Monday, November 30, 2009

More On eBooks- Content and Devices

I came across yet another post on dedicated eBook readers here. I was going to leave a comment, but it's on an idiotic site that expects you to join their "community" just to post a comment. I'm no fan of that. Just let me post a comment and move on. I'm not interested in sticking around your "community", and if you're that needy, I'm less interested. A person can only maintain so many logins.


This post refers to the one I wrote about yesterday, about whether or not eBook readers will make good Christmas gifts (it took the cowardly way of referring to a non-specific cultural observance "holiday".)


I want to take a step back here. Let's forget about "eBook Readers" for a minute. Let's talk about eBooks. We don't want to confuse the two. eBooks and eBook readers are separate things. 


An eBook is what we could call "content". An eBook reader is what we would call a device. A platform is the content plus the device or devices that the content can be used on.


Personally, I would like the ability to read my content on just about any device. Thanks to Kindle, at present, I can. I can read the same book on my iPhone, my Acer netbook, my Dell desktop, and soon on my BlackBerry. At no point do I have to get a physical Kindle. I hope Amazon sticks to this model, of selling content, or books. Personally, I think Amazon will make more money in the long run if they stick to selling books and work to make those books accessible on more devices.


Amazon could have gone the other way. They could have decided "We want to make money selling Kindles, so we'll publish books in Kindle format but require you to buy a Kindle to read them". They didn't do that, and they made money from me because I can read my Kindle books on my iPhone. I'm not locked in to a Kindle device.


But I am locked into the format. I can read my Kindle books as long as I'm using Kindle software. I have to worry about how long the Kindle platform will last. Will I one day find my Kindle books unreadable?


I know Barnes & Noble has an eBook reader for the iPhone. I haven't downloaded it yet. I also know they're coming out with an physical eBook reading device called "The Nook". I promised in my last post that I would do some reading on it so I can comment intelligently. I haven't done that yet. It's on my to-do list. But I'm not interested in it at present. I tend to stick with Amazon for one reason:


Amazon makes it cheap and easy.


Almost any time I need a book, Amazon usually has the best price. I even have an app for my iPhone where I can take a picture of a book, upload it to Amazon, and get back what prices Amazon has for that book. It's almost always cheaper on Amazon. Then, if I spend more than $25, the shipping is free. With Kindle, I can buy and start reading books instantly.


I honestly haven't had a reason to go anywhere else. Barnes & Noble at present hasn't given me a good reason to look into their format or inventory. Neither has Sony.


Let's get back to the point: should you buy an eBook reader (that is, a dedicated device) for yourself or a loved one for Christmas (or any non-specific cultural observance you may buy presents for)?


Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider one:



  1. Do you, or said loved one, read a lot of books? Then, you probably should.

  2. Do you, or said loved one, travel a lot? I'm content to read books on my iPhone, but iPhone 3G battery life isn't good, so if I were traveling a lot, I might want a Kindle.

  3. Are you, or said loved one, already overloaded with gadgets? If all you have is a "dumbphone", or no phone, but meet the other two points, then go for it. Somebody said that the max number of gadgets most people are willing to carry is 3. I've carried 3 gadgets. I'd say it's my limit.


By the way, if you'd like to buy a Kindle for yourself or a loved one, I'll make it quick and easy for you. You can buy it through my affiliate link right below. Amazon will gift wrap it:

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