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Sunday, May 15, 2011

eBooks, eReaders and Me - The Finale

As many of you may already know I have a love/hate relationship with my eReader. I admit that instead of buying the Nook (which was black and white at the time) I bought a Pandigital, which was color.

My problem was not that the pages did not turn fast enough, it was that there was so much more I could do besides read. I set up my email accounts, my favorite web places, loaded The Genealogy Guys podcasts and my favorite pictures of my granddaughter.

My eReader - A Genealogy Library

Coming back down to earth I realized I could load PDF's. Being a great fan of Google Books and having downloaded many county histories, turn of the century almanacs and cookbooks this would give me a repository to bring them together and make them more accessible.

While preparing for a trip I decided to load the family group sheets and books I created using RootsMagiconto my eReader. This would allow me to answer questions from family members about my research. Another 'light bulb' moment, my eReader could carry my research and I would not have to bring my laptop! This is the greatest thing about the eReader - any document you turn into a PDF you can load on the eReader! The best thing is you can create PDF's with FREE or very inexpensive software such as PDF995.

In summary, my Pandigital eReader is ALMOST a tablet. It runs a bit slower, but I was able to use it on a trip to do 95% of what I would do on my laptop. I was in Las Vegas having a great time using my eReader to surf the web, check my email and occasionally read Decision Points. So what was the problem?

Cubs vs Sox - Nook vs Kindle
Some things in life are black or white. I know this first hand from growing up in the Chicago area. My sister was born and will die a Cubs fan. I honestly do not get it. She does not understand that I am a Sox fan because they have better food at the ballpark! So it is with the Nook and the Kindle.

Since I had the Pandigital and not the Nook I decided to go to my local Barnes and Noble and try out a Nook Color. The sales person walked me through the features, I held it, I read a bit on it and I still did not have the urge to read an entire book. On the other hand, my husband Chuck is threatening to start burning all the bookcases (and boxes of books) in the house.

It was time to try the Kindle, so I logged onto Amazon and bought the Kindle. I ordered the lowest Kindle - $114.00 and waited. Once received I ordered Rob Lowe's new book and started reading and reading and reading. I liked reading on it so much I did not check out the email capabilites or web browsing. I just read my book!

It is important for me to state, this is my experience. Which reader you choose is just as personal as choosing between the Cubs or the Sox. I would just urge everyone to try before you buy. If you have a friend that has an eReader try it out. Last week I met two friends for dinner and as an experiment I brought both readers with me and it was a split decision.

eReaders and Genealogy Books

I have checked out Barnes and Noble and Amazon to see the selection of genealogy related books. While they are limited both sites had Megan Smolenyak's book Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History and The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy for $9.99. What I found surpising was that George G. Morgan's book How to Do Everything Genealogy was $14.84 on Amazon and $24.99 on Barnes and Noble.

My Last Post...

This will be my last post on eReaders. I do not want to bore everyone but I did want to share my journey in finding the right technology for me. I have discovered that I like reading on the Kindle. If I would have liked the feel or the display on the Pandigital I probably would have finished reading Decision Points. I just did not like reading for long periods of time using it.

Will I keep the Pandigital? At this point I am not sure. I know the Kindle will handle my PDF's, music and such so eventually I may set it all up on the Kindle. On the other hand, my granddaughter Tori has her eyes on the Pandigital, so it may become a priority very soon!

Take Care,

1 comment:

  1. Since I have a Nook, I have a different point of view where a Kindle in concerned.

    When I walk into a Barnes and Noble (can't do that at Amazon), my Nook comes alive. When I find a book I'm interested in, I can hold it, thumb thru it, and buy it while standing in the middle of the store (can't do that at Amazon). When I can’t do something on my Nook, I walk up to the counter in any Barnes and Noble and get help from a real person (can’t do that at Amazon).

    Interestingly, of the writers I know who have readers, they all have Nooks. I'm convinced that for some people the bookstore experience out weights anything that Amazon/Kindle can offer.

    Of note, I rarely buy at Amazon because I don't like their website. That's not to say that I'm any fonder of the Barnes and Noble website. I think they all need to be redesigned to make them less dense. I find myself having to search (a lot!) for what I'm looking for. Because I find the experience frustrating, I rarely go to websites to get books.

    I think the choice of reader depends as much on what kind of experience you want to have. I find the in-store experience warm, familiar, and comforting. I dread the online experience, which is usually annoying and cold. So I have a Nook...