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Author Topic: eBook readers?  (Read 7403 times)

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jay-ell

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eBook readers?
« on: March 28, 2012, 08:09:17 pm »

Does anybody have a Kindle or a Nook? I am thinking of asking for an eBook reader for Mother's Day and I am trying to decide which. I am currently leaning Nook because it is compatible with our library's e-book lending system, and the Kindle is not.

Third option: iPad. But that is more of a "save up and buy it myself" deal, whereas the Kindle or Nook are just barely within the appropriate levels of extravagant gifting. But honestly, I just want to read books that don't have pictures.
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wombat

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 08:41:51 pm »

I have a Kindle and I find it comfortable for reading. However - did I already tell the story elsewhere? About how my book was a mess on the Kindle, the formatting was all screwed up, and even when it was "fixed" it still sucks compared to the version for the Nook, which looks exactly like the book. Kindle books often have errors on them that make it clear that no human has ever proofread them - I don't mean typos, I mean layout errors, bits of computer code stuck in the middle of sentences, etc. And as I learned it's because indeed no human has ever proofread them.

Of course I only know the Nook book was better for that one case, so who knows, they may have errors too. But there is a huge difference between the quality of my book for the Kindle and the Nook.
 
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jay-ell

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 09:19:45 pm »

One of the reviews I read basically said, "The Nook and the Kindle are basically equal in quality, so here's a list of features of each; pick the ones that are most important to you and buy that one." But then there are a handful of one-sided reviews that say that the Nook's interface is harder to navigate, or that the Kindle's DRM is cumbersome, or whatever, and that the obvious choice is [whatever the reviewer owns]. It makes me nervous.

For me, being able to get eBooks from the library is paramount, but then there is the trade-off where if I decide I want to pay money for a book (if, for instance, the library doesn't have it), the BN price for e-books is usually higher. But is the higher per-book cost going to be offset by the Nook's ability to get books from the library for free? I suppose it depends on whether I'm going to be able to get stuff I want to read from the library or not. I should look into that.
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jay-ell

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 01:02:00 am »

Oh, it's successful. It's been running for years, and I just checked -- there are 437 people on the waiting list for 14 copies of the first Hunger Games book. I've been getting audiobooks through our county library's Overdrive system for quite a while; it's not going anywhere. In some genres (particularly nonfiction), it actually has a better selection than the smaller branch buildings.

Many books are available for both Kindle and Nook, but of those that are only compatible with one format, it's Nook-only. So it's less of an issue than I first thought, but still a thing to consider.
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jay-ell

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 05:03:24 pm »

Yeah, I Nooked it. Couldn't stand waiting; I went ahead and bought myself an Easter/Mother's Day present (with Pedro's blessing) this morning. Just the basic e-reader, no bells, no whistles, just a nice crispy e-ink display. (I have an iPhone for everything else; I need something easy on the eyes.) I'm completely stoked -- I can hardly wait for it to charge up.
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jay-ell

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 05:41:24 pm »

I would be reviewing it RIGHT NOW if Pedro hadn't checked out an audiobook on my library card SIX MONTHS AGO and failed to return it. I just discovered that I owe $50 in fines and I can't even get eBooks 'til it's paid.

My two books, which I checked out the same time as his audiobook, were returned after the second renewal. I offered to take his back at the same time, but he said he wasn't done with the CDs yet. And, of course, HIS library account is free & clear. What an inconsiderate ass.
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AugustWest

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 05:58:57 pm »

I would be reviewing it RIGHT NOW if Pedro hadn't checked out an audiobook on my library card SIX MONTHS AGO and failed to return it. I just discovered that I owe $50 in fines and I can't even get eBooks 'til it's paid.

My two books, which I checked out the same time as his audiobook, were returned after the second renewal. I offered to take his back at the same time, but he said he wasn't done with the CDs yet. And, of course, HIS library account is free & clear. What an inconsiderate ass.

So check something out on his card.
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jay-ell

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 06:23:45 pm »

So check something out on his card.

I would, if he did not have it with him at work. I need his card number and PIN to log in to the library web site. And he's not available to give it to me at the moment.

Instead, I am going to spend more of his money on buying an ebook from the internet instead. So there.
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AugustWest

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 06:45:56 pm »

You get a cann'g for taking the words right out of my brain.

That's just how we do it at the West house.
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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 06:46:57 pm »

I've been getting audiobooks through our county library's Overdrive system for quite a while;

Me too.  It's great to be able to check out audiobooks so easily, but damn that Overdrive software is a piece of crap.
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jay-ell

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2012, 02:51:40 am »

So, uh. I guess I am pleased with my Nook. I have read three books on it since Thursday and it is awesome. They were all YA novels -- I decided to start with something light, so I dove into the Percy Jackson books I'm giving to my niece when they visit next week -- but at 200 (ebook) pages each, I have definitely ripped through them fast.

I opted for the Nook SimpleTouch, which uses e-ink. The tablet uses a backlit LCD, like an iPhone, which I definitely Did Not Want. I wanted an e-reader that's as close to a dead-tree book as possible, and that's what the SimpleTouch is. E-ink is awesome. It doesn't give me eyestrain like an LCD display does. The text is soft and readable. You can read it outside. You need a flashlight to read under the covers at night. You can adjust the text size and font -- it's even possible for me to set it in Helvetica and make it big enough to read without my glasses. But it doesn't do color, and it doesn't have a web browser. It's just a book.

A book you can use to buy other books. A book that holds dozens of other books, so that when you're in the middle of a novel and you can't remember exactly what happened to Calypso, you can switch over to the book of mythology you downloaded from the library, run a text search, and refresh your memory. It takes some planning ahead -- it's not like having Wikipedia right there for everything, and you have to be on WiFi to use the store -- but it's nicer than carrying around a couple of physical books all the time, or -- worse yet -- having to accept the fact that you just don't know. But it doesn't bother me that it shares some of the limitations of traditional media. After all, it's just a book.

And that's why I like it -- as high-tech as it is, it feels almost like curling up with a dusty novel and a glass of wine on a cold night. It's smaller than a paperback, and it doesn't have all the distracting extra features of a tablet. I can take it in the tub with me -- it's actually easier to turn pages one-handed than a real book. The only thing missing is that old-book smell.

But it's dangerous. Being able to buy the next book in a series as soon as I've finished the previous one has cost me $10 since yesterday. I just don't have the patience to wait for the hundred other library patrons on the waitlist ahead of me. But still -- I paid $5 each for 2 books I wanted to read anyway. That's less than buying a paperback. It's even less than a month's subscription at Audible. And I actually read them -- devoured, actually -- so I guess it's not a waste.

So, thumbs up on the e-reader. That's my verdict. I don't know if it's any better or worse than the Kindle's e-ink equivalent, but it's certainly just right for what I need.

'Cause in the end...it's just a book.
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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2012, 12:30:17 pm »

Thanks for a review JL.  I've been pondering getting an eBook of some sort, so this is some useful insight.  I do think having something as close to paper and print is ideal, and having an iPhone, I have no use for anything with several features.

When it comes to smell, I certainly have a love of the smell of books from both reading and from my time working in the used bookstore.  I was cracking open a novel by an author I love last night, looking forward to re-reading something I'd read probably ten years or more ago, and wondering why I'd gotten rid of the tradeback version of the novel I once had in favour of the hard cover, then I remembered it was because the tradeback got mildly water damaged and I found a first edition hardcover at a second had store to replace it with.  This first edition smells musty, but not in a "nice old book" way.  It sort of smells like someone's damp basement.  Not nice.  Also it is way to heavy for bed time doze off reading. 
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jay-ell

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2012, 01:43:22 pm »

OK, I think having a Nook is really good for my brain but really bad for my productivity. I have watched exactly one hour of television since I brought it home last Thursday and I have read four books. They were YA novels, but still. It feels really good to be back to my pre-kids level of readingness. But, of course, my house is a mess and I'm way behind on laundry.

It's not entirely because of the technological platform that I went on a six-day book bender, but it really helps to (a) not have to physically go to the store or the library to choose a book (or order online and have to wait a week for shipping) and (b) be able to read relatively hands-free while I am doing other things. Plus, a lot of times e-books are slightly cheaper than the dead-tree versions, though not enough so to pay for the Nook until you've bought close to 100 e-books.

But now I have the problem where there's a series I want to read, but only two of the five books have been released. The next book won't be out 'til October and the fourth book hasn't even been announced. I don't know whether I should read something else in the meantime and wait until this other series is finished (or close to it), or if I should go ahead and get the first two books (I'm on the wait list at the library) and deal with the fact that I'll have to wait for the third one.

I haven't read a book series since I was a kid, other than Linda's book, which does not end with a big "TO BE CONTINUED," thank heaven. I guess that's not true, exactly, because I have read series that were completed long before I started reading them -- Lord of the Rings, Asimov's Foundation novels -- but nowadays it seems like all the big books that smart people are reading are part of a trilogy or pentalogy. Which is fine in most cases, because they're finished. But I don't know what to do with the ones that aren't.
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KeithHernandez

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2012, 09:16:43 pm »

but nowadays it seems like all the big books that smart people are reading are part of a trilogy or pentalogy.

The smart High Schoolers or actual adults?
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jay-ell

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Re: eBook readers?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2012, 02:08:34 pm »

I don't know. Is there a difference? I mean, most of my grownup friends are all over the Hunger Games and Game of Thrones right now. And I still do want to go back and read the Millennium Trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, et al) but there is a really long waitlist at the library. Maybe high schoolers are reading those books -- my friend's twelve-year-old read The Hunger Games -- but, I mean, does that matter? I read Lord of the Rings when I was in middle school, it is still an amazing book.

I need to go back in the "What are you reading" thread here and pull out some stuff that y'all liked. Because my BFF is an avid reader, but no help -- she prefers "paranormal romance" and "urban fantasy."
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