Monday, December 14, 2009

The Kindle and Other e-book Readers

Christmas brings with it lots of catalogues and shopping, and I find, lots of ideas for things that I'd really like to have! Lately my mind has been on the idea of getting a new mobile phone, perhaps even an iphone. All the apps make it a one stop shop for phone, music, photos/video, internet and personal organisation. Not to mention, it has an e-reader.

My husband has been warning me that using your iphone for everything can cost a lot! Apparently the trick is to make sure that your internet access is via your own home network rather than charged as phone calls. Also, he reminds me that if you have one device for everything (i.e. all your eggs in one basket), then disaster strikes if something happens to that precious device. So I don't think I'm getting an iphone any time soon.

I am, though, quite taken with the idea of an e-reader. For uni this year, one of the readings was via an e-book which I borrowed from the uni library. First I had to install some software to act as my library, then I downloaded the book, and read it on screen. That's the sum total of my experience with e-books. But the idea of a small, portable device that can hold hundreds of books is enticing. Also, many e-books are available for free, and (I've heard) others are very cheap.

I have heard though, that Australian users can find it a bit frustrating because copyright prevents us from owning many of the e-books that are readily available elsewhere. Bummer.

My friend Ruth, at Skerricks has been lobbying (no success so far) to receive a Kindle, or similar, to review. Let me tell you, she deserves it. She loves her library, loves her kids, and works hard to continually improve service. She never rests on her laurels, but is always trying new things. She is ever the optimist, and seems tireless. Today she posted about e-readers here and provided a link to a very interesting blog post and slide show about e-readers and e-books in Australia. Check it out here.

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