Yesterday was a hot and sticky day, so we decided a road trip in the air-conditioned car to air-conditioned stores was in order. We started at Borders. Not only were there signs and posters everywhere pushing the new Borders eBookstore, but there was a Kobo eReader display, with a couple of employees showing it off—one of whom was pleasant and knowledgeable, the other of whom was a slug. Unfortunately, while I chatted with the pleasant one for a few minutes, the slug was wandering around the store with the Kobo. Later, when I got to hold the Kobo, I had the pleasure of being grunted at by the slug.
The point, however, is that I got to play with a Kobo eReader in person. Screenwise, it was pretty much the same as the other e-ink screens. I was really suprised by how thin and light it was, though and, with the slightly textured and rubberized back and simple buttons, I think I like it best when it comes to form and comfort. I can’t, however, speak to function. The device was wonderful to hold and the pages looked good and turned nicely but, needless to day, that’s as far as it went.
After we left Borders, we wandered over to Best Buy to add our fingerprints to the collective smear on the iPads. In the eReader section, I noticed they had little eReader 101 pamphlets, which I thought were pretty cool.
It compares the B&N Nook (3G); the Daily, Touch and Pocket Editions of the Sony Reader; and the Kindle 2. The prices are obsolete (and the price for Kindle 2 is blank) and it doesn’t have the wifi-only nook or the Kobo, but I thought it was a pretty good primer to make available to customers who might stop to browse the eReaders without really knowing anything about them.
As both a digital reader and a digitally-published author, I think it’s incredibly awesome how mainstream ereading devices have become.
I’ve been to a couple of Best Buys lately and asked how the prominently displayed readers are doing, and they tell me they’re selling well, especially the Best Buy in the small resort town of New Braunfels. I have to say, YAY!
It’s great that they’re selling well!
Unfortunately, there were no sales associates around so I couldn’t feel out how well they’ve been trained on answering questions. Probably pretty well, though. I LOVE our Best Buy. They seem to have a knack for hiring people who not only know what they’re talking about, but love the products. Help with a side of enthusiasm!
I’m loving the mainstreaming of e-books, too! Many people still have/want nothing to do with them, but there’s a lot more awareness of them, so I feel less out of it when I say a title is e-book only.
The majority of people I know in person still have no interesting in digital reading, but the push on devices has definitely had an impact.
When I first started writing ebooks, people would say, “Oh, so it’s not a real book. You just put it up on the internet.”
Now they say, “Oh, like for that Kindle thing.”
Still not quite there, but at least the “so it’s not a real book” is mostly behind me.