Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ebook Reader, Part I - the pricey route

I love to read. Love it! But one problem with this is that it's wasteful of resources. Books, magazines, newspapers...that's a lot of dead trees. Also a lot of potential for costly returns to publishers if books don't sell from a bookstore's shelves. Painfully costly!

That's why epublishing is so neat. Resplendence, my publisher, does every book first in electronic format, then later the print version is available. Made sense to me that I needed to try ereading, if I expected to tout it to my potential readers.

So I forced myself to buy an ebook. I read it on my laptop, and it was an okay experience. Very nice to be able to enlarge the font and skip the reading glasses. I could sort of curl up with the laptop like I do with a paperback. Then Christmas began to approach, and I kept hinting, not very delicately, that I needed an ereader so I could promote my books better.

When Kindle was first introduced, I wanted one, but the expense stopped me. Then I paid more attention to the dimensions and realized it was too big to put into my little bitty purses.

I hadn't met any of the devices in person, and was too overwhelmed by all the information about them online, so didn't know which one I wanted.

For Christmas 2007 I received an Ebookwise dedicated ebook reader. Nice big screen! Reasonable cost! Simple to use. Hm...but, for me, too big and bulky. I wanted something that could go everywhere with me, and I like to travel light. *Sigh* We returned it.

Then at Lori Foster's Readers and Writers event in June this year, one of the RP authors showed us her Sony eReader. Very nice! Big screen, nice looking page... but still, too big. And the rebel in me--or should I say REBEL in me--wanted something that would do it all. Or at least more than a dedicated ereader.

So later in June I bought last year's Christmas present. An IPAQ 111. It is called a "pocket PC" and not only will it read any format that would work on a regular PC, I also keep my calendar on it, synced with the laptop. I have copied photos onto it from the laptop. And I have lots and lots of books! Mobipocket format, Adobe, Microsoft Reader. I even have several versions of the Bible on there, as well as the book we're studying in Sunday School.

AND it's wireless compatible. It's a PC, remember? I can check my webmail anywhere there's a WiFi hotspot! I can also go online books. And then read them. Anytime, anywhere. If I'm reading in bed one night, wherever I stop, my place is kept. I put IPAQ into my purse, and if I have to wait somewhere, I pull out my book and continue where I left off.

Yes, it's pricey. But you know what? I betcha there are used ones. If you know what you're doing buying used electronics online, it might be worth a look.

Tomorrow I want to tell you about another ereading device you may already have in your house.


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