25 May 2011

Paper? Or Something More e-Tastic?

I finally got around to renewing my NEHGS membership the other day, and opted, once again, to receive a paper version of the Register. I have to admit I love getting my society publications in the mail, but I am from California, so always feel guilty about using paper when I don't have to. Plus, what's to like about a bookshelf full of dusty volumes that I can't search on my computer? And though I love to hold some paper in my hand when I read, I LOVE (like LOVE, like want to up and marry) my Kindle, and haven't read a "real life" book in the year and a half since I received it as a gift. An e-version saves trees, saves postage, saves fuel, maybe even saves gnomes. Just sayin'.

So, you would think, I'm a natural candidate for a digital version of the Register. But I'm also someone that doesn't do a whole lot of extensive reading on my computer. Too many temptations to get on Facebook, too hard to read the text on the screen, and my computer chair just isn't that comfortable.

I love that the NEHGS Register is available as a searchable PDF, and I love that the issues are available and searchable online. But I wish that they were available as an ePub file, instead of (or, really, in addition to) a PDF.

PDFs are great, but reading them on a Kindle really is NOT. I like to fall asleep to the soothing well-citationed sounds of Register articles in my mind, but reading PDFs on a Kindle is a navigational and low-functionality nightmare that I'm not interested in ruining my reading experience for. How excellent would it be to have an ePub version of the Register on my Kindle, where I could read and take notes? Pretty darn excellent.

It seems to me that genealogy societies have a vested interest in encouraging members to adopt e-versions of their publications. Saves them lots of money in printing and shipping costs, for one. So why aren't they making it just that much easier for me (and other Kindle users like me) to go digital?

Hey Genealogy Society, want me to adopt the e-version of your publication? Give me an ePub version!!!

Or send me a new iPad.

Totally up to you.


Susan (Nolichucky Roots) said...

I could not agree more! May the geneapowers-that-be hear you.

Greta Koehl said...

Yeah, I'm waiting for my iPad....

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

I signed up for NEHGS as a Mother's Day present to myself (after an absence of about 10 years). I opted for the electronic versions of both magazines. We've reached maximum capacity in our house, and there just isn't room for more magazines. It took some adjusting, but I do like the electronic mags, especially since I can make the font bigger. But then, I have a NOOKcolor, so the display is probably better than on a Kindle. However, ePUB would be a MUCH better solution, as the PDFs are cumbersome and non-searchable. Either that, or B&N needs to come up with a way to make PDFs searchable on their readers.