I decided to take the plunge into e-readers.
I’ll be honest – I don’t know how I feel about it yet, and since everyone I know has heard the same pro and con arguments (convenience, travel light, the feel of a book in your hands, shelves, blah blah blah), no need to rehash them here more than I just did.
The obvious choice for me should have been an iPad. It’s got the iBooks app, which I like on my phone to read free first chapters. It could have the Kindle app – best of both worlds.
And I’m an Apple fan, have been since the old IIe days. The first computer I bought was a Macintosh. I still have it in the guest room closet, where it will continue to live until I get around to getting some sound files off of it.
Not counting the museum piece, I own 5 pieces of Apple hardware today. I use all but the shuffle on about a daily basis. With that in mind, you think I’d jump at the iPad once I decided to buy a e-reader.
But I didn’t.
The cost was definitely a factor, but the biggest reason was functionality: the iPad has too much of it.
I know. Too much functionality? Sounds like crazy talk. But bear with me.
I have a Mac laptop, so everything I can do on the iPad, I can already do from my living room or kitchen or plane or wherever.
I have an iPhone so places where I wouldn’t want to take a laptop – say, the gym or a short trip away from home – I can check email, Facebook and watch a movie. The iPhone screen is smaller than the iPad, but it hasn’t bothered me watching movies at the gym so far. As for watching on a plane, it’s harder for people to check out my questionable taste in entertainment on the small screen.
Would watching movies or playing Plants vs. Zombies one more time be more comfortable, convenient, bigger on the iPad? Yep. iBooks and the Kindle app would be bigger, too. I decided the iPhone screen was too small to read books on for more than a chapter or two, after all.
I just didn’t need everything else the iPad has. Too much functionality.
I went for the Kindle. Something about Barnes and Noble rubs me the wrong way so the Nook wasn’t what I wanted. The Kobo and its lesser known cousins didn’t stand out in the field. The Kindle seems to have stood the test of time and will likely be supported for the near future.
The main motivation for finally walking into the e-reader pool also helped make the decision. I discovered an online source for advance reading copies and galley proofs from major and minor publishers. The only catch is the physical books aren’t sent to me. I could read them with an Adobe program on a computer or – you guessed it – have them sent to my Kindle. I believe files for other e-readers are available, but there’s a button to send the ARC right to my Kindle.