Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ebook Reader, Part II - the one you may already own!

First things first. I apologize for not posting this when I said I would. One of my least favorite personality traits in others is promising something and then not following through. And now I've done it. So very sorry! I won't even lay any excuses on you. Instead, let's get to the promised topic: The Ebook Reader You May Already Own. Well, how cool would that be--you already have it and didn't realize?!?

Behold, suspended above this tiny woman's head, a giant old-fashioned Palm Pilot. Now, I know you can't read ebooks on the oldest versions. But any of the newer PDA's--maybe not even as new as you think--are quite capable of reading ebooks. Why not give it a try? Maybe you have one that you use every day, or maybe someone in your house has chucked an old one in the drawer along with the cable to link to the computer...

A friend of mine has a PDA that's several years old. Yes, she uses it on a daily basis, but had not tried e-reading. One day (probably to shut me up) she agreed to give it a try. I had purchased an ebook for her, and she went through the process of downloading the reading software, then moving it from her laptop to her PDA. Then she went through the same process with the ebook.

Dare I say it? Voila--a new lover of the ebook was born that day!

Seriously. She's into it. And this is a woman who said she could never curl up with an electronic book. She was so in love with the feel of the book in her hands, the smell of the ink on paper. You know how it is, right? Yeah, great stuff, even though I'm allergic to certain inks. And I get frustrated when books are printed with narrow margins in the center, so I feel as if I'm breaking the spine to read some of the words.

But I digress. Now she loves that she can read a snatch of story in a ten minute break at work. She can pick up where she left off when waiting in the dentist's office, and then at the end of the day, complete the novel while curled up in bed.

Of course she immediately noticed you can buy business-related books on Fictionwise too. *Yawn*

If you're feeling adventurous, here's a place to start: The Palm eBook Store has this great help page. They also have lots of ebooks to sell there. Or you can get some ebooks free in order to try the software and see how you like it. I suggest trying a free one, but to be honest, some of the free ones (classics) I've downloaded didn't work nearly as smoothly as the ones I've purchased. One thing for sure, if you have a rocky time with the first one, don't feel that it's the end of the world. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Of course, you want to be sure the sites you're downloading from are safe for your computer.

Some places I've seen recommended for free books are Munseys and Project Gutenberg. Harlequin and Fictionwise also have a few free ebooks, and there are lots of other locations that I haven't tried.

If you want to go with inexpensive, for just a small price, you might try a short story or novella from Resplendence Publishing, Fictionwise, Harlequin... again, so many choices!

Happy hunting!


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