I’m an adult, I can have a Christmas list too, right?

My kids have been planning their Christmas wish list since October. Actually, if I’m really honest, they’ve been planning it since December 25th, 2010.

In mid-November I was presented with a list by each of them. My 8-year old wrote one for my 5-year-old, at her request. And they both made up one for the 1 and a half year-old. The list is huge and endless, and is updated daily.

When my son asked me the other day, “What’s on your list, mommy”, I nearly teared up. Oh, they’re not so selfish after all. They think of others. They think of me!!!

But, wait, what was on my list? Did I even have a list?

I have come up with three things for my list since that day: Fluffy slippers, chocolate (yummy, dark, and nutty!), and the third is still on debate: an e-reader.

It’s taken me a few years to even consider wanting one of these e-readers, never mind buying one. Recently, I’m beginning to have a change of heart. Why? There are certain things that are becoming only available in e-format. I’ve been using my iPhone for the last year to download and read on, but the screen is so small, and it’s not very comfortable for longer pieces.

I was thinking of gifting an iPad to the our family, could I use the iPad in the same way as an e-reader, or is the experience still very electronic? I’ve been told numerous times that an e-reader is a very comfortable read.  But, it’s not a book! And I love my books. Yet, I’m missing out on some things I really want to read that only available electronically.

I have a little bit of time left to fill up my Christmas wish list, and figure out if an e-reader will be on it. And at this point, there are various brands and models available, and I would to de research to know which one is the best value and gives the closest possible to real book effect. In the meantime I’ll keep shopping for everyone else, scratching off the list, one by one.

Any thoughts: how is reading on an e-reader versus an iPhone or iPad?

And another question for writers: Can you download your own work in progress onto an e-reader?

18 thoughts on “I’m an adult, I can have a Christmas list too, right?

  1. Jen, I love my Kindle. I don’t have an iPad, so I can’t compare. I do know the iPad does a lot more than the kindle. A kindle is just for reading. However, it’s great for reading. I was like you, an e-reader skeptic. However, reading a book on my husband’s kindle convinced me. I like being able to have multiple books on the go at once and the kindle is perfect for that. I love the dictionary function. I love my leather case that opens like a book (I don’t like my kindle at all without that – too small and slippery). I love that the pages don’t get caught on the duvet when I read in bed. I also like that I can send other documents to my kindle quickly and easily, and then read them like a book. I did this most recently with one of J’s manuscripts for our critique group and it was perfect. I guess that answers your last question, too. You can upload your own files and then read them just like a book. There are downsides, I’m sure, but for me, the kindle is working out well. It doesn’t cost as much as an iPad and you don’t need a separate data package for it — it works on wifi or 3G and the cost of the downloading is built in, so you’re not paying your wireless provider for another entire service — a significant cost for the iPad. I haven’t tried other e-readers, so I’ll leave that to your other followers. K.

    1. You make it sound great, Karen!! I think what’s selling me is being able to upload onto the Kindle. Can you modify the document as well, though, or is it read only?

  2. It sounds like your son already gave you the best gift!

    I have an iPad. I like it for reading when I work out because the font can be made larger, and reading paper novels has always been challenging. I still like my paper books, I still buy paper books, and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. My husband has a Nook, but reads about 1/4 of his books on it. I think the screen for the eBook is easier and more book-like. However, the page-turning feature like a “real” page for iBooks is very satisfying 😉

    Recently, I bit the bullet and moved to Scrivener for writing (far less painful than I’d imagined and SO worth it, but I won’t go on about that here). With Scrivener, I can export my WIP to epub and read it in the iBook app. I LOVE it. It’s easier to take my manuscript with me (rather than a stack of 350 sheets of paper!), and I can make editorial notes. It does give a different sense of the story reading it as a “book” rather than a manuscript (maybe that’s all in my head).

    At any rate, enough rambling for now! Enjoy making your list.

    1. Oh my oh my!! You just got me doing research with your comment, Cathryn, and I’m seeing sooo many things to consider, like touch or not, connectivity or not, e-ink or lcd…

      The editorial notes is def something I’d want, and if it’s not an option available on all, then I think that would determine it.

      By the way, you say Scrivener is an easy switch and worth the while? I’ve put off doing it, cause I didn’t want to waste writing time swtiching software, and readjusting. How easy is easy?

      1. I put it off for a year. When I first played with it, it seemed like overkill. But I put about 2 hours (max) in to the tutorial and found it was easy. You write your manuscript the same way and it easily exports to MS Word for printing, but there are several features that really helped. I’ll just mention 3 so I don’t take too much space.

        1. the notecards that let you see your whole novel in almost a glance and click back and forth. I used to have multiple spreadsheets to see the structure, and now I can see it, and click to a section. (I don’t explain that well, but it really helps me)

        2. The comment feature lets you click in a comment and jump to that spot. I have a lot of trouble remembering what I’ve edited and tracking that to my notes. This keeps it all together, and I can keep a running view of where work still needs to be done. Yes, Word does this, but it can get really cluttered with all the lines connected to lots of squished comments.

        3. exporting to epub is fantastic. It saves a ton of paper & ink, and helps me see the story differently.

        I’m not sure I explained any of this well, but it basically helps with all the organizational aspects, for which I used multiple docs that I didn’t always do a good job of updating and syncing, and that resulted in lots of re-reads to find things I couldn’t remember fixing or not.

      2. you explained it perfectly well, Cathryn, and thanks!!! I too have a ton of files and notes and the idea of keeping it all together is fantastic. 2 hours is not much time. I think once I’m done my current project (I’m so close to the end) I’ll move back to my other project and give it a try. A member of my writing group has also told me she uses it and finds it very useful! I appreciate the info!!!

      3. Thanks, Cathryn, I appreciate it!! I plan on looking at it during christmas vacation when I won’t be doing much writing, that way I’ll be prepared in January.

  3. My Christmas list is just in my head so far, but my kids and hubby keep asking about it too. 🙂 You’re right. It is really sweet/makes you feel good.

    And I too am late to the e-reader game and have been feeling the lack more and more. I think I’d prefer an e-reader. (I’m leaning toward a Sony, because you can upload your own documents and edit them, etc . . . Very cool and helps me justify the more expensive price tag.) I’ve used Kobo and liked it, but think a person would definitely want the touch screen version (which wasn’t the one I was experimenting with). People I know with Kindles love’em, but I won’t buy anything that’s proprietary–though I’ve heard there’s a plan in the works to release a Kindle that will support all e-pub formats (or at least a greater variety). Then I might be in. 🙂

  4. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only non-anti person who doesn’t have or really want an ereader. Of course, reading these tab reviews is making me think. I esp like the idea of reading WIPs in book format w/o printing it out…

  5. Way at the back of my mind some place I hear the words eReader. Not sure if those small whisperings will ever manifest into something concrete that I can hold in my hands, but I’ve learned to never say never.

  6. Hi Jennifer, I’m still new to all of this and have never read on an e-reader. I suppose it must have its advantages and disadvantages. Hope you get Christmas list to a reasonable size, Lawrence

    1. Thanks, Lawrence, you too. I think the thing about christmas lists is that they tend to dwindle down and disappear as we get older. I’ve added an ereader to my list, and hopefully I’ll be reading Secrets on it!

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