E-Reader Me This

A huge shout-out to early voting.  After being laid up by surgery last week and working late this week, I FINALLY got a chance to early vote today.  The deed is done, and boy do I feel good about it.  🙂

But that’s not what this blog is about.  I got home on time to see Oprah endorse the Kindle and she’s offering $50 off from her website to anyone who buys the e-reader in the next seven days.  I thought, “Oh.  Okay.”

If you don’t know what the Kindle is, then go hereto find out.  At $359, you can download many of your favorite books and lighten the load on your sagging TBR shelf by more than 200 titles.  Not only has NY bought into it, but so have many epubs.  Anyone who hasn’t, you can bet it’s on their To-Do list.  Even my book, Unstable Environment became available on the Kindle about a month ago.  A huge shout-out to Parker Publishingfor offering ebooks in addition to print, by the way.  Most of the Kindle-ized ebooks bought through Amazon cost $9.99 or less to download and they’re always available to you, even if you break or lose your device.  You can go back to Amazon and download them again.  

But here’s the problem: $359.  AND, the books are $9.99 or less.  The good news is that the hardcover books are supposed to be $9.99, although I haven’t researched that to see if it was true or not.  Still, that’s pretty damn steep for an ebook.  And I’m not just picking on Kindle either.  I’m picking on Sony, Bookeen, Fujitsu, and others who design ebook reader.  I think, the last time I checked, the cheapest e-reader out there is $199.

Even though my books are in ebooks format, I don’t own an ereader for them.  I’ve thought about buying one, but everytime I think of how much they cost, I see each of those dollars in paperback books.  Do you know how many freakin’ books I can buy for $199?

I don’t care how much of an investment it is, I’ll wait until they’re destruction proof.  Do you know how many books I’ve dropped or thrown across the room?  To my horrified grief, I’ve even dropped a few in the toilet.  Can you imagine what it would feel like to drop hundreds of dollars in the blue waters of the porcelain underworld?  I’d have a reason to be sick all right.  I’ve also dropped books down stairs, left them places never to be see again, and loaned them out.  None of that is feasible with a reading device.  I don’t care how much money you put in them. 

My monetary challenges–stinginess–won’t keep me from reading ebooks.  I like them a lot.  Ebooks especially come in handy when I’m sitting in front of my computer with writer’s block in full force.  That’s when I get most of my ereading done, and my writer’s block is usually lifted.  I’m a huge fan of letting students from grade school through graduate school carry all of their books on ereaders because those suckers can get heavy.  Unfortunately, I’m not only waiting for an ebook reader that will read ebooks in any format, but I’m also waiting for it to be less than $50.  Until that happens, I’ll keep reading them on my laptop.  That also means I’ll be reading less ebooks, too.  😦

What are your thoughts on ereaders and ebooks?  Are you waiting to buy one or are you a cheapskate like me?

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15 thoughts on “E-Reader Me This

  1. I don’t like to read emails on my computer and would love an ereader. But like you, I’m waiting for the prices to drop.

    I’m curious. Do you get the same amount of royalty for an ebook as for a print book? Or do you get more?

  2. Edie, the Kindle–as far as I know–would probably be your best bet for reading emails because it has internet access. But not at $359.

    Typically, authors get anywhere from 30 to 40% royalties on ebooks. In some cases, I’ve seen it as high as 55 and 65%. With royalties like that, it would be a BEAUTIFUL world for authors if e-books over took paper. 😉

  3. I love new technology, but prefer to dive into it once the prices drop and the bugs are out (like the flatscreen t.v. and Itouch phone. Imagine how people who just couldn’t wait to be first feel now that the prices are reasonable).

    The problem I have with e-readers is back lighting. My eye can’t handle it so it’ll always be out for me. And, because I’m a purist when it comes to books, I really love curling up on the couch and flipping paper pages, the gentle thump when I drop it on the floor, and the fact that once I’m finished with it, I can recycle it – put it in the library’s book sale or take it to the nursing home for others to enjoy. Not so sure you can do that with books for e-readers. Once you buy them, are you stuck with them forever?

  4. Kath, I think the Kindle and the Sony have the best back lighting and the pages are supposed to look a lot like an actual book, though the feel is still that of a smooth screen.

    But like you, when I finish a book, I usually toss it and keep going. I treat my books rough because I know they can take it. Good or bad story doesn’t make a difference. There’s no way in hell I’m dropping a $200 ebook reader on the floor like it cost me only $6.99. That’s why, on top of the inflated price tag, those things have to be indestructable before I think about buying one.

    When they get down to $59, we’ll talk. Right now, I don’t think I’ve read $200 worth of books this year to justify that kind of a cost.

  5. I love my Kindle. I’ve read eight books more than normal this month, just because I’ve always got another book at my fingertips. It fits in my purse, so I read it constantly. I’ve dropped my Kindle on the floor three times (once on the sidewalk), dropped it partway in the bathtub once. Dropped lots of food on it. Still doing well.

    It has no backlighting at all, so no strain on the eyes. It looks exactly like a piece of paper. No light at all, so you need a light to read it in the dark.

    And Kindle gives a free fiction book out every week, of popular authors, like MJ Rose, Tess Gerritsen. Romance authors, too, but I’m not up on their names, too much. Most of the books are available for $3-6, just the new hardbacks are 9.99. That’s often a savings of $16 a book, with as pricey as they are these days.

    Plus I have a ton of poetry and classics (about 200 books) that I got for free, which is awesome. A thousand more are available.

    I did stop buying books for a year to justify the cost. It’s worth it, especially for my increased reading. The cheaper books to make me less guilty for buying lots of them, LOL. 🙂 I got all of the Sookie Stackhouse books for under $40.

  6. Eight books? You’re a woman after my own heart, Spy. 😆 I’m lucky if I can get through one. Even better if they’re within easy reach, too.

    I’ve heard great things about the Kindle. If I were going to get one, that would be it. The Sony would be my second choice. No backlighting, eh? Even better. Also, I didn’t know about the free books that Kindle offers. The pricing on the books sounds about right because that’s the average for most e-books that aren’t in Kindle format. I’m assuming the prices on the hardcovers go down once the paperback is produced. If so, then that should be an even bigger savings, which is what I don’t mind waiting for.

    It sounds like the Kindle is indestructable, too, which is one of my criteria. The only roadblock left is my reading life. If I read twelve books a year, it’ll take years for me to justify the price. That’s like buying an expensive hybrid car and waiting 5+ years to see any return on the investment. Ugh! 😦 But like I said, if I were going to get an ereader, the Kindle would be tops of my list.

  7. I’m selling my novellas on Kindle for $1.99 and my full length novels on Kindle for $5.99 (amazon will likely discount that to $4.99 for the customer but it doesn’t mess with my royalty rate like making it $4.99 to begin with would. Because they don’t take out of your pocket for the discounts they give.)

  8. Marcia, I first got the Kindle-bug reading Spy’s post about them at her place. And now, I see the beauty here too. 🙂 It’s out of my financial league right now, but I’m waiting for the moment when I can snatch one up. I’ll always buy books, if nothing else just to hold them, but the convenience of having exactly the book I want–no matter what time of day–is delicious!

    I love me Neo for the convenience too, so I guess I’m a convenience gal! Now, if only the damn price will drop like the stock markets!

  9. Zoe, I’m expecting an invitation to your grand opeing, you know. 😉 I love novellas whether they’re in e-book format or not. Fifty-percent of the time they keep me away from writers block.

  10. I would love a Kindle but it doesn’t ship to Canada. On the upside, continued carrying of heavy past-century books will prevent osteoporosis in later life. Seriously, I still love the feel of a paper book in my hands. But for travel, an e-reader is the way to go.

    Now, the Neo – that’s a different puppy. I’ve been considering one of those for a while.

  11. It doesn’t, Ryshia?! What’s up with that???

    I can’t begin to tell you how many shoulder problems my geeky self had carrying those heavy books home from school. That’s where I can see a serious need for the Kindle. And like you, I like that paper feel in my hands, though I don’t mind going all e-book, too. The only thing is that it’s not economically sound for me to spend $200 to $400 on a reader when I know I’ll have expenses to deal with in the upcoming months.

    I’ve thought about getting a Neo. It looks and sounds like a really cool device to use. But I’m so used to using a laptop now, that I don’t give it much thought beyond that.

  12. hehehe, there is no grand opening, sadly. It does feel rather anti-climactic when you don’t have a physical storefront lol.

  13. I wasn’t sure what was up with that until hubby did some digging. Turns out, the service provider doesn’t offer service into Canada rendering the Kindle – well useless. On the upside – I have saved scads of money as I cannot impulse buy. LOL!

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