Thursday, June 24, 2010

eReader update

Some years back, I purchased a Palm device as an eBook reader. Oh, I might not have chosen it if the only thing it could do was display books, but it does more than act as a reading device. For half a decade, I have read scores of eBooks and used the Palm for my calendar, quick notes, and as a portable phone/address book. At the time, I thought spending a hundred and fifty bucks was a bit much for it, but in the long run, I have enjoyed cheaper books, being able to read at night, and less junk in my purse. Nowadays, it will die after just a couple of hours of reading, and battery life has always been a problem. In the past few months, the cover has worn out, the charger won't work so I have to use the USB port to recharge it, and when I pull it out, folks look at it the way folks in the eighties would look at an eight-track tape deck. Like other fans of eBooks, I am looking for a replacement reading device.

Being an Apple aficionado, I view the iPhone as a good candidate. Like the Palm, an iPhone would serve multiple purposes. But, that small screen won't be much better than what I have now, and newer should be markedly better, don't you think?  No doubt, well-heeled eBook readers who like Apple products will probably opt for the iPad, and that is the most appealing alternative. But, it won't fit in my purse, and while it is a real computer, it won't really replace my Macbook, so I can't see spending the bucks for one of those.

Amazon has been perfecting, and dropping the price of the Kindle. The second generation device isn't as butt-ugly as the first one, but I am not ready to buy one just yet. Amazon's content is probably better than most, which is a better selling point than the reader itself. If I were a student again, having to read large textbooks, the oversized version would catch my attention, but black and white magazine content is so retro.

I considered the eBookman, marketed by Fictionwise, five years ago, and there are a few of those still around. But its successor is the Nook, a WiFi capable dedicated eBook reader sold by Barnes and Noble. The price of this device is currently $149. Since Fictionwise, my favorite eBook vendor, is now a subsidiary, moving my pre-purchased content should be easier if I decide on the Nook. Barnes and Noble has my sophomore novel, Trinity on Tylos, on sale for under three bucks. That's a deal, folks! If other small press books are priced similarly, that would put new books into used book price range. Quite frankly, when just purchasing the content, and not the paper and cover, I think that a new eBook really should be less expensive than a new print copy, so plenty of low priced content is absolutely necessary. And, of the eBook readers available now, apart from Apple's elegant designs, the Nook has the best form factor, too.

Let's see... we have price, content, and long battery life. If it only had a light for night reading, I might be sold on the Nook.

In the mean time, I am reading Girl Gone Nova on my Palm and Interred with Their Bones in print.

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At Jul 1, 2010, 9:48:00 PM, Blogger Sun Singer said...

I thought the Nook looked pretty good, too. I still haven't bought one. So far, I seldom read a book on the screen. When I do, it's a PDF file on my computer.

You've made that Palm last a long time.


At Jul 1, 2010, 10:05:00 PM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

Oh, yeah, I read the computer, too. But I like to read at the spur of the moment, so having the Palm in my purse is so convenient. I can read several formats with it, but my favorite is mobipocket. I think the Nook will accept those files, and if the book is still in the catalogue, Fictionwise will let me download a different format. That's the cool thing about FW.

As for the Palm itself, the poor old thing looks terrible, but it is still glowing when I need it.

Thanks for stopping by,


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