A reader’s ereader dilemma

I gave in and bought a NOOKcolor a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to wait until there was something a little more library-friendly, but my gadget envy took hold and now I own an ereader. I’d love to know how/if you’re reading ebooks! Here are a few ‘excuses’ for my purchase.
My — acceptable and unacceptable — Excuses

  • So many holds on the titles I want from the library. (hey! at least people are using the library! yay!) I don’t have the time (or patience) to wait until the next copy becomes available. However, I noticed that as I grumbled and put the print book on hold, the ebook format was -usually- available! If I only had an ereader…
  • Did I mention how I am so busy that I can never get to the library to pick up my holds (of books in print) during the hours they are open? It would be so nice to just get an email saying my book is ready to check out and download. If I only had an ereader…
  • If I’m going to be a librarian, I should have SOME clue how to work the ereaders. I want to be able to answer users’ questions: like, “How do I use my ereader?” I could learn how to use them… If I only had an ereader…
  • I’m going to be traveling soon — to job interviews and eventually moving. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to carry several books in my purse on the plane? (Yes. I do this…) Wouldn’t it be nice to have fewer books to move to my new living location? If I only had an ereader…
  • I’m doing an internship – directed fieldwork – at Bellevue Regional Library in Bellevue, WA right now and I’ve seen so many adorable elderly couples come to the library with their new NOOKs.
    • Exact conversation at the reference desk:
      • Me: Well, first, we need to get you connected to the internet.
      • Old man: Honey, you need to turn on the wireless internet
      • Old lady: Well, I don’t remember how to do that. Do I want to click on the airplane?
      • Old man: No, you want to make the airplane go away.
      • Old lady: Well, I just made it go away. Let me get it back.
      • Old man: No, you don’t want the airplane.
      • Old lady: Oh! I don’t? Well, good. I just made it go away.
      • Me: Okay. Let’s see what we can do.
    • Okay, who wouldn’t want to help this precious couple! If only I had an ereader…

I’m sure there were other reasons, but these were the main ones. As I stood at Barnes & Noble and talked to the young man who was selling me the NOOKcolor, I asked him a couple of questions:

Will it ever be easier for a person to check out a book from the library and put it on an ereader?
—- “Not when the ereaders are are sold by booksellers. We want you to buy the books!” (duh!)

Although Overdrive did just come out with an iPad app for ebooks and there has been nothing but good things said about it. See this article in Library Journal. And I will say that I may have been a bit hasty buying a NOOK instead of waiting to see if I could ever afford the iPad, but oh well. I’m already over it.

Do people come to the store and ask them how to download books from the library?
—- “Every day. In fact, I just held a little tutorial to teach people how to use their NOOKs and I spent half that time showing them how to download books from the library.”

He gave me his card when he found out I was in the library “business” and said he’d be willing to come and talk to people about how to use the NOOK. He shook my hand and said something like, “I’m glad we’re on the same page. We’re both excited that people are reading!”

And he’s right. People (of all ages) are reading ebooks. Older adults, parents, teens, and children! They’re reading on their mobile devices, computers and ereaders, and I’ve got to stay in the loop!

I’m so glad I have an ereader…

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4 Responses to A reader’s ereader dilemma

  1. Courtney says:

    Great post, Heidi.

    You outline nearly exactly the thought process I went through when I bought my Nook. I chose the Nook primarily because of it's use of the Epub format, which means FREE CONTENT. I have many books awaiting me on Overdrive!

    I look forward to your future posts on ereaders and libraries, as well as news of your job search!

  2. Heidi says:

    Thanks, Courtney! I also love the free content. I can't believe I forgot to mention that! Do you have the NOOKcolor or the lovely original NOOK?

  3. Courtney says:

    I have the lovely original! At first I was jealous that the NookColor came out so soon after I bought mine (last March). However, I adore the e-ink display. Whilst reading on a Jamaican beach, I was reminded of a Kindle commercial that ran around the launch of the iPad: I had absolutely no trouble reading in the sun, while others with iPads had glare to deal with.
    But I'm still jealous of a full touch screen! I've gotten so used to it with my phone, I find myself trying to touch the e-ink display all the time.

  4. […] what I’m going to advocate for at the library. Of course, if a patron asks me which ereader I would buy, I’d gladly tell them I want the new NOOK and then explain my reasoning: (1) […]

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