The E-Reader take over continues, big time

I was late to the E-Reader world, having only bought a cheap Kindle late last year.

The first book I bought felt awkward reading on it, but like 99.99 percent of the people in the world who buy one, I quickly fell in love with it.

I love the cheaper cost of books, the dictionary it has built inside it, the fact you don’t have to find storage on your shelves for yet more books, and about a hundred other things about it.

I knew by the time I finished my second book on it that E-Readers would take over and printed books would become something we buy as a collector’s item, so to speak — and only then after having read it first on an E-Reader to determine it was a work of art.

Anyway, you’ve probably heard that Amazon released its latest Kindles, with backlit screens. And that new E-Reader (called the Kindle Paperwhite) has already sold out and will take four to six weeks before more arrive.

So, E-Readers are already popular and they’re becoming far more so. After all, many of those buying the new Paperwhite will be handing off or giving away their older Kindles, which means new people having access to technology they’ve either not used or not grown comfortable with.

My main point in all this is if you think E-Readers aren’t going to completely take over the vast majority of the market in just a few years, then I challenge you to read this article in The New York Times that reviews the new Kindle Paperwhite compared to its competition.

And for discussion points, I’d love to hear from you all on your thoughts. Do you own a Kindle or Nook or other type of E-Reader? (If not, why haven’t you bought one?) And for those who do own one, what reasons do you have for loving yours? And how do you foresee the future of books/E-Readers ending up?

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.

20 Comments

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20 responses to “The E-Reader take over continues, big time

  1. I’ve had a Kindle for years. My wife bought it for me long before the competition and price wars, and I quickly became addicted to the darn thing. On the other hand, I just bought 5 books from Amazon that I wanted as hardbound. Go figure.

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  2. Phillip McCollum

    Good article Stan.

    I’ve gone through an interesting cycle with eReaders – hate, then love, then ambivalence. I purchased a Nook Simple Touch about six months ago. The two things that motivated me to buy it:

    1.) Traveling with a single device was so much easier than the two or three books I usually packed.
    2.) Emptying those overflowing bookshelves you mentioned.

    But I recently came back to marking the crap out of my paper books as I study the craft. I love that I can pick up a pencil, any color, and write in the margins and highlight. Sure, I can mark and highlight in an eReader, but it’s just not as convenient for me and the eInk readers (which are easier on my eyes) just don’t support colors.

    That being said, I believe that’s a technical limitation that will be taken care of over time. The future is certainly in the ebook. Just like audio files are doing away with CDs, it’s inevitable.

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    • And Point 1 is a huge one. Besides just the point of packing two or three, often at lunch I don’t want to carry in my 500-page mammoth read. Far easier to walk in with a small Kindle.

      I do mark the crap out of my paper books, but I like the convenience of hitting up the menu on a Kindle and quickly skipping from highlighted point to highlighted point.

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  3. I love my Kindle; I can operate it with one hand, a lot of books are free or cheap, and I can adjust the print size to be as small or as large as I need on a given day. I believe that e-books are definitely the future of publishing, which is good for the writers, and that once the libraries stop treating e-book borrowing like a novelty and focus on lending them out, the publishing industry per se will be dead.

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  4. What I do not understand is why people buy something for only books. Why not buy a pad or tablet that can be used for reading AND surf the web and replace your laptop and lighter and longer battery (right? I am one of those technology laggers) and still plug in the projector for a presentation? Is it a price thing? Is it you do not want to read on what you do work on? Is it the pads and tablets are over rated?

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    • Hey David,

      It’s several of the things you said, though many people ARE reading books on Ipads and Tablets. At the same time though, many have said it’s better to buy an inexpensive tablet so that if you drop it, forget it, have it stolen, get it damaged on a plane, etc., then it’s no big loss. You just go buy another.

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      • And if it gets stolen…are all your books stored “somewhere” like my wife’s music on her little music thingy she plugs in the car? But the other thing is I read MAYBE 1.5 books a year. I am more articles and trade magazines on the desktop at home and from Linkedin…AND of course I read the Oak Ridge Observer! I just finished the one from the first week of October 😀 I also like your coverage of the candidates and the questions. Keep up the good work.

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        • Hey David,

          Your books are stored online, so if it’s ever stolen it’s no big deal. And thanks for the kind words about the paper. Your support of it means a lot! BTW, Danah mentioned that she saw you in Walgreens hte other day. You have much luck there?

          Stan

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    • Having read books on my iPad and my Kindle, it is much easier on the eyes to not have a lit screen shining in your face for, potentially, hours at a time. In addition, my Kindle can last for weeks on a single charge, is lighter and smaller than my iPad (or even any one of the many 7″ tablets), and in general I treat it just like I treat a book – I throw it in my bag, leave it lying around where the cat can knock it over, etc. because it’s actually pretty sturdy. I wouldn’t treat a tablet PC anywhere near as casually as I treat my Kindle.

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  5. I love my iPad Kindle, and most of my books are now e-books. They’re cheaper and instantly accessible. I still enjoy a paper copy though, especially books by my favorite authors as well as nonfiction books, so I can mark and dogear them up.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate it!

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    • Yeah, the iPad sales really motivate me about the future since I hear so many end up using their’s for reading e-books!

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      • badelaire

        The full-size iPad isn’t, in my mind, really suitable for e-book reading in the kindle format, although for reading PDFs it’s great. Now that there’s a 7″ iPad, although I’ve not used it, I bet as an e-reader it’ll be far superior to the full-size model. I’m sure we’ll see reading comparisons between it and the Kindle Fire.

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  6. badelaire

    I recently read Max Adams’ history of World War II. The trade paperback version of this monster is the size of a hefty phone book. reading such a beast on my Kindle makes it actually manageable. I’ve got a little over 200 books on my Kindle, which is actually nowhere near it’s capacity. I’m a voracious reader, and over the last few years I’ve literally started running out of space to put books. Now, unless I cannot buy it in an ebook format, or the ebook is significantly pricier than a used copy, I buy for my kindle.

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    • My shelves are too full, as well, adn I’m constantly trading in books to clear out space. We moved a couple years ago and I swore to myself we wouldn’t add any additional books — things must be traded, I keep telling myself.

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