So my authors’ loop is nattering about ebooks and how they’re going to take over the world. So I’m not believing them.
And this is why.
First, I have over 100 ebooks here on my laptop. All received for free through honest means, sites such as WOWIO and give-aways. All very nice and readable except that I need to look at my LAPTOP to read them. And that’s just not very nice at times when I just want to curl up in bed with a good book. So I do know a bit about the popularity of ebooks.
What I don’t know is WHY we can’t develop and sell a cheap ebook reader. I’m not laying out $400 for a Kindle or for a Sony Ebook that doesn’t show color covers and that has so many hoops to jump through that it’s not funny. DRM, Microsoft Reader, PDF… the average person (read: me) doesn’t want to have to get a degree in techie talk to understand how to send files back and forth. All I know is that when I got some nice free books from Harlequin I could read them here on my desktop but not on my laptop because of restrictions. And that’s a pain in the backside. Sure, it “discourages” piracy, but it also makes me hesitate to buy anything electronic because I’m not sure whether I can move it from one to the other for honest means – since my laptop’s not connected to the net all the time I use the desktop for major purchases – and if I can’t transfer my ebooks, then… ain’t gonna buy them.
I’ve looked at the Kindle. Ebookwise reader. Sony ereader. And so many little screen PDF readers that I’ve gone more blind than if I had actually bought the things. Sure, people can use alternatives but I still don’t see the appeal of watching a movie on an one-inch screen and won’t read a book where I’m literally crawling along line by line. And, again, back to the technie stuff.
Give me an ebook reader loaded with the one or two programs I need to run ALL the ebooks. Give me color screens so I can see the cover clearly and enjoy the artwork. Give me USB ports so all I need to do is plug in my ebook reader at one end and then to the desktop and send over books without having to worry about formatting or type.
Give me all that at an affordable price (under $100) and I’ll believe that ebooks are a viable alternative to paper books. Until then ebooks are just going to be a cool way to show off your technical knowledge and how much money you have to burn for items that will be obsolete by the time you finish reading this journal entry. Because the average person doesn’t want to become a technical whiz to read an ebook and they sure as heck ain’t interested in paying $300 for the opportunity to get frustrated because they can’t upload their version of “War and Peace”.
So… tell me I’m wrong. Tell me I’m right.
or better yet, someone give me a free ebook reader.