I bought a Kindle when I moved from the US to Hong Kong. English books are a lot more expensive here, plus I read a lot of free classics, so it's the perfect fit for me. I also ride the subway to work for 35 minutes each way and it is nice not to worry about finishing a book because I'll always have a few more lined up. I like collecting books, but the apartments are just too small here to keep a library. The Kindle allows me to read as much as I want in spite of the limitations of my current location.
It even inspired my book blog:
I adore my Kobo! I blogged about it and e-readers in general here. I list my reasons I love it but some are..
- The ease of holding a LARGE book (like Infinite Jest or Pillars of Earth) in my hand
- The price of ebooks
- The storage capacity
- Library books
I've had a Sony ereader for about two years now. It's very simple, no bells and whistles. I didn't want a reader that would do anything except display books--it's too easy for me to get distracted and have to keep checking my email or twitter. :)
I like it and use it pretty frequently, but I can't imagine ever giving up 'real' books for a reader. For one thing, when I inevitably drop and destroy my Sony, all my ebooks will go poof. If I drop a regular book, even into the tub, the rest of my library is still okay.
I do like that I can grab my reader and know I have lots of books available if I want them. Not only does the reader not take up much space in a small bag or my coat pocket (it's only a little bit bigger than a paperback and much slimmer), but ereaders are still unusual enough that people don't always know I'm sitting there reading--especially with mine, which has a sort of burgundy faux-leather cover that makes it look like a nice dayplanner. In certain places (*cough*work*cough*) that's a definite plus.
My mom bought a color nook a few months ago and likes it, but it's got a backlit screen and as a result the battery doesn't last nearly as long as my Sony's battery does. I can read half a dozen books or more on one battery charge; she can only read for a few hours.
If your e reader is dropped or otherwise goes bad, you will not lose your books if you backed up the files. If you have a USB that fits your e reader and a port on your computer, you can copy your books and paste them in a file in your computer. The computer recognizes the storage device in the computer as a drive. On a Windows system, click on "my computer" and then double click on the files in the e reader storage device until you see the book files. Then copy the folder in which you find the files and paste it on your computer's C drive. When you get a replacement e reader, copy them from the C drive and paste them in the new reader's drive.
The Sony eReader (or at least the 505, which is what I've got) doesn't have a USB port, just one of those mini jacks like MP3 players often have. I do have a lot of my books backed up on my computer and the Sony 'library' where I first d/l the books to before synching them to the reader, but I don't know if I'd be able to reload them on another reader. Not to mention that if I drop my reader and break it, I can't really afford to replace it right away so whether the books are backed up or not, I have effectively lost them.
So far my reader has stood up to a lot of abuse, though.
My mother chipped in half the money I needed for the Kindle 3G and I put up the other half. I got it from Amazon just a couple days after placing the order and I LOVE it! Since I take the subway or bus to and from work (I live in NYC), it's incredibly convenient, very easy to read since it's not back-lit and it fits perfectly in my NetBook case.
My wife started borrowing it when I wasn't using it and she really likes it already. I should get her one soon...