Friday, January 6, 2012

Unwrapping: To Love My Ereader or Not To Love My Ereader, That is the Question!

Mine's like the one in front but lives in a red case now.
I received a Kobo Touch ereader as a Christmas gift from my dear hubby. He's been using a Kobo ereader for the past year and I assume he loves it since he reads on it constantly. It goes everywhere with him. My dh is a prolific reader, usually 2 or 3 books at a time which I've never been able to do since I just get too involved in the story to switch back and forth. I thought he would miss doing this with the e-reader but then I discovered that he had a couple of books in process on his ereader.
So does this mean that a person's reading habits won't change at all with the use of an e-reader? I suppose for him it hasn't but I've been thinking about my own.

I love books. I love the look of them, the smell of them, the feel of them in my hands. I like seeing them line the shelves with all their colors and variety of titles. I like organizing them by genre, by series, and by alphabetical order - yes, I do that! The more organized my books are the easier it is for me to find a particular one that I might be seeking. And yes, I do seek them out after they go on the shelves because I'm a consummate re-reader of books.

So far, I've only really read some previews on my new ereader. Oh yes, it's one of the things I do love about my new ereader. I can get previews! And we're not talking just a blurb but usually a prologue (if there is one) and the entire first chapter! How great is that?

It took me a while to figure out how to use the blasted thing since it was quite different than the model that my dh uses and is operated almost completely by touching the screen. It's kind of cool, actually, at least when I want to turn a page - I just tap the side of the page on the right to turn to the next, tap the left side to return to the previous page. That brings me to something that I'm NOT really loving about my ereader.

I'm the type of reader who tends to travel through a book - that is, that while I'm reading I may or may not desire to go back to a previous chapter or page to reread something that I've been reminded of while reading the current page. I've found many a discrepancy in a book by doing so. I've always had a very good memory for what I read or at least I used to ... now I find myself going back to check if something actually happened or was said. [sigh] One of the curses of getting older. Anyway, back to my point - when I wish to go back in a print book, I thumb the pages back to where I think I read it, do a little skimming search with my eyes and bingo, find it, read it and happily go back to where I was. Not so easy with the ereader!

If I wish to go back, I have to tap and tap and tap and tap, in ad nauseam, until I find the page I might have seen it on. If that's an annoyance in a preview, what's it going to be like when I'm, say two hundred pages into a book and want to check something in the second chapter? I suppose there's possibly some setting to make it easier to do such a thing but I haven't found it yet and it's just this sort of thing, the complexity of using an ereader that I'm not loving at all. A book is simple. It's easy to use - you pick it up, you open the beautiful, IN COLOR, cover and read the words.

Missing that lovely blue!
Not loving too much that the covers are in black and white either - yes, I know there's a model that is in color but all I want an ereader to do is let me read a book not all the other bells and whistles. Not loving the format of the text either but I suppose I can get used to both.

Reading on an ereader reminds me of when I was younger, when paperbacks were made so tough that you could bend the spine and fold the book back against itself. I hated when people did that to my books but I saw a lot of folks doing it with theirs. I've always been kind to my books because if it's a good one, I'm going to keep it and re-read it many, many times again.

I do get a kick out of the way it bookmarks where I quit reading though ... it dog ears the corner just the way I was guilty of doing when I was younger and didn't use bookmarks. Hey, what's going to happen to all the lovely bookmarks if no one reads real books anymore? Hmm ... I suppose I could run ornament hooks through them and hang them on a tree. That's it, I'll design a reading tree for all my lovely bookmarks. Awww, so sad for I truly will miss my bookmarks.

My Home Page shows
me my book titles, pretty cool!
So what is the answer? To love it or not to love it? I suppose there's good and bad with any new technology. I do have to say that I'm quite excited at the prospect of going on my next vacation and not having to worry about forgetting a book I want to read because I plan to have them already loaded on my fully-charged ereader.  Did I tell you they even give you recommendations based on your reading habits - WooHoo!

So to those of you with ereaders, I'm curious - what's your relationship with the gadget? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Or do you plan to do as I'm going to do for a long while - switch back and forth between it and print books? Just received 3 new books from Amazon today and can't wait to get my hands on them. I'm not ready to completely give up my addiction to print books and all those glorious covers. How about you?

Happy Reading Everyone!



The_Book_Queen said...

I have a NOOK (1st edition, the "out of date" model in their eyes, seeing as how it is a whole year old!) and I love it. BUT, it is not a book, nor will it ever replace a physical book in my hands. I accept that, and I don't plan on changing my mind on it. The readers are, of course, flawed in comparison to a real book--they always will be, no matter how advanced they get, no matter what new technology the company uses or what new add-ons they put on it. It's a fact; no matter what you dress it up as, it will always be an electronic reader, not a book.

I use my NOOK to read lots of books--mainly free e-books I find on BN and other websites--as well as many books that I receive for review. Sadly, I think, this is one area that will move more and more towards total e-books; getting a review copy that is an actual book anymore is rare, most publishers, authors, and review sites (like NOR and Netgalley, both of which I participate in) do more e-books than print (netgalley, of course being all e-book). So when I want to read these books, I live with the fact that I will have to do so on my NOOK.

I don't know much about the KOBO, but, if it has any of the things that NOOK does, you should be able to search for something without going a page at a time (ie, you could search for a word or phrase, and it would show you all the ones in the book, which, depending on what you wish to look back on might be too broad of a search and it might show up twenty places in the book that have that phrase, but it's a thought). Also, you should be able to have the option to have it go to page "_" or chapter "_". Again, perhaps these things are not on the KOBO, I do not know, but I thought I'd offer a bit of advice if they are there. :D

In short, here is my answer to whether or not I will allow myself to be swept away into the completely electronical age of reading: HELL NO! I will always love books (real books) and will always buy them. Do e-books have some advantages why I would buy a NOOK and use it? Yes, some, but not enough to ever have my give up books. I buy more books, actually, than e-books, even with my NOOK (if you don't count the free books, which I don't since I am not paying for them and therefore can't compare them to a print book, which you always have to pay something for). So perhaps when the world gives up books and is stuck glued to the screen of whatever gadgets, you and I will be the few lone "antique" book hoarders, buying up all the remaining books and stashing them away, protected, for future generations. :D The e-book will not win this battle as long as there is still real book lovers out there--and publishers smart enough to continue with real books. :D

Wonderful topic, thanks for sharing--as you can see by my comment, I have a lot to say on the matter. :D Lol. So if you wish to talk more about it, feel free to contact me. :D Book lovers unite, right?


Amy Valentini said...

Brava, my dear BOOK QUEEN!! Brava! Thank you for your support on this issue and thanks for the tech advice. I'm still learning to use my Kobo so I'm sure I can probably do what you suggested. I discovered I've got like a mini Etch-a Sketch in it. LOL!
I'm with you, TBQ, I'm willing to move forward technologically but my hope is that books won't go by way of the dinosaurs. I've seen newspapers disappear, some magazines are going fully "online" and I fear that books may do the same.
I keep thinking, what happens if everything electronic fails one day? I can live without TV, radio and movies because I can turn to books but what if books only exist on a reader that will eventually need to be recharged by electricity but there's no electricity? [shivering at the thought]
I suspect this topic will arise many times more for me and you're welcome to chime in anytime you want. Yes, my dear, BOOK LOVERS UNITE!! : )

Maureen said...


Yes I love my Kobo! which you know, and now that I have Calibre free e-book management I love it more. Not that I don't love the printed book, but space in a condo is limited and I buy 'em, lend 'em to Mom and pop she gives 'em back. I am overrun in books.

Since I would ten times rather read a good romance versus TV the e-reader takes up little space and hold a bunch, and Calibre allows me to keep the books Kobo would like to say are just mine on "rent" - Hah! KOBO.

During much of December I was without my Kobo as it has died, getting it back was a chore, and I did buy a new one as you know, rather than fight with sending it to Canada, but it was worth it.

Would I love that library for all my paperbacks and hardbacks, yes! But as that is not an option the e-reader fits my needs to a tee!

By the way happy to help you find the Skip to chapter - Skip to page options on your Kobo, it's there promise with the dictionary.

Can't believe all you can find is the etcha sketch, too funny!

:> Maureen

Amy Valentini said...

LOL!! I found the etcha-sketch by accident actually!
I guess I'm going to have to read the whole instruction manual. : )

Maureen said...

hmmm...that might help. You could have a gorgeous naked man in there!

Shauni said...

I have a kindle and have had it for a little over a year. As far as I am concerned it was the best Christmas Present ever!, Well after my rare edition Tolkien books. You are right, it will never replace books but it will replace the casual read books. I know I love the feel of books as well but I am a voracious reader and yes a re-reader so having them on file on my Kindle or in Calibre (which I agree is a fabulous plus) makes this much easier for me.

As for not being able to go back and forth easily, I am sure eventually you will find a way to do it in a speedy manner, after all many people thing thumbing through pages is time consuming. It is just what we are used to.


Amy Valentini said...

Maureen, if there was a gorgeous naked man in my ereader, I'd give up print books forever! ; )

Shani, thanks for the words of encouragement. I suppose, like most things technical, I'll learn to love it but I think it will take a bit longer than it did with the 'puter and cellphone.

Thanks for visiting everyone! : )

All You Can Books said...

Personally, I love to read both ways. When I travel I take my e-reader with me, because I can have so many books in just one place and it's little and portable. Of course, I'll continue to read printed books when I'm at home. My passion is to have a big and diversified library and with eBooks I can't do this thing.

Amy Valentini said...

I'm with you, All You Can Books, I think my ereader will become a gadget of convenience but I'll always want print books, especially hardcover. I would love to have an office with walls of books ... truly inspiring. Thanks for visiting. : )

Amanda P said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Kindle 3G and I even have a Kindle Fire.. Yeah I am a bit of a technology slut and I'm ok with that.

I will probably never return to reading paperbacks and hardcovers, in fact I have a pile of books that a friend sent to read but I dont want to pull them out to read on paperback.

I wrote a two posts about this subject, kinda. I had an ode to my Kindle and an Ode to eBooks. =)

I Love my Kindle
I Love eBooks

When I skip around in a book I use the Go To .. function in the Kindle menu. I would assume the Kobo has something similar along with "book marking" so you can dog ear your eBook for your favorite spots.

-Amanda P
Paranormal Romance

Amy Valentini said...

LOL!! Amanda P, I hope I eventually fall in love with my Kobo as you have with your Kindles. I'm still learning all its features but I do like the fact that I can set the thing down on the counter and read while I'm cooking, turning pages with a mere touch. It's cool!
I'm reading my second book on it right now - A SECRET IN HER KISS by Anna Randol with A DEVIL NAMED DESIRE by Terri Garey just itchin' for me to get to him. ; )
Thanks for coming by. I hope you'll visit often - I talk about paranormal whenever I can. : )