Sunday, January 23, 2011

To eRead or Not to eRead (and if so, with which machine?)

The first day back to school after a glorious two-week holiday break brought streams of students to the library gushing about the ereaders they had received for Christmas.  From Nooks to Kindles, to PanDigitals, it seemed everyone had an ereader.  Then the kids started asking about what I had, and I was forced to admit that though the idea of an ereader really excited me, I had yet to take the plunge.

"The NookColor is awesome!" they squealed.  "I love my Kindle; you should get one," they said. Students even brought in their ereaders to school and encouraged me to play around with them, in hopes that I would deem their ereader best and immediately run out and buy one.  Three weeks back to school, and I've yet to commit.

So what's holding me back?  Uncertainty.  I know that I want an ereader.  But after all of my research and test driving, I'm still at a loss to figure out which ereader I want.  Here's my thinking:

Barnes & Noble Nook (specifically, the NookColor)

  • Nook loves libraries!  You can borrow books from your library via OverDrive
  • Ability to "share" books with other Nook friends 
  • Available in color = appealing for reading magazines and picture books
  • Greater internet capabilities
  • I'm always getting B&N giftcards
  • $249 is a lot of money
  • What if B&N goes out of business or simply loses the ereader war?
  • What if the next Kindle plays well with libraries and is color and is cheaper?


  • Attractive $139 price tag
  • E Ink is perfect for beach and poolside reading (which I plan to do a lot of during summer break)
  • As the dominating ereader, it probably isn't going anywhere
  • I don't really buy books. I check them out from the library.  Kindle does not like libraries.
  • E Ink is great for outdoors, but bad for reading in bed, which I do every night.  Buying a book light for a fancy ereader seems silly and kind of obnxious.
  • I never get Amazon giftcards.  What will I do with all the B&N giftcards if I buy a Kindle?
PanDigital (looking at 7" color)
  • Compatible with B&N ebooks and OverDrive
  • Available in color = appealing for reading magazines and picture books
  • Greater internet capabilities
  • $199 price tag falls right in the middle, and seems to offer the most bang for your buck
  • Less popular brand = doubts about winning/continuing to participate in the ereader war long term
  • Haven't gotten to play with one of these yet, so unsure about pageturning, etc.
  • Edited to Add: Reviews like this don't make it sound so nice. Yikes!
So that's where I'm at.  A large part of me is sick of carrying a weighty separate bag of books every time I travel.  And not being an active participant in the ereader craze makes me feel a disconnect with my readers (students) and fellow librarians.  But part of me thinks I should just continue to wait and see what happens before wading into the marketplace, because I'm afraid of making a bad decision.  What to do?

All opinions are welcome.

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1 comment:

  1. My feeling is that buying an ereader right now would be like investing in betamax or laserdiscs...I'd wait another year or two.