Posted tagged ‘ebook readers’

More and more ebook readers

August 1, 2010

The ambiguity in the title of this post is deliberate: only just over two years since the first generation of the Amazon Kindle went on sale in the United States (only), ebook devices have become more and more popular, and people who favour this particular form of reading have become more and more numerous. For those who are serious about ebooks, the choice is now between the Kindle itself (now about to go into the third generation), the Sony Reader, the iLiad, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, and of course the Apple iPad (though this is more than an ebook reader). In addition, the associated ebook stores of some of these devices also offer software (‘apps’) that simulate the devices on the iPad: so for example, as an iPad owner you can download the Kindle app and then use the iPad as a Kindle, including the facility for direct downloads of Amazon Kindle ebooks.

So now the question is beginning to arise as to whether ebooks will become the standard format for reading, and what impact this will have on paper or hard copy versions. I don’t know if I am at all typical, but right now I am purchasing and reading lots of ebooks; if on reading a book I feel that I may want to read it again I buy the paper version as well. I don’t think that bookshelves will disappear; but it is possible that sales will decline for a while before becoming stable at a lower figure.

The Kindle – coming your way

October 8, 2009

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I seem to have acquired the status of an expert on Amazon’s ebook reader, the Kindle. My posts on this subject have been the most widely read of anything I have written here. So maybe I should just say, for those who have not already seen this, that Amazon has now announced that the Kindle can be bought by non-US customers and delivered to them, and that its wireless service for downloading books will now be usable outside the United States. Or if you prefer to read all about it in German, here you go.

I am kind of proud that I was able to acquire the Kindle, buy ebooks for it from amazon.com, and do it all from Dublin before Amazon made this change. So from now on, I’ll just be one Kindle user amongst many here.

However, for those now contemplating the purchase, I can say again that I find it an excellent device and that I have now read a large number of books on it. I am still reading paper books as well, but I find the Kindle excellent for when I am travelling, or even just when I want to take four books with me around town without wanting to carry them all. I have also looked at other ebook readers, and for me at least the Kindle is best.

I still wonder whether devices such as this, or new generation versions of such devices, will eventually supplant books. I hope not, but then again I also hope that ebook readers will become more and more successful.

The Amazon Kindle – another update

December 13, 2008

As readers of this blog will know, a few months ago I acquired an Amazon Kindle. This has been something of an endurance test, because the Kindle is only for sale in America to American customers, and as you will know I live and work in Ireland. I managed to get around this as I have a US mailing address, from where I can get things forwarded that are sent there for me.

Getting content on to the Kindle is much more difficult. There are thousands of ebooks on Amazon.com, but these can only be bought with an American credit card. Eventually I worked my way round this also by buying a ‘disposable’ VISA credit card while on a visit in the US and registering this on Amazon. Now I can buy Kindle-format ebooks, at least until the sum on the credit card has been exhausted. Then, if I still have the energy, I’ll need to get another one. There are also website where you can download free Kindle-format books, generally the classics.

So is it all worth it? Yes, I think so. Just about. The device itself is entirely intuitive and user-friendly, and I find the screen to be exactly right; reading is easy on the eyes. The battery life seems excellent – I have been on several intercontinental flights during which I read almost non-stop, without the power level in the battery showing much sign of running down. So I am happy with the device; but cannot help wondering why Amazon makes it so difficult for non-US customers. Apparently a UK version is about to be released; but nothing for Ireland.

In Ireland – if you can get hold of it – the Sony ebook reader is now on sale, at Waterstones. But I have been unable to get a demonstration of one, so I cannot say how good or bad it is. Whenever I go to Waterstones they do not have them in stock.