E-Readers and the Economy

Ereaders
Photo Credit: cnet.com

We’ve read lots of posts about whether or not to get an e-reader and we’ve seen lots of posts commenting on the various features each device offers but have we talked about what happens when the bookstore supporting it goes belly up? I mean, what would happen if B&N or Amazon ceased to exist?

The book group that I participate in meets in the community room of the public library. We are going through a bit of a transition now, because the city has decided to take over the library system. The transition period is expected to be about four months long and although there will be services available…how we get books, request books, and pick-up books is sort of unknown at this time.

In addition to that, our local Borders is closing, which was our back-up meeting place, and it’s left us feeling sort of insecure about the availability of books in general.

As I drove home, I was comforted by the fact that I can still download what I need to my Kindle. Yeah, there is security in that, but then I got to wondering what would happen if Amazon crashed and burned. My device would be useless, right? Even though you might have content on it, you wouldn’t have support for it and you wouldn’t be able to download anything.

With B&N, the Nook allows you to download other formats, so even if B&N went belly up, you could in theory still download other formats, but you wouldn’t have the support of B&N.

Am I right to think this, or would the device just not work anymore because of Wi-Fi/3G contracts being canceled? Both Amazon and B&N say they can suspend the service at any time. My guess is that the device would become a lovely paperweight at that point.

I’m curious if any of you who recently bought an e-reader considered the stability of the company before making your purchase. As most of you know I bought the Kindle for the design of the device, not so much for Amazon (as I am not a fan) but now that Amazon is screwing over the Kindle 2 owners by not providing the same software upgrades that they do for Kindle 3 owners, my feelings towards Amazon have soured even more. But, is Amazon more stable?  Not sure. What do you think?

Oh, and for those of you who say go with the iPad (and you will), I probably won’t only because I work on a computer all day long. I don’t think I could look at a computer screen to read, too.

Just wondering…

I have been obsessing over which book to download to my Kindle…first.  I downloaded a bunch of free ebooks (all classics) without any thought at all, but for some reason, the first PAID read is a big deal to me.

So I am wondering how many of you are like me, or if I am completely off my rocker? It’s Friday so let’s find out:


*Poll closes on 6/25/10.

**I’ll let you all know which book I downloaded first in one of my Sunday Salon posts.

Kindle News: 2.5 Firmware Update is Here!

Kindle

For those of you on Facebook or Twitter last night, you may have heard me gushing about the 2.5 firmware update for the Kindle. Well…this update was one of the main reasons I decided to go with a Kindle, so when it didn’t download automatically, and it seemed like I was the only one on the planet that did not get the update, I decided to download it manually.

So here’s the deal, if your hasn’t downloaded automatically, go here for the manual download instructions. You can check to see what version you currently have by going to Menu > Settings (version will appear at the bottom of the screen).

If you’re wondering what the big deal is, check out what’s included in the upgrade:

  • Collections: Organize your books and documents into one or more collections.
  • PDF Pan and Zoom: Zoom into PDFs and pan around to easily view small print and detailed tables or graphics.
  • Password Protection: Password protect your Kindle when you’re not using it.
  • More Font Sizes & Improved Clarity: Enjoy two new larger font sizes and sharper fonts for an even more comfortable reading experience.
  • Facebook & Twitter Posts: Share meaningful book passages with friends on Facebook and Twitter directly from your Kindle.
  • Popular Highlights: See what the Kindle community thinks are the most interesting passages in the books you’re reading.

I tested the Facebook and Twitter feature and it’s awesome!! Being able to share fave passages with just a few clicks is going to be really useful. What really floats my boat though, is the ability to create collections. Now I can easily organize all of my Kindle books. Yay!

So if you have a Kindle and it hasn’t downloaded the new update, do it yourself. It took me 3 minutes to do.

Fancy That! I’m a Traitor! (didn’t mean to be)

Okay, so you know how I got a Kindle for Mother’s Day? I didn’t say too much about it because I was speechless and not able to fully express its awesomeness. I did all my research and when The Hub asked me which e-reader I preferred, I went back and forth between the Kindle and the Nook.

BUT, when Kindle announced file organization and Facebook and Twitter integration with its 2.5 upgrade (which still hasn’t downloaded by the way), I decided to go with the Kindle. Plus, to be honest with you, I just liked the clean lines of the Kindle over the Nook. It fits better in my hand, and just seems to fit me better.

What I didn’t consider was this…

…that I would be betraying my beloved Barnes and Noble.  Yep, I am a traitor.

Now, I get that most of these devices are proprietary in nature and I knew that choosing the Kindle over the Nook would mean doing business with Amazon, but what I didn’t consider was the “pretty” factor. In between my long hours at work (definitely not during work, ahem) I like to browse B&N’s website. Their e-book site is so much easier to navigate and much prettier than Amazon’s e-book site (my opinion).

Now don’t get me wrong, my purchases are done wirelessly. I don’t purchase online and then sync up later, although I know that you can do that. BUT, I didn’t realize how much I would miss browsing B&N’s site. Also, when visiting a B&N store, I feel like a bit of a loser. Everyone is walking around with their Nooks looking cool and I am Nook-less. This is an entirely strange feeling for me because I LOVE my Kindle. Even with all this loser angst I am experiencing, I still wouldn’t trade my Kindle for a Nook.

So what am I saying? I am sorry Barnes and Noble. I didn’t buy your Nook, but I LOVE your website and still shop in your brick and mortar store. I can hope that Amazon does something with their site to pretty it up a bit. Visually, it’s BLAH. Do you hear me Amazon? Do something with the Kindle Books section, please!

Amazon

Amazon Kindle Book Section

Versus…

B&N

B&N Ebook Section

So if you are in the market for an e-reader, consider your shopping habits too. Where do you purchase your regular books from? Are you loyal to a particular store? Browse each site’s e-book section and see which one you like best. For now, I am happy to browse one site and buy from the other, but it’s still a bit weird for me.

The Sunday Salon: The Mother’s Day Edition

You know how I said that The Hub was always giving me the evil eye over the amount of reading I do?

Photo of the Kindle

I forgive him.

Sunday Salon Button

Happy Mother’s Day! I am playing with my new toy and we’ll be firing up the BBQ later. Hope you all have a lovely day.

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