Friday, July 9, 2010

Why Purchase An E-Reader?

Why purchase an e-reader? Books are better, aren't they? Well... yes and no.

Nothing beats a wonderful new book. Listening to it crack the first time you open it, and the smell of the ink and paper - oh, I'm swooning just thinking about it. What about an old book? That smell - nothing can compare! You just can't beat curling up with your favorite book and a cup of tea on a cold rainy day. Throw in a favorite chair, cat and a nice warm afghan, and you are as close to heaven as you can get! Yes, I love books.

Before I started reviewing books, I never even considered an e-reader. I saw the Kindle on Amazon and thought it was the dumbest gadget ever created. Who would give up a book for a cold, hard electronic device? I hated reading long articles on the PC, so why on earth would I consider that thing?! I certainly wouldn't fork that kind of money out for something so silly.

Then I started reviewing books. I was thrilled to become part of the reviewing community, and got involved with different book promoters. As time went on, I stumbled upon NetGalley, and thinking it was just like other PR places, signed up and requested my first book. At that time, one could request printed galleys, so that's what I thought I'd get. Every publisher that approved my request gave me a book in electronic format. That wasn't going to work for me at all. I hate reading on the PC! I forgot about NetGalley - well, as much as they'd let me. I kept getting emails for books I would love to read and review, and they continued to tempt me. Then a few emails came in offering books to review, but only in electronic format. I declined.

Little by little I found more electronic books being offered in places like the library, tons of free books all over the net, and places like Barnes and Noble offering free books to read even if you didn't have their e-reader. You could download and read on your PC. HUH!! Free books... Yah, but I hate reading on the PC!!

Well, I caved in and asked for an e-reader for my birthday. I had searched and searched on what type was best for me. I decided on a Nook. This device could read epub and pdf format besides Barnes and Noble's exclusive format just for Nook. That would work in all the places that I saw the free books, NetGalley and the library as well. It certainly sounded like it would do all I wanted and needed.

Hubby heard my request and bought me a Nook along with a nice cover (like the one in the photo) for my birthday/Mother's Day present. Honestly, I had huge reservations about asking for one, but after having it in hand, I've never looked back. I love my Nook. It's easy on the eyes, I can read books faster on it than I can with regular books, and the best part... It saves me money!

Yes, you read that correctly. The Nook saves me money. I know you are asking how, especially with all the talk about how e-books are more expensive than real books. Yes, sometimes that is true. Why, I haven't a clue, but the publishers decide on price and until they get things figured out, the prices will keep me from buying some of the new e-books. OK, so how does that save me money? It led me to look elsewhere to obtain books.

On top of the numerous free books that Barnes & Noble offers, the run some very nice promotions. Every Friday, they offer a free book for a limited time. That news comes in on your Nook or you can find it on the blogs at the B&N Book Clubs message boards. For example: Today's free book is "Weddings Can Be Murder" by Christie Craig.

Barnes and Noble also did a few other promotions this summer where they gave away an e-book a week for 5 weeks. One needed to visit a physical B&N store, however, they allowed one to pick up more than one coupon and give the extra one to a friend!! The other great promotion went over the 4th of July weekend. You could download up to 21 different Barnes & Noble Classics for free! Yes, they came from a selected batch, but wow! Have you ever seen a B&N Classic? They are fantastic with a lot of extras - not just the book itself. There's info on the author, the book and great timelines. My children have used them more than once for classes.

Speaking of classics, have you been to Project Gutenburg yet? One can download FREE books from over 33,000 public domain books. They are well formatted and so much nicer than those that you can get from those on Google. My son is a volunteer proof reader for them, so I know how much work goes into making these books as error-free as possible.

Another place I like to browse is Smashwords. Some of the authors I review for have their books posted there, and while many are there to buy, there are many that are free. Right now, they have an exciting sale going on called the Summer/Winter Sale, and it runs from July 1-31. With a coupon code, you can download some ebooks at a great savings - including a 100% savings on many books! There are a few that I downloaded that look like they will be really good reads.

For those that love the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre, Baen Free Library has many cool books to download. I love this place!!

The last place I'm going to focus on is the library. The library is a place where one can always get free books to read with a library card, so why would I care about free e-books from there? One trip to my library costs us about $10 in gas for a round trip. For me to borrow books, it costs a total of $20 - to pick them up and to return them. If I decide to get more, well, I'm forced into making a trip every 3 weeks. You can see how expensive that would get for me, so the library is more of a luxury and I haven't visited it in quite a long time. Now, with my Nook, I can sit at home and visit the library after everyone goes to bed. I can browse the shelves, pick out the books I want to read, and have them on my Nook within minutes. I can leave my computer, crawl in bed and start reading and never have to leave here, find a parking space, wait in line, and worse... be disappointed that the book I went for is no longer available or worse, put on a shelf somewhere else in the library by some inconsiderate patron. Another plus - no more library fines if I forget a book!!!

My Nook will pay for itself quickly, and if I sat down and figured it out, it probably already has. (and that was before their more than $100 price reduction!) What is really cool is, I can read books I might not have read because of finances, and I have a huge, huge library of free books at my fingertips at any moment. If one thinks about it, I could read free for the rest of my life (ok - the rest of the Nook's life) by using just the above resources!!

So what about new books? Yes, I still buy them - I'm a book nut, but now I buy those I really want to keep, instead of just those that are on sale.


  1. I agree! My Kindle saves me tons of money!

  2. nice post and I agree. I love my kindle. I am very curious about the nook though because Barnes and Noble is my favorite bookstore

  3. I should ask for one for my birthday. LOL



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