Will e-Book Readers Last?

With Amazon’s Kindle being so popular, other companies have rushed to produce their own e-Book Reader. Barnes and Noble’s offering, the Nook, is also quickly becoming very popular amongst the people who want to read their books without having to haul them around everywhere. However, other devices simply are not faring quite as well. Are we going to see these devices fade away, or are they around for the long haul?

Consumers want one thing from any device they buy… they want it to work. In the case of an e-Book Reader, they want to see a book they are interested in, purchase it, and then read it. That sounds simple enough, right? Sadly, it doesn’t always work that way. Many readers require specific file formats in order to have a book magically appear on their screen. Too often, the smaller companies’ versions of this tech wonder don’t even have very many selections available to choose from!

If I were to purchase an e-Book Reader, I’d want to find any – and every – book I am interested in, be able to quickly buy it, and have it work on my device. That’s the way it should be… but that isn’t really happening. Amazon and B&N are lucky in this regard… they have millions – and billions! – of digital titles available for our reading pleasure. They are doing things right.

Imagine going a step beyond this, though. Why must everything be so proprietary? I know, I know… they want us to only purchase our books from them. After all, they are in the business of making money, just like the rest of us. But how awesome would it be to buy an e-Book Reader from one company, and then be able to purchase books from ANY company that sells them… and have it work on our machine?! Were any company to come out with a device that can do this, I’d be the first one in line waving my credit card around wildly.

Do you have an e-Book Reader of any type? What have your experiences been with it? Do you feel that these gadgets will soon go by the wayside, or will they only continue to improve over time?

  • CB Lapp

    Love the idea of the e-reader. Plan to get one for my 86 year old mother in law who has trouble holding the books she wants to read and no place to store them once read. However, I'd like to see one provide full color pages with long battery life and low weight.

    For myself, I'll probably stick with the B&N free reader and buy books for my PC. Can't wait till something is available to read on my Palm or Trio (MachSpeed MP3 player). They're color and have great resolution, even if they are a little small.

  • CB Lapp

    Love the idea of the e-reader. Plan to get one for my 86 year old mother in law who has trouble holding the books she wants to read and no place to store them once read. However, I'd like to see one provide full color pages with long battery life and low weight.

    For myself, I'll probably stick with the B&N free reader and buy books for my PC. Can't wait till something is available to read on my Palm or Trio (MachSpeed MP3 player). They're color and have great resolution, even if they are a little small.

  • When e-readers first appeared I felt a bit skeptical about their future because there are lot of gadgets around which can be a substitute, until I realized I could use one. I read a lot and not having to carry tons of books around is a big plus. These gadgets have future but they have to improve. I would also be a first in line to buy an e-reader which is compatible with all book formats.

  • When e-readers first appeared I felt a bit skeptical about their future because there are lot of gadgets around which can be a substitute, until I realized I could use one. I read a lot and not having to carry tons of books around is a big plus. These gadgets have future but they have to improve. I would also be a first in line to buy an e-reader which is compatible with all book formats.

  • Dino

    One of my colleagues invested in a Sony e-reader that allows you to use the PDF format. He can take any of his 1000 technical books and download them into the e-reader. There is also a proprietary format, but he mainly uses the PDF format.

    When you look at an e-reader versus a netbook, you have to determine if reading books is the only thing you want to do. As for extended battery life, the same principles apply to e-readers as they do with laptops: the better the lithum battery, the longer a user can use the device.

    Will the e-reader last? That depends on where they market the e-reader. At the college I help support, we had an article in our school paper discussing the issue of electronic text books and the use of e-readers. From a student perspective, that would save a few shoulders lugging around those large biology and history books! However, there is a market created by the publishers of those textbooks where the slightest change would result in a "new edition". When that occurs, the schools are sent the new edition - not sure if the professors are contacted. An e-book would be easier to update than having to ditch the current hard-back brick.

    I see classrooms having e-desks, where the student only carries a portable hard drive to class, so the life of an e-reader is only as long as the current trend in consumer electronics (c.f. PDA's and Smartphones).

    Dino

  • Dino

    One of my colleagues invested in a Sony e-reader that allows you to use the PDF format. He can take any of his 1000 technical books and download them into the e-reader. There is also a proprietary format, but he mainly uses the PDF format.

    When you look at an e-reader versus a netbook, you have to determine if reading books is the only thing you want to do. As for extended battery life, the same principles apply to e-readers as they do with laptops: the better the lithum battery, the longer a user can use the device.

    Will the e-reader last? That depends on where they market the e-reader. At the college I help support, we had an article in our school paper discussing the issue of electronic text books and the use of e-readers. From a student perspective, that would save a few shoulders lugging around those large biology and history books! However, there is a market created by the publishers of those textbooks where the slightest change would result in a "new edition". When that occurs, the schools are sent the new edition - not sure if the professors are contacted. An e-book would be easier to update than having to ditch the current hard-back brick.

    I see classrooms having e-desks, where the student only carries a portable hard drive to class, so the life of an e-reader is only as long as the current trend in consumer electronics (c.f. PDA's and Smartphones).

    Dino