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What's the Point, Kindle? (rant)

For discussion about electronic reading devices and related issues (pricing, formatting, accessories, comparisons, etc.)
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed May 25th, 2011, 2:39 am

[quote=""hfwriter""]The irony. I'm completely immersed in The Confessions of Catherine de Medici on my Kindle.

Divia, you are so right, actual books are getting cheaper than the ebooks but it's so much easier to read in bed with the Kindle :) [/quote]

I agree, especially after a long long day. That kindle is just so light in the hands. That said, I'm not going to pop money for something I can get free from the lib no matter how convenient the kindle is to hold and mark my highlights (love the quote and note feature and the way they show up on my own Amazon kindle page to copy and paste if needed).
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed May 25th, 2011, 6:10 am

I'm not worried about availability. Within five years, almost everything will be available in all the major e-formats. You just have to have patience. The technology isn't that old, after all.

Less than a year into kindle ownership, I split 50-50 now in my reading, but 80-20 in my buying, in favor of kindle. Just love the thing. If given the choice between two books that are equally interesting, equal in length, quality, and price, but one is available as an ebook and the other as a pbook, the format would decide the choice: I'd buy the ebook.

SGM
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Post by SGM » Wed May 25th, 2011, 7:30 am

It took me a couple of books to get into the Kindle habit but I got there in the end. And I do like the instant gratification of a Kindle book. I find a book I want and lo I have it in a couple of seconds with no wait and no postage -- or trawling out to a shop to find it.

Availability of books on Kindle is increasing all the time. There are far more books available now than there were at Xmas when I got the thing and more and more older books which were more difficult to find in hard copy are becoming available. I am prepared to use whatever is available to get the books that I want and most of the Kindle books I have were slightly (just very slightly) cheaper on Kindle and I don't have to pay postage and I don't have to find space to put it.

I look on e-books at the moment as extending my choice not limiting it. But I am sensible enough to know that in time e-books will become more expensive and real books (I do get the real book thing BTW, I have thousands of them) will become rarer in time. I am also concerned about the fact that until a compatibility standard is set for all ebook readers that we will become locked into just a couple of book sellers and then choice and price will go out of the window. I have a Kindle and an ebook reader that will allow me to borrow books from the library and buy ebooks from Waterstones (who might be the next big collapse in multi-shop book stores).

The second reader is backlight which I find much better when the light is not so good (my eyesight not being quite as good as it was) but is impossible to read outside in bright sunlight so no sitting in the garden in the summer reading it. I just wish I could have my ebooks in a format that is readable on both depending on conditions. I also await an ebook reader that can really cope with PDFs from the Internet Archive. I have found some ways of improving this experience but it is a faff.

Ebook selling has yet a long way to go to satisfy a all the desires of a worldwide audience and so long as no one seller gets a complete monopoly on it, it will happen so I intend to support as many ebook sellers as possible to keep my choice as wide as possible.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
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Post by Madeleine » Wed May 25th, 2011, 8:55 am

[quote=""Brenna""]You are not a freak, I am the exact same way. My in-laws got me a Kindle for Christmas and I've used it only three times. I just can't seem to get into the book! The book addiction continues![/quote]

I'm the same! I don't have a Kindle and don't want one, although if someone came up with a hire scheme whereby you could rent one out for a holiday, with say 5 books downloaded - bit like hiring a car! - then I might consider one for that.

I don't have problems holding a book in bed, unless it's a large book, which is why I don't buy hardbacks. And I spend all day looking at a screen and know my eyes have got worse since I went back to work 6 months ago, and so I don't want to spend even more time looking at a screen for leisure. Plus I still like going into bookshops, and would hate to see them go, as well as the job losses that would bring with it.

CW is right when he says that bookstores all sell the same thing which is part of the problem and why they're so competititve; where I live there are only 2 choices bookshop-wise - Waterstone's and WH Smiths. It would be lovely to have some independent bookshops but outside of large cities they seem to be very difficult to sustain, and e-books will only do more damage to this.
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed May 25th, 2011, 9:46 am

I'm a recent Kindle purchaser and I love it.

I was mulling it but then, with a vacation coming up, I could really see the value in it. No more lugging several heavy paperbacks around with me or even having to think too far ahead exactly what I would be in the mood for reading. You could pack a new big paperback for your flight, start reading it and figure out it's not your cup of tea and you're stuck for the next umpteen hours with nothing else to read.

I do most of my reading while commuting, often standing up, or on my lunchbreak at work. While I'm happy doing this with a smallish paperback, anything larger or heavier is not ideal, so the Kindle is a real bonus in that respect.

And I am blown away with how easy it is on the eyes. You really see the advantages of using a device that has been specifically designed for a single purpose. It does what it sets out to do perfectly - and you can even adjust the font size and spacing etc, which you can't do in a print book.

That having been said, it will not affect my love of physical books. I'm still buying those as much as I did pre-Kindle. If I love to death a book I've read on the Kindle, I'm pretty likely to buy the actual book for my shelves as well. I hope that, in future, anyone buying the physical book would have access to the ebook version as well thrown in. We're at the very early stages of this commercially and it will be exciting to see how it pans out. I am sure there will a huge surge in availability and compatibility of formats; Amazon has already indicated that the Kindle will soon be able to read the epub format as well.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed May 25th, 2011, 10:15 am

And I spend all day looking at a screen and know my eyes have got worse since I went back to work 6 months ago, and so I don't want to spend even more time looking at a screen for leisure.
Like SPB just said, the Kindle is very very easy on the eyes. I have the same problem, and cannot read lengthy books/documents/whatever on the screen. Even overly long paragraphs on a blog post or something send my eyes glazing over, but the Kindle is no pain at all.

I'm also hoping more authors will get their older OOP back lists up on ebook format. Marsha Canham has been doing that lately (although I understand she's been rewriting some of her heroes to make them more PC), and then selling them off at a reasonable price (sometimes free).
Last edited by Misfit on Wed May 25th, 2011, 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Wed May 25th, 2011, 10:35 am

[quote=""Divia""]I'm still looking at the ebook prices and almost every book I want I can get cheaper in book format. So I'm wondering why the hell I did this? :confused: I guess it will be OK when I use it for travel. I do want to travel more and I hate carrying around 3 books.[/quote]

I don't know about Nook but I don't find that to be the case with Kindle most of the time. Sometimes, yes, but most of the time, Kindle books are either equal to or cheaper than the lowest (new) paper version. Especially indie books.

As for availability - a lot of out-of-print books which aren't old enough to be in the public domain are not available as an ebook. That's because the publisher probably doesn't see the point in going to the trouble for a book which is out of print. If there's enough demand for it, they might - but it means out-of-print books are hit and miss as ebooks. The request link on Amazon lets the publisher know there is interest for it on Kindle but how much it influences whether the publisher decides to make it available on Kindle is anyone's guess.

Also, a note on screens - eInk is very different to the backlit screens of tablet computers. It really does look just like paper and ink and most people report that because you can change the size of the font, it is actually easier on the eyes than regular paper books.

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Rowan
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Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
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Post by Rowan » Wed May 25th, 2011, 12:49 pm

[quote=""Divia""]I haven't found that to be true. In fact a few books I want are on Kindle only and not the nook. I have to go to Kobo and download them and transfer them over. Not sure how to do that yet.[/quote]

I am truly shocked to know this, Divia, but I guess in your case an iPad would come in handy. I have the Kindle app, the Kobo app and the Nook app. So far, though, I've only used the Kindle. On the slim chance that I might find an Ellis Peters book on the Nook, I looked there, only to be disappointed yet again. :(

[quote=""cw gortner""]So, I now have a rather snazzy and expensive device I'll probably not use very much, at least not for book reading. I did download some books recently before I went to travel and made myself leave all physical copies at home. Of course, the moment I ran across an airport book store I dove in like an addict and bought three books. I was literally in withdrawl.

Something about the glass, the lack of actual pages . . . I must be a freak but I just can't get immersed in the book itself with an e-reader. I'm too aware of the machine. Maybe it just takes practice but I'm an old dog and this particular new trick, for all its raging popularity, has failed to entice me thus far.

Guess I'll end up buried with my piles of tomes, like a bibliophilic pharoah.[/quote]

CW, my biggest beef with the iPad is the lack of a keyboard, save for the one on the screen. I'm a fairly fast typer and going from a fast speed to basically "hunt and peck" typing drives me up the wall. Of course I did splurge on a wireless keyboard, but I don't use it as often as I had hoped I might.

[quote=""MLE""]I'm not worried about availability. Within five years, almost everything will be available in all the major e-formats. You just have to have patience. The technology isn't that old, after all.[/quote]

Patience MLE? What's that? :p :p :p

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Wed May 25th, 2011, 2:50 pm

I use my iPad more for internet use than for reading. My kids play games on it and watch shows with the netflix app. When I do read on the iPad, I like the landscape, two column view and adjust the brightness to mitigate glare. I love reading on my dedicated eReaders (have a Kindle and the old model--pocket-- Sony).

I think your tastes in reading material will definitely influence how much you find available. Most new books are coming out with ebook editions. Older books are gradually being released as rights revert back to authors who wish to publish them as ebooks. Who knows how long it will take for dead authors who are still under copyright? I tend to think like MLE. Have patience and we'll begin to see more ebooks for those come out. I am waiting for du Maurier and Seton, but suspect it will be a while before those get ebook editions. Sourcebooks is releasing most of the reissues of older books as ebook and print now.

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Tanzanite
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Post by Tanzanite » Wed May 25th, 2011, 7:01 pm

[quote=""cw gortner""]So, I now have a rather snazzy and expensive device I'll probably not use very much, at least not for book reading. I did download some books recently before I went to travel and made myself leave all physical copies at home. Of course, the moment I ran across an airport book store I dove in like an addict and bought three books. I was literally in withdrawl.

Something about the glass, the lack of actual pages . . . I must be a freak but I just can't get immersed in the book itself with an e-reader. I'm too aware of the machine. Maybe it just takes practice but I'm an old dog and this particular new trick, for all its raging popularity, has failed to entice me thus far.

Guess I'll end up buried with my piles of tomes, like a bibliophilic pharoah.[/quote]

I agree with you about being aware of the machine. Although I haven't bought an e-reader yet, I decided to give the concept a try, joined net galley and requested an ARC which I downloaded to read on my computer. i hate it (reading it on a screen - not the book). it actually feels like work and i just didn't enjoy the reading experience as much.

I like the idea of the bibliophilic pharoah though! :)

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