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Old 08-19-2008, 12:24 PM   #1
CommanderROR
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MobileRead ebook stories

Hello dear mobilereaders,

I think it is time to tell a story, a story about ebooks and how they change the world...for every one of us.
I'd like to collect your stories here, how you found out about ebooks, when you started reading more and more digital content and whether you made the switchover to ebooks completely or still read pbooks on a regular basis.

I'll start with my story:

I was always a heavy reader, eating through loads of books, some from the library, but many from my local bookstore and later from amazon. When I started studying and move away from my parent's place I soon found out that my shelf-space could never keep up with my book-supply. I tried to get more books from the library, but most of the time I could not find what I wanted (it's not easy to get English books in a German library, especially relatively new ones) and so eventually gave up on the library completely.
I also tried to sell many of the books I had already finished, but found that nobody really wanted them (they are mainly paperbacks) and the fes I could sell went for a price that was probably far below the "heating value" of the paper they contained (no, I never burned books, don't worry).

About 6 years ago I started hearing about ebooks more and more, but the books I wanted were never available in digital form and so I did not take the plunge but kept watching the development.
Approximately four and a half years ago I bought a cheap PDA in a closing sale that I wanted to use for ebooks. The supply of legal ebooks was still dismal, but the Darknet and PG offered enough reading material. During that time I still read many pbooks but gradually started reading more and more on the little PDA. The low battery life and small (320x240) screen frustrated me from the start, but it was all I had. While I was searching the web for alternatives, I stumbled on mention of the "Librié" and when I searched for more information on that device I discovered mobileread.com
That was somewhere between 3.5 and 4 years ago.
At first I browsed the forums passively, searching for information on the Libiré at first which I discounted quickly because of the fact that it was hard to get in Germany, expensive and not really very user-friendly.
Not much later however, the first rumours of the iRex Iliad and the Sony Reader (Librié 2 bascially) started to surface.
Fired by my curiosity about eink and the possibilities it held for the ebook market I decided to join mobileread.com and actively take part in discussions to find out more about this upcoming technology.
About half a year later I owned my first eink device, the iRex Iliad and could finally get rid of my crappy little PDA reading machine and enjoy the benefits of a large, nicely contrasted and eye-friendly reading machine.

The Iliad was rather expensive, 650€ plus shipping, and that heavy price was part of the reason for a vow I toot there and then...a vow to never buy a paper book again. To be entirely honest, I have broken that vow a few times over the last few years, mainly for books from a series that I had started and could not get the next volume as ebook, but paper books moved from nearly 100% of my reading material to nearly 0.
I wrote that the purchase of the Iliad was the big turning point, and in a way it was, however, in those early days there was still a lot of hassle associated with ebooks, you had to convert everything to PDF because that was the only working format on the Iliad back then and that was manual work, no predefined templates, no helpful tools from iRex.
Saying that I spent as much time preparing books than I did grading them would be overdoing it, but it sure sometimes felt that way...
Also, back int hose days a good amount of my reading materials came from the darknet since the Iliad could not read any of the popular DRM format and the supply of books in these formats was also still rather weak.

Along the way I got the STAReBOOK as a review device (having risen to Editor status on mobileread.com by then) and was very fascinated by that device because it was a lot faster and slimmer (in both shape and function) than the feature-rich but also slow,battery-weak and cumbersome Iliad, however, the company vanished without a trace shortly after launching the STAReBOOK and the promised firmware update for the device which should have fixed many of the bugs and intruded new features and support for more ebook formats never happened. So I soon returned to my trusty old Iliad...

The biggest step (in my opinion) happened later that year, when iRex offered a firmware update that added mobipocket support to the Iliad! Thanks to this move, I was finally able to get almost al my books in ebook format...and I could get them legally. This was the biggest step forward...

Many things have happened since, the Cybook Gen3 was launched, the Kindle flickered it's way into existence and brought ebooks even closer to mainstream, my STAReBOOK found a new function as a Cybook Gen3 (same hardware, different firmware...nice...^^) and I can now comfortably browse online stores like booksonboard, choose what I want to read and have it on either of my reading devices in a few minutes, faster and easier than going to the bookstore and buying it there..and cheaper too most of the time...

I have not pirated an ebook for a long time, there is no need anymore, I have not bought a pbook for a long time either (if it's not available as ebook I don't read it...that'll teach the narrow-minded publishers...) and I'm a happy, fully-converted ebook lover.
Of course there are things that could still do with some improvement, many books are still not available as ebooks, the eink devices still have their shortcomings, but all in all I think ebooks are finally (after amyn fals tries) ready for prime-time and the mass market!

THE END!


Please excuse my lengthy ramble, if you are still awake then now would be the right moment to sit back, think back to your first encounter with ebooks and tell us all about it!
Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:29 PM   #2
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I came across electronic text before I came across eBooks.

There was TidBITS, which I read from the start in 1990, a weekly newsletter about the Apple Macintosh, first in Hypercard and then in setext format.

There was InterText, the on-line SF magazine that published from 1991 to 2004.

I was vaguely aware of Project Gutenberg from around 1996 onwards.

I first came across proper eBooks at Webscription.net in January 2002. Lots of great SF at great prices, with archives back to 1999. Wonderful.

But all these I could only read on my Macintosh - not the best way.

Then in late 2002 I bought a Sony Clie, the SL-10. This was one of the first Palm OS devices to have a 32x320 hi-res screen. It went everywhere with me.

I found and joined fictionwise in January 2003. Lots of books from lots of sources. And Analog SF magazine in eBook format! Splended!

In November 2003, I realised that DRM was going to be a hassle - I even write an email to Fictionwise about it, explaining that I wouldn't be buying any more DRMed eBooks, because I was just getting a taste of what problems it could cause me in the future. And, except for one dictionary, I didn't buy another DRMed eBook until this year*.

I bought lots of other eBooks though! Mostly from Fictionwise, but also from webscription.net.

I moved on from the SL-10 to the SJ-20. One of the best LCD screens for reading books - monochrome TFT LCD, easy to read with backlight or in bright daylight too. Only in half-light, too bright for the backlight yet to0 dark for reflective viewing did it fail.

My paper book buying almost ceased after 2002. The convenience of always having the books in my pocket was so great.

And so it's continued - various PDAs, mobile phones, and now a CyBook Gen3. None perfect, but all improving.

I very rarely buy paper books for myself now. Nearly all my purchases are eBooks (Mobipocket by preference at the moment).

Except reference books. No eBook reader so far is big enough of fast enough for me to replace paper reference books. But no doubt there'll be one soon.

Paul

*When MobiDeDRM appeared. Yes, that's right. A tool that strips DRM has increased sales of DRMed books, at least to me. I've even written to the publishers to tell them so.

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Originally Posted by CommanderROR View Post
now would be the right moment to sit back, think back to your first encounter with ebooks and tell us all about it!
Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:57 PM   #3
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Re: Mobilread ebook stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR View Post
Please excuse my lengthy ramble, if you are still awake then now would be the right moment to sit back, think back to your first encounter with ebooks and tell us all about it!
Thanks!
I carry my Palm T|X with me everywhere. I was carrying a paperback to read during pauses in my life when I discovered Baen Books and found I could read Sci-Fi books on my Palm much more conveniently than carrying a book instead of a paperback. Then the sony Reader came out. It was not Mac friendly, had no search function and otherwise had drawbacks, including not being able to see one before purchase. I held off for a year. Then the Kindle came out and erased all my objections to the Sony so I bought one sight unseen but with a 30 day return guarantee if I didn't like it. Needless t say, I have not returned the Kindle. I loaded the Baen book onto the Kindle, searched a key word on the page I was on with the Palm and was off and running. I have bought mostly non-DRM books and have enough to last me until publishers wake up to the realization that they are killing their own sales by DRM and e-babel.
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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I found about e-ink on Amazon when they started advertising the Kindle. I knew there were electronic books, but I thought the only way to read them was via a computer or a PDA. I don't like reading on the computer. I thought of buying some books for my PDA just to have something to read when waiting. I didn't know about Gutenberg and the site I explored looking for electronic books didn't seem to have much of a selection and the books were way too expensive.

I read the advertising about the Kindle. I read all the customer reviews. I searched the books I like to read to see if they were available and the price. I had been telling my husband how great the Kindle sounded. I guess I must have talked about it a lot because when I told him that I thought I was going to buy it, he said he had already ordered it for my Christmas present. That was in November--since it was sold out--I didn't get it until Jan. 18. I haunted the blogs and found mobileread.com while I was waiting for it to come.

I love my Kindle. I'm not saying it's perfect. I'd love a touch screen. I would change the order of the prev. page button and the next page button on the left side. I would not make the buttons smaller. Folders and a choice of colors would be nice.

I haven't read a non electronic book since I got my Kindle. I will not be buying any paper books unless they are picture books, how to, or cook books. I buy about 10 electronic books a month. This is about the same amount as before I got the Kindle. What has changed is that I now buy them from Amazon. Before it was from the local Barnes & Noble.

My minimum requirements for any future electronic reader: e-ink, something like Whispernet, page turning buttons as convenient as the Kindle's, reasonable prices, the books I want to read, dictionary look up, and basic web.
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:30 PM   #5
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I've read electronic texts on PCs for many years at work but I rarely would read at home for pleasure on the PC. Purchased my first PDA in 2003 for the calender and contact functions and shortly afterward discovered eReader.com and proceeded to spend $$$ on ebooks. I thoroughly enjoyed reading on my PDA, just had to be mindful of battery levels. When I had to replace my first PDA I bought the largest screen available for reading.

By then I was also purchasing from ebooks.com, Baen and a couple of very small ebook publishers. I didn't find Fictionwise until last summer and immediately fell in love with the selection and the prices as a club member.

I can remember seeing early ebook readers in store windows back in the late 80's but IIRC you had to buy books on little cartridges and the selection was abysmal. Reading on my PDA was fine but I really wanted a much larger screen and something that wasn't an LCD because of eye strain. Last summer or early fall I was in Border's and saw the Sony 505. Loved the display but didn't care for the ergonomics. Plus I'd been burned before by Sony on software and wasn't impressed with the Sony bookstore or the proprietary format.

Along came the Kindle and my membership here at MobileRead. Even though I'd been burnt by Amazon when they stopped supporting the PDFs that they sold, I'd had very positive experiences otherwise plus I'd only purchased less than a half dozen inexpensive PDFs from them. *If* the Kindle had only supported the AZW format I never would have purchased it but I purchased it because I could load other formats. And after certain tools were published I can read any ebook on my Kindle.

I purchased other ebook readers to test them out but I always go back to the Kindle because it's not tied to my PC or WiFi to get content. Where I live I have excellent cell coverage so downloading new content is a piece of cake.

My Palm clone died and I replaced it with an iPod Touch. With the eReader software I can easily read most of my collection and I use the Touch as a backup reading device.
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:55 PM   #6
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I was teaching an adult Sunday School class and noticed that some of the real geeks were reading their scriptures on PDA's. I thought that it looked like a good idea, and would cut down on things that I would have to lug around to teach my class.

My employer offered to buy a PDA for us, and I went ahead and said that I'd like one. I really liked the syncing of my calendar and contacts. You really can't beat trying to set up a meeting and being able to pull your calender out of your pocket and check it (I know you can do this with a day timer type binder but the size really kept me from implementing it correctly. I always found myself without it.) I found I could download technical documents in PDF document and read them when I got a chance. And yes I put my scriptures on it. Next I started jotting down notes on the thing. Then I started doing it while I was studying the scriptures so I always had my notes and scriptures together. I now have no idea where my pScriptures even are. I know they must be somewhere because I had them when I got my first PDA and I haven't thrown them out, but I don't have any idea where they are.

So then I started branching out to see if there were other things that I could find to read. One of the first things that I found was a little program that could turn books from the GospeLink library into YanCEyware Books. YanCEware is the program that I use to read the scriptures with on a Windows Mobile platform. So now I was reading technical stuff (boring), scriptures (spiritually uplifting but can only be consumed in small amounts daily, at least for me), religious books (fasicnating). So I started looking around for sources of fiction to read.

Let me take a step back. Like probably every person on this site I am a voracious reader, and so is everyone in my family. Our families idea of a perfect Saturday evening is where everyone sits around the living room and reads their own book. The problem is that there is no way we can have room for all the books that we read if we keep them all, so we make/made heavy use of the public libraries.

So now I'm looking around for fiction to read on my PDA and I find the Gutenberg Project. OK but not really what I'm looking for. Then David Weber wrote, I think it was the 10th book of the Honor Harrington series and I reserved it from the library, and it came with the free CD in the back. I didn't even know what it was when I first stuck it in my computer, but I figured it out. Nearly nivana. Suddenly I had lots of fiction to read, and the kind of fiction I've loved since I was a kid, and a link to a site where I could feed my addiction with very reasonable priced books, with no problem of where to store them, and (as has already been mentioned) a catalog that went back to 1999. Also, no DRM, which I didn't even know was a problem because I first bought only from Webscriptions. Then I visited my brother and he had some Vince Flynn books, which I love, and I decided to read them on my PDA, but to do that I had to buy from another site, and was introduced to the nightmare of DRM. It took me 2 days to finally get all the stars aligned so that I could read my legally purchased e-book (I believe it resolved around the fact that I was on vacation and was using my brothers computer to buy the e-books, but my PDA was not synced to his computer, and... anyway I was convinced that I didn't want to buy any thing that was DRMed again.)

I can't say that I don't read pBooks anymore. I do like reading religious/philosophy oriented books, and that's a small market to begin with, so I haven't noticed that eBooks are even an option. I don't know why. I'm pretty sure that all books are, at one time or another, before being printed, in an e-format of some kind. The cost of offering it as an eBook would seem to be small once the original cost of setting up a distribution system are met, and it seems like there are services such as Webscriptions and Fictionwise that sell books for different publishers so how much can that be really? Oh well I know that I would buy more e-books from different publishers if they did it more like Baen.

I hate sounding like a Baen/Webscriptions commercial when I'm on this site. I guess I should just count my blessings that they do things the way they do, and I like what they offer. I used to never really pay attention to publishers, just writers, but I'm now starting to notice publishers more and more since it is they that set the distribution, meaning DRM, policies and I won't support DRM of books.

And now a somewhat ironic note. My employer now no longer furnishes PDAs because of security concerns, so after getting me addicted to the things I can no longer use my PDA at work, which I now really hate because I'm back to the old way of doing things "Let me get back to you on that meeting until I can get back to my office and check my schedule." And when I say no longer furnishes PDAs I mean no longer allows PDAs where I work. I'd gladly bring my own since they are so helpful, but not allowed.

Last edited by marvmax; 08-19-2008 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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It's odd, but it feels to me like e-books have always been here, but if I think way back, I think Palm Pilots and iSilo are responsible for my interest in e-books. I used to clip all my web reading and read it on the go. That's how I discovered MobileRead... even in the very early days, Alex had all this amazing help and so many tips for getting content on your PDA. And, remarkably, everyone here was really nice to each other and very knowledgeable.

Then the content I read on my PDA just grew and evolved to things like books and, well, anything I could put on the device! Especially as decent rechargeable batteries and hi-res screens came onto the scene. Now I still read mostly on my Treo smartphone, but the Sony Reader e-ink device has expanded my reading. Thanks to PDFRead, I can read pdf files on it when I have my glasses handy, and even books scanned without OCR can be read that way. That's something that just can't be done on a PDA. Unfortunately, it isn't with me all the time or have a backlight like my phone, so they complement each other well.

I still enjoy paper technical books, but for straight novels there's nothing as fun and convenient as an e-book. And until I started reading e-books, I think I had pretty much stopped reading books for fun. Now I always seem to be reading a book or audiobook (on Pocket Tunes loaned from the library). Even when I can only sneak a few minutes here and there when I'm waiting for something.

So for me, as with many others I suspect, it's e-books (and the enthusiasm of others here at MR, and the growing availability of e-books such as in the upload section on this site) that's directly responsible for me doing a lot of reading for fun. Work reading will always exist, but fun reading is another joy altogether.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:50 PM   #8
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I've had PDAs since shortly after they started to become popular (Newton MP2000, Palm III), but didn't use them for reading so much as writing. I take notes in lots of odd places, sometimes for work, sometimes for school, sometimes for various creative projects I'm working on.

But I do read voraciously, including re-reading practically everything I enjoyed the first time through, and my paper book collection seemed to be growing without bounds. Every time we moved, there was that pressure to cull the books-- a pressure I resisted as far as I could, feeling I'd be losing old friends. When I was younger, I fantasized about being able to afford to have a whole room dedicated to books-- a personal library. Now I fantasized about being able to reduce it all to bytes, even if I'd have to view them on a laptop, but it didn't look like the publishers were ever going to get behind ebooks, and the thought of having to scan and OCR all my books made me shudder. (I actually daydreamed about becoming wealthy enough to be able to afford to hire someone to do it for me.)

I heard about the Rocket eBook reader and other early attempts at dedicated readers, but they seemed expensive as single-function devices, and more to the point, there were few books available that I wanted to read. I didn't know about darknet scans in those days, or I probably would have started reading on the Newton.

About 3 years ago, I started seeing news about e ink. It was fascinating, but there didn't seem to be many devices using it. The Libre was only available in Japan, and had what looked like really obnoxious DRM. And where would I find books to read? My Japanese is pretty limited.

I kept following e ink news, though, and eventually stumbled across Mobileread about a year and a half ago. The iLiad had arrived by then, though I didn't think I'd ever be able to afford one. But through this site, I learned about other options I'd overlooked before, and new sources of books like Baen. I asked for and was given an eBookwise as a birthday gift in January 2007. By May of that year I was able to purchase a second-hand iLiad from someone who wanted a Sony Reader instead, justifying the purchase because I hoped to be admitted as a doctoral student shortly (which has since happened), and between the annotation capabilities of the iLiad and the software expansion potentials of Linux, I could see a lot of ways that this tool could help with my degree. Since then, I've used my iLiad to read PDF journal articles, write notes in classes, work meetings, and at conferences, and-- of course-- read fiction. And I've finally found sources of ebook versions of many of the books in my existing paper collection that I want to re-read, as well as new favorites. (It certainly helps that I like science fiction!)

There are things I wish could be improved about the iLiad. It works very well for reading fiction, but the slow boot time makes it difficult to use for taking notes except in extended settings like classes or meetings. I wish it could recognize handwriting, at least in the background for search purposes, so I could more easily find notes I've previously written. There are a lot of user interface improvements that could be made. It would be great if I could run PDA software that would sync with my work calendar (which was why I eventually switched from the Newton to the Palm III). And I really wish it had integrated lighting, e.g. a light-wedge.

But it meets my immediate needs, and now that there are several more popular readers competing in the marketplace, I'm hoping that more and more publishers will decide to get into electronic publishing. I still have that dream of being able to replace all my books with bytes.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:02 PM   #9
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for decades i've had a 3 - 7 book a week habit that has filled my house. used books, new books - i stay away from hardbacks whenever possible because of space issues. a few years ago, maybe 2001, i noticed the baen's bar link in the back of a book. i didn't think about it for a few weeks, but i work online and ran out of things to read one night so off i went. i was thrilled and started reading my first free ebook. when my eyestrain got too bad to continue, i printed the rest of it (which took tons of paper and ran us out of ink).

i was very excited to be able to download a new book whenever i wanted to read, but eyestrain was still a challenge. then my son told me about the sony reader - he had seen one in person, and felt it was the perfect solution to my overflowing bookshelves and sore eyes. i thought about it for months, checking it out at a few places before i finally went looking for more info online and found this place. within a few days, i realized that the cybook gen 3 was more my speed.

ah, life is good! i no longer run out of books because whenever i finish one, i can download another. sure, some books aren't available in ebook format, but many are. i've re-bought some of my favorites as ebooks, and i've had so much fun now that i have all the ozbooks and lousia may alcotts at my fingertips from gutenberg.

i still buy graphic novels full sized, and do buy some paper books, but i always go for the ebook versions when possible. our growing pile of books is no longer taking over the house, and i gave away some of my classics to make space.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:53 AM   #10
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I think I always knew about reading online from day one. That would have been in the 1980s, way before the Internet. I did lots of reading on my Timex-Sinclair what, Z80? and the 2048 color Sinclair that followed it. I read on the Adam Coleco as well. But it wasn't till I got a job where there was a 4.77 mHz pc with whatever was one step up from monochrome that I started doing a lot of reading.

Now I read on my old Dell Latitude -- I love Project Gutenberg and have read lots of Henry James, for example. I am now on Jane Austen. Dickens is another favorite, of course.

A lot of my mobile reading is really mobile listening. I think that the "natural" way would be for a book to scroll by on the screen, synchronized to a voice reading. So I've spent a lot of time with the voices from nextup.com which allow any text to be converted into voice and you can read and listen simultaneously, which I think is the ultimate. But in the future I think many, many books will be released on one package, as an ebook and an audiobook at the same time.

By the way, readers -- have you checked out wowio.com? There are lots of contemporary books there available for free for reading online. Or, you can buy a .pdf if you really must have them on your computer.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:57 AM   #11
Tattncat
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I have been reading steadilly since 3rd grade (Dante's Inferno and then the Box Car Twins (bit of a dichotomy)). Everything was either pback or Hardback. And at the rate I read probably much like Basschick, if not more; I run out of room periodically and have to purge. I give the oldies to the Library, for resale. But, as you know that gets expensive!

My daughter showed me the Sony PRS-505 last October, by the end of the month I had it in hand. I haven't looked back since. My goal is to obtain all my favorites as well as every thing new, that I choose to read.

My eBook goes everywhere, with the ablity to load Doc files; I have pretty much replaced my day timer. All I want is more books.
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:09 AM   #12
Darqref
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Location: Seattle area
Device: Rocket PRO, gen3, Pocketbook360
Like everyone else, I read a LOT. Unlike most of my family, I got hooked on Science Fiction in Jr High, and mostly bought that since. I've had a computer since my first apple ][ and have always read *some* things electronically, but not a lot of fiction until the web came around. By that time I was working in software test, and eventually had ready access to the web as part of my job. Sometime in the mid 90s I found a copy of Locus magazine, which had a list of sf that was scheduled to be published over the next couple of months. Nirvana! Shortly after that I started looking for publisher web sites as a side effect of looking for information about publishing schedules.

Somewhere in all this mess, I heard about a Rocket ebook. Sounded good, but I refused to buy something like that unseen, since it was priced above my flinch factor. Then I stunbled across the sample chapters at Baen, and found one book where the COMPLETE TEXT of the book had been included in the sample (The Apocolypse Troll, by David Weber). I thought it was a mistake, but shortly after that Baen started it's Webscription plan, and I finally found a local retailer that had a Rocket in stock. I looked at it, tried the screen, and decided that since it didn't flicker, I could read it well enough. I've bought every webscription since then (except for one month that I missed due to timing - when I went back and looked for it, I discovered I already had all the books in that month, and didn't buy it.) Baen's Bar became a cohesive community, and my biggest regret is that most of their authors don't come to Seattle much, unless their a GOH at NorWesCon. The great snippet hunt (for snippets of Lois Bujold's A Civil Campaign) was neat, and there was one delirious week or two when a jointly-compose epic about the adventures of skippy splashed all over - close to a thousand messages over two weeks.

(side note - you must understand skippy - he'd fit right in the Lounge here. It started in a Mercedes Lackey novel, when she red-shirted (tuckerized? I don't think he ended up dead) a person who hung around the bar - the character made a comment something like "no I'm not Rob, I'm his evil twin Skippy". Since then that character has become endemic around the Bar, even though the character's person mostly doesn't hang around any more. skippy always uses small letters, because he needs to avoid the capital gains tax. snicker)

At the start, I bought a few ebooks with Rocket's drm, but that sank quickly when NuvoMedia was sold (multiple times?). Most of what I bought came from Embiid books, with one or two others. Since then, I have ONE remaining book with Rocket drm that has not been re-released in Baen formats. (It was a sad day when embiid went south, but very good when the stuff that I liked drifted over to Baen.) That one book is one I've bought in hardback; bought in hardback-priced ebook; bought multiple times in paper and given away, such that new people ended up buying everything the author wrote. I am NOT going to buy another copy in ebook, unless *maybe* if it comes available in Baen format or Fictionwise multi AND it's priced much less than paperback.

I found out about MobileRead when people started talking about it on Baen's Bar. I followed the discussions about the then upcoming readers, and found a Sony 500 at Fry's. (Fry's should be sued by Sony for damage to sales, since they had it displayed in such a way that was hard to use, and quickly ended up broken, discharged, or both.) But the display was enough to make me realize I hated the joystick, and I waited until NAEB got their gen3s in stock.

Since I refused to buy drm content, and even Baen didn't put out enough to keep me occupied, I still bought (and buy) paper books. I have never wanted to buy hardbacks, because they take up too much room on my shelves. The ones I do have mostly came from Library discard sales, and most recently a few Lois Bujolds - it's hard to resist buying the hardback when you've gone to the store to hear her read from it! I always tell any authors I meet that I want their books in unencrypted ebooks, but so far I still buy paper. Sometimes I buy paper in a deliberate attempt to make more money for the author, sometimes I keep buying in paper so that I have a complete set of a series in one format. Since others in my family don't read electronically (yet), that allows me to share books with my sister-in-law and nephew. Mom is mostly blind, and uses audio books a lot, mostly from the library.

I'm grudgingly satisfied with my Cybook Gen3 at the moment. Since I've broken the screen once, I'm more paranoid about it than I'd like to be. I still have my Rocket, and used that while I sent the gen3 back to Bookeen. I'd really like the page buttons on the gen3 to work better, and if it breaks again I'm not gonna fix it twice. So far I haven't bought any drm content with the express purpose of breaking the drm, although I keep downloading the tools when I see them here. I don't want to let a publisher believe it is good to release books with drm, and haven't yet come up with a good method of handling that divided purpose.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:33 AM   #13
Tom90deg
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My story is pretty simple. I'm a medical Student in India, and as such, I have to bring everything that i want with me through the US airlines, which really limits me. I love to read, and I was stuck reading the same 5 books over and over. I heard about the Kindle, and I knew that this was exactly what I needed. I actually ordered it while I was still in India, back when they had the big delays in delivering it so i would be sure to have it in my hands once I got home.

I've read some things on my computer, mainly Terry Pratchett, and while the e-versons have not been paid for, I have all the books in hard copy form, so I just file that under Backups

As for now, I carry the Kindle everywhere. My messenger bag as a pouch in it that I guess was designed to hold an orginizer that fits the kindle so well you'd think it was made for it. I put my notes on it, read it constantly, and I'm never without it. Kindle, I heart you.
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:42 AM   #14
kxpapado
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Location: Athens, Greece
Device: cybook gen3, nokia n800
Hello everybody,

I' ve been an avid fiction reader since ever. I always bought paperbacks because they are more affordable and occupy less space, but nevertheless I started having serious space problems a year ago and I didn't want to throw anything (in order to make some room for new books). Also, I live in Greece, meaning that I had to wait quite a long time to find new publications in greek bookstores. I started ordering online from international sellers, but even so I had to wait delivery for 5-15 days.
One day, I saw an advertisement of the (at that time) new Sony reader, and I loved the idea, but, being totally clueless, I started research: what is available in the market regarding the device itself and also how easy and affordable it was to get ebooks. When I found out that a huge amount of fiction was available free online (the copyright free), I was thrilled! I started donloading all the books that I already had in hardcopy, and then I continued downloading for weeks, building a digital library of 500+ titles, without spending a cent. Then, I started browsing the online e-bookstores, and I was satisfied with the diversity and abudance of titles.
So I was ready for the Big Step!
After comparing devices, I decided to buy the cybook gen3, and, nevertheless the weeks that I had to wait (the known availability issue earlier this year) one day I found it on my desk! Awesome! And what more, it was the new edtion with the 512 mb buiid in memory! Wow!
Since then, it has become my companion, I have it with me day and night, when I hear about a new book that I find interesting I can download a sample and if I find it appealing, I buy the book and have it in my device in a minute.
The only drawback is that there are no greek titles available, but it's ok, I can still stash a few paperbacks somewhere.
I love it, I can't imagine my reading days without it, it has made my life so much easier!
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:06 PM   #15
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I was first introduced to e-books in the mid-nineties. At the time, I was helping to pioneer electronic on-demand print production of documents in my company, and exploring digital media extensively. This led me to discover e-books, mostly PDF files, of public-domain books and mostly-badly-written fan fiction.

At the same time, I was writing my own books, and exploring the advantages of producing books on computers instead of writing longhand or using typewriters (both of which I did, depending on where I was when the muse hit me). And as I owned an early PDA (the Casio Zoomer), I did quite a bit of writing on the device's on-screen keyboard. So I was creating e-books at the same time I was discovering others!

Fast forward to around 2005, when I decided to attempt publishing, but was largely ignored by the publishers I contacted (not turned down, but told they were not interested in seeing my work at all... when they replied at all). I was disappointed, but at the same time, wondered if I had any other alternatives. Remembering the early e-books, I dove back into the arena and researched it, and before long I decided that if I could not get interest from a publisher, I could sell my books online as e-books.

As I researched things like formats, prices, markets, etc, I discovered more e-book publishers, and e-books that were no longer all public domain or fanfic, but professional material and current bestsellers. I also discovered e-book readers, although I quickly decided that it was just as convenient, much cheaper, and more versatile to use my PDA for reading instead of a dedicated reader. I started purchasing e-books regularly, and curtailing my purchases of printed books when I could.

Today, I produce e-books, as well as buy e-books for my PDA. I also actively check out technology that promises to shift publishing from print to electronic systems in the future. I do not buy e-books exclusively yet... there are still old and new books that I cannot find as e-books, or that I come across in a store and buy on-the-spot. But I look forward to the day when I can buy nothing but e-books, as well as converting my paper-based collection to electronic files someday, and reducing the amount of print-based material I'm attempting to store in my house in one form or another.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 08-20-2008 at 01:13 PM.
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