I love books. I just unpacked my massive book collection and filled like ten shelves with those suckers. Everything from horror to fantasy to sci-fi to children’s to textbooks – I refused to sell anything back because it was pretty much a rip off. Seriously, $15 for a book I spent $100 on? And never opened? I’d rather lug those bad boys home and use them to prop up a broken table than let those bookstores scam future students with them!
Take that, bookstores!
So, despite my general love of books in the book form (there is nothing more satisfying than the sound of a book being cracked for the first time), I have begun to let my eyes wonder over to the E-Reader realm. It’s a bit cheaper when you add up the cost of all those books you’re buying, it’s good for the trees of the world, and since there has been talk of loading text books onto them, they are definitely something to look into.
And if not, I could still carry my ENTIRE library around with me without the aid of a large, burly moving man.
Yes, some are totally out of anyone’s price range and some are really crappy, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one out there for you. There are two really good options for e-readers out there today and I know that one of them will work for you. Trust me.
Everyone is pretty familiar with this device, thanks to Oprah. It’s pretty much awesome. It holds 1,500 standard size books, has a battery life that lasts for days if using the 3G network (or weeks if you’re not), and the newer version sports 16 shades of gray (which, admittedly, doesn’t sound that exciting but, keep in mind, it’s basically in black and white and grayscale adds depth).
The Kindle comes with a built-in dictionary that allows you to look up any word you come across that you don’t know simply by tapping it. And reading off of a Kindle is not like reading from a computer, so it doesn’t hurt your eyes as much as sitting online and Facebook stalking all night would.
The best part, though? The 3G network is completely free, allowing you to download new books, newspapers and magazines virtually anywhere. In the world. Without having you wait in line at Barnes and Noble.
But all that awesomeness comes with a hefty price tag. This Amazon exclusive is about $360, which is not cheap for the struggling college set. However, you can get a slightly older (or gently used) one and save a few dollars. And if you read a lot, the discounted price of $9.99 for downloaded books could end up saving you money in the long run.
If all else fails, ask for this for graduation. It’s perfect for long subway rides to that new office job, or for saving you some extra space in that tiny city apartment.
This is the second best option. It’s cheaper… and it’s evident why. Whereas the new Kindle is full of flash and extra features (and a much cooler name!), this older Sony is basically, well, basic. It’s exactly what you need to function and nothing really extra. It handles all the same files and formats, but has only half the grayscale WAY less room for data on it.
It also doesn’t have connectivity that the Kindle carries, meaning you’ll have to download from your own home computer. Which, while not as awesome as the Kindle, really isn’t that bad. I mean, how often do you really need to download a new book when you are on your way to class or sitting in a restaurant?
The Sony Reader is functional and will do for most people’s daily needs. With a price tag that’s $100 less than the much flashier Kindle, and a pretty steady track record of, you know, working, it’s worth looking into.
There are some other e-readers out there but they’re really not worth it. None of the them come close to touching either products above. As more people turn away from traditional print media (which they shouldn’t do, print media is awesome…and you can’t get those fun perfume samples from an E-Reader) either one will earn back their price tag.
And you can put the $50 you got for selling back your $400 worth of text books towards it.
Think of it as a really lame rebate.