Damn you, Indecision!

E-books are awesome

Ever since I got my T-Mobile MDA, I got back into the habit of reading e-books. I used to do it all the time when I carried around PDAs regularly, and it was nice to start again. I loaded eReader and redownloaded some of the e-books that I bought that I hadn’t finished reading. I get the eReader e-mail newsletter to keep up on new releases and get the discount codes, but I haven’t bought that many e-books in a while. And it’s weird, because often I’ll see a whole slew of romance novels being pimped in the newsletter…is that the main demographic of e-book readers (as in people, not devices *smirk*)?? I would think that there’d be way more sci-fi and techie kinds of books, not to be stereotypical of PDA/e-book users. I just can’t see most soccer moms toting a little PDA reading romance novels while they’re running errands or whatever! Okay, I’ll stop now, before the flames really come in. 🙂

I do wish that e-book selections were better, though. And I really wish the Harry Potter books were available as legal e-books! I admit, I have non-legal copies of the HP books that I’ve been re-reading the last few days (I wanted to refresh my memory on the storylines, since I listen to Pottercast), but I don’t feel bad about it because as far as I’m concerned, I have the dead tree versions of all the books (most in hardback form), I’ve bought the books for other people, and I’ve put lots of money into watching all the movies in the theatre and on DVD. It’s annoying that I can’t read it on my PDA because some lame publishing company doesn’t have the foresight to recognize a viable market. So I feel like the e-book versions I have fall within fair use, even though I’m relatively sure I don’t have a legal leg to stand on… *sigh* I would dump my non-legal copies in a second if eReader or anyone else would offer the HP e-books.

While we’re on the subject of e-books, I have a few things to say about the Sony Reader. I did get to see it in person finally, and I was pretty impressed by it. For a while I was really itching to buy one, but I was lurking around the Mobileread forums for both the Sony Reader and Iliad iRex (IIRC?) reader (which was more interesting with the bigger screen with touch capabilities and higher resolution) and reading people’s experiences sort of cooled me on the idea of buying the Reader (that and I had just bought my MDA, which was the same price, and could be more than an e-book reader).

I liked the hardware and the technology, despite some wonkiness in the button/menu layout and navigation. My main issue for not pushing to buy the Reader is that I’m very wary of the Sony Connect e-book store. The proprietary format that Sony is using concerns me. Sure, I could probably convert my own PDFs for reading on the Reader, but even that is kind of touch and go because of inconsistencies with the software conversion tool. Since Sony’s notorious for using closed formats, I’m worried that if the Reader doesn’t do well enough, the Connect store will languish, and I’ll have e-books that are locked to a discontinued Reader device. At least with books on eReader.com, they’re viewable on my Tablet PC and PDA, and they seem established enough that I’m not as worried (though it’s possible) that they’ll close up shop and leave me with useless files. I wish the books on Connect were PDFs or something more universal. Hopefully they thrive so that their proprietary format isn’t as limiting (ha).

Honestly, as cliche as this will sound, if Apple made an e-book reader, it would propel the e-book market. So hurry up and do it, Apple! Maybe then I’ll be able to have legal e-books of Harry Potter! *smirk* Oh, and while you’re at it, make a Tablet, too. 😀


One response

  1. Jeff

    I have been reading eBooks for years on PDA’s using both Microsoft Reader and eReader (aka palm reader or peanut reader). Now I do all my reading on my cell phone (Sony Ericsson K790) using an app called Libris from Hillbilly Interactive. It runs on cell phones that have Java. I love it.

    January 11, 2007 at 3:07 pm

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