Help me to start reading again

I’m starting to get back into reading books after a long hiatus. One thing that’s holding me back, though, is that I’m not really a big fan of buying a bunch of physical books that I’ll only use once. It feels like a waste, I don’t want to go through the hassle of reselling them or going to a library, and I have limited shelf space.

Obviously it makes sense for me to go digital. The Kindle looks very appealing. It has a long battery life, a display that’s not just another LCD screen for me to stare at, and it has a broad selection of books. But, as far as I know, if I buy a book on the Kindle, I cannot transfer it to another non-Kindle device. So if I have a library of Kindle books and then one day decide I’d like to use a book reader from Sony or buy a nook, I’m out of luck, right?

I’m looking for DRM-free ebooks, not free ebooks. Consider music, for example. If I buy music from iTunes, I can play it on my Mac or iPhone, but I can also play it on my Nexus One without having to sign in to my iTunes account or anything silly like that. This wasn’t always the case (Apple used to sell DRM’d music), but I just tested one of their DRM-free AAC files and I can assure you that it works on my Nexus One. And then of course there is the Amazon MP3 store which I have warmed up to recently. They also sell DRM-free music in a standard format. I think this is very reasonable. I still pay for the music, but once I have it, I can play it on any device I want.

So, my questions for anyone who is reading this:

  1. Am I wrong about the Kindle? (And no, “They have an app for X device” is not what I’m looking for.)
  2. Is there an existing store with a significant number of titles from major publishers that sells DRM-free books in a standard format? If so, which is it?

Please leave any advice in the comments section below. I noticed that iBooks on the iPad will be in the ePub format. This is a good sign, but I haven’t found any clear answers on whether or not these files will have DRM. If anyone can find a confirmation either way, please let me know along with a link to your source. Thanks!

3 thoughts on “Help me to start reading again”

  1. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried audiobooks, but I really like them. If you are going to get a ebook reader, maybe wait to see how well the ipad does?

  2. I’ve heard that some people really love audiobooks. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure when I would listen to them since I don’t have a long commute, which is when I think would be an ideal audiobook time. I’m also not sure if I would be too annoyed by the readers. (See my comments about NPR)

    We’ll see how things go with the iPad.

  3. The reader of an audiobook can make a big difference. They changed readers during a series I’m reading and it drastically changed the feel of the story. Thing is, I suffered through and started to get used to the new reader, all the while still heavily biased toward the original reader. Fortunately, the author says the original reader will return for the next installment of the series.

    Other books, it takes a lot to get used to sharp voices or tinny audio.

    With all that as a given, I still drive through audiobooks faster than eyes to surface. If you can find the time to sit down with a book, you can put on headphones and press play. The experiences are largely the same in getting the story into your head.

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