Monday, March 29, 2010

Why I'm getting a Sony eReader and You Should, Too

Or at least, you shouldn't buy a Kindle.Now, I understand that plenty of people are happy with paper pages, but as a librarian, I feel it is my duty--my duty, I say!--to learn about these newfangled devices. And I believe that an eReader could complement someone's library use in two special ways:
1. eReaders give you significantly faster access to bestsellers at a reasonable price (Bestseller ebooks are $9.99 on Amazon and the Sony eReader store). You can get bestsellers through the library, but unless you predict that they will be bestsellers well in advance, you could be #241 on the hold list.*

I just noticed that bestseller is a word--as in, spell check accepts it. Yet, it does not accept Spellcheck. Weird.

2. eReaders allow you to download ebooks from libraries, Google Books, and other independent sites. The Kindle does not allow you to do this!

Kindle books are in another format, and the Kindle does not support the epub format used by libraries, Google books, etc. Nor does it support PDF files. So if you buy a Kindle, you can only buy books from Amazon. See? That is not in the spirit of democracy or public libraries.
That's why you should buy a Sony eReader. Also, the Providence Place Sony store is going out of business, so the eReaders are 40% off. That's the real reason I'm making the leap. But after reading reviews at some excellent sites, I think the Sony Pocket eReader really is perfect for me.**

Unlike all the cell phones, laptops, and tablets that are competing to be the One Device That Will Rule the World!, the eReader is really only good for reading ebooks. You can't check your email, make a phone call, or listen to music. But this simplicity makes it light, cheap, and simple.

Obviously, I'm itching to get my hands on the little bugger because new devices are fun, fun, fun! However, I'm also excited because I honestly feel a little left out in the cold sometimes, working at a library where we don't have the funding to offer ebooks to our readers, or do teen programs with flip cameras, etc.

On the other hand, this means I'm spared things like self-checkout.

But I want to stay abreast and have opinions on new technology that's affecting libraries, and since I'm afraid to get a Facebook page (because people from my past will find me and because I will check it obsessively), I've decided to get an eReader. Soon I will have opinions on the experience of reading manga on an eReader. I can't wait!

*And sometimes, when you get the book, its binding will be popping open and there will be sand inside the mylar cover. I admit that's sort of a personal pet peeve. It makes it feel like the book has a rash.

**Apparently, I'm over Sony's "Sexier than a librarian" campaign. Like many a librarian, I was annoyed at the time, but in retrospect, I'm bemused. I think I've been completely desensitized to librarian stereotypes.

No comments:

Post a Comment