3/7/10

E-Reading Fluency 101


¿A qué huele un e-book? ceslava on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Do you read E?

In 8 years of recovering data for people with computer problems, I recovered an e-book folder with content exactly twice. And once I recovered an authors e-book from a document folder.  If I strike up a conversation about e-reading or pull out a reading device in a public place I find plenty of people who are interested, but none who know how to read e-books.

I do. I may be the queen of e-reading. If I was stopped on the street and offered a hundred bucks for every e-reading device I could pull out of my purse, I'd earn enough for a month's rent. I don't know how many e-books I have. I think the number is somewhere around a thousand. I have them scattered across multiple computers and multiple devices. They are in all possible formats: .lit .pdb .prc .pdf .epub etc. etc. etc.

Perhaps the multitude of options keep people from tackling the e-reading learning curve. Maybe no one is truly aware how much treasure has been digitally archived on the Internet in the past few years. There are books here you could never hold in your hands because they are too far away, to old and fragile, too rare. But they have been scanned and archived by the great libraries of the world for your reading pleasure. No charge. Just visit the Internet Archive link here (Hawthorne's The Snow Image, a childrens book with gorgeous illustrations) and it will open your first e-book which you can read online or download free to have for your very own.

There are also sites with brand new books fresh from the publisher given as gifts by authors to anyone with the desire to download and give it a try. Here is a link to what might be the coolest blog on the Internet,Finding Free E-Books,  and you'll find everything you need to acquire e-reading fluency. There are regularly posted links to giveaways for a variety of new books. There's a link list of e-reading software, info on how to read with or without an e-reading device, and an explanation on what to consider if you decide to shop for an e-reading device.

Today is the first day of the annual Read an E-book Week event. I hope you'll give an e-book a try. If you're an e-reading fiend like me, I hope you'll read one this week and blog or tweet about it. Point others to your favorite e-reading sources. I''ve prepared flash drives with FBReader and an pdf reader installed on the drive and a small library of e-books from the best free sources on the web and from new books contributed by great authors like Kelly Jamieson, Ashlyn Chase, Nan D. Arnold, and Nara Malone.

I'm making the promotion of e-reading a long term project. My E-book Evolution Newsletter launches Monday March 15th.

I'm thinking most of my my blog visitors are e-readers, but I could be wrong. Let me know in comments below if you're fluent in E-reading. Everyone commenting is automatically entered in this week's drawings for an e-library. I'll pick a name from all comments posted by midnight ET and post the winner tomorrow after I've contacted them. Good luck and happy e-reading!

This is my blog response to the Sunday Scribblings prompt: Fluent. Go here to see what other Sunday Scribblers wrote.

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23 comments:

  1. I have purchased many many e books during the last year. I have some in Palm, e reader, pdf, Word, html etc. I've read on my Palm, my laptop and now have a Jetbook Lite to get started with e readers. It was the one in my price range at this time.

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  2. I am a huge fan of ebooks, hardly buy any in paperback any more. My original reader was an Ebookwise Reader, then received a Sony reader at Christmas that I love. It lets me read all the pdf files that I've been saving up over the years.

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  3. I haven't purchased a physical 'book' in over two years. I have digital editions in most every format, and keep them backed up just in case!

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  4. I have purchased several ebooks in the past, but once the Kindle came out, I switched to primarily ebooks (no more squinting at a Palm). Not that I don't still have many, many physical books cluttering up the shelves.

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  5. I love ebooks! I have a Palm TX with over 800 books, I have another 200 on my new Libre ereader, and a little over 14000 on my computer. I recently got a new droid smartphone, and it has ereader software on it, so I have started loading books to it as well. I love the convenience of reading anywhere, and the ease of getting new books.

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  6. Wonderful timing on this. I'd like to sign up for your newsletter. I have done a huge amount of reading on my laptop over the years but recently purchased a kindle from a friend. I am LOVING the thing. Especially when I found an opensource app that converts PDF and Docs to kindle format. My favorite feature is being able to enlarge the font. I had been thinking about doing a regular post of "What's On Your Kindle" and this may be the little extra push I need to get going on it.

    Because I work in public education, I am very interested in the future use of ebooks. What a blessing it will be when kiddos aren't lugging around 50 pound backpacks, but have their entire textbook library in one reading device. I recently joined a ning called Edukindle that is all about the use of ereaders in education.

    As a newbie writer I am also very interested in the future of publishing because of ereaders. I have even loaded my own stories in progress . It helps with editing to read them in a different format that the laptop on which they are written.

    Off to check out that finding free books blog :)

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  7. I've never read one actually. Perhaps I will now.

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  8. Well, it looks like Nancy is the new queen of ebooks. It's a close call but I believe she has me beat. Like a lot of you, I rarely buy print books, but I have they stuffed into every nook and cranny of my house.

    @Dee I'll check on that ning group and by all means you should do the what's on your Kindle post. I read Kindle books on my iPod touch.

    @KB you should check it out. I love that I can read a recommendation for a book online and download it right away in E-book. I'm so far from bookstores or libraries.

    Thanks everyone for commenting and keep posting. Even if you're not in comments by midnight, I'll ut your name inn Monday's drawing.

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  9. I bought an ereader in January and I love it. My new hobby is finding free books and downloading them. I like reading more than one book at time and they are all on my device and not cluttering up my bag.

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  10. I have had my Kindle since Sept 2009 and I no longer read anything else. I carry it with me every where.

    Thank you for you links and articles I will be reading them and checking them out!

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  11. I've been interested in e-reading for several years now and read quite a bit on my desktop, laptop, and iPhone. I love the fact that I can borrow e-books from my library - and I can often get new releases faster than I can get a physical copy of them.

    I bought a nook for Christmas and have bought several ebooks, borrowed even more from the library and been actively seeking out legal, free e-books ever since. Having a portable e-reader has definitely helped me increase the number of books that I read and I've gone back to being the voracious reader that I once was.

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  12. I don't have an ereader yet, but I'm looking more and more seriously into getting one.

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  13. Yes! Free books! And the most marvelous thing of all is the way they don't collect dust like the hundreds of books lining every wall of my house. I'm trying to save money for a kindle. It seems like far-fetched magic to me, like something out of one of those old sci-fi books I read and laughed at in high school. Thanks for posting these sites.

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  14. I fall into the category of people described in the first paragraph. This is a vehicle I really should jump on.

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  15. I got my Sony reader last May and haven't read a paper book since. I love being able to carry hundreds of books with me so I'm never without a book handy. I do wish there was a single standard book format and no DRM so I could be comfortable that my ebook library will be available in the future.

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  16. I've been reading ebooks for years and have tons on my PC and readers, sure helps not tripping over even more prints around the house, lol.
    I have a few devices, a Dell and Palm Zire readers, and now a Kindle.

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  17. I must admit I've never read an ebook. I take to tech very slowly. My tech whizz-kid son commented that I managed to get into the 20th century just as we got into the 21st :-)

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  18. I do prefer to leaf through....:)

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  19. Fab blog! Great info for all E readers and those coming to accept that format.

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  20. Thanks for your visit - and for the info on e-reading. I still love the 'real' thing. I expect one day however the comfort of warming your hands with a book will be replaced by holding some sort of e-reader. Then again, who still uses betamax. Change is relentless..Jae

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  21. I love e-books and have been reading them for years. I read on my laptop and love that I can download the e-reader needed for free.

    Due to a head injury last year, I found I was unable to read print books, however I could read online. What a life saver for someone who was used to reading a book a day to know that I could find all my favorite authors at my finger tips and increase the font size to accomidate my needs.

    The convience is wonderful and eventhough I've started reading print again, I find I prefer e-books.

    To anyone who hasn't tried an e-book, I urge you to try one and you'll be hooked.

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  22. I'm very fond of my Palm TX...I bought it to run my life, but I've used it more to read than anything else. At any given time I have a few dozen books on it (not 800 at one time....just my preference), and I used it to do final editing on my own first novel (just published at Smashwords).

    I love being able to carry around, not just a book, but a choice of books. And the backlight means I can read in a dim room without straining my eyes, and if my aging eyes don't like the print, I can always make it a size bigger. With Plucker, my favorite library has been Project Gutenberg for some years now. I have four or five reading programs installed, so I can read almost any book out there, although I don't care as much for pdfs, because they don't reformat to fit the page.

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  23. I wouldn't call myself fluent in ereading. I bought my first ebook in Nov. 2008, but had been thinking about it for almost a year before that. Just couldn't find any local store that carried ereaders. finally just started buying anyway just to have those stories that you couldn't get in print yet. Only have two different formats, pdf and the one that comes through as a word doc(a few freebies from authors came in that way). I know where to get the books, pretty fluent that way. Don't know much about the different formats, not fluent that way. Since I haven't bought my own handheld reader yet haven't done much research there. but I will once the budget allows a reading device other than the computer.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.