Getting to Know an eBook Reader

Saturday, October 08, 2011
Last week I spent time at our library's book sale and arrived home with a box of books. I pushed aside a box of books from last year's sale and made some more room for this year's treasures.

This year I managed not to duplicate books I already own, but I was overcautious to make sure that didn't happen. But I still managed to bring home nearly 20 new-to-me books.

The same week as the library sale, as I moaned a bit about minimal bookshelf space, a friend mentioned how easy it was for her to check out ebooks from the library. It's a new service in our area, but one I had yet to check out.

I admit, ebooks are growing on me, but slowly. One day I may be pushed out of my home for all the boxes of books I cart home from the book sales, but I still find comfort in curling up with a good book. My book sale treasures, neatly pile up, each year, I try to make headway and plow through these book sale treasures that I've elbowed neighbors to get to (accidentally!). As far as I'm concerned, these book sales prove that print is not dead. Yet.

While I resisted the ebook movement for a while, as a writer, I decided I need to do some homework and work to embrace what is obviously not a passing fad. About a year ago, I was given a Kindle when a relative decided to upgrade.

One thing I've truly embraced is the ability to email PDFs to my Kindle. For a distance-education class I'm taking, I'm able to email  the assigned reading to my Kindle, carry the chapters with me, and  highlight text. I'm not sure if it has made me a better student, but it certainly has made it easier for me to pull out my reading in all sorts of places without messing with pages that I have a habit of getting out of order, losing or getting wet.

I find it easy to take notes or write a paper with the Kindle open in front of me, the chapters open up flat in front of me. I'm wondering if it will start to change my writing habits--it certainly has changed my studying habits.

Because of the ease-of-access for the PDFs, I assumed that my pleasure book reading habits would keep pace. I'm slightly intrigued with downloading library books without having to make the drive--or accessing books that the library doesn't have a physical copy of.

But when it comes to books, I still enjoy curling up with a physical book. I still enjoy combing through book sale bins or visiting bookstores. I still very much enjoy the tactile experience of reading and the heaving bookshelves.

I know I'll start using my Kindle more and more--I have to, since I have a list of books growing on it that is getting as big as the box from the book sale. And I know that I'll be at next year's book sale and ready to fill another empty box.

Has the eBook revolution changed your buying, reading or writing habits? If so, how?

Elizabeth King Humphrey, who lives in Wilmington, N.C., is a writer, editor and Kindle-newbie.


Jackie said...

I love ebooks . I live in a very small town ,it's a 35 minute drive to a bookstore .All of the books I am buying now are ebooks . I love the convenience ,especially if it's late and I am in the middle of a series . I love that I don't have to worry about storage and I can sneak way more books past the hubby .I also feel less guilty about making notes ect in the ebook version , I am more likely to look up a word with the dictionary built in .
I first owned a kindle , then nook , then nook color and am now using the IPad 2 . Love love !

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

The ebook reveloution has just made me buy more books than I did before. I still buy hardbacks and paperbacks, but now I buy ebooks too!

Robyn Chausse said...

Alas, I still do not have an e-reader! I do, however, read many books via the computer and would much rather transfer these .pdfs to a hand held device.
I will read electronic books (.pdfs)if in relation to work/school or if I am on a site such as Smashwords and checking out a new author. Otherwise, pleasure reading is a printed novel. The feel of the paper and the smell of the ink are just as much part of the experience as the words.

GunDiva said...

I actually read *more* than I did before, which I thought was impossible. I don't buy physical books too often any more because I simply ran out of space.

I love me a good book sale though, and it's hard to avoid them. I usually come home with between 80-100 new to me books from our Friends of the Library sale every year. And I get through almost all of them before the next book sale comes around the next year.

I do try to limit my ebook buying to sale books, because they are so easy to buy that it's equally easy to overspend. Next thing I know, I've dropped fify bucks.

Angela Hood-Ross said...

When I first heard about eBooks, I pouted and said, "Never. I write books and I want to see them in print...paper print." But I caved and bought a Kindle for when I'm on vacation. I do still pack my paperback but I always make sure the Kindle is charged and packed as well. It's so much easier when I've finished the paperback to browse on my Kindle for another book to read on the trip home. I've also took the leap and uploaded one of my books to Kindle and Nook. It's nice for my readers to be able to access it from the comfort of their home but I look over at the bookshelf and the shelf I've designated as "MY SHELF" for books I've published and not see a paperback there of my newest creation.

I also have boxes of books sitting around in my husband's home office, simply because it's behind a closed door unlike my office which is in a nook in our downstairs family room. As much as I love my Kindle (and my next big purchase the Kindle Fire), I still have to surround myself with good old fashioned (but never out of style) paperback and hardback books.

LuAnn Schindler said...

I purchase just as many paperbacks as I previously did, even though my husband presented a Kindle to me for my Valentine's Day gift. I review for several book publications and had been asked if I had a Kindle or Nook and would accept eBooks to review. At that time, I didn't, so that's partially why he purchased the Kindle. Funny thing, I still haven't reviewed any books on it, but I have loaded quite a few. What I like is how handy it is. I take it - and a regular book - whenever we take a trip. While I like the ease of being able to download a book at any time, I still prefer the actual book in my hands.

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