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merrihiatt
05-01-2012, 08:41 AM
http://blogs.smartmoney.com/advice/2012/04/30/are-the-e-readers-days-numbered/?link=SM_hp_middle_optStory

Saw this link on my FB page (from Smashwords). What I found most interesting are the statistics about which devices people are using to read e-books.

21% of Americans said they read a book on an e-reader in the past year.

42% on a computer
41% on an e-reading device
29% on a cell phone
23% on a tablet

The stats above were for the year 2011 and did not include tablets such as Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.

One of the points in the article is that people may begin reading a book on their computer, then switch to their cell phone and end up finishing an e-book on a tablet. One device does not fit all purposes, apparently.

This is the second article I've read today about Microsoft plunking $300 million into the Nook and how Microsoft plans to include a Nook application in their new Windows 8 operating system.

Nymtoc
05-01-2012, 09:15 AM
There's no question that e-reading is where we're all headed. I have a Kindle, but I prefer to use my BlackBerry Playbook, a much-maligned device that is (trust me) really an extraordinarily good 7" tablet. The Playbook got off to a rocky start a year ago not because of the tablet itself but because the maker, RIM, made some appallingly stupid marketing decisions.

I was initially resistant, but now I read almost everything electronically--newspapers and magazines usually on my PC, books on a tablet.

For us writers, of course, these developments guarantee continued confusion when we attempt to publish our masterpieces.

KellyAssauer
05-01-2012, 01:22 PM
First thing you need to know is that this study was funded by?
Oh gosh golly: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Second thing you need to know?
The percentages listed are conditional to the respondent having internet access via one of these devises.

-Duh-

Third thing you should know:

This is part of The Pew Internet Project studying the ownership of tablet and eReader devices as part of its effort to understand how people consume media (text, video, and audio) on the devices, how people use them to access the internet, and how mobile connectivity has affected users.

So... ahem... the results here accurately reflect exactly how many choir members enjoy singing.

Carmy
05-01-2012, 09:09 PM
So, are you saying the stats are fudged?

All I know is that I make far more royalties via eBooks than through paperbacks of the same books. And that royalty isn't to be sneezed at either.

Just my personal findings.

Old Hack
05-01-2012, 10:09 PM
I don't think Kelly is saying that the statistics are fudged, just that you have to read them in context and understand what they really mean.

ResearchGuy
05-01-2012, 10:30 PM
FWIW, in the last year 100 percent of the adults in my household (wife and myself) have read most of our books on a Kindle. My wife came to her Kindle reluctantly (I gave her one a year ago), but now it is rarely out of her reach. Statistically meaningless, of course, but we have thousands upon thousands of printed books in our home, and yet took up e-readers with enthusiasm. As e-readers are increasingly given away with subscriptions (to periodicals and to series books), and as they continue to improve, they will become ever more dominant. (All IMHO, of course, but based on a lot of observation and as both reader and micropublisher.)

--Ken

KellyAssauer
05-01-2012, 10:34 PM
I don't think Kelly is saying that the statistics are fudged, just that you have to read them in context and understand what they really mean.

Thanks OH, that's exactly what I mean.

This study looks at a percentage of a percentage of a percentage of the general population. In as much as you might say.... mmm... survey men who use mustache trimmers?

It's not gospel, it's only a psalm. =)

ResearchGuy
05-01-2012, 10:53 PM
. (http://blogs.smartmoney.com/advice/2012/04/30/are-the-e-readers-days-numbered/?link=SM_hp_middle_optStory) . .The stats above were for the year 2011 and did not include tablets such as Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.. . .
Personally, I don't find the stats either surprising or improbable. Much depends on sample size, of course, and on how it was selected, but the numbers seem reasonable. They will tilt rapidly toward dedicated e-readers, IMHO, over the next couple of years.

I read whole books, lots of them (and some periodicals) on my Kindle; small pieces on my iPad or computer; none on phone as I don't have a suitable phone OR the eyes that would permit that. The ability to carry hundreds of books with me at all times and to buy new books (and get many free) at a moment's notice is a huge selling point. If I were polled, much would depend on exact wording of the question.

First conversation I had about the Kindle (couple of years ago) was with a man who told me he goes back and forth between his Kindle and his iPhone (he travels a lot, including overseas), as place in books is synched between the two. Very persuasive.

FWIW.

--Ken

KellyAssauer
05-01-2012, 11:12 PM
They will tilt rapidly toward dedicated e-readers, IMHO, over the next couple of years.

This is where we don't see exactly eye to eye. In the six households that make up my family, two do not have internet service, none have an iPhone or tablet, and only one has an eReader. These are all active reading people with -as far as I know- no plans for such devices. Or, if you look at where I live, over 40% of the population can not yet get internet service that isn't dial-up... but hey, numbers are numbers.

=)

veinglory
05-01-2012, 11:13 PM
It is not about the stats being improbable. It is about them not being a random sample of the reading population and as such being largely meaningless in absolute percentage terms. They do give interesting information about: of those that read ebooks, where do they read them. Which was, I think, the main intent of the survey.

Shadow_Ferret
05-01-2012, 11:17 PM
That adds up to 134%?



They will tilt rapidly toward dedicated e-readers, IMHO, over the next couple of years.

I disagree. Many of us don't see a need for something only used for reading and I certainly can't justify buying such a single purpose device. I'll always use my smartphone or computer, or if I can afford one, a tablet.

ResearchGuy
05-01-2012, 11:39 PM
That adds up to 134%?



I disagree. Many of us don't see a need for something only used for reading and I certainly can't justify buying such a single purpose device. I'll always use my smartphone or computer, or if I can afford one, a tablet.
Time will tell.


BTW, books are only used for reading. So are magazines. Lots of folks have use for those. And wait until an e-reader is given away with membership/minimum commitment in, say, Book of the Month Club or Scientific American Book Club or History Book Club. (I think they are already being given away with some magazine subscriptions.)


As for adding up to more than 100 percent -- of course. Multiple responses permitted. If you read books on a Kindle (say) AND a laptop computer AND an iPad AND a smart phone, you show up four times. Depending on the phrasing of the question, I might easily have shown up three times (all but smart phone).

--Ken

veinglory
05-01-2012, 11:43 PM
That adds up to 134%?
.

Multiple answers were allowed. I responded to that survey and checked reader, computer and phone.

KellyAssauer
05-01-2012, 11:50 PM
*I should also say: I have nothing at all against people buying and using these the devises, and would encourage people who want to buy them to do so, since I know so many writers that sell to this format. ;)*

mscelina
05-02-2012, 12:03 AM
I think that this survey provides interesting information, especially when considered in conjunction with some of the other major surveys released in recent months. I find Verso Advertising's book buying survey from BEA to be both interesting to me as an editor and writer but also beneficial.

http://www.versoadvertising.com/DBWsurvey2012/

shadowwalker
05-02-2012, 12:55 AM
BTW, books are only used for reading. So are magazines. Lots of folks have use for those. And wait until an e-reader is given away with membership/minimum commitment in, say, Book of the Month Club or Scientific American Book Club or History Book Club. (I think they are already being given away with some magazine subscriptions.)
--Ken

Books/magazines don't cost as much as an e-reader. I might accept one if it were given away free with *a* book or *a* book series. But to pay that kind of money just for the thing to read a book, then have to buy the books anyway... Doesn't make sense to me, anyway.

Cliffhanger
05-02-2012, 01:25 AM
Books/magazines don't cost as much as an e-reader. I might accept one if it were given away free with *a* book or *a* book series. But to pay that kind of money just for the thing to read a book, then have to buy the books anyway... Doesn't make sense to me, anyway.

A new hardback book typically costs over $25. A typical trade paperback costs in excess of $16. Most mass market paperbacks will set you back just south of $8.

The cheapest Kindle will run you $80 new, which is a bit more than 3 hardbacks, exactly 5 trade paperbacks, and a touch less than 10 paperbacks.

While actual books for the Kindle go for anywhere between free on up to $15 for fiction, and far north of that for textbooks.

FOTSGreg
05-02-2012, 01:29 AM
About 90% of my reading is now done on an Acer A100 7" Android tablet with the Kindle app. I use my iPad to write with and to web surf on (using it to write this as a matter of fact). I have an apartment full of print books and there's a pile on my bedside table being read, but daytime books get read on the Acer.

ResearchGuy
05-02-2012, 01:32 AM
. . . to pay that kind of money just for the thing to read a book, then have to buy the books anyway... Doesn't make sense to me, anyway.
If one bought the thing to read A book, I'd agree with you. I've read dozens, if not scores, on mine since I bought it in September 2010, many thousands of pages. Many more are on the device and stored in the archive awaiting their turn. They are not adding to the piles of books on every horizontal surface in my house (including the stairs). And my wife can read them on her Kindle, too.

BTW, one can buy a complete Dickens, or Shakespeare, or Trollope, or Mark Twain, or many others, for $5 or so, and can download many classics (and occasional loss-leader new books) free. And e-books can now be borrowed from libraries, or even loaned by individual users.

Free instant preview downloads, immediate access to reader reviews, immediate access to a nice variety of magazines and newspapers, ability to annotate and highlight passages in books, and instant access to definitions (my Kindle came with two good dictionaries already onboard). Oh . . . in a pinch, the Kindle's browser is useful, even the very limited one on the basic version. With 3G, downloads and browser are available pretty much everywhere, all the time. And I can enlarge the print and make other readability adjustments and even have it read aloud to me in an adequate voice. And it will play audio books. And play music.

For that matter, sometimes I use mine to read my own stuff (books I am editing, etc.).

But each to his own . . . not going to be to everyone's taste, I grant you.

--Ken

P.S. Kinda nice to have books delivered immediately, with no need to drive anywhere. Even when on vacation. Or in the middle of the night. Or as soon as I've read the review in the NYTimes or seen the author on a talk show.

shadowwalker
05-02-2012, 05:48 AM
I guess my main point is that the money I spend on something to read with is money I can't spend on things to read. (And I can always download classics and other ebooks to my pc if I feel the urgent need)

merrihiatt
05-02-2012, 07:24 AM
I would never have purchased any kind of digital reading device if my mother hadn't wanted an iPad and I needed to learn how to use it so I could teach her. I downloaded the free Kindle app, shortly followed by the free Nook app. I was a goner after that and ended up buying my own iPad and downloading the apps. I haven't read a paperback book in over a year. It's all been digital. This from a woman who had zero desire to read books digitally. All it took was reading one book to convert me.

KellyAssauer
05-02-2012, 07:24 AM
Oh . . . in a pinch, the Kindle's browser is useful, even the very limited one on the basic version. With 3G, downloads and browser are available pretty much everywhere, all the time. And I can enlarge the print and make other readability adjustments and even have it read aloud to me in an adequate voice. And it will play audio books. And play music.


Okay... according to the Amazon help page, to connect a kindle devise to the internet you must have access to wifi.

No wifi here. So all that stuff you just said... it don't work in my house. It doesn't work next door, or in my neighborhood.
As far as I know I have to drive about a mile and half before I find anything with wifi.



But each to his own . . . not going to be to everyone's taste, I grant you.

The number of books that I purchase new each year doesn't match the asking price for one those basic pretty-shiny devises. The books I do buy, I want and need on my self because they have a voice about them that I need to have at hand.

But I write more than I read. I'm a writer, it's what I do.

So, again, the public should go buy these things like mad so I can write and sell them books to download!
I have no problem with this.

:Shrug:

Shadow_Ferret
05-02-2012, 07:42 AM
Time will tell.


BTW, books are only used for reading. So are magazines. Lots of folks have use for those. And wait until an e-reader is given away with membership/minimum commitment in, say, Book of the Month Club or Scientific American Book Club or History Book Club. (I think they are already being given away with some magazine subscriptions.)



One book doesn't cost $80+ however. Books and magazines had always been inexpensive entertainment until more recently.

Now if the book clubs GAVE eReaders away, I might get one, but shelling out money for a single use product just doesn't sit well with me. That's why I'll always use a smartphone or a tablet to read, never an expensive electronic device that's only good for one thing.

eReaders seem like a step backwards in technology to me. We have computers and tablets and smartphones that we can read on, watch movies on, surf the web with, do business with, create art with, play games on, write on, communicate with, and which have countless other uses. Then someone invents an eReader and expects us to pay nearly as much for a computer for this device that does nothing more than show text, often in black and white! No thanks.

ResearchGuy
05-02-2012, 06:34 PM
. . .this device that does nothing more than show text, often in black and white! No thanks.
I take it that you have not actually used a Kindle. Here are things mine does:

--Downloads books, magazines, and articles virtually instantly (read a review, see an author on TV or hear on radio and download book or sample within a minute)
--Enables viewing of purchased books on other devices on the same account (my wife's Kindle, my laptop, her iPhone if she ever wanted to, my iPad) with no additional charge
--Allows highlighting and annotating, saving highlighted passages and annotations to a separate file
--Allows organizing of books and other downloaded items into named folders (for example, one for science books, another for American classics, another for poetry, etc.)
--Allows total portability, all in the same one-pound package (including cover with light)
--Enables looking up word definitions instantly (plus the other information in a college dictionary, such as etymology)
--Allows browsing of dictionaries (two good ones came with my Kindle)
--Enables Web searching (a little slow, with some limitations, but available everywhere with WiFi or 3G connection -- which is nearly everywhere, as a practical matter)
--Enables purchase (from $0.00 on up) of books, magazines, etc., 24/7, with no car expense, no shipping charge
--Provides immediate access to free book samples
--Enables note-taking via an inexpensive downloadable app, and even a variety of games, ditto.
--Displays personal documents emailed or copied to the device
--Stores thousands of books on the device itself, with online archive backup of all that have been purchased (including the $0.00 downloads) and availability of archived items on other devices on the same account
--Reads books and other material aloud, in an adequate computer voice
--Plays music
--Plays audio books
--Provides immediate access to book recommendations, reader reviews, best seller lists, etc.
--Allows larger or smaller font, closer or wider spacing, serif or sans serif, faster or slower reading aloud, etc.

Sure, I could lug around my laptop and (unreliable) wireless hot spot and use Kindle reading app on that, or could carry around my iPad, ditto. But the Kindle is about the size of a trade paperback.

Oh, for those who want color, there are plenty of color e-readers (Kindle and Nook models, Kobo models).

It is not just a reading device. It is a book store and reference center.

So . . . "does nothing more than show text"? Not so. And that is why e-readers are increasingly displacing printed books.


--Ken

ResearchGuy
05-02-2012, 06:43 PM
Okay... according to the Amazon help page, to connect a kindle device to the internet you must have access to wifi.. . .
Buy one with 3G. Works everywhere other than remote rural areas. (Cannot help you if you are in a remote rural area or, say, mid-ocean on a cruise.)

BUT you can read or have read aloud to you or played for you items that have been downloaded to the device anywhere, any time, with no wireless connection of any kind (the main purpose of the device, of course). I keep wireless turned off 99 percent of the time to prolong battery charge -- can go weeks without plugging it in with the wireless off. I turn it on for a minute or two now and again, when needed, or to let magazines be delivered.

Well, in any event, my wife and I buy several books a month (sometimes several a week), now nearly all on our Kindles. Less prodigious readers will have different cost-benefit tradeoffs.

BTW, bear in mind that a vast number of classics (and musty old books that are not classics but still have value) are available FREE. And e-books can be borrowed from libraries. (Not all, of course, but a growing number.)

--Ken

KellyAssauer
05-02-2012, 07:37 PM
Buy one with 3G. Works everywhere other than remote rural areas. (Cannot help you if you are in a remote rural area or, say, mid-ocean on a cruise.)

BUT you can read or have read aloud to you or played for you items that have been downloaded to the device anywhere, any time, with no wireless connection of any kind (the main purpose of the device, of course).

Ken,

I just adore the fact that you're so excited about this gizmo, really I am! It's neat to hear someone so educated and expert in anything.

It almost makes me wonder if you work for them! ;)

However... I live in a remote mountainous rural area. (read: spotty cell phone service at best) I don't own a cell phone or smart phone because I have no need for them - which is a good thing because I can't afford them anyways.

The reason I don't need them is because I rarely go anywhere. Everything I need is right here in my house. I don't own a notebook or tablet because they are crazy expensive and I do not have any practical use for such a -comparatively speaking- short lifespan devise. (laptops vs desktops).

I rarely if ever need anything read or played aloud because I want my peace and quiet. That's what I need when I write.

I do have to say though, that it's really been fun listening you try to sell me something I have no use for. You may have really missed a 'salesman' calling in life! I think you'd be great at it!

And hey, keep downloading those new books!!! =)

-kells-

James D. Macdonald
05-02-2012, 09:28 PM
I too live in a remote rural area. Cell phone service starts -- spottily -- thirty-five miles south of me.

ResearchGuy
05-02-2012, 09:42 PM
. . .I live in a remote mountainous rural area. (read: spotty cell phone service at best) I don't own a cell phone or smart phone because I have no need for them - which is a good thing because I can't afford them anyways. . . .
You are obviously not the audience for such devices.

Anyway, my point was not to "sell" the devices, but to correct the misstatements that were being made here. People should make choices on the basis of real information, not cartoonish distortions. I'm sorry that offends you.

--Ken

veinglory
05-02-2012, 09:46 PM
I recently bought a kindle and kind of like it, but there is a not a lot of wifi to be have even in Schaumburg. I have to use the cable, which is clunky. They could have made it 'plug and play'. That would have been easier.

Old Hack
05-02-2012, 11:30 PM
There's no 3G service where I live, either, although it does start to appear a few miles down the road.

I've always got one or two books on the go and when I buy new ones (which is often) it takes me a few days minimum to get round to reading them, because I'll finish the book(s) I'm already reading first. I don't like to read too many books concurrently as I lose connection with them. So I'm not sure that it's such a big deal being able to download a book instantly and start reading it there and then: at least, this isn't something that makes me feel like an e-reader has a significant advantage over print books.

Medievalist
05-03-2012, 12:26 AM
So I'm not sure that it's such a big deal being able to download a book instantly and start reading it there and then: at least, this isn't something that makes me feel like an e-reader has a significant advantage over print books.

My Palm and laptop saved my sanity when I was flying coast to coast on a regular basis in 2005-2006.

I spent so much time in airports and hotels, and traveled with carryon luggage only. Being able to download a book at will and load the Palm up with books was huge.

FOTSGreg
05-03-2012, 01:21 AM
ResearchGuy, it's like I told my friend Erika when I gave her my Nook Color, "I didn't give you a book. I gave you a thousand books." (she'd been expecting to receive a hardback book or something).

mpclemens
05-03-2012, 01:43 AM
... Many of us don't see a need for something only used for reading and I certainly can't justify buying such a single purpose device. I'll always use my smartphone or computer, or if I can afford one, a tablet.

For what it's worth, that's exactly why I like my e-reader: it's single-purpose. Nothing else but reading. I've been using it to brush up on all the "classics" that I read when I was a bratty teenager in school, and didn't know good literature when it was foisted upon me. Rah rah Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/)!

My best reading device, though, has to be my own two feet. They carry me to the library to pick up the various titles I reserve on line and have delivered to my local branch: it's the perfect blend of high- and low-tech.

Shadow_Ferret
05-03-2012, 04:56 AM
I take it that you have not actually used a Kindle. Here are things mine does:

--Downloads books, magazines, and articles virtually instantly (read a review, see an author on TV or hear on radio and download book or sample within a minute)
--Enables viewing of purchased books on other devices on the same account (my wife's Kindle, my laptop, her iPhone if she ever wanted to, my iPad) with no additional charge
--Allows highlighting and annotating, saving highlighted passages and annotations to a separate file
--Allows organizing of books and other downloaded items into named folders (for example, one for science books, another for American classics, another for poetry, etc.)
--Allows total portability, all in the same one-pound package (including cover with light)
--Enables looking up word definitions instantly (plus the other information in a college dictionary, such as etymology)
--Allows browsing of dictionaries (two good ones came with my Kindle)
--Enables Web searching (a little slow, with some limitations, but available everywhere with WiFi or 3G connection -- which is nearly everywhere, as a practical matter)
--Enables purchase (from $0.00 on up) of books, magazines, etc., 24/7, with no car expense, no shipping charge
--Provides immediate access to free book samples
--Enables note-taking via an inexpensive downloadable app, and even a variety of games, ditto.
--Displays personal documents emailed or copied to the device
--Stores thousands of books on the device itself, with online archive backup of all that have been purchased (including the $0.00 downloads) and availability of archived items on other devices on the same account
--Reads books and other material aloud, in an adequate computer voice
--Plays music
--Plays audio books
--Provides immediate access to book recommendations, reader reviews, best seller lists, etc.
--Allows larger or smaller font, closer or wider spacing, serif or sans serif, faster or slower reading aloud, etc.

Sure, I could lug around my laptop and (unreliable) wireless hot spot and use Kindle reading app on that, or could carry around my iPad, ditto. But the Kindle is about the size of a trade paperback.

Oh, for those who want color, there are plenty of color e-readers (Kindle and Nook models, Kobo models).

It is not just a reading device. It is a book store and reference center.

So . . . "does nothing more than show text"? Not so. And that is why e-readers are increasingly displacing printed books.


--Ken

Um. Most of that stuff is still just related to eBook single purpose. Downloading A BOOK. Viewing A BOOK. Highlighting A BOOK. Organizing A BOOK. Stores A BOOK. Changes font size on A BOOK.

And my wife has a Kindle. It doesn't do half that stuff you mentioned. No audio. No music. It just holds BOOKS.

Thanks. But I'll keep my smartphone, which is also portable. You see, I can carry it anywhere anytime, in my pocket. I can't do that with an eBook reader, they're just a little too big. And I get phone calls. And I can chat on here.


Buy one with 3G. Why would I want to spend $30 a month on 3G to only download books?

thothguard51
05-03-2012, 05:48 AM
With my Kindle Fire I can...

Download movies or TV shows. I listen to them on head phones.

Download music and again, listen to them on head phones.

Play games when I tire of reading, chess, mahjong, and lots of others.

Search the web, even check in with the cooler if I feel the need, and respond to threads.

Check my email accounts or send email.

Download or pull up pictures from the web.

I can go to my Dropbox and pull up any of my files. Work on them and then my dropbox will update and sync for the other devices when I hit save. I don't do this often, but I do have the capability to do so...

None of those things are book related but that is what I mostly use my Kindle Fire for, reading and the device fit right in my back pocket...

ResearchGuy
05-03-2012, 06:00 AM
. . .And my wife has a Kindle. It doesn't do half that stuff you mentioned. No audio. No music. It just holds BOOKS.. . .

Why would I want to spend $30 a month on 3G to only download books?
Really? What model? [Edited to add: Must be the bottom-of-the-line $79 one. Yeah, that one apparently does not have audio. I just looked at the comparative features.]

And the 3G is free. I've never paid a dime for that on my Kindle (after the initial purchase; that model, with 3G, was more expensive than the cheapest one with WiFi only).

--Ken

KTC
05-03-2012, 06:12 AM
I almost exclusively read books on my Kindle Appp on my Android. I buy 2 - 5 books a week now! I can't stop! Addicted. I'm on my Android right now. :-) Amazon's 1-click ordering is killing me!!!

ResearchGuy
05-03-2012, 06:18 AM
. . . Amazon's 1-click ordering is killing me!!!
You and me, Bud, you and me . . . print AND e.

--Ken

Shadow_Ferret
05-03-2012, 06:20 AM
With my Kindle Fire I can...

Download movies or TV shows. I listen to them on head phones.

Download music and again, listen to them on head phones.

Play games when I tire of reading, chess, mahjong, and lots of others.

Search the web, even check in with the cooler if I feel the need, and respond to threads.

Check my email accounts or send email.

Download or pull up pictures from the web.

I can go to my Dropbox and pull up any of my files. Work on them and then my dropbox will update and sync for the other devices when I hit save. I don't do this often, but I do have the capability to do so...

None of those things are book related but that is what I mostly use my Kindle Fire for, reading and the device fit right in my back pocket...
Kindle Fire is more of a tablet than a dedicated eReader. It's tablet Lite. :D And you must have big back pockets. And is that with or without the cool faux hardcover book case?

Really? What model?

And the 3G is free. I've never paid a dime for that on my Kindle (after the initial purchase; that model, with 3G, was more expensive than the cheapest one with WiFi only).

--Ken
The one that cost us nearly $200 a few years ago. I have no idea. It's grey and says AmazonKindle on it.

And I don't understand how you can use 3G without a 3G cell phone service. It's not free. You have to use a provider.

ResearchGuy
05-03-2012, 06:32 AM
. . .And I don't understand how you can use 3G without a 3G cell phone service. It's not free. You have to use a provider.
It is built into that model Kindle. Really. Worth the extra fifty bucks I paid when I bought it in September 2010. Now they call that one "Kindle Keyboard 3G (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HZYA6E/ref=famstripe_kk3g)." (Edited to add: Mine does not have the "special offers," though. That is relatively new.)

I'm not trying to persuade anyone that they need one of these, or any e-book reader for that matter. I just think folks ought to be aware of what they offer, which helps to explain why the e-book market is exploding. This is important not only to readers, but to writers and to publishers of every size and kind. They are only going to continue to get better. And that has implications for writers and publishers.

--Ken

Medievalist
05-03-2012, 06:53 AM
And I don't understand how you can use 3G without a 3G cell phone service. It's not free. You have to use a provider.

Amazon is paying the bill.

thothguard51
05-03-2012, 06:57 AM
Kindle Fire is more of a tablet than a dedicated eReader. It's tablet Lite. :D And you must have big back pockets. And is that with or without the cool faux hardcover book case?

The one that cost us nearly $200 a few years ago. I have no idea. It's grey and says AmazonKindle on it.

When I looked at the Fire, I knew it was more than the older Kindle models, but at $199 last Nov, it was also cheeper than a tablet. As to pockets, I have a leather cover for it, but don't use it much. It fits snuggly in my rear pocket of most of my pants. Does not fall out.

I got no idea about the 3G stuff...

merrihiatt
05-03-2012, 07:24 AM
http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2012/0502/Target-waves-goodbye-to-the-Amazon-Kindle-but-Nook-can-stay

Looks like Target will discontinue selling Kindles. Interesting shifts taking place as companies jockey for position with or without Amazon.

Shadow_Ferret
05-03-2012, 07:29 AM
Amazon is paying the bill.

Wow. I wonder how long that will continue considering all the cell phone providers are creating data package tier packages. The price of a data package is the reason I've never even thought about getting a table with 3G. I'd have to pay for that and my smartphone.

ResearchGuy
05-03-2012, 06:22 PM
Wow. I wonder how long that will continue . . ..
IMHO, as long as it is profitable. It is a way for Amazon to sell books, after all, and the buyer pays extra up front for that added service -- $50 for the model I bought in 2010.

FWIW, Amazon encourages using WiFi when possible rather than 3G, so that would moderate 3G usage. Users with an eye on battery life also turn off wireless on their Kindles nearly all of the time anyway. If it is off and you want to shop in the Kindle store, the device prompts you to turn on wireless.

BTW, the Kindle Fire, designed with an eye to Web use, does not have 3G -- but rather, WiFi only. The devices that do NOT encourage more than minimal Web use can come with 3G (or be puchased cheaper without that feature).

Anyway, again, this is by way of attempting to provide accurate information.

--Ken

mpclemens
05-04-2012, 12:56 AM
There can't be that much data being sent over 3G for a standard eBook -- it's just text, a little formatting, maybe a cover image. eBooks are tiny compared to, say, streaming HD video.

My eyesight isn't good enough to read off a phone screen unaided, and I really, really like the e-ink displays. Lousy for a screen that needs to refresh quickly like on a general-purpose device, but really just perfect for text, especially in bright light.

Shadow_Ferret
05-04-2012, 08:01 AM
There can't be that much data being sent over 3G for a standard eBook -- it's just text, a little formatting, maybe a cover image. eBooks are tiny compared to, say, streaming HD video.


Yes, but ResearchGuy has a Kindle that can download music and audio books. May not be streaming HD video, but music still takes up bandwidth. Audiobooks not so much.

mpclemens
05-04-2012, 08:40 PM
Yes, but ResearchGuy has a Kindle that can download music and audio books. May not be streaming HD video, but music still takes up bandwidth. Audiobooks not so much.

True. I keep forgetting that I may not represent the typical e-reader consumer. I nearly fell over myself when B&N announced their simple touch reader last year, because all it can do is display text. No apps, games, tunes, movies, or other distractions.

Not flaming anyone who has a fancy tablet or reader, I just couldn't manage that.

ResearchGuy
05-05-2012, 02:42 AM
..., but music still takes up bandwidth. Audiobooks not so much.
I am confident that most use, even of that model, is for books (text, not audible). And while it can play MP3 music files, they must be ported over a cable (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/listening-to-mp3-music-files-on-your-kindle.html), not delivered via 3G or WiFi. (I never use it for music anyway, just for books. Music goes on my MP3 player.) Audible books can be purchased directly in the Kindle store and downloaded.

Anyway . . . Amazon builds a tiny bandwidth charge into Kindle sales. For example, the "average delivery charge" on Laurie Hoirup's memoir (which I published, so I can look this up) on Kindle is $0.06 (six cents). That comes out of MY revenues, and is not charged to the purchaser.

And remember: some folks, even with a 3G model, will be using WiFi anyway.

--Ken

PulpDogg
05-10-2012, 03:52 PM
I don't think dedicated e-readers are the future. Reading books as a secondary function on tablets and smartphones will be the future. That is why Amazon's Kindle Fire is the biggest selling Android tablet. I don't have a Kindle, but I have Kindle apps for PC (which I don't use), my Android smartphone and my Android tablet. I love the sync function between the devices. I also have Aldiko, an epub reader software for Android - so I can read epubs as well.

For me it simply doesn't make the slightest sense to buy a Kindle or any other dedicated e-reader. It would be different if I didn't have either smartphone or tablet. But since those are becoming ubiquitous, I don't think dedicated e-readers have much of a future or only if they drop in price significantly.

mpclemens
05-11-2012, 02:05 AM
I don't think dedicated e-readers are the future. Reading books as a secondary function on tablets and smartphones will be the future.

Maybe, but I don't think that future is here yet. The e-ink technology is a totally different reading experience than the LCD-based displays -- even the snazzy hi-res displays of the new iPad. I think we'll need to see better contrast and more power-miserly display technology before e-readers are made obsolete. I hope tablets don't do away with that niche market: they make my eyes hurt after an extended period of time, and I need more text than what a phone displays.

Arpeggio
05-11-2012, 11:35 PM
Maybe, but I don't think that future is here yet. The e-ink technology is a totally different reading experience than the LCD-based displays -- even the snazzy hi-res displays of the new iPad. I think we'll need to see better contrast and more power-miserly display technology before e-readers are made obsolete. I hope tablets don't do away with that niche market: they make my eyes hurt after an extended period of time, and I need more text than what a phone displays.

Interesting article on that...

http://www.loopinsight.com/2012/01/04/the-e-reader-as-we-know-it-is-doomed/

quote...

"And while that might be enough for some, it is clear that e-ink is progressing towards a colorful, responsive, video-capable future, and that is certainly not what constitutes an e-reading device. That is a tablet"

mpclemens
05-12-2012, 01:00 AM
If e-ink technology or a replacement comes along that is responsive enough for tablet makers, then more power to 'em. I'm not such a Luddite to believe that we'll all be using e-ink displays in ten years (say), but I do know that the "Light Emitting" portion of "LED" bugs my eyes, retina display or not, and it's still very finicky about what kind of reading light you're using. Bookmakers have had a few years to settle on the optimal reading surface, and now it's up to the gadgetmakers to recreate that experience.

I know that tablets do more, and I certainly see a lot of value in that -- textbooks can be enhanced with interactive content, for example, a great use of the technology -- but if I want to flop out on the couch with Mr. Dickens or Mr. Twain or Ms. Rowling, I want do to it with something that lets me forget about the technology I'm using. Incessant scrolling on a smartphone does not, in my opinion, count as "disappearing" the technology involved. For that matter, neither does holding a massive print edition of a book. Something roughly paperback sized, inexpensive, able to go for days without a recharge even after marathon reading sessions... something that can bump the type size up when I can't find my glasses or the light it low, something that doesn't get in the way of the reading, and something that doesn't make me come down all headachy. That's what I want.

The latest generation of "Touch"-type readers hits that sweet spot for me right now. And why I love my little Nook, as well as my shelves of books, but have no interest in a tablet yet, beyond my standard daily gadget-lust.