Thursday, July 09, 2009
The E-Reader Blues
Someday, not today but sometime in the near future, from one electronic device you will be able to have an entire library of books in the palm of your hand. It will be a wonderful thing. Instead of lugging around a wheelbarrow full of textbooks or best sellers you will have it all at your fingertips wherever you go and whatever you want to read. Perhaps you will be able to download different books from online libraries the world over or, if you are in college, download the semester’s curriculum in one fell swoop. But that day has not arrived. Perhaps we will be able to procure new E-books from a variety of sources including the big three, Amazon, Boarders and Barnes & Noble – who’s to say? Again, that day has not yet come.
Alas, Amazon has the Kindle 2.0, which has now dropped in price to $299.00 from $360.00, is nice enough but the only place that you can get your E-books from is, shockingly, Amazon. Even with the price drop three hundred bucks is, at least for yours truly, a decent chunk of change; and then there’re all those books to buy at $10.00 a pop – discounted from an honest to goodness book in your hands but ten bucks, nonetheless (see: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/04/kindle-readers/). And that’s just the Kindle. There’s a slue of these puppies hitting the marketplace and there are things to consider if you feel so inclined such at the jetBook (http://www.geardiary.com/2009/03/09/the-ectaco-jetbook-universal-portable-reading-device-review/) and the Cool-er (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/05/cool-er-e-book-reader-turns-up-the-heat/). You are going to need to know if you can get the books/data that you want to read, you will want to know what formats are supported (very important) and, of course, you are going to want to know how much you are spending. I don’t know what to tell you, Gentle Reader, other than steering you to this nice little article on choosing an E-book Reader that may help clear things up a bit: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/05/buying-guide-e-book-reader/. If that does not assuage your thirst for knowledge check out what my favorite second brain has to say on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-book_reader.
Man, I love me some Wikipedia.
Someday the book publishers and electronic media makers will come to some consensus. When that day arrives I will see about making the jump. Until then I will wait and dream of the titles that I would put onto such a device; several versions of the Bible, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the Hobbit, the entire Harry Potter and Gunslinger series would be worth rereading. I am also quite fond of Neil Gaiman, Jules Verne, Ian Fleming, Christopher Moore, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain, Anne Rice, Shakespeare, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs… the list really is endless and the idea of having THAT library with me waiting to be read on one device is wildly appealing. I’m probably not alone with this little desire for the future.
So on that one day in the not too distant future, just what will be on your E-book Reader?