I have been interested in electronic books since the Bookman came out when I was a kid. The idea of carrying around a library in my pocket is incredibly exciting. I’ve been most interested in ebooks for their size and mobility. I never ended up getting a Bookman due to cost, and availability of books (for the most part the only books I knew you could get were various versions of the Bible and dictionaries).
For a long time, I forgot about ereaders completely. I got wrapped up in school, and did a lot less reading for pleasure. As school-related reading began to subside, and as e-ink technology became more viable, my interest in ereaders flickered to life again.
While I was interested in e-ink ereaders, I had (and have) an unfounded skepticism with regard to Amazon’s Kindle. I think part of it has to do with it feeling like such a closed platform, but otherwise, I’m not sure. When I began looking at alternatives, I mostly came up with non-US products such as the iRiver Story (which did become available in the US early this year).
My roommate at the time, Jason, got a Sony reader. He likes it because it has expandable memory, can read many different formats, and is relatively affordable. His reader does not have 3G or wi-fi access, so he has to use his computer any time he wants to put new books on his reader. For myself, I eventually settled on the Nook. To me, it seemed like a good compromise between openness, and easy access to a large bookstore. So far, I have been very pleased with my Nook.
Since I’ve gotten a Nook, I’ve struggled a lot more with whether to read print books or ebooks. I still sometimes run into the problem I had with the Bookman where books I want just aren’t available as ebooks (especially if I want a book as soon as it’s released). Because I’ve always preferred paperback books to hardcover, finding a paperback version of the book I want (new or used) is often cheaper than buying the ebook version (I know publishers have been complaining about ebooks being under-priced, but they must only be considering hardcover prices because I can find many new paperback novels for $6-8 msrp, so a $9.99 ebook is definitely more expensive).
Looking at the differences in how they can be ultilized as resources, on readers vs. on a computer, and between genres, Stephen at Stephen’s Lighthouse examines the difference between (print) books and ebooks in a different light. I thought some of you guys might be interested in reading what he has to say, especially in reference to nonfiction and textbooks. With every type of e-resource jumbled into one big category in many of today’s media stories, it’s nice to see a demarcation and examination of the growing world of electronic works.