I use CD Baby and Zunior or purchase direct from the artist).
Sigh. It's all too much to just want to read a book.
If you have any advice, thoughts or wisdom - or simply share your journey into eReader land, I'd love to hear it!
Photo Credit: John Blyberg