Would you buy an e-book reader?
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) - 11/28/07 3:30 PM
Would you buy an e-book reader?
No (Why not?)
Maybe (What are you hung up on? Please explain.)
I already own one. (How do you like it?)
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by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) November 28, 2007 3:30 PM PST
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You have a problem similar to mine with the eyesight. I bought an Ipod mini and borrow books on CD from the library and listen to them on my Ipod. Great for traveling. I loaded up about 6 books for a trip I made which took 2 weeks. Now that I can listen to books I have gone through more in 2 months than I previously did by trying to read them.
I now read downloaded book on my laptop, a small device would be convenient. I like ediesel for purchasing books, Price and availability of new titles is good. I am not sure if I want to spend 300 for the items. I'll wait and see what comes down the road.
Just don't care for one
I have more then I can handle now & I don't need another one plus the price is to high...
In theory, I think they are a good idea. For the amount of reading that many of us "avid readers" do on a daily basis, however, I don't think that batteries have made the advancements necessary to keep up with us yet.
I have a PDA, an MP3 player with a built-in rechargeable battery, a cell phone, a laptop, etc. None of them have a battery that lasts very long in "active" mode. A few of them do fine in their respective power-saving modes, but overall, in fully active mode, as you would need to read a book for an hour or more (several more in my case), I just don't think battery-life technology is "there" yet.
Battery life shouldn't be a problem
The Sony Reader has a battery life of 7500 page turns....that seems like that should satisfy an avid reader plenty.
Books, not ebooks
I don't read ebooks, I need the paper-book-object. I like to keep them and look at them on my shelf and the idea that if the civilized world end tomorrow, I still can read them without batteries
That reminds me, someday I must re watch Mad Max xD
eBook rather than real book?
You can read on a flight to keep occupied of for pleasure. You may also read reports or instructions. When I read a "book", I want to be absorbed in the material whether fiction or non-fiction. Is it really possible to do that on an electronic device 3 x 5, or 6 x 8, or even on a 20 inch monitor? I think not. To get through the material, there are too many steps that need to be taken to move through the pages. I want paper. Sorry Sony.
Moving through the pages
I see this complaint a lot but I have to wonder if the people with this worry have ever actually tried reading an ebook. When I'm holding my TX while reading, my thumb sits naturally right on the Next button. I don't have to do anything except press to change the page.
Trust me, it is far less intrusive than turning a paper page.
I think a lot of people who have commented have never read an ebook or read on a dedicated device. Turning the page is just a matter of moving your thumb downward to hit a button. I prefer it to turning a page in a paper book. Plus holding the ereaders that I have are more comfortable than holding a paperback which you occasionally struggle with when reading a lot of pages.
eBook rather than a real book?
It is very possible to be absorbed in your reading on an eReader with a paper back sized display. When I am reading a good book on my reader I am as immersed in it as I am in a pBook.
To many steps to move through the pages? What does that mean? I push a button for the next page, another for the previous page. I can zip through pages, skimming nearly as fast, or faster than with a pBook. I can click on a progress bar to go to an estimated point in the book just as I might grab 30 or 40 pages in a traditional one. Or I can go to a specific page number very quickly, more precisely that with a pBook. I can search for a phrase or word with two or three finger gestures.
I love paper books, I love eBooks. A well designed eReader does not get in the way of the reading experience.
I already own a samsung p2 (m3 player) wich can read ebooks
So I don't need a "specific" izmo that can only do this... I don't need (nor want) a 7" screen or things like that. And anyway, I'm not really sure about ebooks... I never used the function on my mp3 player... Maybe it's because I listen to music only in the bus/metro, and I can't read in moving cars/wagon/bus, etc. Anyway, I prefer having the book, so I can lend it to a friend after I've finished it. I wouldn't pass an ebook reader, lol. Still, the amazon ebook, for 50-100$, would be a good deal. I'd thing about it at 50$, but NO WAY for it's actual price! lol. I could buy tons of books instead of this, it's not a good deal unless you buy a book each day! lol
I've used my Palm as an e-reader in the past but....
I think that while Sony and Amazon have a good idea in the ereader, especially Amazon with the wireless network they have through Sprint that is free to the customer for buying and downloading books. However I think the price is just way too high right now. The point of introducing an ereader is to make money for a company, however I think that the best way to make that money is on the content, not the device. Seel newspaper subscriptions, books etc. Give away the erearder for next to nothing. I think they will be more readily accepted by consumers. Like giveaway cell phones sold with a subscription. However I abhor the idea of being locked into one provider for content.
I adore e-books
They travel well.
Their pages don't blow in the wind
Reading in bed is so easy and you provide, (with Palm) your own light.
I have over a hundred e-books and my bookcase is an SD chip.
Moving heavy boxes is a thing of the past.
I can load any of my books onto your SD card too. You won't have to remember who loaned you that book a year ago.
I read ebooks all the time! I think that being able to take them with you where ever you go would be a great benefit. I am not home on my pc all the time, so having quick access while waiting somewhere would give me better use of my time and it wouldn't take much effort to carry an ebook reader. I give this project an A+.
Do it already
I go to school online so I use ebooks all the time. Maybe it works in a different fashion then that of the ways you all are discussing but I like it and works out better then to buy the books out right all the time.
Don't think so
A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted an ebook reader to save myself a lot of money wasted printing off things to read that I pulled from websites. I ran into a couple of issues:
1) The price for a dedicated ebook reader was crazy. No way was I paying $299-399 for something that just let me read books, with maybe a little calendar thrown in an attempt to be versatile.
2) I couldn't import my own files (.doc, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, .htm, etc), I would be tied to buying someone else's content for the life of the reader
I eventually found the Hiebook out of Korea that would let me import my own files, but because there was only one retailer in the entire US, it never went on sale and I moved on.
In the end, I bought a refurbished Palm Zire instead. Not only can I import my own files, but I have all of the other PDA functions, too, for an investment under $100 which let me try it out to see how I liked it without a huge cash outlay Yes, the screen's smaller than an ebook, but I'm willing to trade that for the portability, functionality and price.
With all the other multi-function gadgets out there, I can't see ebook readers becoming a best seller. There's definitely a market for them, but I don't think it will be on top of the heap.
A lot of the ereaders today do allow you to import almost, if not all, of those formats (.doc, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, .htm, etc). If the device doesn't natively allow you to, there are number of programs that easily convert it for you.
I would MAYBE buy a PDF/ E-Book reader, if it costs less, I WILL NOT pay $400 for a hand held device that only runs PDF's! My old palm Trieo did that just fine AND it had the rest of the palm's features! If it only has the ability for PDF storage,reading and Wi-Fi internet to get the books, I would expect to pay no more than $150-$200. I meen, it just reads PDF's!!! It doesnt need a fast processor, a ton of ram, or a huge completed O/S. And each PDF is what? 2Megs or less? On adv rage. So, give a nice large clear display, reliable wi-fi, and a fairly large hard disk. Like 60GB's to keep costs as low as possible.
I love to read books and love my laptop so it sounds good, but NOT at that price. What are they thinking?? I go to the used book store (Mr.K's is great) or the library and get all the cheap, good books I want. If the e-book reader was really cheap, I'd be there. No I-pods for me!! I don't like noise. But the peace and quiet and escape with a good book is heaven on earth. You can guess that I don't own or play video games either..horrors! I don't even like "audio books". Very old fashioned! And that's great. But I'm on C-Net, right!
I love the feel of a book in my hands. I hate to have someone read to me. I do not like the feel of reading from a machine when it is fiction.
Would you buy an e-book reader?
No, not really; and actually I already have one - MS Reader. There are several advantages to using MS Reader. I can use up to 5 devices for this Reader-account. For instance, I use this same account on my home desktop, my ultra portable notebook, and my PDA. I can share my e-books among all three. If I bought a propriety system, such as the new Amazon Kindle - I can only read Kindle books on that ONE Kindle! Additionally, an e-book reader dedicated to reading e-books alone is yet another hardware device I would need to carry around. Another problem I see with the Kindle, you can only buy e-books from one supplier - Amazon. With the current MS Reader, I can buy e-books from several online distributors. (One of them had been Amazon, before they nixed that service in order to force their new device on their customers). I owned the original Rocket Reader in the past and switched to MS Reader when it came out. I have been very happy with using the MS Reader and have bought tons of e-books. I also read regular books too and have no problem switching between the two forms of reading. If given the opportunity, I would buy more e-books; as I believe I will buy books on impulse, especially when seeing a program or review of a book on TV. (I'm surprised the publishers have not figured that out yet; that a lot of sales could be made by impulse buyers, like myself). And by the way, I can see color on my MS Reader...and not just black and white as with the Kindle. Hello?...this is 2007! (And go figure, I don't need a booklight to read my MS Reader as you do with the $400 Kindle). So yeah, I like using e-book readers, but I would not want an additional hardware item and one that is proprietized to only one unit and to one supplier. No thanks!
Some issues with e-book readers
First, e-books won't take off until there are practical readers and reasonable costs for the downloads. Reading a book on a computer, just doesn't work. So, then what makes a practical reader:
1. First, the cost needs to drop. I can get a PDA for almost $400 and it comes with a reader and a web browser and synchs with my computer and is a telephone and..... You get the idea. For a single purpose device $400 is a bit high. I can buy 30-40 paperback novels for that price.
2. It needs to get rid of backlighting. I'm not sure how to do this or if it can be done technically. Reading off a screen tires the eyes more quickly than reading off paper. Because reflected light is more diffuse and softer.
3. It needs to be easy to carry but of sufficient size that you aren't always scrolling down the screen. Page turning types are going to be more practical I think.
4. I think solar powered or recharged devices should be considered. One of the advantages of a book is that it doesn't need batteries. How often are you on the cell phone or using your PDA or laptop and the "low battery" message comes on right when you need the device the most. You don't want to stop reading right at the climax to plug in some batteries.
Cost of Downloads:
Certainly, for the high end hardbacks and "quality" paperbacks, $9.95 a pop is a bargain. But for the average paperback novel, it's not. I can buy a paperback mystery for $10-12 bucks new and $4-5 used. Even at new, I'm only saving maybe 2 bucks. At that rate I would have to buy 150-200 books before I even amortize the cost of the reader. I generally don't buy 2-3 books a week.
I just don't think they have overcome the practicality issues. I might buy one. The geek in me wants to do so right now, but paying out that much money upfront and then having to pay hundreds of dollars for content just doesn't make sense to me right now.
Few misconceptions in your post:
1. Ebook readers like the Kindle, Cybook, and the Sony reader (basically anything that uses e-ink)do NOT use backlighting.
2. Most ebook readers allow you to press a button to turn the page.
3. Battery life on these devices are a lot higher than your cell phone, laptop, or PDA (with the exception of the Kindle if you're constantly using it's wireless abilities). The Sony Reader's battery lasts 7500 page turns.
4. I buy "average paperback" ebooks all the time and often pay under $10 from Fictionwise. I recently purchased about 5 books and paid less than $25.
Active Readers' Problems
No. I would not buy an e-book reader. I am an active reader. Active readers will go through a book four or five times. First Previewing it which takes about 2-3 minutes. Imagine scrolling through a 500 page book in 3 minutes. Skimming which can take another 10-15 minutes. Again it would be all but impossible for any book of more than 300 pages. Reading which will depend on the subject and the length of the work. Active readers make a book their own by marking it up, underlining and writing in the margins. You obviously can't do this with a library book but notations in a book are a sign of a thinking reader. Finally active readers will review a book after they have read it. This takes another 2-3 minutes. Again you couldn't see anything if you were scrolling at 100 pages per minute. It will be a surprise if they are still being offered in five years.
Active Reader's Problems
Obviously the manufacturers of eBook readers have not made a compelling case to the consumer.
I have used an eBook reader for eight years now, the first, Nuvomedia Rocket eBook. What do I like about it? I hate being somewhere and running out of material to read. Two or three books in my backpack is a load, not so with eBooks. I generally carry about 40 titles, several new titles, and a bunch or old favorites and reference material.
What do I Like?
I can bookmark pages, annotate (using a virtual keyboard or handwriting recognition), underline. These are saved with the book.
I can look up definitions by highlighting the word.
There is limited ability to view illustrations with 4-bit grayscale.
I can read in the dark. The eBook reader uses a backlit LCD slightly smaller than a paper back page. I realize backlit screens are not for everyone. The new eInk readers use ambient light, but need to improve contrast and page turning rate. I generally run my backlight at 20%, never more than 40%. I get about 20 hours reading per charge. I am happy with this and would not be happy with much less battery performance.
I can read with one hand easily.
I can load different fonts for improved readability.
I can create my own content to put on the reader. Primarily this is via html, rtf, or txt.
I can convert other non-DRM content (and some DRM content) to read on my eReader using the same tools as above. (this is also a negative in that it takes some time and effort, though I find it not too onerous)
Some books have links so you can jump immediately to one section.
What I do not like:
DRM... some of my books will be lost to me when my reader fails due to the original company dropping eBooks. (I will still be able to read them on a computer-based reader but this is very unsatisfactory)
Buying and loading titles must be done via computer and link to the eReader. I find this tolerable but undesirable. The following generation used a modem to link with an eBook store.
Price... the eReader cost $500 in 1999, though I feel I have got my money's worth from it.
Pricing of books was horrible in the early days. Usually full price of a traditional book. (this is improving with 40-50% off traditional book prices... And Amazon via the Kindle is promising $10 pricing for new releases)
So I am one vote for eBooks. Certainly not for everyone. I don't find the reading experience any less satisfying than a with a traditional book. Obviously the cost of the readers is way too high for mass adoption by the public. One would hope at some time a critical mass of consumers will bring the price within reason. But it is a "chicken or the egg" sort of problem.
Multiple formats and multiple DRM schemes is a big problem and the publishing industry is way behind even the music industry. There is a open standard now available but adoption by publishers and eBook manufactures is problematic at this juncture.
Pagination can be lousy but I think this is improving.
The new eInk readers are not backlit and use ambient light to good advantage. But contrast and readability need to improve. 2nd generation devices are just now arriving. Some of us really desire some form of backlighting. Battery life for eInk promises much but so far it is not necessarily delivering.
Color eInk is in development.
A few eReaders do not tie you to a particular file format or book store. The iRex's iLiad and Bookeen's CyBook 3 are among those. These are also open to third-party developers or community-based projects which promise the ability to bring even multiple DRM readers to the devices.
Many do not want to buy a dedicated eReader device. Rather they want it to be a music player, PDA, phone, etc. I'm all for convergence in devices but find I personally want a dedicated device that maximizes the reading experience.
I admit to some surprise at the number of people really against eBooks, and I don't know how to respond. For me it has been an overall positive experience. I can see some of the arguments against eBooks. Some I don't think are really valid, but some are. I am looking to buy an eReader to supplant my eight year old reader. But right now there is not one device that meets all my needs. If I "were" to buy one right now it would be the iLiad. It is the most open reader at present. But it is also the most expensive one out there and still in need of development.
I think at some point eBooks will be a viable option for many. It is not there yet and I think the time is some years away. Some of us will never enjoy the eBook experience. Give it a chance and lets see what happens.
No, I get my books from the public library for free
I can reserve best sellers over the internet and get notifiewd when they are available, all at no charge.
Now, if someone would pay me to read e-books, I might change my mind.
No. Simply put a "real" book is more satisfying to read than e-books.
Just out of curiosity, have you ever read a whole ebook?
Would you buy an e-book reader?
I already have a HP Pocket PC which I can download books on. I love it and am considering on getting one for my son for Xmas. It's a lot cheaper to download a book to it and since my son has had an operation but unable to work for now it will be very handy for him to read his books on. I have been downloading books on my HP Pocket PC now for about a year using Mobile Pocket Reader and it's the best thing ever. When you have to visit a place where you have long waiting periods such as a Doctor or Hospital you can take the waiting time reading a book without taking too much notice on time. I don't need to get the Amazon or Sony reader (too expensive for starters) I intend to stick with the one I have.It is also a lot easier carrying it around rather than a heavy 700 page book. Love it.
E-Book? Never unless I go blind
I read an average of a book (paperback) a week and could not imagine lying in bed with a laptop in front of me. Real books can really go anywhere and don't need to be recharged.