Luring me to the dark side

A couple things are luring me over to the dark side — an e-book reader.

If you weren’t under a rock the last 24 hours, you know Barnes & Noble is releasing an e-reader, which Wired immediately said would cause Kindle owners “a giant dose of buyer’s remorse.” Now I’ve struggled over whether to get an e-book reader for quite a while, particulary since the Kindle was released. The momentum though is gaining.

First, the B&N reader will support multiple formats, including PDF and EPUB, and also allow access to the public domain titles in Google Books. I have plenty of PDF works on my laptop and home computer. I just never read them because I don’t like to have to be sitting at a desk or with a computer in my lap to read. Second, it has built in wi-fi access. Third, while it’s the same price as a Kindle — $259 — I have around $100 in B&N gift cards in my wallet or at home, which amounts to a hefty discount.

Now I’ve often said there are tactile aspects to the book reading experience that are important to me. I don’t know if naming the device “Nook” is supposed to encourage that thought or simply annoy and amuse people. B&N also has a great sales advantage. With its retail stores, people can actually go play with a Nook before buying.

That leaves me with another key question. Will the draw of the pre-order become an irresistible force before the immovable object actually holds one in his hands and makes a somewhat less “gotta have the new gadget” decision?

Printing is no longer the only way of reproducing books. Reading them, however, has not changed.

Lawrence Clark Powell, Books in My Baggage

2 comments to Luring me to the dark side

  • Tim, I could likewise be lured to the dark side, and in my case holding something in my hands is a kin to marking it sold. I wonder if I might disagree on one point "reading them has not changed". As a person that has been known to read while driving long distance, alone, but has now been converted to CD's for safety sake … a book that you could set down and have it start reading to you from where you left off might be REALLY nice.

  • Interesting…I wrote a piece on digital books versus print books that will be up on my blog shortly. I don’t think I could ever bring myself to buy an e-reader.