The Post Wherein I Begin to Eat My Words

close-up of a woman's lips sucked in

 Of all the many reasons the title “Tartitude” fits this blog, I hadn’t thought it would be because I suck. But I do. I have a ton of blog-related stuff I owe you guys — feedback on the conference at Nationals, feedback on my time in the “happiest place on Earth”, feedback on what they fed us. Instead, know what I have done today?

1. Spent eleventy-seven minutes figuring out how to format a post, and ended up virtually where I began.

2. Met a friend for breakfast at a quaint cafe near the University — totally awesome, except this would be my second meal at that same restaurant in two days, and today was the only one where I had company. (I had the date wrong.) So I spent three hours of time I didn’t have to spend $10 of change on parking meters that piss me off; and now, on top of everything, you know that I am calendar-challenged.

3. Just spent a half-hour looking at e-readers on the A-beast.

What’s that, you say? You just spent a half-hour looking at e-readers on the A-beast?

Just spent a half-hour looking at e-readers on the A-beast?

 

*ducking* I know, I know. Thing is, while I don’t particularly like where this ship is headed, I can see where it’s being steered. And hoping to be a published writer without a good understanding of current platforms is kind of…naive.

At the same time, if I’m going to take the plunge, I want accessibility, ease of use and a proven customer track record. I want low maintenance. The Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6″ Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally (Latest Generation) would seem to have all of that. (Not that I’ve made a decision yet, or anything.)

So…if you were me, and if you were prepared to shove aside all moral and ethical considerations in favor of expediency, what accessories would you buy? The leather case, with or without light? Cables? The black or graphite model? Please feel free to wax rhapsodic about your e-reader experiences, or not. All comments and advice welcome!

And can I just say that ZOMG I have missed this place? I have missed you all! If I weren’t still in full-on conference mode where “appropriateness” and “manners” are stressed, I’d virtually tackle-hug the lot of you.


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16 thoughts on “The Post Wherein I Begin to Eat My Words

  1. We missed you, too!

    Okay, e-readers! (Briskly rubs hands together!) Just a note: the graphite one is the black one. I just ordered the graphite one with both the 3G and Wi-fi – lifetime 3G for $50 is too good to pass up.

    I ordered the case in blue without the light (They do sell lights separately that will fit ) as the Amazon cover is for temporary use. I will be ordering a new cover from http://oberondesign.com as soon as they make the new Kindle 3 covers available. Their hand-tooled leather goods are incredible.

    Congratulations on considering a foray into 21st century book reading! 🙂

  2. I have a basic black and white snap on cover for my Kindle, but I’ve considered getting a colorful skin for it. I don’t buy leather, but if a non-leather case is available I might purchase it. For my iPod Touch and Blackberry, with their various reading apps, I have colorful skins for them. I’m not a picky person, but because I’m attached to my ereaders it’s nice to dress them up.

  3. Glinda, I seriously considered calling this the “Glinda, Help!” post, because I knew you’d be here with advice. (I also knew you’d refrain from a neener moment, though I suspect you were tempted…) As for those covers: want. OMG, they’re gorgeous. This one, in particular, reminds me of the journals I used for at least 5 years: http://www.oberondesign.com/shop/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=940

    Medeia, do you find you need a light? Do I need to purchase the cables or any other accessories?

    1. The Kindle isn’t backlit, so I have to turn a light on. That’s when my other ereaders come in handy if I want to read in the dark. But the Kindle is gentler on my eyes.

      The Kindle comes with one cable that plugs into a computer and it has an attachment to plug into a wall. So you don’t need any extra cables.

      Oh, and another thing I’ve been thinking of is a screen protector. My other ereaders have one. I don’t want dust or smudges obstructing my view.

    2. OMG! The Red Sky Dragon is the one I have for my Kindle 1!! It reminds me of my favorite book series, The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey.

      And trust me, as good as it looks in the photo, it looks even better in person! The craftsmanship is unbelievable ….

  4. My goodness Jan,
    My human got his undies all tied in knots pickin’ one of those fancy e-lect-ron-ic reading dealies. Spent a week reading about them, looking at them, dreaming about them, etc., etc. After brain-strain the old geezer couldn’t afford, he bought one. The first time he took it out he dropped over the side of his boat. Glub! Glub! Salt water ain’t healthy for those things. He’s back to books.
    Sandy
    http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com

  5. You guys, rock. Seriously. I appreciate this.

    Medeia, good point about the screen protector. I have one for my iPhone. Sorry to keep picking your brains, but is there a particular kind you’d recommend?

    Glinda, that’s too funny we’d like the same one!

    Sandysays, woops about the e-reader. That would burn my britches! Fortunately, I don’t tend to read around water much, but I’ll be sure to keep your cautionary tail in mind. 😉

    1. I’m not good with screen protector terminology…I don’t care for the ones that are too gummy. I usually get the cheapest ones since the expensive brands haven’t fared well with me. And sometimes the cheaper ones are more durable.

  6. Jan,
    Just curious: I don’t understand the “and if you were prepared to shove aside all moral and ethical considerations in favor of expediency….” What moral and ethical considerations?

  7. Okay, look, there are no ethical or moral issues here. I’m taking a break from reading Alex Bledsoe’s Girls with Games of Blood on my NOOK. That’s right, ladies, I got a NOOK. Ahem, sorry about that. I love it and I got the Alice in Wonderland case and am now going in search of my little Nookie light that I purchased with my Nook (and yes, Jan, you will need a light for your Kindle).

    I will also order a hard copy of Alex’s book to donate to our library, so guess what? In terms of sales, Alex has sold two books — one to a woman with serious instant gratification needs and a credit card, and a second so I can donate a copy.

    Somewhere I saw a post likening ebooks to the old wax tablets. Ebooks aren’t going to kill or replace paper and here’s why: paper has a life-span of 100+ years and digital media has a life-span of 5-10 years (and that’s if you’re religious about updating it). Now don’t you wish you worked in a library so you could store up useless information like that and fling it forth on a moment’s notice?

    I seriously doubt ebooks are going to replace paper. I still buy 3 paper books to every ebook, much to my husband’s eternal chagrin. I love my Nook because it’s portable and I can download PDF documents to it. I also like the face that the Nook uses EPUB format, which is more universal than Kindle, so I’m not a slave to Amazon for my book purchasing needs.

    So go forth, Jan, guilt-free and check out those e-readers.

  8. Hey, Glinda, I did kinda leave that statement hanging out there. This discussion could be a long one, but in general I’m opposed to monoliths. Huge corporations with no real principles, other than the drive to profit, seldom operate without huge cost to people and/or the environment. (Think Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Banks, Walmart, etc.) It makes me even more nervous when the head of a huge corporation is so open about his ambition.

    If we ignore the ability Amazon has to unilaterally remove a title from your Kindle, and their ability to store and analyze which passages you underline, and their epic fail about their missing gay/lesbian literature, this post can explain some of the issues from a writer’s perspective: http://scottwesterfeld.com/blog/2010/02/zinc-blinked/

    So why am I considering a Kindle? A few reasons: 1. The impending advent of Google and Apply into the e-book market mean there is less monopoly. 2. Amazon’s catalogue. Seriously, our local bookstores are in big trouble here. I’d estimate 30% or more of their floorspace is merchandise, not books. I go to purchase a friend’s book or one that’s been recommended to me, and I can’t find a single copy in the entire city, nor in their online catalogue. Not one. Either I develop a ton of patience and order everything through the indies (closest one is a twenty-minute drive away) or I order from an American distributor.

    So I figure if I learn how to switch formats, I can even get some of my e-books through the Canadian chain e-store. (We have one.)

    Teresa, when I was in Orlando I looked at the Nook. They informed me I could purchase anything I wanted, but it would disappear from my device when I crossed the international border with Canada. The Nook is simply not an option.

    I’ve considered the Kobo, but it doesn’t have 3G and the Canadian e-stores selection is frankly terrible. Also, I’ve physically examined them, and they do not have the same physical attractiveness as a Kindle. (3Gs not a deal-breaker for me, but it would be nice.) The Sony Reader doesn’t use e-ink, if I understand correctly, and I’m really not interested in cultivating eye strain.

    Do you have any suggestions for this Canadian? I’d prefer e-ink, 3G, but it’s mostly about selection.

    1. Yea, I think the Kindle is probably your best bet.

      One thing I might want to point out is that the Westerfeld entry is extremely dated and doesn’t accurately reflect certain facts. Two states’ attorney generals are now investigating the publishers’ actions regarding the agency model for collusion and anti-trust. The UK will not operate on the agency model as it seems to be a violation of European law.

      After I am done this week with my zombie series, I plan a series of entries on the current state of the ebook wars.

  9. Jan, I believe the Sony uses e-ink. I was leaning towards the Sony, but now I’m really waiting for the dust to settle–it’s been kicked up a LOT in the past few weeks, and I don’t want to commit to an e-reader and have it end up being the Betamax of e-readers. LOL Plus, the prices keep coming down, so that’s an incentive to wait too.

    I’m not sure how many BOOKS I’ll actually read on an e-reader, though, which is another reason I’m waiting. I would like to be able to read my manuscripts on one, so I don’t have to take my laptop, or a paper notebook, with me.

    I don’t see e-books as a replacement for paper books–I see them as different formats, for different consumer needs, in the same way that movie theaters didn’t die when TV was invented, or when VCRs and DVDs came along. I think there’s room for everybody. 🙂

    And welcome back from conference. I’ve got to go next year. I had SO much conference envy this year. LOL

  10. G, I’ll be interested to read them.

    Donna, doh. Your comment about the Sony using e-ink made me realize I might be misremembering more than this detail. Doh! Anyway, that sparked more research, and for anyone interested in the pros and cons of all the e-readers I’ve heard of, and then some, here’s a useful article. http://chamberfour.com/ereader-comparison/ Also, you make good points about timing of purchase.

    As for Nationals, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until you can banish envy by signing at one.

  11. Well that stinks about not being able to use the Nook in Canada! Double check the Sony — I believe they do use e-ink.

    There’s another consideration you might want to take into account: I purchased my Nook in May for the full $200+ price and just a mere two or three weeks later the price drops under $200. I read somewhere online that Apple is going to introduce a somewhat smaller version of the iPad (more in keeping with the size of the Kindle and Nook) sometime in the Fall. If they do, ereader prices may dip again. You might want to wait just a little longer until the dust from the market settles. That could be as late as next Spring, though.

    Unfortunately, I’d say your best bet in Canada is the Kindle, although I don’t think Amazon’s stranglehold on the market is going to last forever. I saw recently that an attorney general is looking into possible antitrust issues with Amazon (and one other ebook retailer, I think) trying to lock in the $9.99 price on ebooks. The Feds have already landed hard on Google for antitrust issues over their Google books deal, and I think Amazon is next on everyone’s list.

    Amazon is also in trouble in NC (where I live), because of taxes. At one point, our attorney general wanted to subpoena a list of everyone in the state of NC who purchased books through Amazon and a list of titles the people purchased. I’m not sure where that case stands right now.

    It’s going to be real interesting to see how all this pans out. Personally, I think they’re all going to have to revert to a cross-over format at some point. Especially from the library point of view. One of the biggest issues we had were audio books — students with a generic MPG3 player could download audio books to their heart’s content, but the students couldn’t download them to their Apple iPods, because the iPod only recognized Apple’s format. Libraries = the great equalizer.

    I understand your frustration, though, because I live in a very rural area, and the only way I could get books that I wanted to read was through Amazon for a long time. Then B&N joined the party and I switched to B&N.

    Good luck on your choice!

  12. T, I really hope they go with some kind of cross-over format. These kind of platform wars make me insane. And thanks for the budget advice. I think I’ll keep whittling away on my TBR pile and give myself a little longer to make a decision. (Just read about the Apple Mini today too.)

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