I just started the book Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke and it is most literally a heavy tome at 3.6lbs. This didn't seem like too much when I picked it up at the store, but trying to hold it in one hand while grabbing onto a subway pole with the other I felt every ounce of that weight. I gazed jealously at a few fellow riders who toted their e-readers. For awhile I wasn't sure they were for me, but the more I read about them the more I want one. Now I can't decide between a dedicated e-reader and a multi-function device. OK, the Kindle and the iPad. Later versions of the iPad anyway, after they fix a lot of the current limitations and the price comes down.
I'd like a chance to play around with the Kindle. I've played with the iPad a bunch of times. The boyfriend is a big Mac fan so when I get dragged to the Apple story I generally find an open iPad and continue reading Super Freakonomics. I'm up to chapter 1. I saw a Kindle at a Target a few weeks ago but it was a display, non-working option. All I could tell from it was the weight which is important but didn't really give me a good idea of actually reading on it. So Amazon execs that are clearly avid follows of my blog, take note! If you let me play with your toy I'm more likely to buy my own.
Of course the idea of an e-reader makes me a little sad because I picture empty bookshelves. Sure an e-reader would make packing for vacations much easier and moving would be less of a pain. (Important note: do not split up a few books into all of your boxes to spread out the weight. Instead of having to put up with a couple very heavy box, every box is heavy. Not only am I now missing some books that are probably still in random boxes in the storage unit under some junk but you get no weight break.) In general I like my bookshelves. They're one of the most prominent features of the living room and I like staring at them as I pick what to read next. I'm not much of a decorator so they do a lot of that work for me. I have a feeling even if I got an e-reader I'd still buy the actual books. It'd be fantastic if you could get both the actual and e-copies of the books in some bundled discount. Man, I am full of great ideas tonight.
So what do you think: dedicated e-reader (Kindle), multi-function device (iPad) or just suck-it-up-and-deal-with-the-weight actual book?
Update! Thanks to everyone for their comments! I've decided to try out a couple e-reader apps on my iPod Touch before actually buying anything. I have both the Kindle and iBooks app so I'll be reading A Christmas Carol on the Kindle app and The Hound of the Baskervilles on iBookes (hooray for free ebooks). We'll see which, if any, win.