A few weeks ago, after I discovered that if I wanted to read the NetGalley galleys off the computer, I’d have to get an eReader, I decided I wanted an eReader. Reading the galleys sitting at this desktop was just not ok, and my Eee PC has a conniption fit over PDFs when they’re open for too long.
So began my flopping around like a fish on whether I wanted Amazon’s Kindle or the nook from Barnes & Noble. I tried both and had mostly decided to go with the nook. At that point I said to my husband, “Sweetheart, I think I would like a nook.” His reply was, “Honey, why not get an iPad instead?”
At any rate, after another nearly 3 weeks of more flopping around and reading reviews and testing nooks and kindles and iPads in stores, we chose the iPad. I named her Tinkerbell and clothed her in a pink leather case…
And then I began to read. The first eBook I read on her was Nevermore by Alyson Noel. I literally downloaded the Kindle app, synced it from my iPhone stuffs, and opened the book to start reading as soon as I’d gotten Tinkerbell out of the package and set up properly. I did not put it down until the end of Nevermore.
I’ve read a few other novels on it since then – Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton, 2 really insanely BAD “romance” novels that Amazon had for free, and I’ve started Christopher Pike’s The Secret of Ka. The main thing I was worried about – eye strain from the screen being backlit – has been a non-issue so far for me. The smoothness of switching pages is a really beautiful thing (I -hated hated hated- the screen flicker on the Kindle and nook) and makes reading SO fast because of the minuscule amount of time it takes to change pages. The weight of the iPad is greater than that of the Kindle or nook, but not in such a way that is distracting or uncomfortable. I do a considerable amount of reading lying on my stomach across my bed with cats surrounding me, and the nifty case that houses Tinkerbell holds it up on a perfect angle in front of me. (Of course, that’d be in a review for the case, not the iPad, but I’ve yet to see a clever case for the Kindle or nook…)
In general, I think that the iPad probably wouldn’t be for everyone. If you aren’t used to sitting in front of a computer reading blogs and articles and thousands of twitter messages each day, then your eyes aren’t going to be accustomed to staring at the iPad screen while reading. If you are incapable of finding the brightness adjustment slider in the settings of the iPad and you keep it at its brightest or don’t adjust it according to your personal preference, you’re going to get eye strain. If you don’t take a break while reading, you’re going to get eye strain (amazingly enough, that applies to reading a paper book, as well. Go figure!).
For me? I love it. It’s made reading SO much faster. Will it replace paper books for me? Absolutely -not-. I love the feel of a book in my hands. I love the crackle and whisper of a page turning. I love the smell of the ink. And…I love bookmarks. Call me goofy, but I absolutely love slipping a cute bookmark into a book to hold my place.
iPad, you get an 8 of 10. I’d give you the other stars, but you just don’t have the snuggliness a book has.