Friday, July 15, 2011

E-readers and me by Michelle Styles

My husband always declares that I am difficult to buy presents for. (I disagree. I am very easy -- I like lots of things. I just don't like filling out  lists of things I might I like.)  However this wedding anniversary (our 23rd last month), he knew precisely what to get -- a kindle (with a pink cover!) In the UK, the kindle dominates with something like 80% + of the market. There is no nook in the UK.
After all what do you get a woman who loves to read and who is rapidly running out of bookcase space..particularily when you are stumped?
Although I had read books on the computer, I had resisted getting an e-reader. The expense was one consideration and I do like the feel of paper. It was not on my top ten list. It was something I had planned to get around to at some point.  However I do take his point about the number of books in the house...
I do like my kindle. It is light weight and I can make the font size the correct size for my eyes. This is a consideration in dealing with something like the GRR Martin books which are huge and printed in mouse print.  A Dance with Dragons is 983 pages long and the print is fairly small and this is a hardback!
Best of all, it has a free sample feature. Forget the free books on kindle (to a certain extent), I like the free samples, particularly as I can then just buy the book. With teaser pamphlets, I have to go into a shop and buy the book but this way, I can just download and keep reading.
There are a number of authors who I have heard about but had not tried. In the UK, particularly in the North East, it can be difficult to find the authors I like, so I have often resorted to Amazon. Sometimes with mixed results. So I have become wary.  But now when I hear about a book, I can download a sample and see if the book is really going to be for me or not. Personally I like having the time to read the sample rather than just flicking. (Actually kindle does have free apps for just about any electronic device you might like to use from PCs to Ipads and Andriods. So you could do the free samples with any device. Just saying )
It is also easier to read in bright sunshine or in the dark.  And it fits in my purse which means I should never have to resort to reading the posters in the doctor's office again because I have run out of reading material.
The RWA National was also all about going digital. Since Christmas and really within the last quarter, publishers have seen a huge increase in digital sales. The revolution has gone from sometime in the future to now. It brings a wealth of opportunity for everyone but also a lot of change. For readers, particularly ones with poor eyesight, it means the ability to make the font size larger without paying Large Print prices OR dealing with the added weight. It also means people do not have to be as concerned bad covers. (I never minded the romance covers but my husbands and sons are of a more delicate nature...) The content stays the same. The delivery method is slightly different. That is all.
My husband was slightly shocked at the suitcase of free books that I brought back from the conference but that is another story...
One great thing for all lovers of Harlequin Historical is that they are moving to simultaneous publication in the UK and the NA market next Spring. This is because of people downloading the books from both sides of the Atlantic. It means that readers won't have to wait.
Anyway, now having received a kindle as a present, I can understand what the fuss is about. I still like print but will be saving it for special books. And if you like books and an e-reader is low down on your list...move it up.
My husband now faces another problem though...what to get me for Christmas...He has already started muttering about me providing him with a hard can it be? I love books and lots of other things!
What do other people think about e-readers?

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance for Harlequin Historical. Her latest release in the UK is To Marry a Matchmaker (both print and ebook). To learn more about her books, visit her website


Caroline said...

Ohhh I'm seriously tempted Michelle. My DH is always trying to persuade me to get one but I keep saying no. But now....ummm....the thought of getting all my favourite books in an instant is SO tempting. Caroline x p.s just finished reading "To Marry a Matchmaker" (in book form of course ;o) ) and it was fantastic.

Michelle Styles said...

Yes, it is fab to get them without thinking.
If you pre-order, they are just there in the morning without having to think...And then if you are stuck in a doctor's office etc, you can get the book you WANT to read.
It is the sort of thing to get given as a present.
I'm very pleased you liked TMAM.

Martha Lawson said...

Yes, I'm thinking about an ereader! BUT, me, credit card and books on demand?? Don't know about that!! My hubby might wind up murdering me!

Estella said...

I have had my kindle for about two years and I love it!

Michelle Styles said...

Yes I know the feeling, but really I figure I can be disciplined. And really it is saving money because I do try before I buy...or at least this is what I tell myself.
In some ways it is NOT as impulsive purchase as standing in the supermarket, briefly glancing at books...(I have been known to hide book purchases in the weekly shop before...)

Michelle Styles said...

Estella --
I am just beginning to discover why people love their kindles so much. Intellectually I knew before, but actually experiencing it makes a huge difference.

Michele L. said...

I don't know if I will buy one or not. I love my paperback books way to much and the beautiful covers! I guess call me old fashioned but I love my books!

Pat Cochran said...

I held out and resisted getting a cell
phone. I needed a new computer, but I
held out on getting a laptop. Honey
got both for me, the cell for Christmas
and the laptop for "January." LOL. The
real reason for not getting these items
for myself is because I just don't have the knowledge to make the right choices.
Honey on the other hand is a computer

Pat Cochran

Jo's Daughter said...

Not the e-reader type myself. I prefer a paperback. Nothing like holding an actual book, sitting on your sofa. Sipping tea and getting chocolate stains on all the corners :D

Michelle Styles said...

MicheleL I do know what you mean. It is not old fashioned.
It was one of the arguments that I used to have.
I know there are some people who buy the ebooks and then if they decide they are keepers will go out and buy the print. It depends on the shelf space.
What surprised me was how readily I took to reading an e-reader. I had not expected that!

Michelle Styles said...

LOL What is the betting that your honey eventually gets you an ereader?
There is a lot to be said for getting them as a present.
I found with books, I do prefer to read them on an ereader rather than on a computer. I do have a netbook. I think it is because I can hold it more like a book.

Michelle Styles said...

Jo's Daughter --
Yes I know the joys of abusing books. It was one of my arguements against getting an e-reader.
Another downside is that it is harder to flip around so that I can read the end. I can be shocking in my reading habits.
My husband says that reading books on an ereader means I will read them how the author meant them to be read...
I think having a cover on my ereader helps btw as I have to open the book up.
And there is a certain joy in eating and reading at the same time. I am afraid I still do that.

marybelle said...

I have a Kindle: but my daughter snaffled it. I think I will always prefer hard copies.

ev said...

Amazon gift certificates for ebooks come to mind.

I have a sony ereader and both the sony and kindle app on my phone. I use the kindle one for free books and free samples and the sony one for reading. The ereader now gets mailed to the kid on the west coast when she reads everything on it, sends it back and I update it with more books.