Next month Borders is following in the footsteps of Amazon and Barnes and Noble by releasing its very own e-book reader, the Kobo. What’s the particular appeal over the Kindle and the Nook? Well… it’s about a hundred bucks cheaper, for starters. Now, that’s still $150 bucks, but in an economy where everyone is watching their wallets, that’s a definite appeal.
The Kobo isn’t exactly groundbreaking—but it doesn’t need to be. The ground has already been broken, and Kobo (or maybe Borders) is simply reaping the benefits. This has a sleek design, has mobile and desktop apps, and lots of free ebooks, along with wifi and newspapers, etc… all that technical stuff you can read about here.
Now… I could bore you again with my bewailing that I prefer a book to be made out of paper, etc, etc… and coming from a girl who’s never so much as taken a picture with her phone, much less gone on the internet or read a book with it… that’s all very likely to come from me. But Kobo is far from being the last word in bringing ereaders to the masses…
Does that mean that I think that books in the printed form are coming to an end? Lord, I hope not. To me there is little more satisfying than a big old bookcase filled to the brim with titles you like, love, and can’t wait to read. Does that make me an old-fashioned girl? Maybe. But I have to admit, the convenience factor of ereaders is starting to make itself known to me. I don’t think I would ever pick a new ebook over a new paper copy from an author I really love who I’ve been waiting and waiting to read more from… but I have to admit that I read classics on my laptop all the time… and being able to carry around War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov and nearly a thousand other titles at the same time… well, that does have its appeal to me. I’m still on the fence about ereaders in general, but I’m getting there… I’m getting there.
So in the e-reader wars, I have no preference as of yet (husband, if you’re reading, I’d like an e-reader for our anniversary), though I’m likely to lean toward the Nook, as a loyal B&N customer and past employee.
That said, I continue to be impressed by Amazon’s advertisements for the Kindle, despite how I feel about Amazon as a whole. They capture in a fun, whimsical way what I love about e-readers, which is the convenience and portability of many kinds of books. As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to read at least 3 books at a time, depending on my mood and such, so being able to flip back and forth thru files is so much easier, especially while reading in bed. Plus, these commercials ave some awesome catchy tunes.
Although from the looks of things, iPad is trying to join this commercial revolution. I’d be excited, except the book portion of the commercial is kind of overshadowed by the other MILLION things the device does. I’m more excited about watching movies on that kind of technology than reading books. It’s like the size of my old high school history textbooks… but you know, thinner.
Which makes you more likely to purchase a product? As a consumer, what are YOU looking for in a dedicated reader?
So this week’s big tech news is the new Apple iPad. (Ugh, could they have come up with a worse name? Really?)
It’s pretty impressive, in that portable, personal LCD screen kind of way. I’d love to use it to watch movies while on vacation or to play games. But as a personal reader? I’ll stick to the devices with e-ink technology. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? To go easy on the eyes? If I want a portable reader with a large, LCD type screen, that’s what the laptop’s for.
But… the buzz is large and heated. Will the iPad beat out the Amazon Kindle in the ebook war? With their new iBookstore opening… price wars are sure to begin.
How about you, readers. Fess up. How many of you read ebooks? How many of you would purchase the iPad as a reading device? What are your thoughts?