Thursday, April 29, 2010

Library Bloat and E-Readers

It's true. My personal library is overflowing. The shelves are full both at home and school. I've books stacked on the floor by the bed. The top shelf in my closet is stuffed with beloved novels, and I have myriads of books out on loan to friends and students. I keep telling myself I need to downsize, but I find it hard to say goodbye to such good friends. When it comes to books, I'm a pack-rat.

The problem is my to-be-read list keeps growing, and I've nowhere put new books. I know, I know... go to the library, you say. I've tried that. I end up with monster fines because I forget to return them. Sometimes I forget they're not mine and loan them to a friend. Not a good thing, especially if they lose it. But mostly, I like knowing my favorites are available to read whenever I wish.

I've considered e-readers before, but not for long. I love the feel of a bound book in my hands, pages to turn, no back-lit technology burning holes in my eyes. Books aren't battery dependent or terribly fragile. If you drop one, you simply pick it up and find your page again. Drop an e-reader, and you might lose your library, or at the very least an expensive bookshelf. That's something to consider when you're a klutz like me.

My storage crisis has forced me to reconsider my stance on e-readers. I've started to investigate what's out there. Admittedly, I don't know much about them except the prices are a bit daunting. I need to change my mindset. It's a storage unit that doesn't take up wall and closet space. The books are priced more like a paperback. Most I saw were around $9.99. That's less expensive than a new hardback...

Do you use an e-reader? I'd love to know your pros and cons.

17 comments:

amy said...

All I know is my Aunt got a Kindle and broke it within a week or two of having it - she stored it in her backpack and it got damaged. That doesn't help your "klutz" cause though!

AnneB said...

I think e-readers make terrific sense for textbooks, and maybe in two or three more generations of the devices, they'll be great for recreational reading as well. From the reviews I've read, however, they're still not there yet.

KarenG said...

I personally don't but I won't say never. Especially if someone came out with one that suited me. I tried the Kindle and know I couldn't read an entire book on it. But yes, this storage capacity is a huge plus. In my bedroom right now, I probably have 75 books here and there. (Stacked neatly of course lol) And that's just one room of my house. Every room has its stack of books, until we get to the library, and then there are shelves and shelves. I'd rather get rid of my clothes than my books.

Kelly H-Y said...

Library bloat ... I love it! Nope ... haven't yet converted to an e-reader. My mother-in-law has a Kindle and likes it. But, because it's small she is now upgrading to an i-Pad. She's a bit of a techno-junkie! :-)

Nora MacFarlane said...

I've looked at Kindles, briefly. I found them hard to view. I've not seen their newer editions. I'd like to see an iPad, but that has an additional monthly expense. Sony has something coming out later this year. In any case, I have lots of time to think. I probably won't purchase before August.

I am curious about everyone's experiences. People seem to love them or hate them.

out of the wordwork said...

You're just like me. I love my books but they've become like potato chips - I used to be able to eat them and not gain ten pounds. Now - oi. It's like I can't just buy one book anymore - I have to buy five. There are just too many of them to say no!

I never thought I'd consider an ereader but like the old saying goes "never say never". I may ask Santa for a gift this year (iPad or Sony ereader). But I don't think I'll ever stop buying the real thing (I'll just have to be more choosy)

Karen Strong said...

It's so sad because I work in technology and should have all these cool gadgets -- but I just can't seem to change over to an e-reader.

I LOVE holding books in my hands and - gasp - writing in them.

Most of my co-workers have the IPad and I've played with that. I would have to wait for another generation to come out but I like the IPad better than the Kindle so far.

Carrie Harris said...

I don't have one, but I've been considering it for the same reasons you are. My hubby keeps complaining about the book overflow around here.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I don't have an e-reader gadget, but a friend took his on vacation with us. I started thinking it would be wonderful to carry on a plane verses carrying books. Of course, if I had one, I'd want the hard copy of the book too...but that doesn't help with your storage issue.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Still kicking it old school--probably always will.

Marcia said...

I can really see e-readers for textbooks. And for travelers. You need a solid reason to make the investment in something you can break or lose and there goes your library. Or your semester. Although I suppose the argument is that the thing will pay for itself in x number of months/years because the books are cheaper. For fiction, though, I want a bound book. Reading is, in a way, more than READING. For kids' library story hours, you need books. So that we don't do every blasted thing in life on a screen other than eat and sleep, we need books. I think e-readers will become very common but never totally replace print.

sally apokedak said...

Love, love, love my kindle.

I didn't think I'd like the e-readers because I love ink and paper. I love the smell of new books. I loved the start of every school year when you got the new hardback text books and they had those clean white pages. I love books. Love them on my shelves. They are more important to me as decoration than pictures are. The kind of books a person has on her shelves tells you what kind of person she is.

But....I love my kindle. I've dropped it several times. It still works. There is no backlit screen and no eye strain. It is electronic ink and it's gorgeous. I read more on it. I buy more books with it (oops I guess that's not a strong selling point) and I read faster.

I actually prefer reading from the kindle than from real books now. I throw it in my purse and I have hundreds--thousands of books--to choose from. I just love it.

I also am drooling after an iPad. But not for reading as much as for playing. for reading with no distractions, I think the kindle is the way to go. But I may change my mind once I get an iPad.

Nora MacFarlane said...

Thanks for everyone's input. I've got LOTS of time to think about it. Might become a Christmas wish list item. In the meantime, I've a stack of books to work through next to the bed. : )

prashant said...

I love it!
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Nora MacFarlane said...

Good news! My new classroom has three empty bookshelves. I can continues to feed my book habit without buying a gadget to do so!

Nora MacFarlane said...

That would be "continue"...

Diana Guess said...

I use a Kindle for five months and I must admit that I love this little, portable device.
I'm a huge fan of reading and it's great that I can read whenever I have a little spare time. I got my eBooks from All You Can Books... a site recommended by a really good friend... I need to thank him, because I downloaded hundreds of interesting books.