Why I'm waiting to buy an iPad

"Bookish" types weigh in: The iPad isn't necessarily a Kindle killer – at least, not yet.

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    The arrival of the iPad is making some of us question our loyalty to our Kindles.
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Are you – like me – still experiencing e-reader uncertainty? Before I ever touched an iPad, I felt sure that I would remain committed to my Kindle. The iPad looked unwieldy by comparison to my beloved 10-ounce e-reader, and also there was that backlit screen issue that everyone was always talking about. Then I went to an Apple store and "paged" through the sample copy of "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter." I loved the way the pages "turned" and my eyes didn't feel the least bit of strain.

I suddenly found myself wondering: Would I be happier with an iPad?

It helped to ease my mind when I saw this morning's issue of independent bookstore newsletter ShelfAwareness. They have a nice roundup of the thoughts of some "bookish" types on the comparison. Overall, the recommendation seems to be: Don't sell your Kindle – yet.

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Here are some of the comments by book bloggers noted by ShelfAwareness:

Mike Shatzkin, CEO of Idea Logical and publishing industry blogger: "the extra weight, the backlit screen and the frustrations of the iBooks store (too few books, poor organization, limited search functionality) make the iPad less than the ideal e-reader."

Kassia Kroszer of BookSquare: the iPad is "at best, an ancillary device" for e-reading. She complains that "the weight and size make it impractical for toting around."

Jane Litte of Dear Author says "the iBooks Store is sparsely populated and unbrowsable."

Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books asks, "Do you want a dedicated digital book reader? Then [the iPad] is not the best option."

ShelfAwareness also notes two other "bookfolk" who vote for the iPad. They quote Drew Goodman, trade books sales manager at the University of Utah Campus Store, who says that the iPad is "really no heavier than holding a hardcover book" and that the eyestrain issue has been overblown. Elizabeth Silvis, who has worked for Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins and Ingram, says that she likes her iPad so much that she sold her Kindle.

Hmm. Overall, however, I think I'm with Wendell, who says, "I still don't know what the best [e-reading] option is, to be honest. I don't think it's here yet. And I await its arrival."

Me too. Until then, I'm fine with Kindle.

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.

Which e-reader do you opt for? Join the Monitor's book discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

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