The Appeal of Ebooks

Some of you might have seen the new ‘thing’ on Amazon… the Kindle ebook reader. My thoughts about it were already posted but I was skimming the reviews on it on Amazon and a lot of print readers don’t get the idea behind the ebook reader. I’m getting the feeling that most of them probably don’t read ebooks and therefore, don’t see the appeal of an ebook reader.

Honestly, the Kindle doesn’t appeal to me at all, but I’d love to get my hands on Sony’s ereader or one called Cybook.

Some don’t seem to like the idea of a separate device for ebooks when things like the iPhone can also read documents and blogs.

I doubt many of them are going to wander onto my blog, but for the diehard print readers, here’s a few reasons why ebooks hold such a huge appeal for some of us.

  • SPACE! No, not the final frontier, but actual storage. My office has four bookshelves, most of them doubled stacked and with a front and back row… older books that I’ve read and won’t read often are on the back, newer books or books still TBR on the back. And I keep buying more. Virtual book storage takes up no space~just the space required for wherever you decide to store your reader.
  • Variety. Ever go on a vacation, pack your ten books (or more/less) and half way through the trip you realize you don’t have anything to read? Well, you do have stuff to read, but nothing that you really feel like reading. With a reader, you can store 10, 50, 100, 200 books… more, with a memory card. Some people have a library of over 1000+ ebooks. It’s going to be hard to find absolutely nothing worth reading when you have 1000+ books at your disposal.
  • You don’t run out of reading material when away from the house. I used to carry two or three books with me at any given time. One in my purse, two or three in my car. Because I hated finishing up a book and having nothing else to read. Doesn’t happen with a reader.
  • If you’ve read some of the print offerings from places like Ellora’s Cave or Samhain, you know they have a huge variety of authors. Some of us are leery about spending $5 or more on an unknown author… with an ebook reader, you can spend $2.50 on a quickie, or a little more for a novella and get an idea what the author’s writing style is like. These publishers release in trade size so compare $2.50 to $10/more to trying out a new author? Big difference.
  • Price. It’s not happening as much yet, but a lot of the bestsellers in the New York houses are having their books released in print and ebook. Some offer discount on the e-version, so if you read the e-versions, you can save money and still read the book when it first comes out instead of waiting for the mass market version.
  • Ease of reading. Some people have a harder time reading the print in mass markets. Large print books aren’t always easy to find and it seems many of them are more expensive. A good ebook reader will let you change the font size.
  • Instant gratification. Readers love to go browsing through a bookstore. I know I certainly do. But I also go to sites like Amazon or to check out upcoming books and I’ll stumble across a book I hadn’t heard of, or one I’d forgotten I wanted to get. If there’s an ebook version…instead of waiting a few days for it to get delivered, or going to the bookstore and hunting it down, you can the book in under a couple of minutes. I’ve lost track of how many books I’d find late at night and only wish there was an ebook version so I could have it now.

Why get an ebook reader instead of using your iPhone or pocket pc?

  • Screen size. If you read a lot, the smaller screens on iPhone or pocket pcs are going to be a headache. Plus the new ‘e-ink’ is reportedly a lot easier on the eyes. My ebook reader doesn’t have the e-ink, but admittedly, I’m dying to get my hands on a reader that does.

Are ebooks for everybody? No. Do I think that everybody should rush out and buy an ebook reader? No…although if you really feel the need… 🙂 Go ahead, and I can also give a list of books you might wanna try out.

A casual reader probably wouldn’t read enough to justify the expense of a reader.

For the hardcore reader who loves to hold their books in their hands, it might take a while to get used to using a reader, but I’ve talked to plenty of people who’ve decided to give ebooks a shot and they are now addicted.

The hardcore reader that doesn’t flip-flop through genres the way some of us do, probably wouldn’t have as much use for one. But those who read a ton, those who go to work with a historical and then come lunch time realize you’re more in the mood for a paranormal, an ebook reader would offer them choices they didn’t realize even existed.

But whether people agree or not, ebooks are more or less the book of the future. In a couple more generations, there may even be kids who’ve never seen a ‘print’ book. Might sound a little farfetched, but hey… fifteen years ago, would anybody have believed you could carry around 600 songs in something smaller than a credit card?