To eBook or Not to eBook

Had some questions come in after yesterdays Blog post and thought I would cough up my personal response.

Do you read eBooks and on what?

Of course I read eBooks. I have been reading eBooks for a little over 10 years now. Echelon was one of the early companies that sold our books as eBooks. Back then we did email transfers and CD-roms in DVD cases. It was expensive and time-consuming because we did them ourselves. Oy! We’ve come a long way since then. While some of our authors choose to put their eBooks on disc for the convenience of their readers, we no longer do it as a company.

However, with the progress in the industry, it is easier than ever for readers to enjoy the pleasures of reading an eBook. As to what I read on, I do most of my book reading on my beloved Kindle. Back in the day, I bought a Nook so I could check the quality of our eBooks before they went up for sale on and various other sites. I soon discovered that I wasn’t as comfortable reading on the Nook as I thought I would be. So I got myself a Kindle. Just to check it out, you see. It was love at first read.

Why I love my Kindle:

Lightweight. My kindle weighs a little over 8 ounces and is quite thin. In my opinion, this makes it easier to hold.

Keyboard. I don’t use it often, but I do like that my Kindle has an actual keyboard for typing in my notes and such. The separate and raised button allow for much better accuracy.

Page turners. On either side of my Kindle are actual buttons that you push to turn the pages. One for forward and one for backward.

Storage space. My Kindle has 4 gb of space. They say this is 3500 books. I have not been able to test this, but I sure am trying hard.

Battery. This baby can hold a charge. I have had it for months and have only charged it 4 or 5 times. I use it quite frequently and to be honest, I am surprised I have not had to charge it more often.

File accessibility. This is a big one for me. My Kindle not only reads the designated file type (which is Mobi), but also pdf, html, txt, it allows several different graphic formats like jpg, bmp, and png. But the thing I love most about my Kindle is that is plays mp3 files and I can download my books onto it to listen. I can tell you that right now, aside from actual books to read, I have about 50 unabridged audiobooks and the Pimsluer Course to learn to speak Urdu. Whhhoooo baby! There are several other formats it recognizes, but I got tired of listing them.

Why the Nook is just okay:

My Nook weighs in a little under 12 ounces. That’s a good size steak, people. And the newer models are even heavier. This makes it awkward for people with hand issues like arthritis, or whatever.

My Nook has a touch screen and quite honestly, I find them difficult to use. The very small screen on the bottom makes it annoyingly difficult to type, especially if you have healthy fingers. Getting the damn touch screen to come up is a whole nother issue.

My Nook has two arrows painted on either side of the device that indicate you should push there to turn the page. Again, no actual button and if you don’t hit it right on, you have to try again, and sometimes again.

My Nook has 2 gb of space, which is supposed to be 1500 books. Haven’t hot that either. Newer models have more space.

My Nook will actually hold a charge for about 8 days before I have to hook the baby up. It is even less if I actually use it.

My Nook, being an older models recognizes ePub, pdb, pdf, jpg, gif, bmp, and mp3 files, but I honestly have never been able to figure out how to get one of the damn mp3 files to play on it. Could be user error, but that says something about the device, too. At least in my opinion.

Now, neither of my devices are backlit, and this is okay for me. I’m not allowed to read in the dark anyways. I do have a Kandle, a light for my Kindle. I tried to find a book light for the Nook, but the thickness made it hard and the one I got would not stay clipped on securely.

Neither of my devices have AT&T access. They are straight wi-fi, and this has worked fine for me. I do most of my eBook buying from home anyways.

Buy at Kindle Now!

Keep in mind that these are just my opinions on the two devices and there are several other eBook readers out there that you may like better. For those of you who don’t want to buy an eReader, but find yourself wanting to read a book that only comes in eBook, then you have a couple of options. I am not familiar with all of them, but I know that Kindle has a desktop application that syncs up with the device and your Kindle account. So you can read that book on your computer. And while a lot of people say, “I don’t want to read on my computer.” You read on your computer all the time, otherwise you wouldn’t be on it as much as you are. You are reading on your computer right now, so find another excuse for not giving eBooks a try. You choose when and how long you read, so it’s not really that big of an inconvenience. Right?

I hope this has helped some of you who have been waffling about buying an eReader. And FYI, Wal-Mart has the older model wi-fi only for under $120.00. I believe the least expensive Nook is around $140.00.

I would love to know what the rest of you are reading on or why you simply won’t give eBooks a chance. And there is no right or wrong answer, I am just curious. And before you go defending print books and how wonderful they smell. Yeah yeah yeah. I love print books, too. Still publish them, and still read them. The smell? Not as much of a hook for me with my allergies. But I get it.


10 responses to “To eBook or Not to eBook

  1. Thanks for your reviews, Karen. I dither about what to get–Kindle, Nook or something else. Right now, it’s only an intellectual exercise, since I can’t afford a hardback “legacy” book, let alone an eReader. lol! But I’m collecting advice, and I appreciate your saying WHY you like/not-so-much these devices.

  2. I’ve not bought one, yet, but I’ve been looking at the eReader capabilities of the iPad. The screen is really large (which is perfect for my eyesight) and seems to be rather light-weight.

    Have you had any experience with eReaders on tablets?


  3. Karen,

    I also love eBooks, as you would expect since I’m one of your authors 🙂 I have a NookColor, though, and am deeply in love with it. To be fair, I’ve never read on a Kindle and I know a lot of folks not only have them, but wouldn’t trade them for anything else. My daughter-in-law swears by hers. since I’ve neither owned nor used a Kindle, I can’t accurately compare the two. All I know is that having an eReader is fantastic. I’m often reading more than one book at a time and having my Nook with me when I’m traveling sure saves a lot of luggage room. I, too, love the look and feel (and yes, even the smell) of actual books, but nothing can beat the convenience of having hundreds of books on my eReader.

    Thanks for a great post.

    Deb Harper
    Author of the Laramie on the Lam series with Echelon Press

  4. I downloaded the free Kindle on my I-phone. I read it everywhere-doctor’s waiting rooms, grocery lines, in my office when I’m supposed to be writing etc. I prop it up on a pillow at night to read, and it doesn’t keep my husband awake like the lamp light.

  5. I have a Kindle and love it. I can carry it in my purse and even with the hard case I have (with built-in light), it’s not too heavy. The light is ideal for me. I don’t have any other e-readers, but I did start out with the free Kindle software and read on my computer. It worked well but I wanted one I could take with me. For what I want to do with it and my reading habits, the Kindle was the right choice.

  6. Hi Karen,

    I too live with my Kindle. I have the original 2nd generation Kindle with older software, which, sadly I’m not able to update to the newer software that provides (though not perfectly) actual page numbers for some of the newer books available on the Kindle.)

    I bought my first generation Kindle (for a buck shy of $400K) shortly after they were released and updated shortly after the 2nd generation came out. While I love my Kindle, I believe vehemently that ebooks will never totally replace physical, hold-in-your-hands bound books. No ebook will ever equal for me the feeling I get when I hold my collector’s edition of Walden among others. Too, for books I use for research that requires heavy use of the index and a lot of jumping around, ebooks, especially the Kindle, won’t cut it. (In fact, on Kindles, or any reader, that gives you nothing but block numbers, forget it. They’re useless.

    The PC version of the Kindle is very limited in what you can do with it. I use it, but I wish someone would write a real, full-function package as a replacement for the brain-dead PC Kindle. I’ve not yet downloaded the Android version of Kindle onto my new Droid X smart phone. Really no need to as I always carry my Kindle with me in my purse, so if I have time to kill, I can pull up any of the nearly 100 books I have on it (or on Amazon’s servers as my Kindle has the 3G link allowing me to schlep books on and off the device independently of Wii-fi availability.)

    That’s my story…and I’m sticking to it.

    Oh yeah, one last question before I close: Urdu?



  7. You may have helped me make a decision on the Kindle. The price is dropping and there is something in the wind about a version with ads that is even cheaper. I read Ebooks on an iPad and iPhone. I am worried about loosing iPad when away from home and my eyes don’t like the iPhone screen. So Kindle it is. Thanks for the great post.

  8. Well written as always, Karen. I have several eBooks on my Kindle PC but I don’t have a reader. I can’t decide what to purchase. I like that the Kindle is easier to read outdoors and I like that the Nook color is interactive. Since I not only write children’s stories but I also read to my grandchildren frequently, this is an attractive feature for me. I worry that the Nook will limit me in terms of what I can purchase and I worry that the Kindle will limit me in uses…so I haven’t purchase

  9. Love my Kindle. I read in bed and in the winter it’s cold. I only need one hand out from under the covers and I only need one hand to turn the page.

  10. I love eBooks, and read a lot of them, however I’ve yet to get a device. I download PDF and read them on my laptop. So far that has worked for me!

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