They haven’t convinced me

One of last year’s hot Christmas presents were the eBook readers.  There’s Amazon’s Kindle, the device that got the ball rolling.  Barnes  & Noble recently introduced the Nook color version adding a new dimension to the eBook reader experience, boasting an LCD screen versus the standard E-Ink one that most readers use.  There are also lesser known brands like the Kobo eReader and Pandigital Novel.  There are lots to choose from.  The website, Top Ten Reviews, has a nice chart comparing the features of many of the popular readers.

But I’m not jumping on the e-reader bandwagon.  I agree these devices are cool.   It would be easy to read in a dark room or while traveling in a car.  You could easily carry lots of books around when traveling.  But the investment for me is not worth the payoff.

The books I read cost $1 or less at a garage sale.   I get them from trading on Paperbackswap.  I listened to 41 audiobooks last year, all free from my local library.  (See my post on this topic.)  I read books loaned to me by friends and family.  So as you can see I spend very little money on my reading habit.  I was never one to spend a lot of money on a book I’d likely read once.

For this reason, I don’t see myself investing in an eBook reader anytime soon.  Besides the initial investment of the reader itself, there would be constant spending of money on eBooks (averaging $10 per book) or other materials to read.    I like the fact that eBooks are eco-friendly, no trees are cut down to make them.  But I can’t share my eBooks with friends.  I can’t trade or resell my ebooks like I do with my current paper versions.  See this Slate article about publisher’s reluctance to allow sharing for e-Books:  No Sharing Allowed.

So they haven’t convinced me I need an e-reader.  I’m not sure they ever will.

6 thoughts on “They haven’t convinced me

  1. Michele,
    My wife Linda & I each gave ourselves Nooks (a color and regular) for Christmas. In my research I liked the Nook best. We also gave them to our kids. You can have up to 6 Nooks on the same account so we all share the same library. So what ever one buys all can read. There is also a ‘share with friends’ option but is is almost useless.

    A feature that I really like is the fact that you can put docs (in PDF form) in your personal shelf so you can load articles, business docs, family photos,etc to read on the go. Then when you get where you are going you can use USB to download or just delete it. Great feature for business people, needing to do homework on the plane or catch up on articles you haven’t had time to read!

    Also the Nook, lets you log onto the internet through wifi on the go, not as user friendly in the black & white version, but it is a portable small tool for under $200. I also have Nook ap on my Droid.

    It has more uses than just a reader, without killing trees or your wallet.

    • Jere

      It’s nice that you can share books on your account. Of course that means you all need to have similar tastes, which doesn’t happen much in my household. 😉 I do like the PDF feature you mention. That could be really useful. I don’t have a smart phone and I don’t text. I have a Zune for listening to music and audiobooks. I guess I’m a slow adopter of technology, especially when it costs money.


  2. All good points. Not sure if we are unique but the math is slightly different for me. One subscription we have to a daily periodical is $120/yr. So breakeven for purchase and e-delivery of same content free is just over a year. ($139 for Kindle 3)

    Also, we enjoy travel and have managed to reduce our luggage to just carry-on. Not taking 4 books, newspapers, and magazines frees up significant room in carry-on.

    • Dave

      The subscription price difference is huge. So yes, your math is different than mine. 😉


  3. What makes sense, financially and practically, for one may not for another. I’m in the same boat as you Michele, I don’t need or want an e-reader. I want the feel of the book in my hand, but I will read a newspaper online. Go figure. I do understand how they are nice for people who travel a lot or have busy schedules.

    In this case I don’t think the “killing trees” argument works, especially for those of us who use the public library regularly or, as you do, sell and swap books. The environmental impact of manufacturing the e-reader outweighs years of books, and books are easier to recycle as well.

    • John

      I’m glad there’s someone else like me who doesn’t feel the need to rush out and buy the latest technology just cause it’s cool.


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