I was born in ’57. I learned to type on a manual typewriter. When I needed to spell a difficult word I picked up a dictionary. We used an atlas to look up foreign countries and to figure out if Milltown Road intersected Kirkwood Highway. The encyclopedia weighed about 200 lbs., without the bookcase.
When this new-fangled craze – e-readers – came along, I was skeptical. I gave it a shot (albeit a small shot, but I gave it a shot!). I read part of a book on my d-in-law’s Kindle. I downloaded a book to my computer.
I don’t like e-reading. For now, I’m sticking with paper. I like to hold a book in my hand; I like to turn a paper page. I can’t see curling up next to the grandkids with a Kindle or a Nook.
Let’s face it – it’s the wave of now and the future. Often, e-readers are a cornerstone for new writers and can lead to overwhelming success. E-readers can also propel successful writers into a whole ‘nother dimension.
Fully aware that my negative opinion on e-readers may not be shared, I queried fellow writers at Writer Unboxed on Facebook. Here are their responses:
Ray Anderson – I just bought my wife a Kindle, and she loves it. I’m still not sold. I have a collection of 6,700 books (and counting). I love books as physical books. Nevertheless, I’ll probably get my own Kindle before the year is out. Why? Convenience! On a trip, I don’t have to lug half a dozen books. And if I want something new, I can download it from anywhere.
Karen Kenney Smith – Maybe it’s the economy or the lack of storage space but I had been buying fewer and fewer print books the last few years. I have my prized collection of favorite authors, especially the signed editions. I started with the Kindle app for my PC as a test drive, then bought one. I went with the Kindle primarily due to the ability to read outside. I also like the ease with which I can carry around several “books” at the same time. I am reading C. C. Humphreys’ *Vlad, the Last Confessions* in print, just finished Steve Umstead’s *Gabriel’s Redemption* on my Kindle and will start R. A. Evans’ *Asylum Lake* next. I also dip in and out of Donald Maass’ new book, *The Breakout Novelist* on my Kindle. Without having to lug 3 or 4 books around or find shelf space. I haven’t tried loading one of my mss on it yet. Some love that ability; it seems too
cumbersome to me. I have a SONY e-reader that I won. I haven’t figured out the benefits of it over a Kindle, yet.
David Michael Prosser – Though I can see the obvious advantages of an e-reader when packing for the holidays, especially if you’re staying in a hotel room 24/7 reading non-stop, I prefer the feel of a real book in my hands. Maybe having the author sign it (which I guess messes up the screen on the e-reader), or perhaps just having a full collection on your shelves which friends can borrow from. I do have kindle for pc and do have two books on Kindle but I have the paper copies on Amazon too.
Shelley Souza – For the same reasons as Ray, I love books as objects, but I started reading books on my iPad a year ago. From there, I decided the latest Kindle was advanced enough to invest in it (sometimes I’m an early adopter of technology, sometimes I wait for a later generation). I only use the Kindle when I’m outside. It’s lighter than my iPad and fits in most of my bags. At home, I continue to read print books and books on my iPad. Like Ray, I enjoy the convenience of instant samples and/or purchases.
Rachel Grow Law – My favorite feature of the Kindle is that no hands are necessary (aside from the occasional click of a button). Whenever I’m completely engrossed in a book and don’t want to stop reading to dry my hair or feed the kids lunch I can just lay the Kindle on the counter; my hands keep busy with one thing and my eyes with another (admittedly the kids look much messier than usual). My least favorite feature of the Kindle is the amount of time it takes to flip back 50 or 60 pages. If I’m at a book group and we’re discussing a particular section, oftentimes the ladies have moved on to a different subject by the time I’ve found the page. I guess the bottom line is that there are things I like and dislike about each. Neither book nor Kindle is so amazing that it makes the other obsolete.
Penny Epel – I have apps on my iPad – Kindle, Nook, iBooks. I use all three 🙂
Amy Mueller – My husband purchased a Nook for me and I was apprehensive about it at first. I’ve now come to love it and read much more from my Nook than I do physical books. We have a rather large library as it is, and I am a ferocious reader. I read a book every couple of days, a week for a thicker volume. Space is becoming limited. I will still by first editions or autographed editions of my favorite authors and favorite books, but I do buy everything in e format first. My use started when I was doing research and would have to carrying several large texts around with me. It just made it easier. It went from research to leisure, though, when I read a book and was so blown away by the author that I wanted to read everything else she had written. I was able to buy it and have it immediately available.
Jess Lane – My husband just got a Kobo Touch and I checked it out yesterday. I like the portability. Not being able to just flip through pages to get to where I was in the physical book was a bit irksome, but I can completely see where the convenience of having something small for trips would be a great improvement on packing books along. (I remember when I studied abroad, half my suitcase was full of books I couldn’t live without. An e-reader would have made that suitcase a LOT lighter.)
Susan Vigilante – I like e-books best for things like current affairs. “Game Change” was a great and exciting read when it came out; now it’s just old news. By getting it on an e-reader I a) saved half the price and b) don’t feel guilty about it sitting on my already overcrowded bookshelves now. For a while I thought e-readers might be great for things like new mysteries, too. But I found I just didn’t feel comfortable bringing my Kindle to the beach!
How do you feel about the e-reader? What are the pros and cons for you? Do you own one or will you buy one?
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” ~Attributed to Groucho Marx