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Ebook Weekly: Ebook Reader Diary Entry #2

I always think it’s interesting to read how others got interested in the ebook market. I found Jenn from Pocketables via PocketPC Thoughts. She had just reviewed a very cool tech toy called a UMPC (ultra mobile pc). I spent the day cruising her website, reading her detailed reviews and noticed that she used her UMPC for reading ebooks (She had Shanna Swendon’s Once Upon Stilettos). Jenn is one of a few women who blog about tech items. (I like Gadgeteer as well). Jenn also writes for Anything But Ipod and is a Contributing Editor for Mobility Today. I am not sure how she manages to keep up with all her writing gigs, her real job and still finds time to read. Thanks Jenn for sharing your thoughts with us today.

  • Q: When did you start reading ebook? Why?
    Years ago, I remember reading about all the hype surrounding ebooks and just couldn’t understand the appeal of it. I had tried reading an entire book from the Internet Public Library ( www.ipl.org) and staring at the monitor for such an extended amount of time hurt my eyes so much that I really couldn’t imagine how anyone could read anything on a PDA. I had owned several PDAs in the past, but they were all used for only minutes at time to check my calendar, look up an address, or play a quick game.

    Two years ago I bought a Palm Tungsten C after seeing my husband’s new Clie because I wanted something that could wirelessly access the Internet too. Being able to go online with the device somehow opened me up to wanting to use the PDA to its absolute fullest. So I began to download and install programs from just about every category at places like PalmGear.com, which is where I stumbled upon eReader.

    I have somewhat obsessive collecting tendencies, so when I saw how many books were available for eReader, I went wild. I actually still haven’t read some of the books I got from my first spree! (Though this is actually because my reading interests are sporadic.)

  • Q: What was your first reading device? What do you use now?
    The Palm Tungsten C was my first device. I still use it occasionally, as there are still a number of books I haven’t read. I recently bought a Sony Vaio UX180P Micro PC, so I’m stocking my e-library with new books for Microsoft Reader.
  • Q: What do you like about ebooks? Would you give up paper books if you could get all your books in ebook format?
    I’ve already given up paper books! I love that my entire bookshelf can be replaced with a small gadget that doesn’t require regular dusting :) I also don’t have to find scraps of paper or various odds-and-ends to use as bookmarks anymore. I just turn off my device and my place in the ebook is automatically saved. And with ebooks, there’s never a possibility of finding a nasty silverfish on the page.
  • Q: How do you feel about pricing of ebooks?
    I think they’re very reasonably priced for the most part. I’d be happier if all ebooks, regardless of popularity or release date, were under $10. Most books already are, though, and ones that aren’t eventually get reduced. So I don’t have any complaints.
  • Q: What is your favorite reading software program?
    I just started using Microsoft Reader recently, so eReader is still my favorite, maybe because I’ve used it for years. I like its simplicity and uncluttered/unobstrusive design.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

6 Comments

  1. Tilly Greene
    Jul 30, 2006 @ 09:50:28

    Fantastic interview! It was interesting to hear from someone who came to ebooks via the electronics road and cares about the reading experience, not all the other stuff.

    As usual, thank you :-)

    ReplyReply

  2. Miki S
    Jul 30, 2006 @ 20:34:13

    Yes, the UMPCs look very cool. Samsung’s got one called an “Origami” which just sets off all my “I-want-I-want” bells for new gadgets. But it’s $1000! $1000 for what would mostly be a PDA-replacement is ridiculous. I just can’t justify it.

    And, as Jenn has already commented, battery life for laptops and UMPCs is horrid, if you want to use it as an ebook reader and not be plugged into the wall somewhere.

    Even my PocketPC isn’t great – the eBookwise so far has the best life by far. And while I’m curious about Sony’s new reader, it’s yet another piece of hardware with a proprietary eBook format. Gak!

    ReplyReply

  3. Jane
    Jul 30, 2006 @ 22:51:13

    I appreciate Jenn taking the time out of her busy life to answer a few questions. I am green with tech envy. The Sony Reader fascinates me. I think the pictures of it look fabulous and if it is around the $250.00 mark I may have to purchase one. Just for the edification of the blog readers, of course.

    ReplyReply

  4. Miki
    Jul 31, 2007 @ 22:08:47

    Jane, I heard a rumor – if you’re willing to sign up for (and are approved for) another credit card (co-branded with Sony), you’ll be able to buy one of the ebook readers for $50!! (For a short time).

    I’m a so very tempted…even though I’m very happy with my eBookwise, and think I would miss the backlight feature…

    ReplyReply

  5. Jane
    Jul 31, 2007 @ 22:19:03

    Miki – I heard that rumor too but haven’t received my unit yet so didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up.

    ReplyReply

  6. Dear Authors 2007 Christmas Buying Guide for Ebook Readers: The MultiFunction Device | Dear Author
    Nov 14, 2010 @ 16:12:14

    [...] I first started ebook Sunday, I interviewed Jenn from Pocketables.Net. Her reader of choice was an ultra-mobile computer, the Sony Vaio UX180P. [...]

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