The Good, The Bad and The Fancy – My E-Reader Experience

So I finally broke down and got an e-reader.  Well, actually, it was a gift, but I wanted one.  Really.  It was a necessary ‘evil’ for all the e-book review requests we’ve been getting over at Novel Escapes so we finally decided we were going to go the e-reader route.  Now that I’ve read a few, here’s my take on the paperless experience.

The Good:

  • I was shocked to discover that the pages actually look like book pages so I actually feel like I’m reading a book.
  • If I’m out somewhere and unexpectedly finish a book, I don’t have to worry whether I remembered to pack a second one ‘just in case’. I also have plenty to choose from in my own personal library or can buy something new from the bookstores at my fingertips. My love for trolling book stores will never cease, although I find myself more and more picking up the recommendations of many of the bookish types I follow online now, and it just flows that I would download a title before I forget it or have time to go out and buy it.
  • Saving trees as well as room on my bookshelves for those books that really deserve the space and that I’ll actually read again.
  • As someone who is at times excruciatingly sensitive to scented things, I don’t have to fear a book that might have a particular smell that sets me off which happens from time to time. Most people don’t notice, but I do. I believe it’s the ink and newspaper print is the worst offender.  Its been years since I’ve read one and I love that I can go online to get the news anytime without subjecting myself to sinus issues.  But I digress…. I suspect I don’t want to get to the bad…

The Bad:

  • Sorting out how the hell to get books onto my ipad. (Naturally they posted a linky AFTER I spent hours trying to figure it out). Fortunately this applies for review copies only and won’t apply to the masses.  Still, it was most aggravating and detrimental to the initial experience.
  • I now have several book apps, specifically because of the incompatibility of Adobe and Apple (see my netgalley experience above) in addition to ibooks, Kindle and Kobo because, well, I guess I like to have it all.  The downside to having so many apps for my books is that I don’t have one location for all of them and can’t stare at my collection and I have to remember what books are where or troll each app for them. Ok, I admit, I haven’t amassed a library just yet.  I have plans though, great plans… And one day I’ll figure out how to get all the lovelies together again.
  • I neglected to bring my ipad along when it was frigid and snowy one day, figuring I didn’t need it.  Murphy’s Law dictated otherwise and there was a teenie bit of car trouble during which I would have had time to read. Now the pretty little machine sits permanently in my purse if it’s not in my lap, rain or shine, potential to read or not. Period.
  • I can’t advertise the lovely books I read anymore to other patrons on the subway. This could also be filed under ‘good’ if such cover is one I’d rather not parade in public, which really is rare, but has occurred.
  • I can no longer read in the bath.  You have no idea how upset this makes me.
  • My novels and reading time are now fused to the interwebs and distractions like email, Facebook and Twitter abound.  ‘Nuff said.

The Fancy:

  •  The Bookmarks! I LOVE them.  It’s weird. They’re not fancy, or pretty or mark the page in any way, but they record my reading in a way I’d never even contemplated doing myself.  It logs every single time I click the tiny bookmark and counts pages and sessions. I can see exactly what date I picked up a book and when I finished and how many pages I got through in each session.  This is proving fascinating to me.  And I really have no idea why – or if this novelty will soon wear off. But in the meantime, I love it and if that makes me weird, so be it. #bookgeek
  • The Notes! As a reviewer (and writer) I can make notes on what I’m reading with each click of the bookmark (or notes, depending on the e-reader). Now this may gunk up my above noted reading ‘stats’ if it’s connected with the bookmark, but is ever so helpful to mark passages, make notes and have them compiled in one place for when I write my review.  Sadly I’ve never really made notes for my reviews before. I should have, but with a decent memory and lazitis, if something really stuck out that I needed a reference to, I, *gasp*, dog-eared the page. But now I just type away my comments and look back at them when needed.
  • The dictionary.  I just hold my finger over a word for a second, press definition and just like that it appears.  No need to Google it or dig out my door-stopper dictionary.  ibook also has the option to link to Wikepedia.  Awesome.
  • Interactives.  I have yet to explore this possibility due to a lack of time and a fear of adding yet another procrastination tool to my arsenal, but the fact that it exists gets it a fancy label. The possibility of interacting with other readers reading exactly what I am at the same time I am? And I can stay in my pj’s, not have to leave my house, won’t have to entertain on my turn or worry the book club discussion will veer off the topic of the book? It kind of boggles the mind really.

Overall Opinion:  Two Thumbs (Way) Up.

Will I ever give up on paper books? Nope. I’ll be totally prepared for the zombie apocalypse with my favourite paperbacks.  But in the meantime I’ll swing both ways for a while.

3 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad and The Fancy – My E-Reader Experience

  1. I got an iPad in March, but didn’t like reading on it. So, in December, I got a Kindle & I absolutely love it! It’s smaller & lighter than a paperback, but, like you mentioned, the screen looks just like the page of a print book. The best part is all the new reading opportunities. Many books now aren’t even available in print, so I was missing out on some fab reads. But best of all is the numerous FREE reads on Amazon. I’ve picked up so many new books it’ll be months before I get through them all.

    • Lucie! Thanks for the comment! I knew I missed some “Fancies” like the freebie books on Amazon!

      I don’t mind reading on the ipad. I know it’s heavier and clunkier, but at this point, I don’t know any different and when I have to start carting around the ipad for work, I won’t have to carry around two devices!

  2. Pingback: Friday Favourites – Reading Things | Lydia Laceby

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