What I’m wondering

Now that school is back in session, I’m spending a little bit of time sitting in my car… in carpool, waiting for dance class, etc. And that time is usually spent catching up on reading.  Reading my current book of choice or reading one of the magazines I subscribe to.

I love magazines. I love the glossy, sleek pages. I love the streamlined design, the catchy fonts and colorful titles and the glorious photography.  The latent graphic designer in me is in heaven when I find a well laid-out magazine.

Some of my current favorites are Family Circle, Real Simple and Taste of Home.  They give me ideas for taking care of my family and usually provide some general entertainment when I’m stuck in car rider line. My guilty pleasure that I read when I travel is Vanity Fair. I like the fact that the articles are long (and interesting) and get me through long flights when I can’t read on my e-reader.

fam circle

But one of my pet peeves, since I have an e-reader, is that, should I want to read my magazine on my e-reader, I’d have to pay for a completely different subscription in addition to my paper magazine subscription.  Way back when I used to subscribe to the Martha Stewart family of magazines, I got access to the electronic magazine included in my paper subscription.  It was a great perk that spoiled me utterly.

I admit, I love, love, love reading a paper magazine. More so than the electronic version. I love sliding those glossy pages along each other as I peruse the pages and read the articles.  I love being able to read them in carpool line or at the pool without worry of wear and tear and water damage.  I love being able to tear out the one page with a recipe, or an article, that I want to share or save, without having to keep the whole darn thing when I’m finished.

What I don’t love is that they are big and bulky to carry around… which leads me to wishing I could read them on an e-reader.  I have tried. Lord knows, I’ve tried. For several magazines I tried electronic versions, thinking I would drop the paper completely and read them only on the e-reader.  But it just wasn’t the same.  It seems sterile.  And I don’t get the same “feel” as I’m flipping through the pages.  Some of them are hard to read because the font size is so small – or you have to use the “article view” which totally ruins the “read the words and look at the picture at the same time” vibe you get with a paper magazine.

But it is nice having six months of magazines on my e-reader to peruse or review a recipe at will.  And that is why I wish I had access to all my magazine subscriptions on my e-reader… AND my paper magazines, too.

What?

I can’t have it all?

Apparently not.

While some magazines, like Martha Stewart, offer complimentary access to their electronic version of their magazines to subscribers, most I’ve found do not.  And this is really too bad.  The way I see it, I’ve already paid the premium for them to print and ship the magazine to me. (paper subscriptions are a lot more than e-versions)  I don’t think it costs them any more effort, hassle or money to provide me access to download the e-version to the same issue.

What do you think?

Are you an e-reader gal?  Or are you paper only?

Do you do like me and waffle between the two?

I guess, at some point, I’ll make the cut over to electronic-only.  But I am not sure when.  Even though I have an e-reader (multiple, actually) I still love holding a real BOOK in my hands.  Even though I use an electronic calendar, I still love writing things down in my PLANNER.  There is just something about the tactile sensation of these activities.

I’m in a quandary – and the publishers would make my life so much easier if they’d just let me have my cake and eat it too, so to speak.

What do you think?

 

I have a new toy

I have been thinking about getting an eReader for a few months now.  I couldn’t decide between the Kindle and the Nook and I have been reading reviews and asking people that have both what they think of them. But, I still hadn’t made a decision.

Did I really need a digital book thingy? I mean, really?

And, would I really like it?

My mom and I are both voracious readers. I am usually reading two or three books at the same time. I keep one in the car, one by my rocking chair, and many on the nightstand.  That way, no matter where I am, I have a book to read.

My brother had mentioned the iPad to my mom when he was visiting in June.  I have seen so many people who’ve gotten one… but I just can’t seem to get past the high price tag and large size.  If I’m going to spend that much money, I just want to buy a new laptop – something I can do some digital scrapbooking and other things on – not just read and surf the web.

Anyway.

I am going on a business trip next week – and I have been trying to figure out how I was going to pick a book to read to take on the trip – since I have three I’m currently in the middle of. What if I finish one early on the trip? I don’t want to buy another book on the road when I have two more at home waiting to be finished. But, I don’t want to carry a bunch of books with me, either. That is just too much extra bulk and weight! (my mind never rests – it’s always tossing and turning on these silly conundrums – does your mind do this, too?)

So, my mind wandered back to the Kindle/Nook question again.  I went online (again) and read some more reviews. (I love CNet.com’s reviews.  They never fail me) After church yesterday, we went out for lunch and just happened (wink, wink) to go to a restaurant in the same shopping center as a Barnes & Noble.  I managed to sneak in and get a detailed demo of the Nook from a very knowledgeable salesperson (thank you!)

I discovered that the Nook has some cool little features that the Kindle doesn’t.  They are both so similar that there isn’t really one specific feature that puts one over the other, in my opinion. I think it boils down to personal preferences.  But here is what I liked about the Nook:image

  • I love the virtual menu – a touch screen rather than physical keys (the Kindle has keys).  I like it because it turns itself off after a few seconds (you can specify how long) and then you don’t have to worry about accidentally pressing a menu key and having something happen in the middle of reading.
  • I love the eInk technology (they both have this). It makes it so easy on your eyes when you are reading – so much more easy than reading on my iPod touch or phone screen. It is black & white, so there is no color display (except the menu screen, which is in color)
  • I love the fact that I can have 1,500 books on the Nook at one time (I don’t think I’d ever worry about not having something to read again!)  And, with the Nook’s ability to add a micro-SD card, I can expand that capacity if I need/want to.
  • I can also put music on my Nook – so I can use it as an MP3 player if I choose.  Which is just a neat feature but not really something that I thought my future eReader had to have.
  • I love that I can download a book in less than a minute.  I am an impatient girl. If I find a book that I want to read, I want it NOW. I don’t want to wait to have to go to the store (maybe days from now) and now I don’t have to!  How cool is that?!?
  • I also love the fact that it stores where I left off reading in every single book I am reading – and will take me to the last point read when I open the book. No more lost bookmarks.
  • I think it is cool that it has a browser on it as well – Given, you are looking at a black & white screen (because of the eInk) and some pages look very dull in b&w, but at least you can look at the internet if the mood strikes you.  The browsing feature is a little strange (you use the color, touch screen at the bottom to scroll/pan around the larger b&w browser page) and is going to take some getting used to, but I like the fact that I can go online and look things up if the notion strikes me – and I don’t have to get my laptop out to do so.
  • I got the one with the 3G service on it. At first, I wasn’t really sure why I’d need that, but I found out in the first five minutes why, and I’m so glad I did.  The 3G service allows the Nook to connect to any AT&T cell tower (automatically, I didn’t have to do anything) and provide access.  In fact, I took the Nook out of the box on the drive home, just to see it in person, and when I turned it on, it connected to the 3G network and I was able to register my Nook and connect to B&N as we were driving home. THAT, my friends, was really cool. No waiting for a WiFi connection.  Just presto! and I was online as we drove down the highway.

Big Girl is also enamored with my new toy.  She has been very resistant to my planned reading schedule this summer and new books or trips to the library have not swayed her in her determination NOT to read.  However, the Nook seems to have changed all that. I don’t know if it is the novelty of it, or what, but she quickly asked for a book to be loaded (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief) and started reading away.

I have noticed, prior to this, that she seems intimidated by books that seem “big” or “long” and I’m wondering if I’ll be able to get her to pick stories that just seem interesting without being intimidated by their heft – since she will be reading them virtually.  I loaded the B&N eReader software on her netbook, so if I am using the Nook, she can still read her story. (As a matter of fact, if I have the B&N eReader software loaded on my phone or iPod, I can do the same and read any book I’m in the middle of on my Nook even if the Nook is not with me. I am not sure yet if the bookmarks will synch or not. Have to check that out.)Details 

As a matter of fact, she came downstairs this morning, Nook in hand, reading away.  Wow.  That’s just awesome.

So, I’m all set with my new toy and I’m ready for my business trip (just as soon as I pack).  I got a cute cover for the Nook, too – to keep it safe from scratches while it rides around in my bag. I think I’m going to name her – just haven’t decided what yet. “Nook” sounds silly – Big Girl and I both think.  And with this cute pink jacket, I think she is just begging for a name.  Matilda?  Beatrice?

Do any of you have eReaders?  Or thoughts about having one - or not having one?  I admit, I have been on the fence for a LONG time, but now that I got one, I’m so glad I did.