B&N: E-readers and E-books

3.15.10 at 4:25 PM (Books) (, , , )

In early January, I was finally able to order my iPod touch (64G) that had been coveted for months and months.  One of the most attractive features of the wonderful device was the fact that it is virtually a pocket computer, and as such, it is a host to all sorts of wonderful widgets, apps and things.  The fact that it is a fully functioning computer makes travelling so much easier; no more lugging around the 10 pound laptop and taking up valuable space in my carry-on.  That alone was reason to buy it.  But what I really love about it, is the fact that there are all sorts of free downloadable e-reader apps–one for almost all of the eReader devices, in fact.  Now, in addition to me not having to lug the laptop around, I also don’t have to worry about carrying a bunch of books when I travel.  Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love my hard copies, but they can take up some much-needed space and what’s worse than that is they could be damaged in transit.  Thankfully, I have my handy-dandy iPod touch there to protect the treasured hard copies.

Yet, as wonderful as the e-reader app is, I use the BN app, there are a few down points as well.  My primary complaint is that you absolutely have to purchase the ebooks, even if you already own hard copies of them.  Though, BN selects three classics from their BN Classic collection–Dracula, Pride and Prejudice, and Little Women–as well as a dictionary, you still have to pay anywhere from  roughly $5, which isn’t too bad, to somewhere near $10…In some exceptional cases more.  The price really isn’t to bad on the surface, but consider the list price and then you realize your paying almost what you would for a hard copy.  I mean, I don’t mind paying the price of an ebook, especially since I buy books I haven’t read and don’t mind not having a hard copy of them.  What I would like to see added is a way to offer a free download to customers who purchase a hard copy in store, even if the offer is only valid for a month after the book was purchased.  This way, I could have the ones I want to take with me where ever I go without having to worry about protect the hard copy.

The only other complaint I have about the BN e-reader is that every so many pages, a word or line is completely cut off.  I can fix it so I can read what is missing by easily turning the iPod so it is either horizontal or vertical without a problem.  That’s all well and dandy, but it can get a teeny-tiny bit tedious after a while, especially if you are trying to eat and read at the same time.  I would like to see the formatting updated to see that little bug fixed.

Aside from the minor issues with the BN app for my iPod, I really do enjoy using it.  It is easy to use and convenient.  If anyone is looking to buy an eReader, I would strongly recommend you forego one and just go with the iPod.  The iPod has so much more capabilities and you can set the eReader’s page brightness so it won’t kill your eyes.  Or, if you already have an iPod touch/iPhone and have been considering the ereader, I hope this has helped to give you an idea of what it is like.  I am interested to hear other people’s response to e-readers and ebooks as well, especially on the pricing of ebooks.  Feel free to comment away!

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