I enjoy reading books from time to time, and the amount of reading I have done over the past few years has really increased. Maybe it is a sign of getting older, but I find myself spending less time on video games and more time on movies and books. A number of my friends are avid readers as well, and it is nice to keep up with what everyone is reading through the GoodReads website. One of my friends, @asniksch, is an avid reader and was an early adopter of the Sony eReader products. I scoffed with derision at the idea: paying hundreds of dollars for the privilege to pay double the regular price of a book, and then to be limited to battery life? It seemed ludicrous. He liked the product, but noted a number of major drawbacks that resulted in disuse after a period of time.
Next came the Kindle, and not long after, the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX. @asniksch, ever the early adopter, got one and touted the features of the platform. Again, I scoffed. At $500, the price was much too high to be reasonable, and electronic books were still priced higher than dead tree books. Sure, for the heavy traveler it would be great to be able to carry several books without loading down your bags. I'm not a heavy traveler though. I haven't asked him about his Kindle recently, but I get the impression that he is much happier with it than with the Sony product. In addition, several more of my acquaintances have picked up a Kindle and have talked about how nice they are.
A couple of things have changed since I last scoffed at eReaders. First, I've been traveling quite a bit more. Second, my reading time has significantly increased. Third, the price of eBook readers has dropped significantly. Both the Kindle and nook are available for around $260, which is nearly half of what they cost a couple of years ago. Apple has entered the arena with the iPad, which is not a dedicated book reader but does have that functionality.
So now it is time for me to eat a bit of crow. @asniksch was ahead of his time, but he was right to think that the eReader was a viable product. I am totally drooling over a nook, and really hoping to get one for Father's Day. The ability to take a number of books with me as I travel is a big winner. In addition, we are about to move into a tiny home while we build our new home. I won't have the space to maintain my trophy case of books. An eReader is an excellent space saver. The free wireless service is a big winner too. One thing that struck me as interesting recently is that I book I want to reader, Edenborn by Nick Sagan, was not available in dead tree format in bookstores, but was available in electronic format. Also, another book I want to read is only available in hardback version in stores, and the electronic version price is much lower.
Maybe I have allowed my gadget lust to overrule my better sense. I'll be crossing my fingers for a new toy, and let you know how I like it if I get one.