Friday, June 3, 2011

Need E-Reader Help

I'm beginning to wonder about my ability to make decisions as I find myself frequently turning to the Internet for help these days. First, it's names. Now, it's e-readers. Next thing you know, I'll be sending for someone to come pick out my clothes each morning.

But seriously, I am turning to the enlightened masses for your experience and wisdom. I am thinking about purchasing an e-reader. I never thought I would come around as I still have a deep love for actually holding a book. However, I've found myself reading more online than ever before, as well as a need for instant gratification rather than waiting for shipping or even running to the store. I also have a sick love of gadgets and I'm simply running out of room to store books.

So, here's my question to you: What e-readers do you like? Which ones don't you like? Please leave a comments regarding your experiences, good and bad. Have any broken? Why? Was shopping for books/buying books easy or difficult? Screen quality? Ease of use? Do you prefer tablets over dedicated e-readers? I'm not a techno-wize, but I'm willing to learn. Please be fair and honest in your comments.

Thanks for your help!


Sheree said...

I have a Kindle which is fine except it can't read any epub files or any DRM pdf files. Calibre can convert but only non-DRM epub books. This has been annoying. Otherwise, the Kindle with the leather cover with the built-in light is pretty good.

Qwill said...

My first and only e-reader has been the NookColor. I prefer it over e-ink readers for a variety of reasons. I like the backlighting, which also allows me to read in bed without a light. With the brightness turned down a bit and a nonglare sheet on top, I can read outside just fine. I also like the fact B&N does not use a proprietary format. As of the May 13 update it's more like a tablet than just an e-reader. I like that, but it's not important to everyone. I recently looked at the new KOBO and want to compare it to the new Nook so I won't comment on those... yet.

Jamie said...

I got a Sony PRS600 for Christmas a few years ago I loved it and used it everyday until I got my iPad for Christmas this past year. It was a really good ereader but the only thing I didn't like about it was it didn't have a back light. I still have my Sony reader and my daughter uses it alot. Now that I use the ipad to read on their is no going back. It is so much bigger and has a back light. The down side to it is it is a little heavy and battery is not as good as the ereader. Good luck with your purchase. I hope I helped a little. Ereaders are a lot cheaper now then they was when I got mine and they have a lot more to choose

Jamie said...

Sorry it is me again I forgot something. Like some of the others said if I was you I would choose a reader that is not proprietary or that at least supports epub and pdf both because they are the more widely used formats. Sony has ereaders that do as well as the NookColor. I don't know about the others.

Jen said...

I have a nook and I love it. I chose it over the Kindle because I heard bad things about proprietary issues regarding the Kindle. I have the cheap-version of the nook, so there's no backlight. And I think I'd like that feature, but otherwise I am very content with what I have. It displayes epubs and pdfs in a way that's easy to read and it has a ton of storage space. Plus, it wasn't terribly expensive. I think I got it for $130.

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

I have the original Kindle and bought it at the heavy price tag, so you're lucky to come into the market when they've dropped so low. :)

If I had to replace my Kindle I'd replace it with another Kindle. I don't shop around because I'm all about saving time and has not disappointed me when it comes to purchasing ebooks.

Good luck deciding!

Donna said...

I have a Sony PRS505, Kindle 3G and an iPad. Out of the three, I prefer to read on my Kindle if I have the choice when reading an ebook because I suffer from eye strain since I'm on a computer 8-9 hours, 5 days a week for my job.

I received my iPad before the Kindle and had thought the iPad would be my ereader for all mediums i.e. Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks etc. because you can download the ereader apps for free. But after about an hour reading on the iPad my eyes would start feeling it. I don't wear glasses either so it's just pure eye strain.

So I took a chance on the Kindle and I've been super happy with it, wishing I had bought one sooner. I don't go anywhere without it and it can't be beat for instant gratification with the 3G option it has.

Also, here is link to a chart that lists the latests ereaders and their selling points: It might help. Good luck in your search for an ereader!

Sandra @ Dark Urban Fantasy said...

I have a page on my site about how much I adore my Kindle.

I've owned two models of Kindle - the newest generation in WiFi only and the generation before that in 3G.

I have a nasty, nasty habit of dropping them onto a hard tile floor. My 3G Kindle I dropped so many times the back popped off. Didn't phase it - I just popped it back on and we kept going.

I still use that Kindle for backup when we lose net to the house and I *absolutely* need a new book right now.

I also have a nasty habit of getting ice cream on them. And toothpaste. And BBQ sauce. And sometimes even Pepsi, although I try to avoid that one. It all wipes right off.

I've posted on my blog about why I think the Nook Color is a bad choice for a heavy reader, but I have been hearing more lately about how the newest Nook (the Simple Touch, I believe?) is great.

I have my doubts, mostly based around the touch screen. I suspect it will be harder to wipe ice cream off of it while still reading, for example. I'm also not so good with losing landscape mode and what I've seen of their UI would make finding my books extremely difficult.

(Aside: In the interest of science, however, my husband has said he will buy me a Nook for his birthday so I can test them side by side.)

But I heartily recommend a Kindle to everyone, everywhere, including random strangers I meet at the store.

Star Joens said...

I've recently gotten a Nook Color and I L-O-V-E it. ( I love it lol) It also helps for me that I can root it and have android on it and if I want android gone all I have to do is take out the memory card.

With Android on there and the program I'm using I can read EPUB or PDF and it stores all on the memory card and I can import books from my nook app. (EPUB format). I've gone through 4 books in 2 days with the Nook Color. Much faster and more convenient for me that holding an actual book. Let us know what you get!

Jocelynn said...

Keep the comments coming! This is awesome. All your comments are so wonderfully helpful and insightful. You're bringing up things that I never thought about. I don't know if I'm closer to a decision yet. I may need to hold some of these items.

Jessica said...

I have the Kindle as well and like it a lot. Although there are a few ebooks I haven't quite figured out how to put them on my kindle. Might be the type that can't be converted with Calibre.

I did try the Kobo first since that's what my sis got me in the beginning. But for some reason, I couldn't get it to work. Maybe it was just a defective one, but I like the Kindle quite a bit!

Sandra @ Dark Urban Fantasy said...

Your post got me thinking and Googling. I found a review that I think is rather less biased than I tend to be, but still hits a lot of the big differences between the newest Nook and Kindle:

LasVegasMark said...

To determine which type of electronic reader is best suited to your needs. There are two types of screen displays; e-ink and LCD. The e-ink screens are good for text display only, and mimic the paper experience. Screen glare is about the same as with paper. The downside is that there is no backlighting, just as with a paper book. If you read books with pictures and graphics, e-ink is very limited. Another limitation of e-ink is page turning because there is a perceptible delay in page turns.

LCD screens typically offer a touch screen interface where you swipe your finger across the screen to turn the page. The page turns mimic the paper turn as they are not very perceptible. The quick page turns are something that many readers are acutely aware of while reading.

LCD also offer color, which might be important to you. For pure text, color is not important however, for other types of reading color might prove to have contextual merit.

The research on LCD screens and eye fatigue is not consistent. The main reason for eye fatigue is really lack of blinking which creates dry eyes, hence discomfort. Many attribute eye discomfort to screen glare, which is not entirely true. The best screen technology is a very individual preference. E-ink has its merits, but is likely vastly oversold. LCD screens offer more utility, as well as backlighting to read indoors.

There is no best electronic reading solution. Consider what type of content you read (color or b/w), where you read (indoor/outdoor), and the overall size of the device. Smaller screen require more frequent navigation such as page turns, which might be distracting.

You need to figure out if you want an e-reader or tablet device. The Nook is a hybrid device, but only has a 7 inch screen. That is rather small and sometimes limiting.

There is much to consider when reading electronically, and much of it is personal preference. My research in academic setting points to larger screens (10 inches), color, and touch screen displays. This mean that tablet devices are preferable, although the Nook Color is also a good device despite the 7 inch screen.

Dave said...

I'll leave my vote for the nook color. It's by far the best color ereader for reading. It was a lot better than the ipad in pixel density, nookcolor is 1024x600 in a 7 inch screen, ipad is 1024x768 on a 10 inch screen, made it somewhat easier on the eyes. I've read some 14,000 pages on it since I got mine for Xmas. I do notice eye strain after a number of hours, but it wasn't any different from when I when I read a hardcover book for a number of hours.

If you're looking at reading epub on an eink reader, right now I'd probably go with the new nook. It doesn't handle mp3's or text to speech like the kindle, but it looks pretty nice. It seems like the Sony PRS-650 touch, except it's $90 cheaper, and has wifi. $10 more than the kobo, but more memory, better store, etc..

Kindle theoretically is supposed to get epub support sometime this year. That's the scuttlebut anyways. If you want to wait and see.

Finally, I would say DO NOT GET AN iPAD as an ereader right now. With their June 30 deadline coming up, no one knows for sure if anything other than Apple's bookstore is going to survive after that date. Check out if you're curious. And let's face it, Apple's bookstore sucks. Last I heard Kobo was doing better ebook business.

Tiffany @ KindleVixen said...

I'm a pretty hard core Kindle fan. I love it for a variety of reasons ..... ease of use, text to speech, the web browser included that allows me to download from my own ebook library wherever I am. So many reasons.

I have a chart here:

But it needs to be updated with the new nook and the nook color, which I will do this weekend most likely.

The brand new nook is really really nice tho and if it had a web browser I might choose that over a Kindle. Overall tho Amazon wins because its multi platform kindle support, meaning that I can read my amazon books on just about every device I own. It makes up for the DRM. :)

meggerfly said...
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Kt said...

I have a kindle, which I absolutely love. I also have a xoom tablet (like an ipad but its an android version). I prefer to read on the kindle because it is so much easier on the eyes. Also Amazon's customer service is phenomenal. My first kindle broke and when I called them they overnighted me a replacement, no questions asked. I just had to send back the defective one within a month.

Jocelynn said...

Thank you all so much for these wonderful, insightful comments! I think I'm getting close to a decision. I first want to hold each of the items that I am considering. All the specs are really close and there isn't one thing that is tipping me in one direction over another.