Monday, February 21, 2011

A House Divided

Also, differences of opinion can be creatively stimulating as well as frustrating. - Jim Coleman

When two thirds of my life has been spent with one person, I can be lulled into the idea that all the surprise factors are gone. But something always comes along to knock that notion right upside the head.

My husband and I have never agreed on everything, which is fine. A different point of view provides discussion opportunities. But I did think our opinion on eReaders meshed. That stance being—why would anyone want one when paper books work perfectly fine.

Therefore when this very same husband announced out of the blue one day that he was going out to buy a Kindle, I was stunned. After I picked myself up off the floor, which is a much slower process than it used to be, I responded with a, “You’re going to do what?”

The mission was confirmed.

He has always been a techie type person, but I couldn’t understand the sudden change in attitude. He explained there was a bird book out that got excellent reviews and identified birds by sight and sound. As he does a daily blog about the birds and other wildlife in the park across the street this did make sense to me, though I still felt betrayed.

Shortly after returning home with his purchase, he downloaded his first novel. Then he proceeded to show me all the wonderful things one could do with the reader. I acted unimpressed (what else could I do).

When I curl up with a book, I simply want to read. I don’t want the capability of looking up words (I can get up and get my dictionary if I can’t figure it out by usage). I have no desire to stop and read what others have said about certain passages, to shop for more books, to play games, to have wi-fi ability, and so on. In fact, not having access to all that is what makes books so beautiful to me.

Then he finishes the first book and says, “I think this is one you’d really like.”

Great. So now the real dilemma arises. Do I highjack his Kindle and read it or do I invest in the “real book?” I tend not to check out novels from libraries because I can be a slow reader at times. OK…and because I like owning books.

Many of the books I read are passed to me by my sister and daughter. They are both close to buying a Kindle or some other eReader. I’m going to be outnumbered in my own family. However, what bothers me most is that I’m going to miss all those free books.

One side note. When my husband went to purchase the bird book that started this whole revolution, he discovered from a review that the book doesn’t work with a Kindle. It only works with the Kindle App for iphones and such. I would snicker here, but that wouldn’t be very nice.

So tell me all you Kindle, iBook, Nook and other eReader owners out there, should I quit whining and jump on the bandwagon and adjust? Or is it OK to drag my feet and wait until eBooks are the only option? Are there any other readers out there resisting the call of eReaders? If so why?

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope to see you again next week.

Tags: Jim Coleman, Kindle, ereader, Nook, ireader,


Old Kitty said...

Jane Kennedy Sutton!! I cannot and refuse to jump no the ereader/ebooks/e-whatever bandwagon. I know they are there and by golly I've seen people on my daily commute to work take out these ugly boards (they look like flat trays!)to read. It looks odd, it looks like you're at work staring at a screen. I follow a blog who has her book out on kindle as well as paperback and she is a champion of all things kindle and really sees this as the future of reading and publishing. I have a paperback of her book that she kindly signed and personalised for me. I'd like to think that this signed copy will be treasured forever but her kindle upload will be just that - a computer programme in a sea of numbers and techie things.

Oh I don't know! I appreciate the value of ereaders - cheaper quicker downloads for books, easy to carry, and probably better for trees! But I cannot, cannot concieve a reading world without print books and magazines and newspapers. Yet I feel I am sounding really old.

As an aside, I do not own a mobile phone too. I remember getting my coffee from this tiny coffee stall and the friendly guy making the coffee asked me what network I used for my mobile phone. When I told him I didn't have any, he said, "Wow, that must be so free-ing". And ya know?!?! It is!

Take care

Old Kitty said...

p.s. I can see a typo mistake in my first sentence! Sorry!! I meant "jump on" rather than "jump no". Oops!!

Jim Murdoch said...

My wife bought me a Kindle for Christmas. She bought me a Rocket e-Reader about ten years ago so this in not my first e-book reader. In ten years the technology hasn’t exactly come a long way and there are a number of things I prefer about the old Rocket – the stylus and the back light but also the feel in my hand. The Kindle is what it is. It is quite limited and its main limitation is how badly it copes with PDFs. Yes, it will read them after a fashion but I’ve converted most of mine to MOBI format which destroys all tables but I can usually cope without them.

I’ve been uploading my own books to see how they look and there are real limitations when it comes to formatting. You will probably have heard people complaining about how it struggles with poetry well I suspect that the problem there is that it can’t do tabs, tables and although it can do hanging indents they’re not quite right.

But to just sit and read a book – no problem. I use it to proofread and I’ve read a couple of novels with it and if that’s all you want to do with it – read a novel – then it’s fine. Forget all the notes and highlights because once you’ve got a ton of them it just gets messy. The controls are fiddly too. But that’s me. I always want to make applications do things they were never built for.

The Kindle has done its job. It’s made e-books acceptable. But the technology has a way to go as far as I’m concerned. I recommend you check out Calibre by the way. An excellent free tool to manage and convert formats. Doesn’t does Kindle’s default format but it can read MOBI’s and you can format them for the Kindle no problem.

Carol Kilgore said...

I don't have an ereader yet, but I do want one. Trouble is I don't know WHICH one I want. I see definite advantages of the Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad. I'm going to download the free Kindle for PC app to my laptop one of these days, as soon as I have a little block of time to do it. That will let me see first hand how it works.

Linda Leszczuk said...

I got a Nook as a gift back in December. It wasn't on my wish list (I prefer 'real' books) but I did immediately download a book written by a friend which was only available in eform. I read that book and loved it (the book, using the Nook was just okay). Since then, I've downloaded a couple other things to the Nook. Haven't read any of them. When I reach for a book, my hand still goes to a printed one.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I still prefer physical books and usually purchase hardbacks for my collection.
However - I love my iPad! The iBookstore is really cool and I can carry with me many books. (And since I have an iPad, many songs, movies, games, photos, apps, and the internet as well.)
And I'd be able to read that bird book!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I absolutely LOVE books, bookstores, and libraries--but I'm a convert. :) It's sort of like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"'re perfectly normal one day, then suddenly, you're one of THEM--the e-reader people!

Ciara said...

I love to hold a book in my hands, but when I discovered I could download crits and work on them I had to pause. Also, my hubby gave me one for X-mas with a hot pink cover. I couldn't turn my nose up.

I discovered how much I loved it when I was stuck somewhere for HOURS and had nothing but my Kindle. Well, I finished the book I was reading and guess what? I got to start another one. No carrying a pile around with me, just one book for many. That's when I was sold. :)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Old Kitty, it’s easy to tell where you stand on this issue!) I do own a cell phone. It rings so seldom that I usually don’t recognize what I’m hearing and miss the call or I can’t find it fast enough. Don’t worry, I don’t mark down for typos.

Jim, thank you for the information. I’ve passed it along to my resident techie.

Carol, when you do download the app, I hope you blog about it so I can find out what you think about it.

Linda, I think I’d do the same thing.

Alex, and you probably could actually hear the birds, too!

Elizabeth, that’s scary. If eReaders could take over your body, it could happen to any of us! )

Ciara, OK…that’s a great example of why a Kindle could be really nice to own.

Joanne said...

Hi Jane, What I'm seeing about eReaders is that people think it has to be either/or. eReader or traditional. I think that's where the problem lies sometimes. Why not look at it as the best of both worlds, which really can expand your reading possibilities? Sometimes you curl up with an amazing hardcover novel, other times you're reading on the Kindle, depending on the circumstances. Major newspapers and magazines are available on the Kindle, too, so there's even that reading option. I say, go for it and enjoy both :)

DazyDayWriter said...

Yes, definitely dragging my heels on this one, Jane. When I work at a computer most all day every day .. well, who wants to "relax" w/another piece of technology? Hmmm. For me, I'll always prefer a book that feels far-removed from the stress of daily life on a computer. But as long as people keep reading, well, whatever intrigues them, I guess. Take care and great post, per always! --Daisy

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I might just end up jumping on the e-reader bandwagon sooner rather than later, simply because there seem to be a lot more books available for the e-reader than in paperback (which is all I can really afford). Having said that, I know I am not going to want to look up words (learnt very early to guess meanings from the context), or see what others say- that is only going to come in the way of my enjoying a book.
And I sure will miss the feel of paper on my hands!

Helen Ginger said...

You can keep dragging your feet. That's what I did when my husband got his iPad last year. Now I have eReader envy. I want one. I don't want to pay for one. But can't read on his because he's always reading on his. Hello, my name is Helen and I covet my husband's iPad.

Okay, if you don't want to end up like me, get yourself a Kindle or perhaps check to see on what eReader you could read the bird book and get that one. Then just smile at your hubby as you read it.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Joanne, that’s such a practical approach and I never gave it a thought! Thanks for the good idea.

Daisy, I think the ability to get away from technology is a big part of my feet dragging, too.

Rayna, Joanne has the right idea, I think, and that’s to do both.

Helen, if I’m honest with myself, I’m sure I already have a bit of that Kindle envy. I like your solution, too.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, Jane, you and I are kindred spirits on this matter, from the resistance, to the way we read (to escape and just read) to the pouting about the loss of the free stream of books thing... I chuckled all the way through because you were saying exactly what I'd say in that situation.

jan nieman said...

Here's the thing. From an author's viewpoint, any manner in which my book is purchased will be hunky-dory with me. Although, it seems the pennies received from Nook and Kindle don't add up very fast, and I'd rather buyers bought the hard copy, but I'm not ready yet to purchase a Nook or Kindle for my own reading. But as one book store owner revealed to me, "I see myself being out of business in 3 years, so I guess I might as well get ready for it." Que sera, sera.

Arlee Bird said...

I am a hard copy ink on paper kind of guy and I'm resisting e-readers, but I'm sure eventually I'll succomb. I'm seeing more releases only available in that format and I'll probably want to read some of those some day. I'll always prefer my books I think, but technology will leave us behind if we don't give in and accept it.

Tossing It Out

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Hart, it’s nice to know I’m not alone! )

Jan, I agree that as long as people read my book, I don’t care what method they use. I guess we’ll both accept eReaders for ourselves when we’re forced into it.

Lee, it’s going to get pretty loud when all of us hold-outs are dragged kicking and screaming to accept the new technology.

Not So Simply Single said...

Love your point of view!

I will be back...


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lisa.

Jayne said...

Oh Jane, I dread the day e-readers are our only option, though, I don't believe that will ever happen.
My daughter has a Kindle and it works well for her - she can zip through a book a night. But even firmly entrenched in technology (more savvy than I), she still loves the feel and smell of a real paper and ink book. (And reads them also.) As do I.
I doubt I'll ever jump on the bandwagon. Ordering a crisp book from Amazon is as high tech as I want to get. ;)

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world