author C.C.Cole's blog

Saturday, August 20, 2011

On My E-Reader Obsession by C.C.Cole

Shortly after I completed my first novella, “Act of Redemption” by husband reminded me “to be a great writer, you must read great writers” and gave me an Amazon Kindle (before the price dropped, typical of my luck).

I didn’t embrace my Kindle.  I didn’t sleep with my Kindle.  I absorbed my Kindle; downloading books and taking my reading from once a month to many times a day.  While being almost anywhere, I could simply type in the title, and wow, “instant book!” 

Later, I met people with the now-famous Nook by Barnes and Noble.  At first, I wasn’t curious since I already had a Kindle, but am happy these devices are becoming more popular.  (Hey, if people are reading more, maybe they’ll read my books, right?) While downloading ebooks on Smashwords, I learned about the Sony e-reader, which peaked my curiosity, because I married into a Sony-obsessed family (my husband’s father had the last Betamax). 

Now comes my logic:  with a Sony e-reader available, how dare I not own one?  So I had to buy one, otherwise, what kind of Sony-insane family member would I be?  Also, it would match the other Sony products in my household. 

Then my husband and I had a wedding anniversary, and when you’re married, childless, professionals for many years, anniversary gifts take imagination.  So we got each other iPads (is that Yuppie disgusting or what?).  But wait, that’s another e-reader!  I downloaded the kindle program and did the same with my Mac (another gift from Hubbie, because he rescued my Dell just moments before I threw it into our swimming pool…the software, not the computer itself, almost put me over the edge).

I still didn’t feel complete.  On Facebook and Twitter, I kept hearing more and more about how great the Nook is.  What choice did I have?  Of course I needed one!  Hubbie was ready to commit me when it arrived, as I tore open the cardboard shipping box with a T-Rex smile.  When he asked me for the thousandth time “Why do you need another e-reader?” I said “Because what if I cannot make up my mind?”

Now, than I’m “complete” I can be “wired in,” like they said in the film “The Social Network.” Electric bliss is now mine!  (And yes, I’ve read they cause cancer, always something to spoil the party) Below, I’m going to list these readers, but please, keep in mind of my short attention span, and my “read directions last” logic.

Kindle:  This is still my favorite device.  I’m from the “button” generation, so the keyboard, previous page, and next page buttons make complete sense to me.

Sony:  The one I have is reportedly a “new” one, so I don’t have a reference to any changes Sony may have made to this device.  It’s easy to use, very compact, less ‘fragile’, and I use it mostly to download from Smashwords.  One stump I hit was that I downloaded into the “Library” on my computer from Smashwords, but now unable to move the ebooks to the Sony.  There may be a way to move them, but if not downloaded at first, they’re stuck in my Mac, which I can still read with.  Also, I’m looking for other features; where is that little direction book?

Nook:  This is my newest e-reader, and after some clumsy clicking, I’ve learned to use it after finally reading the instructions. So far, what I really like about it is that I can download a wider variety of formats, but still haven’t found some features I know it has.  Drat, back to the instructions!  I use it for long series of books, such as “Song of Ice and Fire.”  Also, the ebooks that I couldn’t move to the Sony floated easily into the Nook.

Mac/iPad:  I do read books on these devices for one reason or another, but since their main use to me is web-connection, they’re not my first preference.  It’s too easy to wander to the Coach handbag site, and the iPad doesn’t hold a charge as well as my above e-readers probably because I’m using it for Twitter, blogging, shopping, etc. 

So authors/readers, there it is.  A FB friend pointed out I didn’t have the HP e-reader yet, but I think I’ll go with what I have for now.  I like them all, and though my patience with devices leaves much to be desired, there’s one thing they have in common that’s the best feature of all:  They encourage me to read, and I read a lot more of everything now; from a 99-cent ebook to the classic “Heart of Darkness,” that I downloaded for free.

Now I have more space in my house to store other items I can’t do without.

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