|by Suzie Johnson|
Are you one of the growing numbers using an e-reader? Do you have a Kindle, Nook, Sony, or some other brand? A recent Harris poll showed that three out of every ten US readers us an e-reading device of one brand or another. And 13% of those polled who didn’t own one said they would be buying one in the near future. This month that rose to 15%.
So what are the pros and cons? They’re summed up here based on one person’s experience:
· Convenience – Never be without a book again. When traveling, your suitcase doesn’t have to be weighted down with twelve books just in case one or more are boring.
· Dust free – If you’re one of the many allergy sufferers, your nose will thank you for cutting down on dust mites.
· Games - The ability to play games like Sudoku and Bejeweled.
· Novellas – For a quick but satisfying read, novellas are almost always the way to go. Fortunately lots of authors and publishers are picking up on this.
· Free books – A great deal of publishers offer a variety of free books. While this may sound like a negative for authors and royalties, it’s turned out to be a huge positive. People find new authors and go on to buy their other books.
· Samples – You can sample the book before you buy it. Of course you can do the same thing in the store, but there isn’t always time to get a true feel for a book when browsing in the store. Some samples are longer than most, but there’s usually enough there to determine whether or not you like the writing style and want to keep reading. If so, you simply click “buy now” and the rest of the book loads.
· Library books – If you’re germaphobic, you no longer have to worry about germs. Most libraries now have downloadable e-books.
· Re-releases – It’s great when an author makes their out of print backlist available for downloads. It gives readers a chance to reread books they once loved and it gives them the chance to read books they might have missed. Example: Sharon Gillenwater’s Buckley, Texas series.
· Authors stretching their boundaries – it’s wonderful when an author wants to write in a different genre. Example: Lisa Bergren’s YA River of Time series.
· Bigger purse – You will likely need a bigger purse to carry your e-reader in if you’re always going to have a book with you.
· Color screens – If you have one with a color screen, you likely find it difficult to read in direct sunlight. If you wear Polaroid sunglasses, reading in the sunlight just became nearly impossible.
· Games – The ability to play games like Sudoku and Bejeweled.
· Short stories – Yes, this sounds like an odd one to put in the “con” section, doesn’t it? It’s great that many authors are writing novellas and loading them onto B&N and Amazon. Novellas usually sell for .99¢ – $2.99 and are usually between 80 – 100 pages. But what happens when you download one by one of your favorite authors and it’s only 20 pages? Do you feel ripped off? After all, it’s only 99¢. But wait – what if that 20 page “novella” is really only a teaser to tempt you to buy the author’s next book?
· Re-releases – If you’re an avid reader then most of the time you will know you’re downloading an older book. But not every publisher and/or author who releases out of print books states upfront that these are out of print books and you may end up with one you’ve either read before – or didn’t read because you hated it.
· Authors stretching their boundaries – Um, imagine this…. One of your favorite authors has a new book available for download. It’s not published by their usual publisher; instead it’s made available by the author. Said author happens to write inspirational romantic suspense. You download her new book and it’s full of things that wouldn’t ordinarily be in an inspirational romance – things most inspy readers don’t want to see in a book. Even worse than this unpleasant surprise is when you download a sample first “just to make sure” and it’s a very short sample listing all of that authors inspy books. Note to authors: We love that you’re stretching your boundaries and doing some self-publishing. But if the reader is used to reading your inspys, please state up front that this is not one of them. And if you don’t state it up front, then please don’t list your inspy books on the front page of your new self-pubbed book if your self-pubbed book is full of things that are taboo in an inspirational.
· Changing technology – With changing technology there is always something “better” on the horizon. If you’re one of those always tempted by the “latest and greatest” get used to the fact that you can’t keep up unless you’re willing to buy a new e-reader every six months.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ~~Hebrews 8
Unlike technology which changes almost daily, God is unchanging. It’s such a relief to know that He is the same today, tomorrow and yesterday. We don’t have to ride the technology hamster wheel to keep up with God.
So what do you think of e-readers? Love ‘em or hate ‘em?
Do you have a different list of pros and cons?
Suzie Johnson is trying to get off the hamster wheel. She has purchased way too many e-readers and vows to only buy one more. She does not, however, vow to stop buying purses to accommodate them.