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Are you planning on buying an ebook reader this Christmas

I'm thinking of buying an ebook reader as a gift for christmas (either for yourself or others)

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Forrester researchers are estimating that close to a million new ebook readers will be purchased for the holidays.   I am planning on buying one   depending on what comes out from Barnes and Noble.   How about you?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Jayne
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 09:35:56

    I might buy an ebook but I’m not buying an ebook reader.

  2. Lisa J
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 09:38:51

    I bought an e-book reader in June for myself. The only person I would give a gift a reader to is my dad and he wants to wait and see what the tablet computers look like.

    I love my Sony 505 and several people I work with are interested in one, but they are debating Sony vs Kindle, plus the price.

  3. RStewie
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 09:48:26

    I will be buying myself several ebooks “for Christmas” (although the timing of the holiday is really inconsequential to the purchasing, except to justify the expenditure)…but no ereader.

    I have ventured into the ebook realm, but I’ll stick to my laptop and Adobe Digital Editions for now (with the abiding hope that Microsoft will claim and release the Courier at some point in the near (or not so distant) future).

    Happily, I have the entire IAD on ebook, which makes it super easy for me to read and reread the series at leisure. I’m looking to acquire Meljean Brook’s Guardian series the same way (where IS book one??) and there’s a couple others on my list at present, besides.

  4. maddie
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 09:51:47

    I would love to buy one but I’m still up in the air with which one.
    The Kindle 1984 thingamabob made me rethink of buying that one, and not sure where to go from there.

  5. Carolyn Jewel
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 09:52:01

    Still debating. If my siblings and I get together and buy my folks a Kindle (there’s no way they could deal with the technology issues of the Sony reader) then yes.

    Otherwise, no.

  6. HeatherK
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 10:12:58

    No ebook readers on the list for this year since I got my red Sony 505 earlier in the year and mom got my old reader. We’re the only readers in the family at this point, so there’s really no one else to get one for.

  7. roslynholcomb
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 10:15:06

    Not until they’re simpler and cheaper.

  8. Kate Pearce
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 10:17:04

    I just bought my hubby a Kindle for his birthday yesterday so I’m going to use him as a test subject before I commit. Mind you, the first thing he downloaded was Dan Brown…sigh…

  9. Shiloh Walker
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 10:32:20

    Nope, i just myself a new Sony touch which I love. :-)

  10. Shay
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 10:44:09

    Christmas is going to be mean and lean this year, so Santa will not be stuffing stockings with e-readers! Besides the budget issues, I’m really not that much in a hurry to pony up on an e-reader yet as I pretty much live and read on my laptop.

  11. Amy S
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 10:45:00

    No way am I buying one. I don’t want to borrow my books I want to own them forever. In three or four hundred years time I want my great great grandchildren or whoever to be able to read my books (I am a collector and love rare-ish books), to be able to hold them and look at their beautiful covers. If I bought an ereader today I doubt it would still be working in 70 years time – how long do people keep their mobile phones these days? Fair enough, every time I got a new one I could upload the texts to my computer or wherever (rights permitting) and then onto the new device, but one technical glitch and it would all be gone forever. Whereas with paper books once I’ve got them they’re mine, always. Fair enough a house fire could break out and destroy them, but barring such extreme circumstances I’ve got them forever. No one will be allowed to come into my house and take the books off my shelves. Similarly, my reading will be private and entirely as I choose. If one Thursday evening I think, “Ooh, I’m in the mood for some Jane Eyre”, I can quietly take the book and read it. No one will be able to electronically hook into my device and be able to spy on me and see what I’m reading, nor will they be able to delete the text at the click of a button at their own volition.

    Power to the people!!!!

  12. Mireya
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 10:54:16

    No. I “gifted” myself with a Sony 505 last Christmas, so I am good for the next couple of years.

  13. liz m
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 10:58:14

    I got a 505 this summer, and I really want to get one for my brother. It’s price / cash flow dependent. If I can make it happen without putting a crimp in my budget, I will. If they were about a hundred bucks, there are a couple people on my list I’d consider getting it for.

  14. Cathy
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 11:13:48

    I bought a Kindle back in February and, for me, where one e-reader is great, two is redundant. Mostly waiting on the Courier now.

  15. vanessa jaye
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 11:21:16

    Got a SONY 505 for Xmas last year. I’m good.

  16. DS
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 11:40:05

    I bought one for my sister-in-law, then decided to give my brother one as well this year. If the Asus eeeReader comes out I might buy it for myself because of its novelty value– folding dual screen.

  17. tricia
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 11:49:29

    As we speak, my husband is in the US and he’ll be bringing me a Sony when he comes back to Canada. We’d made this plan even before the most recent Kindle announcement–with the CAD/USD exchange rate, buying one here still costs way more than buying one there, and he’ll be there long enough that he won’t have to pay duty.

    After two years of reading ebooks at the computer, a simple Pocket is going to do it for me for a couple of years; paper books are still probably going to be at least 75% of my reading. The main reason I want an e-reader is to read library books. I went to my local Sony store, played with their display models, determined that the Pocket is not in fact too small for me to read comfortably, and sent him on his way with a list of stores near where he’s going to be staying.

  18. SandyW
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 11:59:03

    Between my trusty eBookwise and my tiny Asus netbook, I'm pretty satisfied. No plans to buy anything new.

  19. Becca
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 12:10:42

    not until they’re cheaper, til ebooks are more reasonably priced, and the whole DRM mess is settled. Then, maybe.

  20. GrowlyCub
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 12:15:03

    I bought myself a 505 in February and am good. I did go and check out the Pocket and Touch and was dismayed to see what a step back both are in terms of screen quality, glare and ink crispness.

    I expected some loss of crispness on the Touch because of the touch screen, but the Pocket has no such excuse.

    The crispness of the 505 is vastly superior and it has much less glare/reflection off the screen.

    I’d love the ability to take notes and the touch screen (in theory), but not enough to make up for the loss of readability.

    I’m thinking about buying another 505 and stashing it away in case something happens to my current model. I’m also curious about the other offerings we are supposed to see in time for Xmas (except Kindle, cause hell will freeze over before I allow Amazon to determine what I can and cannot read by granting them remote access to my library).

  21. Castiron
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 12:49:59

    Much as I liked the e-ink display on my nephew’s Kindle, I can’t justify the price tag for any of the e-ink ebook readers right now, especially since my creaky old Palm Tungsten is serving the purpose well enough. (I can carry the Palm and read one-handed while dogwalking. I don’t think I could do that with a Kindle or the average Sony.)

  22. Senetra
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 12:59:58

    I got a Sony 505 earlier this year. I’m now in want of a new laptop.

  23. Anon
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 13:09:20


    ETA that I agree with Amy S. at comment 11 – 100%. Sing it, sister.

  24. Danielle D
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 13:19:00

    I have both the Kindle 2, Sony 505 and iTouch — I think my husband might kill me if I ask him for another reader. I did sell to my friend me eReader that I purchase from a few years ago.

  25. Diana
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 13:23:20

    I’m seriously considering it, but I have a question: I’ve heard that the “ink” in the e-readers doesn’t survive cold temperatures. If I order one and it sits on my cold front porch for several hours before I get home from work, will it be damaged?

  26. joanne
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 13:46:38

    I bought myself one last year for the Holiday and now it’s just one more thing to dust.

    I have loved ebooks since I first found them long ago and far away but the specific ereader is too much of a time-suck for me. That’s my fault, I know, because I’m so thick-headed when it comes to new technology but then that’s also why I should be a target customer. Make it convenient for me. Pretend you want to make this consumer happy.

    I want to just load the books and read; any more steps then that just turns me off. I also don’t want to pay the extra dollars for the prices that some publishers are asking now. (Kindle) Or read them long after the release date.

    Asking too much?

  27. Mischa
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 13:56:56

    I already bought one for myself this spring and the only other person I know who reads as much as I do, my brother, makes way more than I do and can buy it himself if he ever wants one.

  28. Karen
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 13:59:52

    I was considering it, but I’m frustrated that the DRM issues haven’t been solved yet. I keep my devices for a long time (I’m still using a Palm IIIc that I bought 8 years ago) and I’m afraid that within the next couple of years, the current devices will be outdated. I don’t want to be stuck with a betamax. So my Christmas money will be going to computer upgrades instead of an ebook reader.

  29. rosecolette
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 14:16:49

    I’m waiting to see what the Apple tablet will do, if such a thing exists, and also waiting on the color e-readers. I’m more than willing to by a color reader if it means I can download cookbooks as ebooks.

  30. Statch
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 14:17:12

    I’m sticking with my iPod Touch and the Asus netbook. I’m glad single-purpose ebooks readers are out there for the people who want them, but they’re not for me, not now at least.

  31. Marianne McA
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 14:58:23

    No, I’ve got one.

  32. SeaGrace
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 15:29:56

    I think you should have a fourth option:

    I would buy one if I had the money.

  33. Sheryl Nantus
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 15:39:51

    I just can’t justify the price if it doesn’t do color…


  34. Jessica Kennedy
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 17:07:53

    I voted no because I already have one and I don’t have the money to buy one as a gift for anyone else.

    That’s quite the gift if it’s not a super close loved one. And that would have to count as Xmas and birthday combined if you ask me. :)

  35. jmc
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 17:31:44

    I have an older eBookwise reader, Kindle I, and an iPhone, so no new ereader for me. The readers among my friends and family read on their laptops, iPhones or in paper only. Don’t see that changing til DRM resolved and prices drop.

  36. Terisa Wilcox
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 17:37:07

    I haven't gotten an e-book reader as of yet. I've heard a lot about them, both good and bad, about the formatting as well as the readers themselves. As an author, I like the idea of my book being available in e-book format, but as a reader, I still like the print version at the moment. After staring at a computer screen all day, it's a bit easier on the eyes to read a print book. I may get one eventually though, especially if they come up with better formatting. Maybe for Christmas…maybe not.
    Terisa Wilcox

  37. Jinni
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 17:56:16

    @Amy S. — You rock! You sum it up PERFECTLY.

  38. brooksse
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 19:28:29

    I didn’t vote because I already have a Sony 505 and also recently bought a new Pocket edition. (I consider the Pocket edition a very early Christmas gift to myself.) The 505 stays at home, and the Pocket edition fits nicely in my purse for on-the-go reading.

    And one of the reasons I prefer ebooks is precisely because I DO want to keep my books permanently (or at least much, much, much longer than I could with a hard copy). I can’t stand overflowing bookshelves or cluttering up the house with piles of books in every room. So my hard copy TBR pile was limited to 5 or 6 books at a time, plus the number of books I kept was limited to one bookshelf and two under-bed boxes. Once the bookshelf and boxes were full, I had to decide which books to keep and which to give away. More than once, I’d find myself wanting to re-read something I’d given away a few years earlier. Re-buy it or just forget about re-reading it? And if I just wanted to skim through or check out something from the earlier book? Wasn’t gonna happen.

    With ebooks, that’s no longer a problem. I have 50 to 60 books on my TBR pile, most of which I got for less than half price (some as little as $1 or $2, and some that were freebies from eHarlequin/Mills & Boon). I can also keep hundreds or thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of ebooks if I want to, complete with backup copies. No more overflowing bookshelves, no more book clutter, no more deciding which books to keep, no more re-buying books previously given away. Now removing old ebooks from my reader does not have to mean permanently getting rid of them. A 100% improvement for me and well worth the price of the reader.

  39. silvia
    Oct 12, 2009 @ 21:27:41

    I’m debating… pretty much, it’s the DRM I’m waiting to see straightened out. I’ve purchased some e-books, but I’m a relectant user despite loving the IDEA. To start purchasing e-books in bulk – and thus needing a reader – I’d need to be sure that what I purchase can be used just like a physical book. aka take it wherever I want, not easy to lose, can mark it up however I like. This “locked” stuff is nonsense.

  40. Sabrina
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 04:55:04

    I am debating on buying one and apparently I am out of the loop on some things..hopefully someone can answer them for me. What is DRM? Is there a big difference in quality with the Sony Pocket Edition versus the Kindle–do not care about being able to get online and download with the Kindle, I have computers so I am good on the front:) I wear glasses so I think that is in my top concern pile, is it going to be hard to read..glare, font etc. I like the price of the Sony Pocket($199 thru the military exchange), but if I am just “settling” because of the price I can splurge and get the Kindle or if there is one better then those 2 please let me know(provided it is close in price as the Kindle or Sony). My husband has given me the go ahead for an early Christmas present so I intend to take full advantage of that before the present buying for the kiddies starts up. Thanks for any feedback!

  41. brooksse
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 09:36:52


    DRM is what publishers add to ebooks in an attempt to ensure only the buyer can open an ebook for reading on the buyer’s authorized devices (reader, laptop, iPhone, etc.). The Sony allows up to 6 authorized devices at a time. eBooks from NY publishers tend to have DRM, while digital publishers like Samhain tend to be DRM-free. Sony does allow you to de-authorize a device, which I have done.

    I can’t compare screen clarity because I’ve only used the Sony devices and have never seen the Kindle up close. But looks wise (and I can only go by pictures of the Kindle) I like the looks of the Sony much better. I don’t like the white plastic look of the Kindle; the Sony has more of a brushed metallic look and comes in a couple colors. Here is a link to a MobileRead post with a comparison between the Sony devices and the Kindle 2:

    If most of the books you will be purchasing are DRM protected, then I believe the Sony offers more options for purchasing. With the Sony, you can purchase DRM-protected ebooks from the Sony store, from any online ebook retailer that sells PDF or ePub formats, and directly from some publishers. With the Kindle, my impression is you are pretty much stuck with Amazon for purchasing DRM-protected ebooks (not 100% sure about this). If the books are not DRM-protected, then you have more options for purchasing for both devices.

    I think you can read both Kindle & Sony (ePub) on an iPhone or iTouch (again, not 100% sure about this).

    You can also read ebooks purchased for your Sony device on your computer or laptop. I don’t know if that is an option with the Kindle.

    With the Sony, you may also be able to borrow ebooks from your library if they offer ePub or PDF formats. I haven’t borrowed ebooks from the library; my library doesn’t have them. But I live near Houston and I think the Houston Public Library has them, and their website says library membership is free to anyone who lives in the state of Texas.

  42. Chicklet
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 10:15:23

    I voted “Still Debating,” because I’m waiting until the publishers get their heads out of their butts and stop charging a gigantor ebook premium. So, I guess I’ll be waiting until Christmas 2040. :-)

  43. Karen Wester Newton
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 13:12:18

    When I bought a Kindle 2, my husband got my Kindle 1. We are thinking of getting a Kindle for my dad, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.

    For those not willing to buy a Kindle because they think they can only put books on it if they get them from Amazon should know that they can put an non-DRN’d MOBI format book on the Kindle using the email “conversion.” The same goes for all the free HTML and PDF books out there, except they really do have to be converted.

  44. Angelia Sparrow
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 15:47:45

    My mom wants a reader. She’s in love with my Sony 505.

    The only problem is, she has no computer. I would have to teach her how, on my sister’s computer, to download and install ebooks.

    I will buy her a reader if my Ellora’s Cave royalties pan out decently.

  45. Joy
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 19:09:46

    I answered yes as a proxy for my family. I bought a Sony 505 last Christmas for myself and lost it in July (actually, calling it stolen since I know where I left it). I’ve requested my family (dad, brother, nephews) buy me a new reader for Christmas.

  46. Jessica G.
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 21:01:05

    I already have one, so no voting for me :) I bought my mom one last Christmas, and my stepdad got his for his birthday last year.

    I love my Sony so much :)

  47. Sabrina
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 22:32:38


    Thank you for the information, you were beyond helpful! I just ordered a Sony and also spoke with a friend of mine who is buying one for his wife as a Christmas present. Thank you again for all the info!!

  48. CD
    Oct 15, 2009 @ 12:03:33

    Not for Xmas no as I still have my trusty Cybook which works well enough. I might be thinking of upgrading sometime next year but want to see what new things Apple and Sony will be coming out with first, and also want to try seeing what a Kindle is really like to use.

    I’ve stripped the DRM off of all my current ebooks so that really does give me a certain amout of flexibility in whichever format I choose next, which is a huge relief for me. I can’t see myself ever getting a Kindle but if I do, I will certainly not be buying from Amazon both out of principle and practicality. Kindlepid will be my friend ;-).

    As for getting an ebook as a pressie for someone else, they are rather too expensive for that – maybe as a combined present. Not sure any of my friends or family really want one, though.

  49. James Taylor
    Oct 18, 2009 @ 16:29:15

    Looking at one for x-mas but think I’m going to wait for the Plastic Logic e-reader to come and a few others. I think I’m going to wait for the larger screens like the Plastic Logic and color screens to come out, a lot of these type of readers will come out around x-mas or the first part of next year. I find the smaller screens just don’t do if for me since I read of lot of books that are technical related to programing and IT driven. I would like color screen and not the 16 bit color either, wifi, large internal memory, SD card for expansion on memory, wireless broadband optional but not a must, and one that support a wide verity of ebook formats because some books are not produce in all formats so this would be helpful too. Option to read pdf, word, excel, PowerPoint, etc. would be nice. A usb and Ethernet connection would be nice. I think if someone would come out with a tablet that is like the apple air but pc base and could have all the different e-readers installed on it this would be the way to go or able to installed other e-reader software. I like the 8×11 still like the plastic logic that will be coming out make if feel like the page is he size of paper. Note taking or something like notes would be good too for doing research. I do more technical reading than recreation reading but I’m sure it would do just fine for this as well. Look forward to the future of e-readers.

  50. Hayley
    Oct 18, 2009 @ 21:37:17

    I answered yes. LOL I upgraded to the Sony 505 early this year. But, I really like the look of the touch, i have a few reservations because i also like my light that came with the sony cover and i can’t use that on the touchscreen version. I’m also debating holding off until i see the apple tablet in action. As for the kindle, i’ve seen held and used both versions and wasn’t impressed. They are still ugly and i don’t need all the added wireless crap. I have an iphone, an ipod touch, and a laptop if i want that.

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