I remember reading about electronic paper years and years ago and being eager to see devices implementing this new technology, but somehow until last month, I had never actually seen it. But when I finally did come out of my cave and gazed upon the modern world, I was sold.
I have long sustained that I will not be buying an electronic reader too soon for a few different reasons. First, I spend most of my “awake” time staring at computer screens and as it is I have problems going to sleep if there is too much light in my environment, the last thing I want is to read books from a screen. Second, I actually really like books, with their cute covers and fonts, little illustrations and that unmistakable smell. What changed?
Well, the second reason is still there and I know I’ll still be buying many printed books because of that. But the first one was completely blown away by the Kindle. It took me quite a few seconds in the store to realize that I was looking at the actual device and not a printed ad of it. With no backlight to stress my eyes, it is no different from reading a book. Quite better actually, considering the very good contrast and the ability to change text size as needed.
On the other hand, a big argument against “regular” books is, well, the fact that they are quite “real”. They take up space and as any student can tell you, they aren’t exactly light. This may not be such a big concern for everyone (unless for some reason they need to carry a lot of books around all the time), but I tend to move around a lot and my ever-growing personal library is one of the heaviest things that I have to transport.
Finally, an argument is of course cost. Depending on how much you read, the books you get and how long you hope to use your reader, you could actually end up saving money with an electronic reader, so one could see it as an investment.
Of course one can also argue for the “green” factor, but I haven’t really evaluated how green an eReader is, so I won’t go into that.
All that being said, I picked the Kindle because I absolutely loved the screen, I’m already a loyal Amazon customer and it just seemed to me to have better reviews all over the board. I got the version without 3G, because 3G access would only be free in the US (you do have to pay extra fees for the 3G access when travelling abroad) and also because I couldn’t really picture the need for 3G on this device, at least in my case, with WiFi access everywhere. Besides, how often will you need to buy a book that simply cannot wait until you get home?