If you've been anywhere near the writing blogs lately, then you've seen the buzz about the lastest version of Kindle. I have to admit, I haven't paid much attention to e-readers. I'd assumed most of them were tiny little devices the size of my cell phone, and insisting that I see more than two sentences of a book at a time, I figured I'd stick with my old standards.
But then I saw a Kindle demonstration and realized it was more like a real book than I realized. From what I've seen, the device is about the size of a paperback, can be read in the sun (no screen glare like a computer or TV), you can flip around to different pages, read the ending if you want then come back to the spot you bookmarked. And the Kindle even allows you to highlight text, make comments, and read Word documents, apparently.
As a Harlequin author, I have to admit that e-books are something I should be rooting for. The print versions of my books have a shelf life of 4 weeks. After that, you can buy them new from www.eharlequin.com or www.amazon.com for another 5 months or so. At that point, you can only get them used, and authors don't get royalties off used book sales. Conversely, the e-book format stays around forever, endlessly paying royalties and giving readers full access to all my backlisted titles. As an author, that's a big win.
But as a reader, can I really make that leap to e-book? One of my greatest joys is going to Borders and perusing the bargain book table. It's where I've found a number of new-to-me authors. On the flipside, all those books take up space in my house, and I've found myself having to give away lots of paperbacks because I don't have room to keep them. As a hoarder of books, the idea of holding onto all of them in the space of a little chip is pretty intriguing.
So here I am, seriously pondering e-book readers and wondering which one I should be setting my sights on. There's Kindle, which offers the most titles, and I can get them wirelessly from just about anywhere I happen to be standing. But if Kindle books go the way of Beta Video in the race for e-book technology, I don't want to be stuck with a bunch of books I can't read. Therefore, something that reads PDF, such as the Sony e-Reader, has merit. But I hear the makers of Ipod are coming out with something that could blow the lid off everything that's out right now, which leaves me thinking I should wait it out and see what floats to the surface.
I'm curious to know what you all think about the new e-reader technology. Do any of you have e-readers, and if so how did you end up with the one you've got? And if you don't, are you considering getting one? Pros and cons, anyone?