Monday, March 29, 2010

iPods, iBooks, i Wonder what’s next?




I’m an iPod convert. I recently cleared out an entire shelf of CDs by ripping them onto my computer and transferring them to my mini MP3 player, leaving room for so many more books that I spent an entire afternoon happily arranging my bookcase to display them all just right. Then I had a scary thought: How long will it be until I clear out all my books, as well? How long until they’re all inside a hand held computerized reader?

I put off getting an MP3 player for years, well after my kids and even some of my friends had them. Will I do the same with the ebook, the Nook, the Kindle, or whatever else they devise? Or will I never convert?

I love books, book covers, and even the backs of books. I’m especially fond of paperbacks (ahem) and am quite hooked on signing my name in them. How would I autograph a book if it’s a download?

It would be a tough decision to go paperless – or bookless, as it were. What would I do with all those empty shelves? I’ve got a lot of them, many built-in. Would I use them to store canned goods? Towels and linens? Do we ever have enough room for them? Yet somehow I can’t see that going over well in my office. Kidney beans anyone? Fresh washcloth?

Nevertheless, the idea of taking a long trip and not having to carry five books with me is appealing. The thought of finishing one book then clicking on a new title and – Presto! It’s there, waiting to be read. That appeals, too. Yet it’s one more device that must be recharged, one more screen to read – and I spend my day with my eyeballs glued to one already. Do I want to stare at another until I drop off to sleep?

Are you hooked on your MP3 player or sticking with CDs? If you were offered a free ebook reader, would you take it? Would you reject it on principle? Or are you already a convert? I’d love to be convinced that they are better than owning actual books, but I may be a tough sell.

Kate

39 comments:

Shel said...

Kate, do I have an answer for you! You may have noticed via the comments on other posts that I am both an ebook convert and planning on attending a Divas signing in April. Well, if I buy ebooks, what do I have for the ladies to sign? Because I'm not about to give up the thrill of getting their autographs! I pondered this question after I told Heather I'd attend the Divas event, and then, the answer came to me.
Before I get to that, however, I must tell you that I read on an convertible netbook/tablet computer. It converts to slate configuration with *ta dahhh* handwriting capability! So yep, my answer to "how will I autograph a book if it's a download?" is "Sign your name on my tablet/netbook screen. I'll save it in my journal application, and have it to insert either in the ebook download, or combine with my other autographs for a really cool desktop background!" I also know people who have had authors sign the backs of their Kindles with sharpie.

Sabrina M. said...

I love my iPod but also still use CDs. The iPod for travelling and working out and the CDs when I'm home and want to relax.
Most of the books I buy are "real" books because I like the feeling of them. But I also buy some ebooks every month because it's easier, faster and cheaper to get ebooks to Germany. I read them on my mac but have been thinking about getting an ebook reader bceause reading on my computer is no fun. I may have a look at what the new iPad has to offer end then decide if it's worth the money or not.

Diane Pollock said...

Guess I'm a bit of a luddite! I love cds and hardcover books!

Joan said...

Whenever I sit down I have a book in my hand. I love reading and prefer paperback or hardbooks over ebooks. However, I could be converted easily if I had an ebook reader. I have been looking at them but they still are too expensive for me. My grandson has MP3 and Ipods but I will stick to my CD'S.

Heather Webber said...

I'm so behind the times. I don't have an MP3, though my kids and husband do...

I'm torn on the e-readers. I love the look and feel of a book, but I can see the convenience factor (for traveling, especially). I can definitely see me getting one in the future.

Shel, I'm SO excited you're coming to one of the Diva signings!

Mason Canyon said...

I love putting books on my MP3. It is nice to be able to listen to a book while I'm doing other thing, especially outside. However, I have come across a problem. I have one MP3 that I have six books on that I love. For some reason, now I can't get the thing to play. I've changed batteries, hooked to 2 different computers and still nothing. It wont even turn on. So had I done away with the CDs after putting them on the MP3, I won't be able to listen to them now. MP3 and such are wonderful but do have drawbacks. I think I'll stick with my hardback/paperback books and listen to the MP3 sometimes (when I get another new one).

Anonymous said...

I never thought that I would be an e-reader convert, but famous last words. My husband got me a Kindle for our anniversary last year and I will admit that I really love it. That being said, I still read probably 2/3 of my books in "real" book format. I've decided that we are just in a time of transition and each of us will have to pick and choose what innovations we will sample. Thanks for a great post!

Laura Hinds said...

Short & to the point:

They would have to pry my beloved books from my cold, dead hands.

Bingo said...

I am afraid I am a dinosaur with both. I do have a small iPod shuffle but just use it with a cordless headset when I walk or ride my bike. Otherwise I use CDs. I also love the feel of a book and since I am on the computer much of the day with my blog, I would rather not also have to look at a screen when I read. That said, I would take an eReader if given to me in a heartbeat as it would be faster when I am reviewing books to have instant access and I would use it for newspapers and other research periodicals when on the go...but I can't rule it out as I haven't used one. BTW, don't worry about your shelves because would you really get rid of all your books? I wouldn't want to pay to replace them on an eReader...and really would want an ink real autograph so don't think the iPad would be good enough for me but love Shel's idea of the autographs being a cool desktop.

Kate Collins said...

I love you guys. You always give me new perspectives. Shel, what a great idea about the desktop background! How cool.

Bingo (what a great moniker) you're right. I couldn't give up my books -- not all of them at least. Then again, now that our CDs are gone, all that shelf space is attractive. I'm just saying.
Mason, your post gave me a heart flutter! Then I remembered that we ripped our CDs to the computer, to our iTunes library before transfering them to the iPod, so I've got a back-up if my MP3 fails. How did you get your CDs onto your MP3?

Dru said...

I still have CDS, but I mostly listen to my ipod since I can dock them in my stereo and alarm clock.

I love, love, love holding and turning the pages of books. I do have an ereader which I basically use as my virtual book shelf. Once I read a book and if it becomes a keeper, I buy the digital version, if available, and donate the book to library or another reader, unless of course it is autographed.

I like Shel's idea of autographs as a desktop - going to scan what I have.

Have a great Monday.

jecearley@live.com said...

I love my iPod for walking. I usually am listening to a book. I have a Kindle which I love, but most of my reading is still traditional format. The Kindle is great for carrying around in my purse, and it was great for vacation. Bottomline - I want to have a book available anytime, anywhere.ardsc

Lover of Books said...

I read e-books on my smart phone. I would love a reader but they are just too expensive. Having said that, I have paper books as well. I LOVE those. I only take two books on vacation with me cause well with two little ones, I don't have a lot of reading time. :) One who is 5 in half day kindergarten and a 5 month old.
Krista

Anonymous said...

I use my MP3 player when I am walking but still use CDs in my car. I am however a Kindle convert. I travel for work and it is easier to pack than a dozen books. I have arthritis in my hands and it is easier to hold than either a hardback or paperback. And I have a jacket cover for it that opens like a paper book so it does have the same sort of feel. I only buy paper now if I can't get a favorite author's work in electronic copy. . . . Mo

Anonymous said...

I really love holding and reading a book, also like the cover art that real books have. I like meeting the authors and getting their books autographed, also.

I won't buy an e-book reader. Although, when I go to that big library in the sky (hopefully, that's where I'm going), maybe someone could put all the books I haven't read yet on an e-book reader and send it with me!!!

Shirley in Baltimore

Mason Canyon said...

I ripped the CDs onto the computer and then to the MP3. After I put them on the MP3, I deleted them off the computer so when I get another MP3 I'll have to do it all over again.

Mr. Hendrix said...

I have an Ipod but in my older car I can only use CDs.
I would accept a free e-book reader, probably just to make trips easier, but I can't imagine not having books 99% of the time. Especially for research or nonfiction. One of my favorite things about libraries and book stores is strolling thru all those books.
On an old Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, the librarian Giles had a great line (I had to look up the exact quote):

Giles ruminates on why books are better than computers: "Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell... musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is... it has no texture, no context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be, um... smelly."

I couldn't say it better myself.

Karen B said...

No MP3 for me - I love listening to the radio and have it on for hours every day. CDs are great when reading. I don't have an ebook reader but I would take one if it were free!

Librarystitcher said...

I do not own a ipod...yet. I am still contemplating whether to purchase one. My audio books are either on cd's or cassettes. Yes, you read that correctly: cassettes. My early Amanda Quick's are on cassettes and I pull one out occasionally as I knit.

I prefer physical books in my hand. Turning pages as I read is a tactile delight.

Would I accept an MP3 player or free ebook reader, I would accept graciously. You never know when you might deserted on an island and only allowed to have one electronic device with a lifetime supply of batteries.

Laura Hinds said...

I'm noticing a theme amongst posters here, and I totally agree...
I'd use a e-reader if it was given to me for free. I'd still never give up my books (although I do thin the herd for the annual library book sale), but an e-reader might be nice- if it was free!

Heather said...

No ipod/mp3 player here. Those things cost money. Heck, I only just got my first digital camera three months ago!

Andrea C. said...

I got a Kindle in January and I have to say...I love it! I read LOTS of books (about a book a day in the summer) and it was getting to be too much! So now I have them on my kindle when I want to read them and I take it everywhere. I still get/keep hard copies of my all time favorites and sentimental books though. As a teacher, I think one day all students will have an e-reader and get their textbooks from that - better than lugging all those heavy books around!

Lisa D said...

I love my iPod and I seriously wouldn't know what to do without it. It's great for music and audiobooks.

I received a Nook for Christmas and I think it's the best thing since sliced bread and peanut butter. I do still buy paperbacks by my favorite authors for my "keeper shelves". The one big plus about the Nook is that it's so much easier to travel with it than five books.

Shel said...

Heather, I'm excited to meet you and show you what I read on, and what the advantages are. Sometimes, it's something you just can't imagine until you do it. I haven't completely replaced paper books either (as my husband laments every time we go in a bookstore), but I usually confine it to things that aren't available in ebook. I am so addicted to reading on my Asus tablet that a regular book feels awkward now. But, like everything else, it's a highly personal preference, and there is no one right solution for everyone. Paper or ebook, it's all reading, and all good!

Sarah said...

I'm a definite iPod convert - love not having CDs taking up space but I don't see myself ever having an e-reader. I just love books too much to change plus I stare at a computer screen for 9 hours a day - I really don't want to spend any more time with a computer-like device than I have to!

Sarah

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I will never stop reading books in their original form-BOOKS! I do not own an e-reader or Kindle or whatever they call them. To me, there is nothing like holding a book in your hands. I have worked in a library and my husband is a Librarian and it would be a tough sell in our house. No, I would not even take one if it were free! I think we are the last two people in America that do not own a cell phone, blackberry, etc. We do not twitter or do Facebook. Why would someone want to put their whole life on the computer? I am not that old, but this stuff really gets ridiculous at times. No one knows how to write a regular letter anymore. That is just my opinion. Real books are the best.
Patti S.

Peggy Graham said...

I have an MP3 player which I love for traveling - but I still use the CD's at home. I'd love to have a Nook as well, so that I could be sure to have plenty of books with me when I travel (as well as all my knitting patterns which I'd be able to load onto the Nook in pdf format - my primary reason for choosing the Nook over the Kindle). Although in honesty I wouldn't turn down a Kindle if it were free. And when I'm at home I'll still prefer to read good old-fashioned books for sure.

Vicki said...

I still have cd's and good old fashioned books. I don't travel enough to warrant the kindle, and I don't really listen to music enough to warrant an ipod or MP3 player either. I'm already in my own little happy place, I guess!

Kate Collins said...

Shirley, your "library in the sky" comment cracked me up!

Mr. Hendrix, thanks for looking up that quote. How perfect it is! I can still remember the smell of the library I frequented as a child. Great response!

I see a lot of ebook reader converts here, but I also sense that almost all of you would not give up your favorite books either. That's how I'd be - or will be. Thanks for all your replies.

WonderBunny said...

I have an old ipod shuffle and I love it. I also own a kindle which I love. But I will never, ever get rid of my books. I still buy paperbacks (because I love those ones best) and plan on continuing to buy books because sometimes there is still something nice about having a book in my hand. I do love having 100 books at my fingertips with the kindle though.

Andrea C. said...

My final two cents: I will say that I used to say the same thing about loving the feel of books and was a total e-reader skeptic..but truth be told, I have found that I get so lost in the story, I don't really notice I am holding a kindle instead of a book!
PS-I am also a total lover of my ipod! :)

Maggie Sefton said...

This is a fascinating subject, which all authors are interested in. THanks, Kate, for starting it. And thank you bloggers for your posts. I read every one with great interest.

Jan said...

I adore my MP3 player! It's great for me, especially at work. I tried the E-book reader, and, well. NO. Not for me. The closest I think I'll ever come to that is reading a book via Adobe Digital Editions which is what the libraries use for e-books. Besides, books don't have batteries that can die in the middle of your reading pleasure!!

Jan said...

And on CD's, I still buy CD's. Napster doesn't have everything I want to listen to. To make them MP3, just pop the disc into your CD drive and tell Media Player to rip it to your hard drive. Later you plug in and sync your MP3 player to your music library! Easy! (So I say, lol). I won't buy an Ipod because they are too expensive.

RosieJo said...

I have loved books-on-tape since they first came out...a million years ago. Everybody loves to be read to!! Now I have an IPOD and just took a 2 day trip to Savannah. 12 books, 4 movies and countless hours of beach music and my bag was 'oh so light' to carry. I am hooked!! Now, if I could just come up with something for my decorating magazines...

Diana said...

I listen to books on my mp3 driving to and from work and on vacations. also while I clean the house, I actually don't lose interest cleaning as fast if I'm listening to a great book! BUT I don't ever want to give up actual paper books. I love paper books.

Bookworm Princess said...

I gave in and bought a Sony Ereader because of the appeal of having so many books in one place and the lower costs. I bought it in January and so far I have only read 1 book on it, that's right just 1! My husband wants to kill me because of how much I shelled out for it but I know one day when we are traveling more it will be more useful.

The smell of the pages of a book just can't be replaced. Maybe if they invent a candle with the paper smell I will be content.

Next weekend is the library used book fair and I know I will come home with more than 50 books to place on my shelf.
I don't think I will ever fully convert.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I feel the same way about ebooks as I do about mp3s, while they are very practical, I do love the feel of a book and the look of the cover, as much as like to read the inserts in a CD (or even better a record!)
Of course I would accept a free ebook reader, who wouldn't! and I can see how it would be easier to travel, but when it comes down to it, I just couldn't give up my books. I love each one too much :)

Kate Collins said...

A candle that smells like a book -- or a library! What a great idea. Someone needs to jump on that.

I'm with all of you who said they can't give up books. I might get an ebook reading device one day (the new iPad looks mighty tempting) but I just couldn't toss out those lovely books.