Any book, any time, any where?

I’ve been an avid reader my whole life.  In fact, I still have my library card from the Garrett Park Public Library. It’s paper, my name is hand written in blue ball point pen and it’s signed by the librarian, Mrs. Dewey (like the Dewey Decimal System). I’m looking at a stack of 6 books on my table.  Actual printed books.

  1. Let the Right One In. Purchased for $14.95 at the Borders store in Honolulu.
  2. The Girl Who Played with Fire. Purchased for $15.99 at the Borders store in Union Square.
  3. A Reliable Wife. Purchased at JFK Airport for $14.95.
  4. The Swan Thieves. Purchased at the Barnes & Noble store in Corte Madera.
  5. Some god awful Nora Roberts book. Purchased at Oakland Airport for too much.
  6. The  Botany of Desire. Purchased at The Depot Book store in Mill Valley for $12.99.

I used the first generation of Sony Reader. I loved the idea of access to thousands of books without having to carry around thousands of books when I travelled.  I found the reading experience to be really good, but ultimately gave up on it because I never seemed to have the right book downloaded at the right time. And I still went to bookstores. Often.

Then I used the first generation of Kindle. I loved the one-clickness of Amazon and getting any kind of book almost instantaneously. I loved the reading experience, too and began to get into having more than one book going at a time without carrying it around.  What I didn’t like was getting on a 12 hour flight only to discover that the the battery was dead. And I hated not being able to send the book I had just read to my mom in Maryland.  I still went to bookstores. Often.

Now it seems like everyday there’s another newsflash about e-Books. “Oprah’s Loves the Kindle!”  “Oprah’s impressed by the iPad!” “iPad replacing Book Reading!” “e-Books on the iPhone!” “Kindle App for Smart Phone” ,  “Nook outsells Kindle last month”  “e-Books on every platform”  and on and on.

This got me thinking about jumping back into the e-reader market.  I’m not going to do a product review here because based on the previous paragraph, no one really needs another review of these devices, but here’s what I discovered for and about  myself after doing some research.

  1. I love going to bookstores and having an e-reader shouldn’t stop me. In fact, if I buy the Nook I can go into any Barnes & Noble store, read any book they carry (which is millions) for free in-store and instantly download it.
  2. The iPad is awesome like everyone says, but it’s not the best reading experience for me. If you’re a serious reader, read a book, the Kindle, or Nook. And I hear the new Plastic Logic reader is pretty amazing, too.
  3. If you want to be able to read your e-books on any device – iPhone, PC, e-reader – you can.  I still can’t imagine reading a book on my iPhone or PC, but it can be done.
  4. You can actually share digital books you’ve purchased from Barnes & Noble for two weeks.  I guess if I buy a Nook, I’ll be getting my Mom one, too.
  5. There is no replacement for the bookstore.  Still the happiest place on earth (sorry Disneyland)

One of the e-book companies has a slogan “any book, any time, anywhere” or something like that.  That’s kind of my motto anyway, but I do think that this generation of iPad, Nook, and Kindle may really deliver.

If you have an experience with e-readers, I’d love to hear about it!