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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Nook eBook Reader and ePublishing

I had held out on the ebook craze until the Nook came along from Barnes and Noble.  I still love an actual physical book in my hands, the entire textile experience adds to my reading enjoyment.  But my current job has me traveling fairly often and I found with the luggage weight restrictions my packing ten or so books was no long practical nor as convenient as I thought.  So I had to admit that for travel an eBook reader would be convenient.  So I was open to the idea, but I read the reviews for the then most popular option, Kindle, and found that if you should upgrade those ebooks you downloaded would not transfer to your new and improved model.  So I waited.

Then the Nook was introduced and has a repository for your library on the Barnes and Noble site so it seemed upgrades would easily have your purchased books transfer to a newer model.  Hmmmm, maybe this was what I was looking for. 

I looked at some of the other features, replaceable battery and the use of SD cards for seemingly unlimited books (more than I could possible fathom) made this a good deal.  Plus it reportedly allows pdf files to be loaded - I haven't done that so I can't swear to it.  I have to try it, but I think it might actually be compatible with my library's ebook system.  Everything was a thumbs up, so I put it on my Xmas wish list and I was gifted one. 

I have the few free books on there like Dracula, Little Women and Pride and Prejudice that come standard and Jeffery Deaver's book the Coffin Dancers that I purchased.  It holds a charge pretty well and so far I am satisfied.

But....you knew there had to be a "but", what does this foreshadow for the future of the publishing industy or authors?  Electronic books are much cheaper.  A newly released hardcover sells for around $25 but you can pick it up on the Nook for $10.  So are those hardworking authors that pray for hardcover deals not getting paid as much?  Will traditional publishers continue to make a profit in this electronic world and thus promote authors?  Will brick and mortar book stores start to fade away? What about the multitude of independant book sellers and the great used book store?  You can't sell a used ebook?  How do you promote an ebook - by blog tours rather than book store tours?  While I may have succumbed to the ease and convenience of an ebook reader, I don't want to see brick and mortar stores go away nor traditional publishers.  A book store is a social watering hole of sorts and the more we turn to the impersonal electronics I fear our entire society's social makeup could suffer.

So don't forget your local independant book seller or even that "mom and pop" used book store no matter how cool the ebook technology seems.  There is a vital aspect to the physical book and bookstores that we need to appreciate and encourage.

Please join in on this topic - what are your thoughts?

Until next Thursday and another book review, I wish you many mysterious moments.

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6 comments:

Bernadette in Australia said...

I haven't succumbed to the allure of an eReader yet but I'll admit that's mostly because in Australia it's not yet financially viable. Most of the books on my wishlist are not available for me to buy on the Kindle (and that's the only mass market eReader yet to make it to our shores) so I'm still supporting the stores.

As for the future I suspect we'll see big changes in the coming decade - I doubt there'll be a giant mega store offering thousands of titles to be seen in the medium-term - but I like to imagine that there's still be a place for a store - even if it's just a place to go and get recommendations from knowledgeable staff, meet authors, meet other readers, buy one's ebooks. While I love hanging out at book blogs there's nothing quite as nice as going to a physical place where books and reading are revered.

A.F. Heart said...

Bernadette,

I agree, there is nothing quite like relaxing at a physical place where books and reading are revered.

My spouse and I consider it "date night" to hang at the local book store. We never fail to buy something for each of us and run into people we know there. I love that.

I am tickled to here from "the land down under" cyber friend.

AF Heart

Ann Elle Altman said...

I don't mind e-reading because I do most of my editing and reviewing of other author's work online anyway. I would love to read on the go and be able to switch books without lugging around. Now, if only we could put our novels on and be able to edit on the go.

ann

Michele Emrath said...

I am hard against an eReader. My sister pointed out to me that it is perfect for daily commuters--subway and bus riders who want to read every morning and evening, but don't want to lug heavy books in their bags. I appreciate this.

But I posted about this not long ago (please click over
and see what I and my readers had to say), and the marketing angle really bothers me. Don't you ever just notice what someone is reading? How do you do this with a Kindle or a Nook?

In addition: book glue. If it doesn't smell like a book, it's not a book.

However, if it is the way of the future, I suppose we must find a way to get along...

Great post!

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

A.F. Heart said...

Thank you everyone for your comments and input. Keep them coming. We haven't mined the depths of this topic yet!

Diane said...

I have the Kindle, and like it a lot, but I will always prefer holding the actual book more (except those 500++ ones which are so much easier to read on an e-reader. enjoy

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