A few months ago I was selected as a Commercial Fishery Observer on this really intense project on the Aleutian Islands in Alaska (Aka BFE). The first thing I thought – after thinking, “Exactly how cold is it on the Bering Sea in January?”- was that I need to figure out an e-reader for myself.
I was always a paper book fan. I love my paperbacks. They’re cheap, you can get them used, and they have that wonderful musty book smell (If they start making it in cologne form I’ll probably marry the first guy I find wearing it. Just sayin’). But paper books and the Bering Sea don’t really get along so famously. Also, there’s no such thing as traveling light with 15+ novels in your pack. But what was I supposed to do? I’m going to be on a boat with no friends, cell reception or internet for weeks at a time. And with no other pressing demands, plans, or distractions (yep, no life) I’m pretty sure I’ll be burning through books like an October wildfire in southern CA. So my only option was to, as everyone I knew including my grandmother put it, “Join the 21st century and get an e-reader.”
The only issue was my e-reader option seemed vast, and complicated. I looked at all the main models, Kindle, Nook, Ipad and other brands of tablets/readers etc. What I decided was that I already had a laptop,so anything that would waste battery doing more than lighting my screen and letting me read was out of the running. All the prices were pretty much the same. One set price with an up-charge for an ad-free homepage and an up-charge for lifetime 3G data. I then interviewed all of my bookworm friends, which was a solid amount of people, and found the group was pretty much split between Kindle and Nook. No one had any complaints and everyone just loved their reader. Turns out bookworms aren’t hard to please – WHAT?! It’s got a light AND a story?!?! Greatest thing since sliced bread.
So it came down to personal preference for the slightly different aesthetics, and which of your friends is most likely to loan you books (they don’t loan across brands, kindles to kindles OR nooks to nooks but no switching, so you gotta pick the brand with the most generous friends already on it). Other than those small differences, they all work the same, cost the same and have massive amounts of ebooks available!
Overall the e-readers are a great concept. I could take 1,000 books with me to the Bering Sea … If my pocketbook would allow me. For now, I will contain myself with hoarding the daily $0.99-$1.99 book deals. I think I’ll always prefer my paper books’ feel and smell but I am making friends with my new e-reader and looking forward to our adventures together traveling light on the Bering Sea!