View Full Version : I think I know why I probably won't buy an eBook device...
Earlier this evening I was shopping Barnes & Noble. I had gone to see if I could find a book on a certain topic and to browse around other sections. Sometimes I like to go in and browse and see if something jumps out at me.
I couldn't find a book on the topic I had wanted, but that wasn't a big deal. I then went to the magazine section, the Science Fiction section, the sports section, and the manga section. Initially I picked up two books: An R.A. Salvatore paperback that concluded a trilogy I started months ago and a really slim volume on Truth, from the author of "On B.S." (Not the real title.)
By the time I left I placed everything down that I had picked up. Nothing felt compelling enough for me to walk out with it in my hand.
I had been reading this forums with a bit of gadget lust alternating between wanting a Sony Reader and not wanting one. Tonight I came face-to-face with why I would probably not do well with one. I am a some-times reader. I am the type of reader who will get on a kick to read books and I'll bulldoze through a few on a variety of topics. At some point, however, I'll simply tire of reading longer pieces and not really care to do it for awhile. The cycle repeats at some point.
I realize, also, that I do this with a lot of my hobbies. I like a great many things -- too many, in my estimation. I like video games, books on a number of topics, mobile computing (laptops, PDAs, phones, etc.), pod/vidcasts, computing, etc. And I will cycle through these things over and over as my interests wax and wane.
Easily, I can see myself using the Reader until I tire of reading books or I'll not be able to get something I want on it. And then it will sit collecting dust. Plus, the more difficult it is to get the stuff I want at the time on the unit, the more easily I'll tire of it. I'd prefer not to tire of a $350.00 device! I know some of you are putting RSS feeds and other things on it, but only after a bit of massaging that I'm just not sure I'll do.
I don't see this as a fault with eBook devices or the Sony Reader in general. Heck, it's a personal problem! ;) My problem is that I get tired of stuff. I get bored. I want to move on. Throughout my life, I've viewed people like the folks here with a bit of sadness. I think it would be quite nice to be interested in something so much that my enthusiasm remains high. I've never been able to accomplish that. :(
I can't say that others would forgo an eBook device for reasons similar to my own, but I thought you folks would find it interesting my though process. No offense is intended! ;)
11-05-2006, 12:55 AM
I think that what you have described about cyclical interest in reading is much more common than those who constantly are reading. There are so many activities and obligations and distractions in life, both good and bad!
In the past, I went long periods of time without reading except where necessary, and manuals/tech books/etc. But when I discovered e-books on my handheld, and then now on my Sony Reader, I found that it makes it more fun to read so I do it more. It combines my love of reading with my love of gadgets in a very practical way, and it also makes the whole thing easier on my eyes also. At the risk of offending e-ink fans, I'd have to say that my Treo LCD screen is even easier on my eyes than paper.
Actually, for me, in order of hardest on eyes to easiest on eyes, I guess it's...
CRT monitor -> LCD monitor -> paper -> Treo LCD -> e-ink
I'm sure that is different for everyone.
Plus, most of us probably agree that reading is a good use of time, so the Reader is actually something that pulls me toward a positive activity. In the reverse direction, TV is not generally an enriching activity. So I have my living room arranged specifically so that I don't end up watching TV every time I sit down, but only shows I specifically intend to watch.
Don't get me wrong... I don't know what is best for you, so I wouldn't try to persuade you to get a dedicated reader device if it's not right for you. But I found your topic interesting and just wanted to share my thoughts on it. :)
11-05-2006, 01:45 PM
Well said, Bob, well said.
@tcv: It sounds like your hobby is collecting hobbies. I do some of that myself, a little coin collecting, a little wood carving, a little rock hunting, etc. A difference for me is that reading is something that I never viewed as a hobby, I suppose, more just part of my life. :shrug:
In any case, don't worry about it too much, as Bob said, you'll work out what works best for you, and that's as it should be. :beam:
Heh. I get your meaning, NatCh. I suppose it's more accurate to say that I collect happy feelings. In other words, I do want to feel entertained in whatever I do, then I move on to something that does. (Except of course, my job which has its share of ups-and-downs and -- well -- it's WORK.)
I see also what you mean about viewing reading as a hobby. As I was listing my hobbies, as they are, I realized that reading could complement each of them!
11-05-2006, 07:27 PM
It's kinda weird to see the view of someone else. I can't imagine going to bed without reading at least 50 pages/screens of a book. I've always got a book on the go and if I'm likely to be waiting anywhere for a period of time then I'll take a book (now the reader) to pass the time.
I fade in and out of interests myself all the time along with forums and websites and all sorts of things. For me though, reading is always there. Collecting books and reading is just something I've never considered to be an interest but more of a background to everything else. It's always there but I don't notice it.
I think there's a difference for me between reading and reading books. Every night I peruse about 100 different sites and their associated RSS feeds. So, yeah, reading has always been there for me, too.
Reading _books_ is another matter. It's always seemed to me that books require you to be within a subject or story for an extended period of time. Weeks if you're as slow as I am. And I've never been a very good reader of multiple books at the same time. Ultimately, things just progress very slowly for me when I do that and, eventually, it starts to feel like a chore.
Ultimately, though, I must admit that I am very rigid about such things. For instance, I will finish a book even though I don't like it since I feel like I need to get the full worth out of it. My wife, on the other hand, can not do that at all. As soon as she knows she doesn't like a book, into the round-file it goes. Another example is what I've talked about here: Worrying about liking several things. Isn't that just ... odd? ;)
11-06-2006, 03:04 PM
There are two kinds of people in the world, tcv, those who are honest enough to admit they are odd, and everyone else. (I choose to be honest about my own oddness :grin: )
There's nothing wrong with being odd, it's perfectly normal, actually. :beam:
I rather think it's sad when someone seems too intent on being just like everyone else to realize that everyone else isn't just alike. :shrug:
11-07-2006, 01:06 PM
Asides for daily news or a couple of british football matches a week (I'm an Arsenal fan) I gave up TV for litterature. Do that in your life and I'm positive you'll read much more. But you must consider watching a couple movies for your couple's sake! :happy2:
As a kid, I used to be a book worm, we did'nt have TV then. After we got one I read less and less until I basically quit. Later...much later after my kids came in, I finally noticed why i did'nt read anymore. Now I'ts a personal law. Less TV more books...and MR. :)
Truthfully, I didn't start enjoying books -- I mean really sinking into books -- until I was about 25. I'm not sure why that was exactly, but I used to always keep an eye on the page count. How many pages did I read tonight? How many until the next chapter? Now I can let go quite a bit more. This Rifters book, I'm reading, for instance: I'm hardly aware of the page count, chapters, etc.
You don't find that you miss the snappy, episodic pace that TV can bring?
12-16-2006, 12:41 AM
TV is only an enriching endeavor when you can control what's on at any given point. I built a home theater PC a few months ago and now I only watch the shows I'm interested in; when I have the time set aside to do so.
As for reading, I haven't read heavily since I was a teen; nowadays it's more work and web related. My used book pile continues to grow rapidly though!
I think having my work and personal materials in the same place would benefit my recreational reading. Has anyone else found this to be true?
12-17-2006, 05:21 PM
I too have many hobbies, however the constants in my life are books and music, and I feel I just can't get enough of both. This is where the reader has filled that nitch for me. I don't leave home without my ipod or my reader. I've got a 4gb sd in my reader and it's getting filled up. I feel rich when I have so many books I know it'll take me forever to read them, and same goes for my ipod...only a 60gb, but it's filled to the hilt. :D
12-17-2006, 06:59 PM
We didn't have TV in our house until I was aged 15.
The only hobby I had was reading -- books loaned free from the public library.
It instilled in me a love of literature which has never left me and my only regret is that I can't live another 100 years so that I can read everything on my reading list.
I have 4 televisions in my house, including one in my study and I rarely watch any of them. When I do watch the TV I frequently read during the commercials.
My time is dominated with reading, and preparing new books for my ebook reader.
The only time I don't read is when I play bridge at my bridge club. But -- salvation -- in the club are shelves holding books that members bring in. The contents of the shelves are continually changing and we can take home any of them we want. I love to browse those shelves.
02-14-2007, 07:29 PM
I think there's a point here that's worth echoing. Most of us on this site read a lot--I mean, why else would be be at MobileRead.com? Because we read and we're mobile, right? But lots of people don't read much. I think there is a market for the pure reader, but I think most reading will be done on multifunction devices. I love my eBookWise, but I read at least as much on my Palm. Why? Because I have my Palm with me all the time--I use it for other things (and it can fit in my pocket).
Some people won't read no matter what we do, but if we make it easy for them, there's a chance to get them reading. I think easy means low cost of entry--and a $350 reader is not that.
I justified spending 350$ on the Sony reader like this: for 350 have a library of all the classic works just like a book (without eye restrain)
To tell you the truth sometimes I feel like a cheap laptop would have been a better investment.
Also I realized how little I read -- not counting all the online news, onlince reference works and things like that.
As the reader fits nicely in my pockets and "opens up" where I left off I can steal a little time here and there (e.g. while riding the elevator) and do more reading. I really started to like it.
re: reading in the living room
hmmm watching TV is more social
would be interesting to somehow making reading a social activity -- like book club reading used to be, just less nerdy
a giant eInk screen in the living room maybe :)
02-14-2007, 08:14 PM
a giant eInk screen in the living room maybe :)I don't know about social, but I want one of those! :grin:
02-15-2007, 04:03 AM
I would say posting on MobileRead is fairly social. ;)
[just deleted a rather large discourse on TV being a social activity since it sounded fairly off topic, personal and made my home life sound rather, uh, strange (TV habits of girlfriend being completely out of context--I know, sounds intriguing huh? Trust me, it really isn't)]
Anyway, keeping on topic for the thread...
I can completely sympathize with what you say, tcv. The only difference being the main topic of reading. I plow through projects, play games, and so on only to temporarily abandon each if they are not completed before my interest fades. On the other hand, I have always been a bookworm from an early age, not to mention almost constantly reading if my immediate attention is not required. Cereal boxes anyone? I'm the only technology geek I know that actually reads the manual (well, maybe not first, but eventually--I even read the Sony Reader manual front to back). Basically, if a book isn't handy, and I've got the opportunity, consider it read.
Now, I will say that having the Reader has made reading books much more convenient and judging by consumption over the last month-and-a-half, much more productive. I would say that even for an on and off reader, the device would allow you to do more reading when you are in the mood, and keep your place when you're taking a break. I suspect if the price was lower, it would almost be a no-brainer for you, but as has been mentioned above, given time, I'm sure you will work out what is best for you. :)
02-15-2007, 11:40 PM
Wow! I thought I was the only one with ADD when it comes to many things. Like you, I tend to collect things and some things I never find my way back to, while others I have trouble staying away from (things that tend to absorb most of my time when I know I should be doing something more productive; e.g., using the computer instead of stuff like... paying the bills, etc.). Hadn't ever really summed it up as you have, so this puts a unique perspective on how I see things. I always thought I was just a major procrastinator with gathering so much, but I read somewhere, sometime that I was just a "collector." Too many hobbies w/o enough time in the day; there is so much I'd like to do, I just never get around to it or get caught up in something else. I guess where we really differ, in regards to this, is how we unwind at the end of the day. I usually tend to drop into a book for anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours (depends on how good the book is, not what time I have to get up), though I guess you unwind by surfing the Internet (this would just get me into trouble with my better half ;) ). I think what's neat about eBooks is that if a book loses my attention, I can mark my place, switch genres or even style; i.e., manga vs. regular, and come back later if I so choose. There for a while I had a problem with finishing books, but I started keeping track of when I started/finished, who wrote it, what it was about, and how I rated it; this helped for a while and kept me going about finishing good books and let me know just how bad some where. While it helped me quite a bit at the time, I don't do this anymore, but who knows... I may start again, if I ever get motivated to keep track again.
Good luck with finding what suits you best; after all, it's what makes you happy that matters the most in life!