Kindle ect

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Writecastlesinthesky
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Kindle ect

Post by Writecastlesinthesky » July 13th, 2011, 10:36 am

Yesterday I was at Panera Bread, not stalking, but observing fellow customers. A man sat for two hours reading his Kindle and drinking coffee. What I did not do is interrupt him with the question I am posing here that I continue to be curious about. If you have an e-reader, what brand and why? Where do you get your books? How has your experience been with it?

Doug Pardee
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by Doug Pardee » July 13th, 2011, 11:43 am

Barnes & Noble NOOK (original edition, with 3G). I chose it over Kindle because I don't like the "walled garden" Amazon has constructed around Kindle for DRMed e-books: thou shalt buy them only from Amazon, and thou shalt read them only on Kindles and Kindle apps. The more DRMed e-books you buy from Amazon, the more you're locked in. I also don't like the amount of personal data that Kindle sends back to Amazon.

B&N's DRMed e-books aren't readable on most other e-readers, either. But NOOK will accept DRMed e-books in the Adobe EPUB format used by almost every other e-bookstore and by the public libraries. By sticking with Adobe EPUB e-books, my e-book library is portable to just about every e-reader device except Kindle.

I get my e-books from all over the place. I'm not a series reader, and I don't get stuck on any particular author, so I'm generally satisfied with getting free e-books. In a year and a half, I've spent maybe $50 on e-books, and I've built up a collection of nearly 600 e-books and short stories. For NOOK users, B&N's an obvious source, and e-books can be bought wirelessly from them, but as I noted above, those e-books aren't very portable. Adobe EPUB e-books can be bought from Kobo, Google and the independent bookstores that partner with Google eBooks, Sony, Books A Million, Copia, Diesel eBooks, Books on Board, eBooks.com, and in many cases through your library (in which case they get a cut of the sales). A number of smaller publishers sell e-books directly, including Harlequin and Baen. There are some self-e-publishing sites, most notably Smashwords — well over half of my library comes from there.

I never had a special attachment to the pulp codex format of books. It was always about the content, and for me the e-reader is marvelous for fiction (I still buy paper books for my technical books). I don't have novels scattered all over the place; I can store my entire library on a USB drive. Obtaining something new to read is just a matter of picking something and loading it onto my NOOK; there's no need to go to a bookstore or wait for UPS to deliver. Similarly, when I'm done, I don't need to make a trip to the used-book store to trade in the book I finished.

I can read without my reading glasses, because I can increase the print size. I never lose my place in a book if I fall asleep. The e-reader is smaller and lighter than a regular book, so it's easier to hold for long periods of time. I can carry a hundred books on vacation with me in less space than one book would have taken up. Minor annoyance: having to shut it off during take-off and landing.

Margo
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by Margo » July 13th, 2011, 1:42 pm

I have a Kindle. When I purchased it, I wasn't convinced that B&N was going to be around for the long haul, so I didn't want to spend money on an ereader from a company that could go under. Also, though I looked at other models, I didn't feel like their special features (like a color screen) applied to my reading habits. A friend had a Kindle, and I borrowed it and liked the feel of it and the ease of having the 3G for purchases anytime anywhere (or just about).

I get my ebooks (predictably) on Amazon.

The only issue I've ever had with it was after leaving it turned off for about three weeks (too busy to read), I needed to reboot it for it to find the 3G connection. Took a couple of minutes, and the manual explaining how to do it was on the Kindle itself, which was convenient.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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dios4vida
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by dios4vida » July 13th, 2011, 2:43 pm

I have a first generation Sony eReader. I've had it for years. I got this one because at the time Sony had the best selection of books and you can have several readers on the same account, so you can share books. (2 computers and I think 6 eReaders can all be linked to the same account.) My Mom and I are linked, so one of us buys a book and we can both read it. We've shared several series this way for much cheaper. That's a super-major plus to me.

I also echo Doug's point about the DRMed books. I buy from the Sony eBookStore often, but I get PDFs of other books that I can put onto my reader as well. I even put a Microsoft Word .doc of my last novel on my Dad's eReader when he wanted to read it. As long as it isn't a Kindle DRMed file, my eReader can probably open it.

Now I like Sony because they seem to be more about the books. They don't have wireless connection or capabilities for much beyond reading books. I don't like having the interruptions or temptations to do other things (I get very distracted by shiny things, and the Internet certainly counts as shiny. I'm supposed to be working on my WIP right now but that little button that takes me to the Internet was right there...) and I love that Sony is books and that's about it.

I don't have anything against the Kindle or the Nook. I'm not one of those people who are passionate about their particular brand of eReader and the others are crap. I think they're all cool but to be honest I prefer "real" books. I'm just an old-school nerd like that. I love the smell of books and the feel of the pages. eReaders are fantastic but I miss the tactile sensations of a real book.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Cookie
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by Cookie » July 13th, 2011, 3:52 pm

I have a kindle. It was a Christmas gift, so I didn't have much say in the brand. I like it for pretty much the reasons Margo outlined below.

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Re: Kindle ect

Post by GKJeyasingham » July 13th, 2011, 8:54 pm

I have a B&N Nook Colour that I got while I was in the States last Christmas. I liked its interface and how you were able to make annotations, as well as look up words quite easily with its built-in dictionary. People think that the Nook Colour's LCD screen (vs. an e-ink screen like the Kindle's) would cause eye strain, but that's not really true - I've never had eye problems with my Nook Colour. You just have to look far away from the screen once in a while (but even so, that's more to do with the fact that your eyes have been fixed on a point close to you for an extended period of time; not really a problem with the LCD per say). You can adjust the display brightness, too.

The only thing I didn't like was being restricted to a single e-book store (i.e. B&N). True, you could side-load books, but then the covers would be all messed up and you'd have to go and manually add each side-loaded book to the Nook library shelf (B&N e-books, however, would get on the shelf automatically). As well, the Nook Colour's PDF reader wasn't that great.

I fixed all these problems by rooting it and thereby turning it into a full-blown, customizable Android tablet. Now I can read e-books from anywhere (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, you name it), and I can put a whole range of Apps on it too (e-mail, Twitter, game console emulators, etc.). Whenever I buy an e-book now, I put it into a program called Calibre, make any formatting changes I want (including stripping the DRM if it's an e-book from, say, Amazon), and then send it over to my Nook Colour. I then import all these e-books into an e-reader App (I use Mantano Reader) and read whatever I want. Right now the only major problem is its battery life (~8 hours; the LCD screen takes up a lot of the battery). Even so, it's an impressive device.

Writecastlesinthesky
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by Writecastlesinthesky » July 14th, 2011, 8:53 am

I didn't know about the Sony readers. It would seem logically that the e-reader with the most universal compatibility would be the most useful. Rather sad its not the top seller. Has anyone tried to use a tablet as their main reading device? Like an Ipad?

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Re: Kindle ect

Post by Sommer Leigh » July 14th, 2011, 9:34 am

I have a Kindle and I love it more than just about anything I tote around with me everywhere I go. I don't have a need for a color e-reader and I hate the backlit screens on the other e-readers. I can't read on them for very long, it hurts my eyes. I love the way the Kindle feels in my hands and I love love love the eink. It feels like the Kindle was developed with my reading habits in mind because the way I hold it, turn the pages, and whether I am laying down or sitting in my reading chair or hanging out in my doctor's office, it always feels perfectly comfortable.

I think it is important to try out the different e-readers to figure out what feels best, especially if you are considering between an eink reader or a backlit reader, there is a HUGE difference. A lot of people can't tolerate the backlit readers.
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by Cookie » July 14th, 2011, 11:23 am

I also like the e-ink aspect of the Kindle. It's most like reading a book, and I think would help ease reluctant e-book users into the experience. The color Nook intrigued me, but with my reading habits, I don't think it's necessary. A device like that might be better for children's books.

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dios4vida
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by dios4vida » July 14th, 2011, 11:34 am

GKJeyasingham wrote:I fixed all these problems by rooting it and thereby turning it into a full-blown, customizable Android tablet. Now I can read e-books from anywhere (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, you name it), and I can put a whole range of Apps on it too (e-mail, Twitter, game console emulators, etc.).
My brother-in-law did that, too. He calls it his Noodle (Nook+Kindle=Noodle). My husband the computer geek drools over it every time we go over there.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Kindle ect

Post by dios4vida » July 14th, 2011, 11:36 am

Writecastlesinthesky wrote:Has anyone tried to use a tablet as their main reading device? Like an Ipad?
Our intrepid leader, Nathan, talks about reading on his iPhone quite a bit on his blog. He seems to really love it.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Sony not perfect

Post by Doug Pardee » July 14th, 2011, 11:56 am

Writecastlesinthesky wrote:I didn't know about the Sony readers. It would seem logically that the e-reader with the most universal compatibility would be the most useful. Rather sad its not the top seller.
The Sony readers don't have any sort of "universal compatibility". The only current e-book format they read is EPUB, with or without Adobe DRM. They also read PDF, with or without Adobe DRM, and RTF. They support the obsolete BBeB e-book format originally used by Sony years ago, and there's software to convert Microsoft Word files for use by Sony. Sony has disabled B&N DRM support in their e-readers.

Arguably, the Barnes & Noble NOOK has the widest range of compatibility for e-book formats. The original NOOK model reads EPUB whether unDRMed, with Adobe DRM, or with B&N DRM; it also reads eReader PDB, with or without DRM. The later models (NOOK Color and the current NOOK) dropped the eReader PDB support. NOOK can also read PDF, with or without Adobe DRM, but its PDF support is clunky compared with the Sony.

Sony readers don't get much attention for a number of reasons:
  1. They're considerably more expensive than the competition
  2. Only the most expensive model offers wireless downloading of e-books
  3. They keep changing models out and availability is usually spotty; right now, none are available from Sony's online store
  4. The Sony e-bookstore is clunky and can't be accessed from the Web; it requires special software that is limited to running on only a few computers because the purchasing software is also reading software
  5. The Sony e-bookstore selection is not as wide as at Amazon or B&N
  6. The Sony e-bookstore sells only in the US (ditto for B&N)
  7. The Sony e-bookstore prices are generally higher than elsewhere for non-Agency e-books, and Sony charges sales tax on e-books even in states like California where e-books aren't taxable
  8. As I write this, the Sony e-bookstore is completely down
  9. Sony doesn't offer apps for reading their e-books on mobile devices.

Writecastlesinthesky
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by Writecastlesinthesky » July 14th, 2011, 3:50 pm

Hmph, I stand corrected on the Sony readers. :-( Today I looked at the bookshelf app for Ipad and decided the backlight effect is difficult, which must be what Sommer is talking about. Still not much closer to making a decision.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by Nathan Bransford » July 18th, 2011, 12:29 am

I read on both an iPad and my iPhone on the Kindle app. I personally much prefer the page turns on an iPad compared to the blink of e-ink. Even though the blinking has gotten quicker in later models, I still find it distracting.

I really like being able to sync between the iPad and iPhone. I prefer to read on the iPad, but if I don't have it with me or am in a confined space (such as the bus), the iPhone does just fine in a pinch and I can pick up where I left off.

Writecastlesinthesky
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Re: Kindle ect

Post by Writecastlesinthesky » July 18th, 2011, 1:23 pm

Nathan Bransford wrote:I read on both an iPad and my iPhone on the Kindle app. I personally much prefer the page turns on an iPad compared to the blink of e-ink. Even though the blinking has gotten quicker in later models, I still find it distracting.

I really like being able to sync between the iPad and iPhone. I prefer to read on the iPad, but if I don't have it with me or am in a confined space (such as the bus), the iPhone does just fine in a pinch and I can pick up where I left off.
The blinking Kindle page turns remind me of a malfunctioning computer before Windows existed. Certainly anything from Apple looks prettier. There's something much more intuitive in my mind about joining computers with ebooks rather than creating an entirely separate device. At this point maybe I'll hold out for a few more years and get one that will read Baudelaire in a 'sexy phone voice'

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