From The Charlotte Observer:
E-readers such as Kindle hold hundreds of books. But they aren't perfect – yet.
I especially appreciated the sidebar about the various ways one can enjoy a book. There were some services mentioned that I was unaware of.
WAYS TO ENJOY A BOOK
Need a scorecard to keep up with the changing technology that brings you books, music and movies? Here's the latest on formats offered by the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County:
CASSETTE TAPES: Days are numbered. The library can no longer replace titles or add new ones.
VHS tapes: Ditto. The library can't replace or add titles.
CDs: Patrons' favorite format for audiobooks.
DVDs: Patrons' favorite format for movies.
PLAYAWAYS: A loaner MP3 player that lets you listen to one popular-title book. You supply earphones, or buy earbuds from the library for $1. A good option for folks who don't own MP3 players.
NETLIBRARY, OVERDRIVE AND OTHER ONLINE DATABASES: Online services that let you download audiobooks, e-books, movies, music, periodicals and newspapers onto computers and some MP3 players.
For now, the technology doesn't work with the most popular MP3 players – iPods and Zunes. But by summer's end, you'll be able to get some titles. Don't expect current best-sellers.
The technology also doesn't work with Kindles or Sony Readers. Those companies sell titles in their own specific formats.
Services are available on the library's Web site, www.plcmc.org.
And the paper vs Kindle comparison.
Lose or damage a paperback, you're only out a few bucks. Lose your Kindle and you're out hundreds of dollars.
Just by holding the book, you know how long it is and how much you've got left to read.
Larger pages and color printing produce high-quality photos, charts and illustrations. The small-screen black-and-white Kindle can't match them.
Notes you make in margins are immediately visible. You can make copious margin notes on the Kindle, but you've got to click to see them.
Never needs a charge.
No buttons to push.
ADVANTAGES OF KINDLE:
E-books don't take up space in your house, your luggage, your moving boxes. The Kindle can hold 200 books, plus hundreds more on a memory card. Amazon also keeps copies of your downloads for you.
Production uses fewer resources, no trees.
Buy a book with a few clicks, almost anywhere in the United States. The book downloads and you're ready to read.
Built-in dictionary lets you click on a word to get the definition.
Lets you change the type size.
Allows you to search within a book for a word or phrase.
Lets you download free chapters before you decide whether to buy.
Includes free Internet access, so you can surf the Web and check e-mail.