Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, January 7, 2011

The Tablets Are Coming, The Tablets are Coming

I'm in Las Vegas this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show, aka CES, and if there's one hot device out there this year it's the tablet. Tablet tablet tablet.

People have been joking that it's raining tablets in the desert. Seemingly every company even tangentially related to creating consumer electronics is debuting their own tablet, and that's on top of the iPad, which some people think could sell as many as 65 million units worldwide this year. (Disclosure: links are to CNET, I work at CNET, and the views expressed herein are solely my own).

What does this tablet explosion mean for books? Well, more and more and more people out there in the coming year are going to own devices that they can read e-books on. All of that competition will inevitably drive down prices. And even if someone buys a tablet for gaming or to watch movies, they still will own an e-reader and will easily be able to download and read books should one strike their fancy.

It's funny to look back on my original Kindle post way back in November 2007, when the e-book future was still very murky. Here's an excerpt:

In my opinion there will never be a widely used iPod of books, a device that people buy specifically for books -- e-books will take off when they can be easily downloaded and easily read on a device like a larger iPhone-of-the-future, something people already have, which evens out the economics since you don't have to plop down a significant chunk of money before you even buy a book. This would give e-books the decisive edge in economics, which might just tip the world of books toward e-books. Until then? Printed page for most of us.

Those larger-iPhones-of-the-future are here, and the economics are a-changing. The future is still unknown, but looking around at all these tablets at CES, I have to say, the future is coming very very quickly. And with e-ink readers starting to hover around $100, it's not as significant an investment for a device that does one thing very well.

Do you think the tipping point has arrived? Are you planning on getting a tablet this year?

If you're interested in the latest from CES be sure and follow CNET on Twitter and Facebook! I'll be back here on Monday with Last Week in Books.






82 comments:

abc said...

I want one. I really want one. And an iPad, of course, cause I'm a snob like that. I'm too broke for the future!

Deb said...

Me too on want. I have a kindle, an ipod touch, and a houseful of books. Adding an ipad to the mix is something I would do, or possibly one of these new tablets. I LOVE new technology, and CNET (esp. the vids produced for new products)

I think the scales are tipping, more and more people open to the idea of reading ebooks and if something offers it all...well...

Deb said...

Oh, and will add I am drooling with envy that you get to be there! I often watch videos others make of this event too. Between books and technology I am one happy camper.

MacDougal Street Baby said...

No thanks. Too much technology. My brain can only handle so much.

Ted Fox said...

My wife, a voracious reader, got a Kindle for Christmas. She likes it so far but still thinks she'll want to buy certain books. Ones that she's on the fence about seem to be more likely candidates to be purchased electronically. So I guess getting the Kindle may actually increase the number of books we buy. Hooray. Also, I can't imagine reading an entire book on an iPad or anything else that's backlit. Perhaps I'm just 31 going on 80.

Elaine AM Smith said...

No. I won't be buying this year. But I do have Wii Fit as well as tennis racquets, golf clubs and a submission to Jazzercise.
;)

Metafrantic said...

I want one, but I want one that can do more than just display books. Ereaders are neat but if I'm going to carry around another device I want to be able to do more with it.

There was an Asus tablet displayed at CES that has a pull-out keyboard! It's an interesting idea. I think sometime in the next 2 years some model will hook me. Not yet, though.

A.M Hudson said...

I'll never buy one. Paper to the grave. However, I am e-book publishing. I know. Hypocrite.

Laurel said...

We just got an iPad. We were holding out for gen 2 but with the only major addition being the camera it didn't matter to us. Big love for the iPad.

I think the tablet explosion will absolutely provoke another jump in eBook sales. I have a Kindle and I do love it, but I order ebooks from vendors other than Amazon. If I were tech savvy and willing to bend or break a few laws I'm sure I could figure out how to strip DRM and convert files so I could read anything on my Kindle but frankly, I don't want to work that hard. So I read my Nook books on the Nook app on my MacBook.

With the iPad, I could download any proprietary reader and all my books are on one device. That is infinitely appealing. For students, how great would it be to have a tablet with all your textbooks instead of a backpack that weighs 10 pounds?

And speaking of students, they will be using ebooks a great deal. All us old codgers who won't give up print have a completely different reading history than the generation coming. They won't care if the book is digital, it will be what they are used to. They will probably prefer it.

The only down side to a tablet eReader is the backlit screen. For people whose eyes get tired of that, the "old school" eReaders will still have the advantage. But I bet they'll be a lot cheaper.

Chris Phillips said...

i want to get one and have the 10 commandments as my wallpaper!

Lauren said...

Nice call. Yeah. I think there will be a huge shift soon. I work for a small toy company with a hit ipad app out (littleskywriters.com)and I'm already working on writing a strictly e-book for them using characters from the app. I'm also an English teacher, and there is a lot of talk about how we're going to need to move to tablets in the future. I'm scared to predict how it will shake up publishing, but I do believe it may end up being a good thing for education.

charlotteotter said...

I have a tablet and have read one book on it. I'm still very much addicted to the paper book, but am moving house in two weeks' time and am realising that I'd have a lot less work to do if I only read ebooks!

The tablet is very much a consumption tool in our home (it's an iPad): we read the paper, the kids play games and read books on it. However, I don't like using the keyboard and couldn't imagine doing much more than writing the odd email on it. So far, I don't think tablets are great for output, though I'm sure that's due to change!

Stephanie McGee said...

I played around with my brother's kindle that he got this past year for Christmas and e-readers are not for me.

I will not be buying one until I'm absolutely forced to for whatever reason. It just didn't feel like I was reading a book. I couldn't get lost in it. It just isn't for me.

Susan M. Baganz said...

I won an iPad and it is a very cool "toy" and I have read books on it and that can be fun. However it doesn't do everything I would like and some of the apps work weird in comparision to what i am used to on my pc, so internet access is not as comfortable for me and the virtual keyboard has it's limitations as well. I like it but still like paper books too. For portability and ease of use with the wireless, it can be a nice tool. FOr writing - not a good option, I don't think it is worth the money and I would never have spent that kind of $$ if it had come out of my own pocket.

Dara said...

I just got a Nook for Christmas this year. That's enough for me. My netbook covers whatever Internet browsing/emailing/writing I want to do. But the tablets are pretty nifty.

Becky Mushko said...

I love my iPad and have downloaded several reader apps—Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc. While I read lots more paper books than e-books, I love the portability of e-books on a tablet—and that I can stop reading to check my e-mail or surf the net on the same device.

With interactive e-books now available for kids, I can see more kids reading—and a surge in sales of both tablets and e-books.

Kristi Helvig said...

I don't, but my hubby is getting an iPad2 when it comes out (in April I think). The kids play all the time on his iPod and I have no idea how to use it...my 3-yo had to show me how to get to the games my hubby put on it for her. By the end of the year, I might be the only one in our house still reading paper books!

swampfox said...

I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from the evolution of video.

First, it was the VHS, and then Beta came out. Then the VHS improved to match the Beta, and then Beta went to Super Beta. Then VHS matched that with, you got it, Super VHS. Then you had Video Disks break into the scene, first played with a conventional stylus, and then they made the jump to Laser. RIght, as in Laser disks. Then it evolved to DVDs, but then came Blue Ray. Now it's all about DVRs. (And I wouldn't doubt if I forgot some steps in there somewhere.)

Can you imagine if someone was quick to sign up for each item as it climbed the evolutionary ladder of video? And worse, if they built up a video library for each type? Talk about starting over. It's a never ending journey.

It's what I see happening now for this eBook reader thing. I'm holding off for a while longer.

Nik the Mod said...

I was never all that keen on the e-reader idea... until I got the (free) Kindle for iPhone app. Suddenly I can read books in a pleasant format on a device I already own.

I've barely picked up a paper book since. My books travel with me now, without the sweat, I can mark locations easily, highlight text without it being irreversible or damaging the text (and search through my highlights...)

I'm absolutely sold!

April said...

Nope. I have no plans whatsoever to own a tablet. They seem to me to be...awkward. They're an awkward size to hold and use. I much, much, much prefer real, live books. I love feeling the pages between my fingers as I turn them, the smell of the book when you open it, the sound of the spine cracking the first time you open a book...I love it.

And honestly, I'm hardly ever on the computer when I'm home unless I'm checking email or writing. Email takes a few seconds, and writing is hard to do on a tablet.

I'lls tick to my laptop when I need it and real, live books. :) Not that I have anything against those who like the e-readers! Whatever gets you to read is good for me!

Oh, and not to sound too strange, but I have some sort of perverse pleasure in seeing my library expand. I get very excited at the sight of all those books on the shelves. I'm addicted.

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

I must admit, the iPads are pretty shiny and nice. I can't see myself getting one anytime soon. More of a luxury toy, as I would still want a laptop or PC for writing, and so couldn't really justify the expense of an iPad on practical terms. Though my brother-in-law is trying to convince me that a wireless keyboard and a propped up iPad would do the trick...

L.A. Colvin said...

I'm a paper girl BUT the world of technology will never die so I plan on buying a kindle soon. I think in the e-world right now we will see a huge surge in new products for the next couple of years. Hopefully then it will settle down and we can have a nice balance between paper and electonic. On another note my childrens' elementary school just bought a pile of iPads for the kids to use in class.

Anonymous said...

This, frankly, is one reason why I don't have an e-reader or ipad yet. It's like the minute one thing comes out, it becomes obsolete the next day with a replacement toy. And, in fact, these are toys.

I think the tech industry needs to step back and pace themselves a little, otherwise this is going to be the next big bust...like real estate and dot coms back in the late nineties.

And, don't get me wrong. I'm all for e-books and the changes. I just think the public needs a break from all this over-exposure with new toys.

DanaB said...

With my BlackBerry and laptop and Sony pocket eReader(only for reading, no internet or music),I'm set!
I do enjoy technology and LOVE my gadgets...they have names--what, y'all don't name your trusty gadgets that are never far from your fingertips?!?

Great post!

~~

Lauren said...

Swampfox- Such a good point. I like using technology, but it is definitely difficult to spend a lifetime re-training and re-buying; seems to sap up all of the time, money, and energy saved by the new innovations. Laurel- I guarantee that this is going to shake up education. My high school students are still into their books, but my 3 y/o niece is learning to read on her iPad already, and my savvy educator friends are salivating at the educational opportunities the tablets will provide (while simultaneously praying that budget cuts won’t cut out teachers in favor of electronic education). Personally, I’ll never part with my lovely library- even if I have to haul it in moves . Like April, I love the feel, smell, etc., and I’m a beach bum/bubble bath reader (much of my library has water stains and smells like Hawaiian Tropic), but there will be a generation very very soon who will read all of the classics in school electronically. I’m really intrigued to see how the publishing industry responds; from what I’ve read, they are too.

E.J. Wesley said...

Lucky! So much shiny, so little time. Do they give away smart phones as swag at those things? :)

We are beyond the tipping point, imo. Half of my friends got a reader for Christmas, and most of them aren't people I'd consider to be hardcore book readers. Bottom line: When a hard back book can cost you $15, if you plan on purchasing 6-8 in the next year you've just paid for a darn good reader (Nook and others @ $99 if you shop smart).

If the price of eBooks (overall) would drop--say 25%--tomorrow, print books would be virtually dead by the end of the year. I think it's that close.

Gehayi said...

A hundred bucks?

That's a toy for rich people. I can't afford it. I don't expect to be able to afford it this year, or any year in the future.

J. R. McLemore said...

I doubt I will buy a tablet. Of course, that could change sometime in the future due to unknown circumstances. I said last year that I would never get a smartphone--my crapper-keeper-phone seemed to do just what I needed--but an auto accident did in that old phone and I am now using a Droid X and I love it. I even have the Kindle app on it for those occasions I find myself in without a book. I purchased a laptop not long ago instead of an e-reader because I liked that I could write, research, and read e-books on the laptop. Something I couldn't do with an e-reader and would have felt clunky with a touchscreen tablet.

Livia said...

The sky is falling! Good or bad for publishers? Could go either way. But it's all happening so fast! This reminds me of when digital cameras came out people switched to digital much faster than Kodak anticipated. It's really a good time for EVERYONE in the industry to be watching carefully...

Khanada said...

I guess my tipping point came last year. I remember reading some tech site's live blogging of Apple's iPad announcement, and like so many others at that time, I remember thinking, Neat, but I don't need that. By the next day, I'd completely changed my mind. So someone who just has an old iPod and never even coveted anyone's smart phone was preordering the biggest iPad I could afford. And I have been very, very happy with my purchase.

iBooks is my favorite reading app, but I still tend to read just samples (I LOVE that feature) and classics as ebooks. I love being able to use the in-app dictionaries, which I need more often in a classic. For now, I still prefer regular books, but it's just me. My husband prefers ebooks.

For what it's worth - my husband and I are both 40 and we don't have any issues with the backlighting when reading! :-) In general, I suspect that if you use a computer regularly and don't have troubles with eyestrain, you're probably going to be fine. If you do have troubles, take a pass on the iPad and Nook Color. For me, I only have problems when my computer is the primary light source in the room.

Tommy Salami said...

I have a Nook. It was a gift. I still prefer to read manually.
However, I was taken immediately by the lure of the device, and found myself reading on it. And then I found myself browsing the web on it, and not reading. Part of the joy of reading is the immersion, and an electronic device doesn't allow that; there will always be distractions at hand.

Like 3D and CG in the movies, I believe this is the wave of the future, whether we like it or not. People still buy CD's, with the iTunes store there, because not everyone has or wants an iPod. Books will continue to have an audience, but I fear the smaller titles will be harder to find in physical form. I imagine publishers taking fewer risks.

Books may go the way of vinyl, and come back with a nostalgic resurgence, when we miss the feel of them, the art on the covers, and the ease of sharing them. I like reading books and donating them to the library or readers who can't afford them, so I'll always buy books.

I imagine, like music, the Smartphone Set will read by squinting at their little electronic zombifier, but I think physical media will be with us for at least another ten years. Music first, then movies, then books.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My husband gave me an eReader this Christmas and next year I'm asking for some kind of pad.

PJ Lincoln said...

I think the future is here, Nathan, and the walls of the traditional publishing world are crashing down as we speak. I think you were wise to get out of the agent business, which I think is due of some correspondingly huge changes over the next few years. Authors, even big-timers, will soon be going it alone via e-publishing. I mean, why accept anythign less than the 70% royalty that you get via e-publishing?

Leila said...

The tipping point is indeed here! Or has been sneaking up on the world for a while, gaining momentum and preparing for a massive assault!

I bought an iPad last year, and it has been the best investment I ever made. I'd be hard pushed to buy a paper book again.

Oh and great forecasting Nathan!

Matthew Rush said...

Obviously nothing beats the iPad, but I'm curious to know if you think any of the others are decent as well. Like that Samsung one, or the Android based units.

I realize the CNET articles probably have some opinions on that, and I will go take a look, but I would like to know what you think Nathan.

Nathan Bransford said...

matt-

Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to check them out yet. The CNET editors are the real experts, there are some incredible articles and videos from CES.

Mira said...

Vegas! Oh, I'm so jealous. I love Vegas - it's Disneyland for grown-ups. I hope you're having a chance to do the Vegas thing, Nathan, and not just work.

I don't need a tablet because I have the I-phone app. If I didn't have that app, would I buy a tablet?

Like Swampfox, I usually don't buy the shiny new toys until I'm sure the technology is standing still for awhile. But e-books are so unbelievably convienent, I might have bought a tablet.

I'm a student, and four of my 300+ textbooks are on my I-phone and weigh less than a pound. I can read them anywhere, anytime and they were delivered to me within seconds. And the tablet itself has a definite appeal for a student.

In terms of what's happening, the fact that Apple made a glorious product (per usual) that everyone wants and other companies will compete with is helping the process move along quickly.

But overall, technology is consolidating. Soon, we'll have something we wear all day that carries all forms of entertainment and work products combined so we have instant access 24-7 to everything!

Except a vacation in Vegas. Sigh. Clearly, someday soon, I'll need visit the Bellagiop! Have fun, Nathan. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I just can't get excited about the tablets. I mean, how many devices does a person need? I have the iphone and the MacBook already. I looked at the ipad at the store, had the cash to buy it, but thought, meh, what do I want it for? My other stuff does everything I need.


And just a quick question: Are you no longer doing the Page Critique Fridays?

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

Page critiques are on temporary hiatus as I've had such a crazy month, but hope to resume them soon!

Ms. Taken said...

I love e-reading. I read Franzen's Freedom in hardcover, and it felt so big and awkward to hold after using my kindle and phone to read on.

Oh, Nathan, my family went to the beach in Mexico over the holidays, and my husband put his Kindle in the ziplock bag I'd brought our sunblock in. I thought, hm, I seem to remember another smart man having this same idea.

Young MC said...

Hi Nathan: super quick 2 questions, unrelated to this post's content (sorry about that, didn't know where else to ask).
These are about agenting, and sorry if perhaps you've answered them elsewhere:
1. I know it's really hard to get an agent, but what would you say is the percentage of agented fiction writers that get book deals? Like, 25%? 10%?
2. Once you get an agent, on average, how much time does it take to get a deal? I know it's case by case, but what's a pretty standard window?
Thanks a mil if you get the time to answer this....hope you enjoy the rest of CES...
Mark

D.G. Hudson said...

Due to economics for some people, saturation may take longer - after all, isn't it just a replacement for several of the single devices we already have?

When my laptop dies, I might consider one. I'd probably wait for the inevitable 'bugs' to be worked out.

Do they take trade-ins for tablets? That might stimulate more sales. I do like the idea of driving down prices for the masses (that includes me).

I'll wait and watch for a while to see what the track record will be. I'm sure some will perform better than others.

Anonymous said...

I'm not there yet but I'm close. But my Droid has a kindle app so I've been experimenting.

A3Writer said...

I'm still on the fence with a tablet, but Notion Ink's Adam is really, really tempting, especially with the Pixel Qi display. Of course, I've been itching to get one of those displays in my netbook.

It will also be interesting to see what comes of Android's Honeycomb, which is being designed around tablet UIs.

Rachael W said...

I can understand why so many people want Kindles and iPads and e-readers, especially if they travel often for business. I recognize that the industry will probably tip further and further towards e-readers -- I used to teach high school, and I think the up-and-coming digital native generation will significantly increase the demand for tablets. That said, even though moving my physical library from apartment to apartment can be a pain in the butt, I'm a tactile person, and there are few things I love more than reading an actual "flesh and blood" book.

Other Lisa said...

@Bryan/Ink:

I got the new Mac Air, the 11". I couldn't justify the iPad either; I really needed something ultra-portable that I could write on.

This thing is perfect. Absolutely awesome. It's light enough that I can actually lie in bed and surf if I'm so inclined--it's not idea for that but it gives you some idea of how portable it is. It's a beautiful machine too. Flash memory like the iPad.

There's a bug in the firmware they are fixing where the screen goes unresponsive when you put it to sleep at odd times, but that's mostly fixed and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

And yeah, if and when I get a tablet, I'll probably stick with Mac. Their stuff is just so...pretty. It's the computer equivalent of a fancy fountain pen.

Samantha G said...

I don't think I'll be getting one. There is nothing, in my opinion, better than a real live book. But, some people love e-books and I have nothing against them. (And is it bad that I had never actually heard of a tablet before today's blog post?)

Other Lisa said...

Annnd...here's something that might keep me away from an eReader!

Silicon Valley Diva said...

I have an iPad and I love it, too much in fact. Trouble is our family shares it. I'm sick of sharing LOL. I want my own. A tablet therefore, especially if it's a lot cheaper than the iPad, just may be in my future.

I'll wait to see how the competition shakes out with the slew of tablets coming out.

It sure is an exciting time. Can't wait to see how this market evolves.

MJR said...

I don't think I need a tablet or maybe I'm not sure what they are or can do. I agree with Dara above--a netbook is fine for me. I can write, check email, etc, and I read most of my books (usually almost brand new and FREE) from the library, or buy them at bookstores, or occasionally buy them for my ereader.

Only bad thing about the netbook is that it's sloooowww. But I bought the cheapest one.

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

@ Otherlisa

Thanks! And I've heard great things about the Mac Air. My sister-in-law is looking to get one, so maybe I'll sneak off to a closet and give it a test run when nobody's looking.

Kate said...

I read books on my iPad, my iPhone, my e-ink nook, my laptop computer (all using the nook app), and of course p-books. My favorite medium for reading, hands-down, is the iPad. I would love it for reading even if it didn't do everything else I could possibly want.

Noriko Nakada said...

I want one. I was just in Hawaii and did my own little survey of e-reader v. paper books. My sister had her Kindle, I had my paper books and it was divided about that way on the pool deck 50/50. I want the iPad, but waiting for the second generation. "Patience, Grasshopper," Mr. Miyagi says, "Patience."

Kourtnie McKenzie said...

I absolutely love my iPad. Studying English in college killed reading for me, and the iPad brought it back. It's that revolutionary.

Two of my coworkers received iPads as thank-you gifts from our company this year; when I asked them what they thought of iBooks, they told me they'd never abandon paper. Although one admits to reading children books to her nephew with the iPad to get him used to the technology.

So I think it's a mix. There are those that are going to love e-readers forever, but there's still so many that won't abandon paper. I think the change will come gradual, with the introduction [and loss] of generations.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I purchased an iPad the first day they came out and it rocks. It does 'almost' everything a netbook does and more.
Read an article last week that stated 'readers-only' would be phased out in favor of tablets. I say smart move!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba, a.k.a. "e" said...

I have an iPod, and iPad, and a Kindle. Love them all for different reasons. And I still buy and read BOOKS. In fact, I'm reading more than ever. I have to believe all this availability has something to do with it.
:)
e

Bron said...

I'm not normally an early adopter but I bought an iPad before they even came out in my home country. I'd been hanging out for an e-reader, but I wanted one with a choice of stores. So when the iPad came out, I took the plunge, even though it was an extravagant purchase. It helps that my laptop is supplied by work, so I'm not paying for a computer and a tablet.

The backlit screen doesn't bother me, and in fact it's great when I'm reading in bed and my husband wants to switch out the light. I downloaded a lot of games and other apps when I first bought it, but the novelty of playing games on it has worn off, so I mostly use it now for its intended purpose - reading books - as well as browsing the internet. I bought it on holiday in the States, and was able to download several books for the rest of the trip. I was also stuck lugging around a p-book I'd borrowed from my sister. She wanted it back so once I'd finished it, the book became an annoying extra weight. I'm stoked that next time I go on holidays, I can take as many books as I like on one device.

Bron said...

Oh and I should add that I got 15 paper books for Christmas, so I'm not reading exclusively on the iPad yet! Part of the problem is I live in Australia, and publishers here have been slower to jump on the e-book wagon. There's a lot of books I'd love to buy electronically, but if I want them any time soon I'm going to have to buy in paper form.

Lauralew said...

Definitely getting an iPad when the new ones come out later this year. I plan to use it as a replacement for my laptop. I'm also considering the purchase of a Kindle for a dedicated reader. I have myasthenia gravis so lighter is just easier for me.

Peter Dudley said...

I love writing with my iPad and wireless keyboard in Peet's and Starbucks (not at the same time of course).

But I'm jealous you get to go to CES for work. I used to, many jobs ago, and it was a fun time. I'd have to work the booth, but I'd also get plenty of free time to browse.

The worst year was when we exhibited across from some hard disk company that had a looped video game running nonstop. This was in the days of 8-bit sound, and I think their volume control went to eleven.

The stupidest self-promotion I ever saw at CES was a guy who sold floppy disks. He was handing out business card fridge magnets. Hello? Floppy disks don't really like magnets much.

My "world has gone crazy" moment was when I walked past the WordPerfect booth (this may have been COMDEX, not CES), and forty people were barking like dogs so the presenter might throw the free WordPerfect tee shirt at them.

I wish I could go again. I miss CES.

JDuncan said...

The market will continue to grow, at least for now. No clue how long it'll be before market starts to get saturated, but as long as the tech keeps advancing and prices keep coming down? I may actually end up buying one by next xmas. I suspect we'll see ipad knock-offs for $199 by next xmas. Ereaders will likely be going for about $89.

Sadly, I suspect the growing ebook market is going to bring the demise of Borders, because they seem to have failed on this transition. This is going to suck if it happens, at least for authors, of which I am one. I'll keep my fingers crossed for them.

christinabaglivitinglof.com said...

Won't be buying a tablet this year but I'll certainly be working on an idea specifically for e-book publication such as a travel guide.

terripatrick said...

Like you, I sort of had a vision of these tablets for reading books, long before they were a sparkle in the etechno eye.

These tablets are not quite what I saw in my dream, but I did see the potential of my memoir displayed on these screens. And it looked really good!

Ben Campbell said...

I almost purchased a Nextbook3 on HSN Dec 22. Or was it a Coby, or a Samsung Galaxy, I don't remember, so you can see that I have not purchased a tablet YET. I did not buy one after reading discouraging reviews on at least four brands. I had decided to wait a few more months until the overriding problems of batteries not charging, slow access and inability of uploading apps from various sources had my head spinning like the Disneyland Wild Mouse ride. Maybe I'll give myself the gift of one on Valentine's Day.

Jen P said...

Would love to be an early adopter, but I'll buy an iPad (we are an Apple household) when it is more internationally compatible - UK, US - both from a physical electrical pov and the software / bookstore / access side. We may be moving Stateside in the coming 2-5 years - I can wait that long, then get the next (plus a few) generation down the line. So any estimation when publishing rights will become global by language and not by physical territory? Music is still limited (on iTunes for example, can't buy certain items from international i-Stores) and it is very frustrating as a consumer.

Dawn Pier said...

I have been waiting for the prices to come down and the competition to heat up. I travel a LOT and, like Bron, got a large valise of books this Xmas, which I then had to lug back to one of three residences. I only brought "select" titles on with me to residence #2 due to weight considerations. My lifestyle is begging for a reader, but I've been dragging my technologically ignorant heels. This year is the year. (hear that family? You can buy me even MORE books next year!! and I won't even have to come home to freezing Canada to get them - huzzah!!)

Sheila Cull said...

I - think - this - is - all - too much! Too much tech stuff too fast.

Anyone agree?

Bill Az said...

I'll wait for next year's model--or maybe the several new models that will come out the following year.

Phoebe said...

No, I won't be buying one. I enjoy reading an actual book way too much. Reading onscreen for too long is distracting and gives me a headache. Plus there's just something so tactile about a real book for me.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

This is very cool - I'm writing a short piece on difference between selling and marketing for writers (okay, poets, I admit), and I think I'm going to quote your blog post here...or at least link to it.

Very cool to be quoting "The NB" in something I'm writing.

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

If it whirls or whistles, I want it and I don't even know why. I'm a marketers dream (or so my husband tells me). But, even I don't want an iPad or a tablet - not yet anyway.

I'm perfectly content with my laptop, phone and ofcourse my favorite Nook Color...LOVE IT.

folksinmt said...

Yes,yes, yes, I will get a tablet this year!

Curious though ... it seems like e-readers are selling best in the 20+ age group ... any sign that e-readers will catch fire with the teen crowd?

wendy said...

Well, with yesterday's (interesting and challenging) post still fresh in my mind, I'm just going to say - without resort to acrobatic or hilarious hyperbole, too tired - that this really could be a tipping point towards ebooks for many. The new tablet with colour and wider screens (and touch screens?) at a more economical price and with ebooks pricer being cheaper than print books is, indeed, very enticing. And as your wife, Allison, pointed out in her blog, the space-saving benefits are huge. That's something I hadn't thought of but can relate to with my walls covered by a multitude of book shelves.

Thanks for this info, Nathan. Appreciate being kept update.

KH said...

I love new technology as much as the next person, but this is my big objection to e-books and why I have not bought an e-reader yet. After I read a book, I like to either keep it on my shelf to lend or give to someone else, or else take it to the used book store. With an e-reader, it just sits there taking up space, and I probably won't reread it. The ability to share e-books is very limited. And the books are still expensive enough that I think they are too much for a one-time read. I read a lot. I averaged more than a book a week in the past year, and only one was an e-book, which I read on Kindle for PC.

Mina Burrows said...

I want one so bad. I couldn’t tell you which one. I want one that fits all my needs – something beyond the Kindle, I believe. I’ll definitely check out CNET. Thanks. Will I buy one this year? God, I hope so.

As for the tipping point, for me, it was nearly two years ago after I purchased my iPhone and downloaded all those book apps. Now, I won’t tell you how many books I own or how many apps I have. It’s pretty alarming. As for those that are reluctant to the technology, my only thought is they probably haven’t found a need/use for it yet.

As for e-books vs. paper books…I personally don’t care. I’ll take books new, used, paperback, hardcover, e-format – whatever – it doesn’t matter to me. E-readers are just more convenient giving an avid reader instant gratification.

Tammy said...

I have no plans to buy an e-reader or a tablet. However, I would choose a tablet over the reader. A tablet is multi-purposed, has a long battery life, it's large enough that I can actually see the print, and it's lightweight. If someone wanted to give me one, I would gladly accept, but for the cost of the tablet, I can buy a lot of real books that I can actually touch while I read. I just can't afford or want to make that leap to a virtual life. Not yet.

Stephanie@thecrackedslipper said...

I bought my husband, a constant business traveler, an iPad and he loves it. It's a lot easier to schlep in the briefcase than, say, "Under the Dome."

On the other hand, I wonder what these gadgets mean for my beloved beach read? Sand + iPad= $ down the drain. It will always be paper by the sea for me, I think.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone actually read the terms of service for those devices and the ebooks? Here is some news: you don't buy the device or the ebooks, just a license to use them. The provider can cut you off and doe snot have to compensate you for the loss of your ebooks. Hello, is anyone awake?

Cathi said...

I'm interested, but I still have no plans to get one. I'm too old-school, I want a physical book in my hand.

Anita Saxena said...

If I didn't already have a Nook, a Droid X (which has a kindle and nook app), and a laptop that I take everywhere with me, I can definitely see myself owning an iPad. But as is, I don't need anymore gadgets on the go.

Anonymous said...

Interesting piece in Publishers Weekly about lack of publishers in Vegas right now.



http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/PWxyz/?p=4028

sue ingram said...

I LOVE reading a book - with hard cover and pages I can physically turn. I have been resisting going the e-book route as I don't imagine I can read in the loo very well, or stretched out on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon, or at the beach! Also because my friend owns an independent bookstore that is truly magnificent in selections, service and ambience, but is seriously struggling to make any profit, never mind a good living.
If she goes under, along with so many others like her, I guess I'll have no choice but to go the e-books route. That's if the book industry survives?

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