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Topic: IF you have an e-reader, kindly step inside

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Subject: IF you have an e-reader, kindly step inside
Date Posted: 10/6/2011 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Hi Mystery Peeps.  I suppose I could post this on a general forum and get more responses but since I "know" so many of you, I thought I'd start here first.

Let me start out but saying that I am a book lover.  I love the look, the feel, the smell of books.  I will always have books and I will always read books in the paper and ink format.  Having said that, I am seriously considering purchasing an e-reader sometime in the next six months. My primary goal is to have a platform on which to download library books.  We have Macs at home and while I can download books to my iPhone (I love my iPhone but the screen is way too small to read a book, IMO), our library system is set up to be PC friendly and I cannot download books to my laptop. .  Well, that isn't exactly true.  I can download books, I just have no way of opening them.  My husband, who is very tech savvy, has been round and round with the library system and the vast majority of books there are not happy with our Macs.

So.  I am thinking of getting an e-reader.  I want a basic, black and white gadget for books.  I don't need bells and whistles.  I have a phone and a laptop with plenty of those!  I haven't fiddled much with either the Kindle or the Nook but I have to say that I like the screen on the Kindle.

Now it's your turn!  Sell me an e-reader!

Date Posted: 10/6/2011 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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LeeAnne, I have the original Sony Pocket Edition, PRS 300 I think it is.  Very basic, no color, absolutely no bells and whistles. Like you I wanted a basic reader and wanted one that was library friendly. I will also never give up paper books but I have to say that I love my Sony and have never had any complaints with it. It only holds about 300 books but that isn't a problem for me considering I still only have less than 50 that are not from the library. Since I acquired mine Sony has come out with another version, PRS 350, which may hold more books. It also has a built in dictionary which is the only thing that I would have changed about the 300. They are about to launch their lasted contribution (can't remember the name of this one) which is still black and white but is touch screen and has WiFi. It is tauted as the lightest 6 inch screen ereader yet and will retail for $149. I have been very tempted with this new version but decided to wait until some people actually have it in their hands and hear the reviews. Even with all the color screens, 3G, and various hoopla associated with Nook and Kindle, I wouldn't trade my original Sony for either.

Be sure to check out the e-reader forum for other opinions. There are some very knowledgeable people over there-some who have at least one of all three brands! They have regular discussions regarding pros and cons of all.

Oh, and I guess I should point out that downloading from the library is very easy. If your library doesn't have a big selection of e-books you can purchase a library card from the Philadelphia (I think) library for $35 a year. I haven't done this but apparently they have a very large selection. Good luck on making a selection!

Terri

Date Posted: 10/6/2011 11:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I have a Sony 650--which I love.  So convenient for traveling!   It has a touch screen, which I really like--makes it easy to navigate and use the dictionary.  I love being able to look up a word by just double tapping on the screen!!

I don't think you could go wrong with any of the new "e-ink" readers.  Especially now that the Kindles support library books.  Amazon has just released some new Kindles.  The cheapest one is $79--"with special offers".  Special Offers means that it has ads.  The ads don't show up inside of books, but are on the home screen and screen saver.  For an extra $30, you can get one without the special offers.  As far as I know, this is the cheapest new e-ink reader available.  It is very basic though--no touch screen at all.

Like Terri suggests, check out the e-reader forum here for more info.  You could also check out www.mobileread.com .  A lot of information about the various options in e-readers out there.

Date Posted: 10/7/2011 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/ 

Here's a really good web site with video comparisons of most of the e-readers. He does have a video review of the new Sony and has also added it to the comparison page. (Apparently it is already on the market.) I think the above website is a must for anyone who is thinking of buying an e-reader.  The mobileread site that Laura mentioned is great as well. There you can get the pros and cons of different models from those who use them every day. Keep us posted on what you decide.

Terri

Date Posted: 10/7/2011 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2009
Posts: 138
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I have a kindle and love it.  I got the basic edition because like you, I just want to read books.  I am not a real tech savy person and the kindle is perfect for me.  It is easy to use and I have even figured out how to download books from the library.  Also the Amazon top 100 free every week has alot of really good books.  I would and have recommend the kindle to anyone considering an ereader.

Date Posted: 10/8/2011 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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I don't have an e-reader (yet) but plan to get one next year, so rather than step aside as suggested I'm also reading this thread. I saw the regular Kindle is available at Target and when I looked at it, was really surprised at how small the screen is...while light and compact is good, I'm worried about how it will work with my old lady eyes...if I have to use a larger font, will I be doing nothing but turning pages every few seconds? LOL

So...I was looking at the bigger Kindle DX which has the larger screen but is a lot more expensive. Plus, there was the fact that you couldn't download library e-books for Kindle...but that has recently changed too. I recently saw the ad for the new Kindle Fire coming out in November, and I am leaning that way. Unlike many of you, I don't have a phone or tablet computer with all those bells and whistles so the extra things it does with regard to music, movies and internet connectivity would be perfect for me when out and about and the price is right. But I will definitely keep watching this space for further comments.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 10/8/2011 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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Cheryl, I have a co-worker who has a DX and really loves it. I just wanted something smaller. I can read my Sony fine on the medium font and I find that turning pages doesn't bother me. The Kindle Fire does seem like an awesome deal. I've looked at it myself as I am thinking of exchanging my netbook for a tablet sometime in the next few months. The thing to think about is that you would be reading on a back-lit screen. That is way harder on my eyes than the smaller screen-particularly since I already have to look at a computer for hours each day.

Date Posted: 10/8/2011 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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I have a Sony, which I would not have been able to afford except that I had to use up a soon to expire Borders gift card, otherwise I would never have gotten an ereader.  Out of the ones I've seen, I liked the Sony, but once the coolness of having a new gadget wore off, I rarely use it anymore.  It just happens that it doesn't hold much of an advantage for me--I never travel, I don't need the larger font (yet--probably not too far off), I live in a city that has a lot of crime on the transit system so there's no way I'd sit reading it on the bus (it's way too "grabbable") and I can't afford to buy any current books for it.

I also do find it a little annoying turning the pages, which I can't figure out.  If it was a paper book, I'd have to turn the pages (granted, not nearly as often, but still...).  It weighs about the same as a paperback, so there's no advantage there (unless I was going somewhere where I would be needing several books--then they could all fit on the reader).

When I got it, I read some free classics on it, then I downloaded a couple of library books that I didn't have time to read before they expired.  Then, I happened to be reading a paper book that was SO physically appealing.  The pages had that wonderful flowing texture, each chapter had a pretty wood-cut type graphic at the start of it, a pretty cover.  As I was reading that book, it hit me how much the BOOK can be a part of the reading experience for me.  So the ereader was cool and fun, but not my choice of reading experience.

Having said that, my local library recently closed, it's being torn down to build a new one which won't be completed for well over a year.  There's a mobile unit set up nearby, where you can turn books in and have books sent.  So far it's working okay for me, especially since I have so many books at home to read.  But, I can see myself exploring the library book option a little more in the near future.  There didn't seem to be a great selection when I looked last time, but maybe I didn't delve into it as deeply as I need to.

Also, there's a way to download current news from various sources, and with the little bit that I played around with it, that is a VERY useful feature for me.

I know this isn't helpful.smiley  I did want to say that for an ereader, I DO like the Sony.  But, I haven't had a lot of hands on experience with the others to compare.

Diane

 

 

Date Posted: 10/8/2011 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Terri, thanks for the link to the e-reader website.  That has an enormous amount of good information!  I am going to make sure my husband sees it as well since he will probably be in charge of the Santa chores this year! :)

Right now I think I am leaning toward a Kindle.  The low-rent version! LOL! I really like the E ink display.  Very easy on the eyes.  Nothing is set though so I'll keep checking here to see what other have to offer.

Date Posted: 10/10/2011 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2009
Posts: 51
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I was torn about purchasing an e-reader due to my love for the actual book.I just wanted a storage solution as my bookshelves were beyond full. I felt like a traitor when researching them! I ended up buying a kindle (3g + wifi).

There is no clearer screen around. The e-ink is amazing. Downloading is a snap. While looking them up, I believe I read that the NOOk is streamlined with libraries so it's a snap to borrow from your library using your NOOK.

I did struggle with that bit of info, and it almost made me purchase the Nook, but in the end I went with the Kindle. I have no regrets. The font is easily changed, easy to turn pages. Downloading is practically done for you with

the click of a button. But the screen......excellent. No wear and tear on my eyes ( I wear bifocals). I am still happy with my choice and am not even interested in the Kindle Fire. Best money I have spent in a while. Plus there are tons 

of free books and games. I put them on for my daughter when we are stuck waiting in a doctor's office etc. to help pass the time. Good luck with your decision.

 

Date Posted: 10/10/2011 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Julie--if you haven't already, you might want to check out the availability of library books for your Kindle.  Just a couple of weeks ago, most libraries that use overdrive for their e-books have started offering e-books for the Kindle.

Mary (mepom) -
Date Posted: 10/10/2011 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
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I am a "newbie' to the e-reader. 2 weeks ago, my hubbie bought the Nook Color for my birthday. This was just before I was traveling on vacation to Caribbean for a week and I wanted access to internet, email and downloaded books. Wi-fi is necessary for the connection to Net with a Nook. Well, it took me several days to learn to use it properly. I do not have a tablet or laptop, so I wanted more than an e- reader. Because I am so new to the e-reader, I cannot recommend any device. I am a PRINT lover and still read newspapers, magazines and books. My preference will always be print, but ??? After I learned "how to", downloading books was simple. However with the Nook, IT must be connected to a computer. (I THINK). My friend who uses a Kindle for e-reading only, loves it. She explained that she can download without the connection because it uses a cell phone connection????

Mary

 

Date Posted: 10/10/2011 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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Mary, I'm not familiar with the Nook but I think you should be able to download books through the WiFi connection without connecting to your computer.

Date Posted: 10/10/2011 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Mary--Terri's right.  You shouldn't need to connect your nook to a computer to download ebooks purchased from B&N.  You should be able to do that through your wi-fi connection.  But, I believe that if you're wanting to transfer a book borrowed from the library or purchased elsewhere you'll need to connect it to your computer.  And Amazon Kindle books won't work on the nook.  Only books in ePub format (and maybe PDB) will work with the nook.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 11/19/2011 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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My DH just bought me a Nook for my birthday. I did not want one. Like many of you, I prefer an actual book. He got it for me because I like to listen to Audio Books on our many car rides and the Nook has the ability to download and play them, so that is nice. It is apealing that I can download library books on it. I also like that I can get on the internet with it, though it moves very slow. I found out, thanks to PBS members answering my questions on other forums, that you have to download Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) to your computer and then download the library books to that, than hook up the Nook and transfer the books from the ADE to the Nook by click and dragging. It doesnt work with all Library Books for some reason, still trying to figure that out. I dont know if the other e-readers have the same steps or if it is just the Nook.

The Nook I got is a Nook 1rst Edition, so it is the older model. The screen is small and in black and white. it moves slow and took a while to figure out. I am sure that as i use it more often it will become more comfortable to me.

Date Posted: 11/19/2011 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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My DH is a researcher - and a very thorough one at that. When I expressed an interest in getting an e-reader, he apparently went to work "researching". For Christmas last year, he ordered me the Kindle third generation, which I think has been renamed this year to The Kindle Keyboard,( I think). They are cheaper this year it seems. Mine doesn't have the special offers (and sometimes I see that these offers are really good!). What I have that I think is an absolute must is the WiFi 3 G. I can download a book anywhere - no need to hook up to anything else. He had decided that the Kindle was the best and now that the Kindle Fire is out, that looks very interesting too (but a friend who tried out the touch screens said they didn't work for her because her hands are always too cold! Who would've thought?).

I have the buttons for turning the pages and they are on both sides of the device and there is absolutely no problem with finding them to turn pages - it becomes second nature. I also like being able to change the font size if needed. I have a few bells an whistles but really don't use them. I do love the fact that through Audible, I can get audio books, cheaply, and listen to them on my Kindle. I too still like the actual book, but being somewhat of an enviornmentalist, I appreciate the fact that the e-reader may help save a few trees! ;-)

Date Posted: 11/21/2011 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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I've had my Kindle Fire for a few days now...it took me awhile to get used to the touch screens as I have never had a smart phone that uses that same technology, but now it's easy! You turn the pages by touch, no buttons to fiddle with. I've used it sitting up, lying down in bed on my back and my side and have no problem holding it. I like the way it changes orientation when you tilt it, which is handy being able to look at it 'the long way' for the movie-watching.

The one disadvantage of the Fire over the other kindles is that it only has Wi-Fi, not 3G, so you have to be in a wi-fi area to download or read or watch from your Amazon cloud (which is where the off-device content is stored.) However, for me it's not really an issue...I don't travel that much and when I do, books take up so little space on the device that I could always have a few downloaded on device if I'm traveling and out of WiFi zone.

I haven't tried listening to an audio book from it yet, but the sound and video from watching TV/movies is great--of course, a little weird with the tiny screen and probably not something I will use a lot unless DH is hogging the TV and I want to see something. LOL I also haven't tried downloading any library books on it yet...that will be next, after I finish my monthly freebie from the Amazon Lending Library. (My goal is not to have dozens/hundreds of unread books piling up on it, like on my physical TBR shelves...so trying to stick with the 'one book at a time' rule. We shall see.)

I haven't taken it out of the house yet, just ordered a skin for it and a carry case...I wouldn't risk just chucking it in my purse like it is. I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to read from it--the regular size font works fine for me, touching screen to turn pages is easy and it's light and easy to hold.

In short, I'm very pleased with it so far, although it will never totally replace a good old paper book, I think the true value of it will be seen when we move into our much smaller living space in February. Recommended!

Cheryl

Date Posted: 11/21/2011 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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Cheryl - What makes the "one book at a time rule" hard on Kindle is the deals they offer. Very often those deals are only in effect for a short time, so one tends to grab them while they are available - and then there's the freebies..... that's what usually gets me in trouble! crying



Last Edited on: 11/21/11 9:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/21/2011 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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I don't have any problem resisting deals, Jeanne...I have gotten really choosy about what I acquire over the past couple of years, and especially this year when I haven't bought a single book for money. Just because it's free or cheap, doesn't mean I need it now! In fact, just because it's free or cheap, doesn't mean I need it at all! (I learned that when I was doing BOB here--most of the books I got in BOB deals I ended up donating or re-posting unread...I mean, if I really wanted it, I'd be willing to either use a credit or buy it is my philosophy.)

There would be no point (as far as I'm concerned anyway) to acquiring Book 7 of a series because it's temporarily reduced price or free for a short time, when I have just finished Book 2...knowing myself as I do, it's entirely possible that by Book 4 I will have given up on the series. If I am just acquiring books to stash on the Kindle and it's not something I will read within a few weeks, most likely I can get the book at that later date when I am ready from the library or from my PBS wishlist anyway.

I probably won't adhere strictly to the one at a time rule, but I am going to try very hard not to have more than 10-15 books ahead on the kindle at any one time. I'm also trying to figure out what I'm going to do with a Kindle book when I'm done with it. For books I'm borrowing, it's not a problem, but for books I'm buying...I very seldom re-read books so there wouldn't be much point in keeping it, although I suppose I can just keep it on the cloud rather than the device.

Lots to think about! LOL

Cheryl

Date Posted: 11/21/2011 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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Those that are free and I'm interested in, I just snag them and then archive them until I'm ready for them. The deals I'm referring to are things like free or 1.99  copies of the Elizabeth Chadwick books - which I love ( whether I'm ready to read them or not).

 

 



Last Edited on: 11/21/11 5:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/26/2011 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I have both a Sony and a Kindle (with those special offers but they aren't annoying at all and I have taken advantage of a few of them)

that said, I love them both but use the Kindle more because I don't have to hook it up to my computer to download books.  However, I love that the Sony allows me to add memory cards and put more book on it.  Right now it has over 400 books and my Kindle has over 200 and I have nearly 400 books in the house.  I could stop getting books and have plenty to ready for a few years.

I should say that the books I have downloaded have all been free.  I have paid for maybe 5 books.  I also love that I can use my kindle with my library.  It redirects you to Amazon as you are "borrowing" the book so therefore it comes down wirelessly.

Whatever you get, I definitely recommend the wi-fi capability.  I think if my Sony had it (and the pages flipped faster) I would probably use it more

Date Posted: 11/26/2011 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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For those of you (like me) who got the Kindle without special offers, you can now get that feature by  going to the "manage your kindle" site and clicking on manage your devices. Then you can choose to subscribe to the special offers (free) and you can unsubscribe and re-subscribe as often as you want!

Date Posted: 11/26/2011 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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This thread has been so helpful!  I've been reading it to my husband and he has found it helpful as well.  Again, this is going to be a Christmas gift so I'll get what I get but I'm pretty sure my husband is leaning toward a fairly basic Kindle.  He has to find out if there is a version without a keyboard that also has WiFi and capability.  I have a MacBook and an iPhone so I don't need another device for e-mail, browsing etc.

So, induge another question!!  If you get the "special offers" Kindle, my understanding is that the ads that appear are ONLY on the "front page". That is to say that when you power up, you see the offer but once you go to the book, you are not interrupted by ads inside the book, right?



Last Edited on: 11/26/11 5:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/26/2011 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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LeeAnne - from what I've seen in the brief time since I subscribed to the special offers, the ads still appear at the bottom of your home page for awhile. Then they seem to disappear. I've not seen any interference with the ads when actually reading a book . Personally, I would have no qualms at all about getting a Kindle with the special offers. (BTW, your home page contains all the book titles/collections that you have on your Kindle unless you've archived some of them. Archiving is very easy and you can always pull them back up.) I also have a Kindle site on my PC that lets me see all of my books as if they were in actual book form (the covers, that is) and if you wanted to, you can read your books on the PC, although I can't imagine doing that now that I have the Kindle. I actually got the Kindle for PC free before I got my K because I wanted to try it out and it's also a good way to start collecting books you  want before you actually have your Kindle. You can transfer from one device to the other....                          

Date Posted: 11/26/2011 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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LeeAnne--I remember when Amazon first came out with the Kindles with "Special Offers".  They made a very big point of the fact that the ads would not be inside books and would not interupt reading.  The only time ads would be displayed was on the home page and maybe(?) in the menu screens. 

Also, all of the Kindles have wi-fi.  Some models have 3g + wifi versions available as well for extra $.  With the 3g version, you don't have to worry about having a wi-fi access point--as long as you have cellular coverage.  (I think some of the online features may be limited with 3g, but you can definitely get to the Amazon store to buy books!)