Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ebooks for Everyone!

I recently bought my first ereader, a Nook Color. I was a little afraid of it at first (new technology!) but now that I have the hang of the thing, I really love it. It's sort of like a combination ereader/tablet notebook, with Internet browsing capability and apps that even allow you to read Word and Excel files on it, among other things. It costs a little more than the low end ereaders, but that touch screen tablet-style functionality is exactly what I was looking for, at a much lower price than an Android tablet or an iPad.

That said, I have been reading ebooks long before I got an ereader. I used Adobe Digital Editions, a free application that works on your PC. Unfortunately, it won't read Kindle books. But that's okay—Kindle also offers a free app for PC. (Kindle for Mac is more problematic—see below).

Which is getting me around to my point. As any of you who've read my blog in the last couple of months know, I recently self-published a couple of novels in ebook format only. Right now, I have no plans to make them available in print because the cost would be prohibitive, nullifying my reasons for choosing to self-publish in the first place. But that doesn't mean that those of you without an ereader can't buy them and read them.

There are at least two and a half good programs for computer that allow you to purchase, download and read books on your PC or Mac. Best of all, these programs also allow you to move those downloaded books to your new ereader if you buy one. (Well, in the case of Kindle, I believe you'll have had to downloaded the file as a Kindle first).

All the books I downloaded to my Adobe Digital Editions program on my computer are now safely on my Nook, readable (though in the case of some older .pdf files, not perfectly formatted).

So if you haven't yet bought an ereader (and maybe you're not sure you will), but you still want to buy ebooks that you can't buy in other formats—such as the Harlequin Treasury books now available in ebook only—you can do it. All you need is a computer and the free apps available.

Hey, I'll even help you out! Here are the links so you can check the programs out yourself:

Nook for PC

Nook for Mac

Kindle for PC

Kindle for iPad

Kindle for iPod Touch/iPhone

Adobe Digital Editions for PC or Mac

As you can see, if you own a Mac desktop machine or Macbook, you may have problems with Kindle unless you also have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. But the Nook for Mac option takes care of that, and the epub format offered by Barnes and Noble (Nook's parent company) is readable on other ereaders such as Kobo and Sony readers.

I'm not trying to proseletyze against paper books. I love paper books. I have shelves and shelves of them at home and one in my purse right now. But with so many authors putting their books out themselves in ebook format, controlling content as never before in ways that I believe readers would truly enjoy, I hate to see anyone missing out on the fun, especially when there are cheap, easy ways to get your hands on these stories.

Do you own an ereader? If not, have you tried software such as Kindle for PC or Adobe Digital Editions?


StephanieJS said...

I have a Kindle. I love it! I no longer have to worry about bookshelf space. I was definitely running out of it in my house. I also read on the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad. Now I always have multiple books with me where ever I go.

Paula said...

I know what you mean about running out of space! I'm hoping to grab ebooks of some of my favorite books that are starting to fall apart. I would LOVE for Harlequin to digitize the really old Harlequins from the 70s and 80s. I know they're digitizing some older books, but I don't think they've gone back that far.

There are some Lilian Peake books I'd love to have on ereader...

I confess, I use my Nook Color almost as much as a tablet as I do a reader. It's why I chose it rather than a Kindle.

SueW said...

I don't own an ereader, but I have an iPhone with Kindle and Nook software loaded on (I have iBooks, also, but have never used it). I also have the Nook software and Adobe software loaded on my PC. My local library system has an online electronic service and I use the Adobe software to read ebooks I have checked out on my PC. I still have a large paper book library, but having the convience of carrying multiple ebooks around with me is pretty cool.

Carla Swafford said...

I'm hoping to buy an e-reader next year. Just haven't decided which one. :-)

Paula said...

I had the same dilemma. Here's my thoughts on it. Pretty much, unless you're planning to get an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, your choices are Nook, Kindle and Kobi Reader. The benefits to Nook, and I think Kobi, too, are that they read epub and .pdf, whereas Kindle reads only Kindle (or mobibook) format. But Kindle is ubiquitous, and from what I understand, easy to use. Plus, it's relatively inexpensive as readers go.

If you want something with tablet PC-style functionality, Nook Color all the way. But it does have drawbacks. Price, for one, though it's not THAT expensive for the fuctionality you get. It doesn't read Kindle, of course, but it reads my old .pdf ebooks I bought from Harlequin just fine. It is a backlit screen, which makes it bad for outside reading, but great for night time reading in bed if you don't want to turn on a light.

It also has apps where you can read Word files, Excel files, etc. And the web browsing is quite good, if a little tiny. :)

I wanted an ereader that worked like a touch tablet, and Nook Color has been pretty much everything I expected. But if you don't want or need that kind of functionality, I'd go with Kindle.

Check the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog archive--not long ago, Sarah reviewed the Kobi reader as well.

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