4/19/13

On Losing My E-Book Virginity

I honestly thought I'd never do it.  Read an e-book, that is.  It's not that I have anything against e-readers, but I just thought that it wasn't really my thing.  I prefer the texture of the pages, the physical act of flipping those pages ... and that new book smell.  Really can't go wrong with that new book smell.


So I just thought that the e-reading experience couldn't possibly be better than my experiences reading a physical book.

But then we got an iPad for Christmas, and it's just SO FUN.  Keeping up to date with Twitter is easier, rather than deciding to turn on the laptop in order to see what's been tweeted throughout the day.  (Yes, I still haven't jumped aboard the smartphone train -- so the computer has been my only means of checking into Twitter).  And then I started thinking about Netgalley, and the possibility of being able to review books before they were released.  So I decided to join, not really expecting to have any of my requests approved, since I'm still a fairly new blogger and all.

Imagine my surprise when my first four requests were approved!  For books that aren't even out on the bookshelves yet!  How cool is that?!?  I immediately started reading one -- excited to try out this e-reading thing.

Now that I have, it's fun and all, but I'm not sure that I'm completely sold on the idea.  I have this weird habit of always flipping forward into the book to see how long the chapter is, then tucking my bookmark into the end of the chapter.  Then, I read to the chapter end and decide at that time if I can read another chapter before baby needs my attention, or the washing machine is finished, or any other multitude of things that tear my attention away from reading these days.  But with an e-reader, I can't tell how long the chapter is, and that's throwing me off a little.

I also wonder how a book with footnotes would work on an e-reader.  I'm currently reading The Boyfriend List (a physical copy though) and there's footnotes added into the story, some of which start on one page and then continue onto the next page.  I find the footnotes a little irritating to begin with, and I know they would drive me MAD if I was reading this book in e-format.

All in all, I'm happy that I'm giving this e-reading thing a go.  For those of you that have e-readers, is reading on an actual e-reader (like a Kindle) better than reading on an iPad?  I downloaded Bluefire for the iPad -- any recommendations on another app to try?  Anything that might solve my minor chapter length irritation?

19 comments:

  1. Wow, no ebooks until now?! I can't imagine not having my Kindle! I much prefer ebooks to physical books. Although like you, I do flip ahead to judge if I have time to read another chapter. However, some Kindle books have chapter markers which make it much easier to estimate how many chapters I can read at that time. I'm not sure how it works with other formats though.

    Footnotes are one thing I don't like on my Kindle. I was reading I've Got Your Number which had footnotes, but they were actually at the end of each chapter. I found it annoying to flip back and forth, so I skipped reading them entirely. I'm sure I lost some of the experience by doing that though. :-/

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    1. Yes! I've Got Your Number drove me CRAZY. But that's really the only time I've ever experienced a negative from something like that.
      I've come across bad formatting for indie books (ugh) but I've really enjoyed my Kobo. Sometimes I wish all files were the same because sometimes I can tell how much I have left in a chapter but sometimes I can't, same goes for how long until the end of the book.
      I don't think I really thought too much about whether or not I'd like ebooks too much before I bought my Kobo. I got it so I would be able to take part in blog tours more easily. It's super convenient and it's lighter and thinner than a book usually so it's handy to throw in my purse or take on vacation. I'm glad you've moved into the world of ebooks :)

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    2. YES! I couldn't remember which book I had read with footnotes recently, but I've Got Your Number is the one! I can only imagine how irritating it would be if the footnotes were at the end of each chapter, rather than just at the bottom of the page. My issue with footnotes is that I read so quickly that I forget to notice the tiny little number, and read the extra piece of information. Then, when I hit the bottom of the page, I notice the footnote, and then have to go back up through the page, looking for that little itty bitty number and figure out where that extra piece of information fits in. Totally throws of my reading flow. End of rant.

      I'm glad that I'm giving e-readers a shot. Not sure if I plan to actually acquire a real e-reader in the future, but we'll see how it goes. Thank you both for your thoughtful comments!!!!!

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  2. I honestly never thought that I would get an ebook. I love physical books, I love turning the pages, smelling that heavenly smell and like you, marking the end of the chapter etc. But when my parents bought me a Kindle Keyboard for my birthday last year, after I had been thinking of getting one, I immediately fell in love with it! And Netgalley is a plus too! ;D

    I've read on an iPad, but I didn't like it, I much prefer reading on a Kindle! :)

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    1. We are so alike in our love of physical books =) I think I would enjoy an actual e-reader if, say, Santa were to bring me one, but I'm not sure that I'd actually spend money on it =P But we'll see if reading on the iPad continues to be enjoyable!

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  3. Noooo we can't be friends anymore! Haha, just kidding ;)

    I don't own an ereader, but I appreciate their purpose. And I used to sell them...the biggest difference between reading on an actual ereader vs the ipad is the screen. An ereader isn't backlit like the ipad or a computer screen so it's easier on your eyes. It mimics the ink in a book much truer. The only issue was you couldn't read them in the dark without a lamp or a booklight, but now most ereaders are offered with a built in light which doesn't back-light the ereader, the light comes from the side so it's still easy on the eyes. The downfall of the ipad/computer screens is you can't really read them out in the sun all that well...but for at home, I think the ipad would be great because it's such a big screen, but not too big!

    ANYWAY! Lol, I am so the same as you! I totally check my book to see how many pages in the chapter, mark it with my book mark and then check again to see if I have time to squeeze in another chapter before I have to stop reading! I also like to be able to visualize how far along I am in the book by looking at where my bookmark is in it when the book is shut.

    I don't know if you are doing this, but I have heard from my breastfeeding friends that they love reading on their ereaders or tablets when they are breastfeeding because it allows them to read one handed and it's easier to prop up a tablet than a book...so I can totally see myself converting when that time comes :)

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    1. Oh, Brie, you crack me up! Fear not, I don't plan on becoming an e-reader convert. Just enjoying the fact that I can participate in reading unreleased books and creating book buzz prior to release date =)

      But I TOTALLY jumped aboard the e-reader train specifically for the ease of reading while breastfeeding! Perhaps I should do a post on that, hey? Reading hardcovers is next to impossible, paperbacks is slightly more practical, but the e-reader is a dream. Although hubby insists that the iPad be in "airplane mode" as he's freaked out about giving Marko brain cancer before he turns one =P

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    2. Haha - that's hilarious! But your hubby makes a good point! Yes, you SHOULD do a post on breastfeeding and reading! :)

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    3. I shall consider it =) And I forgot to mention in my reply that I also like looking at where my bookmark is in the book to see how far along I am! I couldn't quite word it properly, so I took that part out. On the iPad, though, it does have a little progress bar along the bottom, that shows that I'm on page # of #, so there is kind of a bookmark that you can look at. No idea how many pages are left in the chapter though. I also kind of like flipping through the book to get a sense of chapter length when I start a book. Books with never-ending chapters with no logical breaks are my GIANT pet peeve.

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    4. Haha - it IS hard to explain in words the bit about looking at where your bookmark is ;) I guess the progress bar on an ereader is a lot like the progress tracker on goodreads - which I actually really enjoy seeing how far along, percentage wise, I am in a book! :) Long chapters (or no chapters) are the worst! I feel like I read so much quicker when the book has short chapters.

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    5. Ha ha -- we are SO book twins. We must meet this summer!

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  4. I picked up an eReader for Amazon freebies and NetGalley. I never intended to replace my physical books with eBooks, and so far, I've stuck true to that. While I love my eReader for so many things, there is always a fear that something will happen to it and I'm without hundreds of books that I paid for!

    Reading on a Kindle is almost exactly like reading a real book, which is pretty neat. But I don't find that reading on one, over the other, is any easier or harder on my eyes.

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    1. I totally agree -- e-reading will never replace physical books for me either! And I couldn't even imagine losing an e-reader filled with books that you'd paid for ... does the Kindle not have some kind of back-up on a computer that your can archive your titles? That would be a useful feature to have =)

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  5. I've had my Kindle since Christmas - I was always a little bit reluctant, because like you I enjoy having the physical book in my hands, but it has been incredibly useful for travelling - I do long distance trains journeys quite often, and shorter ones to work, and it's easier than lugging around a book. I also like that I can put articles and papers on there as text files, and carry them around with me (although I can't annotate them in the way I'd like, which is annoying!). On the Kindle it marks the chapter length on the progress bar at the bottom of the page, so you can see when the next chapter break is coming up, but it's relative to the other chapters rather than an actual number-of-pages estimate. I think both have their place for me - at home I tend to go for the physical book, but ebooks are sometimes useful (and good for Netgalley stuff!).

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    1. I just borrowed an e-book from the library, which had the "pages remaining in the chapter" notation. The e-books from the library needed a different app than Netgalley did, so maybe that's why? It was nice to know how many pages I was committing to when I started a chapter though. And I'm actually considering a Kindle now -- gasp, I KNOW!

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  6. The title of this cracked me up. I'm glad you crossed over to the dark side. I'm a huge fan of the eReader because of my commute. I'm always bumped up against someone or standing up and it's a lot easier to read/"turn" pages with a swipe of my finger than turning pages when I'm holding two bags and standing really close to the person next to me. :)

    I do switch it up though. I realize I get super irritated when I read too many eBooks in a row and gladly switch over to a paperback. There's so reason why we can't have both!

    I do hope you wrote down the date of losing your eBook virginity so you can remember it FOREVER. ;) hahahah

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    1. Oh, Estelle, you cracked ME up!

      I can see how e-reading during a commute would be easier, especially if it's a long book. I can already see an e-reader being easier to handle for a massively huge book (like the one that you're currently reading!) I like to haul a book around with me, and have stayed away from some big chunky books specifically because they won't fit into my purse ;)

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  7. OMG... my favorite part about this entire post is the fact that you dont have a smartphone!!! I DONT EITHER :D I have a perfectly working "older" phone haha and I'm fine with it. i have a tablet and I just don't see the need. We still have a house phone(bAHHAHA.. i get laughed at so much for this) so what is the point??! I agree with you about ereading though... I love using it for netgalley and I buy a few ebook sales but my first choice is always the hardback... <3 And I hate the percentages... they mean nothing to me.. I go buy pages read lol.

    Lauren @ Lose Time Reading

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    1. Ha ha -- I have a house phone TOO! I have it because talking on the phone to my mom (which is usually over an hour) makes my head hurt if I'm on my cell! So you're note alone =)

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