Friday, July 23, 2010

Books are Dead?

Last night I finished reading the last of the paper bound books I had waiting in a pile on my nightstand. I told myself that once I'd read every bound book I owned, that I would never again buy another. The last paperback I will ever read? Extras by Scott Westerfeld. (Great book series, by the way.)

Don't panic. I can't give up reading. I would go insane! I am buying a Kindle from Amazon! I've been researching these digital book readers for about a month now and the Kindle is the best fit for me. I'll have instant access to almost any book I want, the ability to make the type larger once my eyes go (I hear this is inevitable), save a few trees, and give my poor arthritic hands a rest from having to hold these gigantic hardcover volumes I've bought so often in the past.

The irony? In the last book series I read (Scott Westerfeld's Uglies) paper books are things you see in a museum display or special collection at the library. Everyone uses special view screens to do their reading. Heh.

I know writers who are convinced that bound books will never completely die...but as they make these reader devices better and better, I see paperbacks becoming a rarity. I can get a new release seconds after it goes on sale. No waiting for shipping or wasting gas on a trip to a bookstore. I can get a new book in the middle of the night to combat insomnia. No trees need to die. Plus the Kindle editions are way cheaper than buying a first edition hardcover book.

So I had this brilliant idea on how to pay for my Kindle (and maybe send the boys to summer camp next year too.) I read a blurb in the AARP magazine about a couple websites that would buy back your gently used books. Since I have more books than the local public library, this sounded like a gold mine! I checked out cash4books.net and sellbackyourbooks.com to see what kind of prices they would offer me. I had a tall stack of hardcover and paperbacks that I knew I would never re-read and were just gathering dust on my bookshelf.

It took 10 minutes to enter all the ISBNs. The result? Zilch. Nada. No sale. I read the fine print and discovered they don't buy any books published before 2007 (say what?) and even then not every book is in demand. I was miffed! It felt like a knock on my taste. I have an awesome book collection! Any geek would drool.

I moved on to check out Amazon resellers and Ebay. I checked just one book from the stack (a first edition hard cover.) Amazon had over 100 people trying to sell the same book. Ebay had even more. That was a total buzz kill! So it looks like me and my piles of dust collectors won't soon be parted. I feel like each volume has an expiration date. How long before the stacks are all obsolete and considered worthless?

*groan*

I spent soooo much money on these books. There has to be someone out there who wants them. Any ideas, gentle readers?

1 comment:

Astaryth said...

The Kindle is a great little e-book reader, but before you make that final decision and give them your money, check out the Barnes and Noble Nook. That's the one I got for my birthday.

I did a BUNCH of research before picking the Nook. One of the biggest selling point for me is that with the Nook I can borrow books from my local library (free is good!), the Kindles does NOT allow this. The other readers that can borrow library books are the Sony ones.

The other reason I went with the Nook is the free book thing. Barnes and Noble has a Friday Freebie... every Friday :) Not all of them are books I want, but many are.

The final selling points for the Nook -- Prices the same for books as Amazon mostly, but I do NOT have to buy from B&N if I don't want to. You can side load books from many other places. E-pub seems to be the format of choice these days, and the Nook accepts them.... the Kindle does NOT. Oh, and you get the same AT&T connection for free with the original Nook and they have a cheaper one that only hooks with wi-fi (which if you are usually home is fine and saves you $50). So, you can buy that book at 3 am with the Nook, just like the Kindle.... or you can download a library book... or you can shop other places. Oh, and the AT&T service is free, just like the Kindle.

Also, if your battery dies on the Kindle... you have to send it in to be replace. Not so with Nook, just buy the battery and replace yourself! You can also use an SD card to expand your storage if you need more!

Just a couple of things I found out while doing my research :) If you have any questions I can answer, fire away. I looked at Kindle, Nook, Sony, and Kobo when I was shopping.