Top 5 Things I Love/HATE about E-Books

I’ve done a lot of strictly sermon-like posts lately, and this blog is more than just that, so I thought I’d do a list instead.

Being a writer, I’m also a reader. On top of that, I’m a bit of a tech dork–I don’t have every newfangled invention, but i want ’em all, whether they’re practical or not. Hence my Amazon Kindle. The Nook is great too, but I have a very good reason for buying the Kindle instead:

I saw the Kindle first.

Books + Technology = Happy face! For me, at least. I really enjoy having an e-reader.

So when I heard the pitchfork cries of the anti-e-reader mob that screams “DEATH TO TEH KINDLEZ!” I painstakingly listen to their rants and think…….yeah, they’re actually pretty right.

E-readers are AWESOME, but they also SUCK! Here’s my list of my favorite things about e-readers and the things that really make me want to get rid of it.

LOVE NUMBER 5: The Technical Stuff. Like I said, I’m a slight gadget nerd, so I flipped my lid when I saw the E-Ink display of the Kindle. It’s not a backlit screen, so you can read it in the sunlight (but not the dark), and that makes it look so dang weird. It’s like a flat page that changes. I mean we have computers, so I should be used to this, but anyone with an e-reader can tell you it’s just different. Add in a battery life of ONE MONTH and the fact that you can re-download anything you lose if you Kindle goes ka-boom and I was hooked from the start.

HATE NUMBER 5: Nostalgia. E-books don’t smell like anything…I don’t like that. Books have been around forever and there’s so much nostalgia wrapped up in them, snuggled on the couch, the bed, or wherever you like, and while you can still read your books, it’s…different. You don’t turn the page anymore, you just click a button. Laaaaaame. You can’t go to the store and peruse the books for one you like, you just find the one you already want and buy it. Books have a battery life of infinity. And like I said, books smell nice, they smell smart. E-books smell like an empty warehouse of shame.

LOVE NUMBER 4: The Free Books. You can get a lot of free books on the Kindle and Nook. These are the old, out of print books, but any good book reader knows that there are some old books that are just plain worth it. I’m going to cash in my Man Card now and say I’ve discovered I like Jane Austen, and all her crap is free! Shakespeare nerds can get every single book for free or do like I did and pay 2 bucks for an entire collection with some commentaries and stuff (which I have not read). There are troves of knowledge in the past and the Kindle makes them free. But the coolest thing I found with the Kindle was that it comes with a Dictionary. This feature is not only cool for looking up stuff whenever you need, but if you highlight any word in any book, the dictionary will pop up a definition for you. NO MORE FEELING STUPID AGAIN!!

HATE NUMBER 4: Research. Unfortunately, the Dictionary is about the only good research book there is. I tried getting a Thesaurus. It sucked. I tried a Bible. It sucked. I’ve also tried countless nonfiction books, but here’s the rub: while you can search for anything in the book by typing in the search bar, there are many times you want to flip right to something and the Kindle makes you go through annoying search procedures. On top of that, if you ever want to have more than one book open, don’t buy ANY of those books on the Kindle because going back and forth is impossible.

LOVE NUMBER 3: Other Book Prices. Most e-books are about 10 bucks and many are even less. Plus, you can download samples to see if they can catch your interest. I love Barnes and Noble, but theeeeeey get a little expensive and I’m a bit (lot) on the poor side, so cheap books are good books. Plus, Amazon runs 100 books for $3 or less every month, and B&N has a rewards program.

HATE NUMBER 3: Limited Books. This is fourfold. ONE: Many used books are cheaper than ten bucks, even with shipping, so you can save even more by buying material copies. TWO: While the e-book selection is growing, many are still unavailable on the Kindle/Nook. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best books of all time, and it has no e-format. Wassupwidat?! THREE: If you have a book, you can put it on any shelf. If you have an e-book, you can only put it on one device. Buy all your crap on the Amazon Kindle? Too bad your B&N coupons are no good. Got an Amazon Prime account? That’s be good for the Kindle, but not your Nook. TOUGH! FOUR: Replacing a book is relatively cheap. While you can re-download books for free, replacing the broken e-reader is pricey.

LOVE NUMBER 2: Light and Easy Format. The Kindle is pretty dang simple to use and carry around. It’s, like, one pound of weight and super skinny, so putting all those big, fat books on the Kindle is sickeningly sweet.

HATE NUMBER 2: Painfully Limited Format. There is virtually no sharing of e-books. Sure, you can lend one for 14 days, but then you can never lend it again…to anyone. What if you want to give away a book? Basically, there’s no sharing of anything, which is kind of isolating, isn’t it? Plus, you can’t sell your old e-books.

LOVE NUMBER 1: All-in-One. I’m a bit of an organizational nut, so having so many books in one place is freaking awesome, and much as I love having a colorful shelf, I like the lack of clutter (and I move a lot, so having less weight is awesome). It kind of ties into my last love, how you can have a hundred massive books all in one item as thick as a pencil. That’s an ultra-portable library.

HATE NUMBER 1: The Future. I bought a Kindle for about $180 bucks or whatever they used to be. A couple months later, they came out with three new formats and knocked my model down to about $100, not to mention the new cheaper ones. Technology is always updating, so are e-books even safe? Will a new format come out that makes them obsolete? Will Amazon or B&N go under? Will they suddenly become outrageously expensive? Books are still here and likely always will. E-books are too young to be certain.

What do you think? Do you have a Kindle/Nook/something else? What do you think are the pros and cons?


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