Thursday, 2 June 2011

Please don't get angry at me ...

So, um, I'm thinking of getting an e-reader.

  • For those who know me well, know I hate them.
  • For those who know me well, know that every time someone posts about them, I go on and on about how I couldn't give up paper because I love the smell and the feel of turning pages.
  • For those who know me well, know that I vowed to never buy one.
  • For those who know me well, know that ... aw, shucks ... I DO NOT WANT AN E-READER ...

But I think I need one.

People are putting out books I want to read that are only available in e-format.
Bloggers are releasing debuts I want to buy and review to show encouragement and support.


Do NOT tell me to download the PC application. I already have. A long long time ago. But I haven't used it because I sit at my computer 15 hours a day for work and writing and blogging and Facebooking and tweeting and watching um ... America's Next Top Model on YouTube *cough* ...

I'm just gonna have to bite the bullet and get one aren't I? I can't avoid them for the rest of my life, can I? Oh I feel sick. I don't want to abandon the paperback. The paperback was my first ever love ...

So. Here's where you come in. I know nothing about e-readers. What kind do I get?

REMINDERS: Have you signed up for my String Bridge Book & Music Blog Tour yet? If not, and you'd like to, just click HERE.

Over at All 4 ALABAMA, my poetry book, Twisted Velvet Chains is up for grabs. Head on over and bid on it for a worthy cause!



  1. We don't have an eReader, but my wife seems to enjoy the reading app she uses on her iPod Touch, and she can do a lot more on there, too.

    And how can you not like Pink Floyd???! You must have just been listening to the wrong songs!

  2. I'm looking at buying a kindle as they currently have the best screen resolution that is closest to reading a paper page. My friend has one, she bought the standard Kindle at £ 109 not the 3G version which i think retails at £132 (I think) she also bought the case to go with it. The only negative she has mentioned is that she wishes that she had bought the case with the light option. She has no negatives about the kindle itself.

    Even when I get the Kindle, there are still some books that I will still purchase the hard copy for the feel of holding a good book.

    happy hunting,


  3. Amazon is moving into publishing. They just signed Barry Eisler and will probably enjoy some dominance. (I happen to think they're going to revolutionize the industry.) For the time being they're not planning to allow their books to be read on other devices, so we might get to a place where, if we don't have a Kindle, we can't read certain books.

    P.S. Print ain't going away. It's just going to become a subsidiary right.

  4. BTW, is that picture in your new banner you? The straight hair is different than your standard pic.

  5. Yep it's me :o) About five years ago when I had waist length black hair. Nightmare to control, straighteners and all. Now I'm just into comfort, so it pretty much stays around my shoulders now :o)

  6. I think we all will end up getting e-readers. I 'm also thinking about it, the e-ink ones would seem to be the first choice, iPad etc would just be like staring at a screen.

    Moody Writing

  7. I've only had a Kindle, and I love it! A friend of mine who was e-reading a long time before me loves her Sony E-reader. I haven't heard much about B&N Nook, although the thought of a colour e-reader is appealing (but I can't justify the cost of another e-reader!)

    The only disadvantage I find with teh Kindle (but it's a brilliant marketing startegy) is that you can't load ebooks into a basket, finishing shopping and then order a bunch of ebooks. It's buy a book at a time - very easy to do with the one click system. So easy to do, in fact, I end up spending far far too much because I'm clicking for 2 or 3 or 5 dollars at a time...rather than realising that my total bill is huge! So the credit card account is always a bit of a shock (especially as we have to multiply those $$$ by ZAR7)

    I don;t know how other e-readers can buy their books because I'm attached to my Kindle now.

    But...YAY! Buy your e-reader; you'll end up being a convert! :)
    Judy, South Africa

  8. Hi Jessica

    this link could be of some help

  9. I have no problems with my Kindle. But I have friends with the Nook that have no problems either. I think now, as writers, it's more important than ever to understand ebooks. I still read more print. Books i know I'll love I buy print. Books I know won't read again I buy ebook. I read manuscripts on it. Download free samples before purchasing.

  10. I have a Kindle (one of the older, first generation ones--I've had it for about 3 years!). I adore it and actually don't like paper books now because I need 2 hands to read them and can't instantly find a phrase I want to reread. I was suspicious at first, but now I've been totally spoiled. Other e-readers (like the Nook, I believe), have a touch screen and all that, but I'm a pretty low maintenance reader and just want to read the book like a ... book. It's pretty addictive, being able to have a new book in less than 30 seconds without having to leave the comfort of my couch. Good luck with your decision!

  11. I'm thinking of giving in and buying a Kindle. I love paper books, but I adore the idea of being able to download a new book whenever I please.

  12. I plan on getting a Kindle soon. I'm like you, I prefer real books, but it's getting to the point where being a professional writer, you have to have one. I get so many e-ARCs that are impossible to read on a computer for very long. Plus, I hear you can reformat MS Word docs to read on your Kindle, which makes critiquing someone's work much easier (when you're looking for big picture things like character arc, pacing, and plot holes, at least).

  13. I got a Kindle because it's where everything is happening, and I got it for research, not for reading. I can't read a book on it. But it's great for reviewing manuscripts, my own or what I'm editing. Errors just jump out at you. It can be useful for a lot a writer does besides reading. So go for it!

  14. My Kindle is to me as the microwave is to my kitchen. I still cooks lots from scratch.

    Once you get an e-reader, you'll marvel at why you didn't get one sooner.

  15. I avoided your current dilemma by downloading the free Kindle for Android app on my phone. My phone isn't huge, but the screen is big enough to read on without hurting my eyes.

    So far, I enjoy it. Granted, I prefer the paper edition, but I just received a free e-book. I didn't have much of a choice, unless I wanted to wait forever for the printed version to hit the shelves.

    Good luck with your decision!

  16. I hated e-readers, too...until I got my Kindle. Oh, how I love that thing! The e-ink (or e-paper, or whatever you call it) is easy to read, and you can carry tons of books in one little device. Plus, it's light. If you like to read big books in bed, you won't be crushed if they're on an e-reader. ;)

    Paper books will always hold the top spot in my heart, but you can't beat an e-reader for sheer convenience.

  17. I have a Kindle and an iPad2. I love them both but I've yet to read a book on the iPad. It's no different than reading on a PC screen (or phone) because it's backlit. And, like you, i already stare at a screen for too many hours of the day. Whatever you get, go for the e-ink kind, not anything backlit. E-ink is very much like reading print, but with lots of advantages. As KarenG said, you'll find great uses for it for your own writing, too. Good luck! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

  18. Jessica, I am in EXACTLY the same boat. I LOVE the feel of paper, of seeing my bookmark progress through a novel, of my multiple bookshelves dripping with books...

    ...but I also love my iPod, and how customized the music is there. It is not exactly an appropriate comparison, but it is how I am slowly, slowly, talking myself into a Kindle!

  19. I was like that for a bit, too, but I'm thinking I could really use one. They're better for the environment too (even though they kill the faeries).
    I don't think you should get a Kindle. It only supports Amazon eBooks, and it's pretty expensive.
    If you're looking for something cheap and simple, go with a Kobo. It's really cute. :)
    But, the Barnes and Noble Nook 1st gen just dropped to $119. Or you can get the latest one for, I think $150. But you should definitely stick to eInk, like some said above.
    I recommend the Nook. What's your price range, though?

  20. I, too, had the reservations that you have, and before that was downright biased against e-readers. Then my daughter gave me one for my birthday. Not a kindle, but looking very much like. It had a 100 books pre-loaded, so I had no excuse to not start reading. I'm glad I did. It will never replace the traditional book, but it serves a purpose and I'd rather have it than not. Read on, friend!

  21. Jessica, I feel the same way you do. I downloaded the Kindle app for my Mac just to read Talli's book, and while I have about 20 other e-books on it right now (might I mention that **5** were from Neil, for which I also thank you!), I don't use the app. I think a Kindle would be great, though. Apparently there's a feature where it will read to you (does your app do that), and you can create .mobi files or email PDFs to the Kindle of your own work, and use it as a proofreader, i.e., it will read your work to you and the automation will stumble over misspellings or weird syntax. Not a bad idea, huh? I don't know if that helps make it a little better. You can call it a work-tool that way :)

  22. i'm in the same boat as you - from saying "Never!" to suddenly saying "When i have some spare money".
    My mom buying a kindle was really a turning point for me.

  23. I have a Kindle and I love it! Amazon makes it easy and there are so many freebies.

    Only downside I've discovered is that Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab is NOT downloadable onto a Kindle, but it DOES work for the Nook. This hasn't been a crisis for me, but it's a bit of an irritant (I like a lot Simon & Schuster ARCs). Most of the netGalley arcs can be downloaded to Kindle, though, and I love netGalley, so I'm happy.

    Like you, I did not want one for a long time. Now, I love it! And I still read "real" books often. :-)

  24. I haven't got on board with the e-reader just yet but I feel like I'm missing out on something. For now, I am going to stick to physical books until I get to the point that you are at (where I feel I CAN'T actually read certain books because it's a limitation). Good luck with it and I can't wait to hear your thoughts when you get one :-)

  25. I prefer books too, but my wife's kindle is pretty decent.

  26. I have an ipad which is great but slightly more expensive. My mother bought a Kindle this weekend because she couldn't wait until my book comes out in print to read it. I set it up for her and thought it was a nice size, weight and user friendly. It's a nice price point too!

  27. I'm thinking I'm going to have to get one too. Even though I'm a big fan of the real book.

  28. Another Kindle fan here. I love e-ink and being able to read samples before buying and being able to carry the Kindle in my purse.

    What I did before buying an e-reader is check where I could find e-books in my genre. I found slightly fantasy/SF e-books available through Amazon than through B&N, so I went with the Kindle. But I think no matter which reader you go with, you'll like it.

  29. IPad!
    All the power and more of a netbook - movies, music, photos, programs, games, news, Internet, camera, and a color eReader that rocks. You may think you wouldn't use it enough, but guess what - I use mine ALL THE TIME!

  30. Funny- I've been thinking the same thing with all the great e-books available out there by indie writers. I will never give up the feel of paper though.

  31. I felt the same way-- until I started reading books on my phone... it was so easy and convenient. Buying a book wherever and whenever! I read MORE than I did before.

    I still love the tactile experience of a printed book-- but we are creatures of convenience--are we not?


  32. I got a Kindle as a gift. It doesn't do what an iPad does but I only wanted it for reading. I am able to make notes, hi-lite and all that so it suits me just fine.
    I also purchased an application so I could write notes if I want to.
    I still read book books but as you say a lot of our friends re releasing first in e format.

  33. Isn't terrible when your words come back to bite you in the posterior? LOL

    Added you to my GoodReads list!

  34. My mother-in-law has a Nook and loves it!

  35. I've never used an e-reader (or even an iPhone/Pad) so I'm afraid I can't be much help. :P

    Also--I just noticed the new look of your blog! Great picture at the top.

  36. i've yet to get one, but when i do, i'd like to be able to pub my own work on it...

    i've heard e-ink is best on the eyes

    i have friends who say this or that is better... i'd have to check em out at the store[s] before droppiong down the $$$....

    you may have a tough time deciding, too

    love your singing voice, btw...

  37. I just broke down and got an e-reader because we are moving to Korea and must put most of our things (including books, sob) into storage. So this is a way for me to bring along some of my of my old favorites (many many classics are free downloads) as well as sufficient new books to keep me entertained on the 20-ish hour flight. The biggest advantage of the e-reader that I can see is that you can 'carry' lots of books at a time without being loaded down. Downside is definitely not being able to check out books from the library and (a pet peeve of mine) there are many older books (say, anything between 'classics' and 2000) that are not yet available as e-reads. I don't see e-readers ever completely replacing paper books for me, but I can see them having a definite place in the general scheme of things. I have a Kindle and it suits me just fine, especially the ease (and speed) of buying new books, but as others have noted, the ease with which you can buy can also be your downfall...

  38. I have no advice or opinion on the e-reader, except that I would need a lot of help choosing because I have no clue!
    But I did laugh at your quiet confession that you watch Top Model on YouTube!

  39. OH NO!! E-books and readers is all I'm hearing about, even from my publisher, now authors! Where does it all end. If this plastic throw away furture is comming this quick what's next, Glasses with your work on one screen, books, google,etc on the other. A mobile phone on one arm sat-nav guidence on the other arm. Robots they will call us. Do you gather I don't like E-books?

  40. I adore my Kindle. Not only do I buy and read books on it, but I read my manuscripts and those that I beta read. Also, it has a text-to-speech feature that I use. Hearing another voice read a MS to me helps me better catch mistakes.

  41. I love my Kindle. I have 265 books downloaded on my Kindle : psychology texts, biographies, autobiographies, modern science texts, novels, essays, research texts.

    The lack of backlight is easier on the eyes. Their new presentation is like reading from a print book. They have many speech-enabled books.

    (Yes, it tends to sound a bit computerized, but when you're driving you soon lose yourself in the story anyway -- all my Kindle books are speech-enabled -- many of my friends say that they listen to my books while they are cooking or ironing or painting their nails or doing their hair.)

    The prices are super affordable. If you read a review of a book you like, you can ZAP it immediately to your Kindle without having to go to a bookstore. The first chapter(s) are free to every book, giving you a good idea if you want to spend cash money on it.

    All your books are stored in Amazon, so if something happens to your Kindle, you will not have lost your books. The customer service is excellent.

    But that's just me. You must follow your own instincts. Roland

  42. I'm sort of an anti-e-reader too. My dad got one for x-mas and I admit, it is pretty nifty. I like that you can adjust the size of font and how you can download files, like manuscripts, from your computer. I believe he has a Kindle.

    Thanks for stopping by today! I'm excited about your book blog tour. :)


  43. I'm sure people have already told you their opinions. I feel your pain though... I REALLY don't want one, but feel like that is going to be my next big purchase. Sadly. I think a Kindle is the way to go, my mom has one and I've sort of fallen in love with it during my visit. :/ Don't know what to tell you, a paperback was my first love too.

  44. You get the ereader that feels right for YOU! Do your research and head out there and get one. And trust me, you will STILL READ PAPERBACKS AND LOVE THEM! I sure do! I love my Kindle, but it's mostly used for manuscript reading and books that are only available digitally. Also, I own lots of books on my Kindle and have a second copy in paperback. So, if you think about that, the author is getting twice the royalties.

    Besides, nobody is going to hate you. In fact, it's nobody's business whether you get an ereader or not. Just yours. :)

  45. I never thought that I would like my e-reader but now I prefer to read on it than paper. How crazy is that!

  46. I fought against it and fought against it - then I gave in - it sat there for a month before I used it - then ... well, I kind of liked it; however, I stiill have hundreds and hundreds of paper books and will continue to have them!

    I do like how i can upload my own manuscripts to it and read for editing! And if I blurb/endorse someone's novel,I can upload their pdf or word file to it and read it instead of them having to send me a print out or me printing it out! so, that's a plus right there!

    As soon as your book is on pre-order, I am grabbing it up! :-D

  47. The ability to upload your own manuscript sounds like a great idea and was one of the first things I did when my wife bought me my Kindle but what a dog’s breakfast! If you want to read e-books that you can buy on Amazon and do nothing much else with it then fine, a Kindle is as good as anything else but I had a Rocket eReader about ten years ago (another gift from my wife) and I don’t see a great difference between the two in fact there’s a lot I prefer about the Rocket, like the backlight and the stylus. There are things that the Kindle says it does which it does do but not well, like handle PDFs; even in landscape I was unimpressed. My latest novel uses hanging indents a lot and the Kindle makes a mess of them. So do your research. The Kindle is great in that it has finally captured the public’s imagination, so all credit to it for that, but I have a terrible feeling that technology is going improve in leaps and bounds now especially as the costs of tablets come down. My daughter has a tablet and it is a perfectly good e-book reader. The other thing about the Kindle are the search and markup options. Again, it does do what it says it does but once you have several books full of notes and highlights and all you have to access them is that crappy wee keypad you start to see the Kindle’s limitations.


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