Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Let's Talk eReaders

I know many people have ereaders and others are considering investing in one. So I figured we could discuss ereaders for a bit. Amazon's Kindle - Sony's Reader Barnes & Noble's Nook and Borders Kobo. Apple's iPad isn't an ereader though ibooks is one of its many functions.
The Kindle and Sony readers are both second in second generations. The B&N's Nook was released earlier this year. Engadget's review Borders Kobo will be released in June Engadget's review I decided not to link to any review of Kindle and Sony readers, since they have both been on the market for awhile. Besides reading up on the Nook, Kobo and iPad has started to make my eyes gloss over. Please mention any ereaders I missed in the comment box.

I don't have an ereader, I work at a bookstore, it's not in my budget. If it was I probably still wouldn't buy one now, though I would consider one in the future. It would actually come in handy for reviews. If I am like a book I want the actual book in hand. But if I was reading something for review, I'd be okay with a electronic copy. I wonder if could claim a tax right off for an ereader. Since blogging is not a job probably not but its a nice thought. Though I do work at a bookstore and reading books is a part of the job description. Maybe a nice IRS person would understand.

One of my co-workers has a Kindle, another one has a Sony reader (both gifts). They are happy with their ereaders. So, I suppose it simply a matter of choosing an ereader that works best for you.

If I was going to get one the above, I'd go with the Kobo. I like the low price point of $149. It's strictly no frills (no Wifi), but I am okay with that. I've never been a stranger to the no frill aisle in the supermarket. With the Kobo, it looks like the only thing you can do with it is read books. that would be perfect for me, other wise I would get easily distracted.

Three questions for people have ereaders

Do you like your ereader? Why or why not?

What should someone who is looking to buy an ereader pay close attention to?

Do you still buy books?

Two questions for people without ereaders

Would you consider buying one? Why or why not?

If you are in the market for an ereader which one are you considering?

I am hoping everyone with an ereader or an extensive knowledge of them will help educate the rest of us.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

It sounds to me like bloggers who have ereaders love them, but I am not ready for one yet. I like the feel and look of books, and I've always had to be dragged kicking and screaming into any kind of change!

Doret said...

Jill - I know how you feel. I won't be getting one soon either.

I thought this would be a nice safe place to learn about ereaders, figured I could file the info away.

Mardel said...

I've been having a hard time just sitting in a chair, so I would love to have something that I could use for internet as well as reading online fiction. My question is would a laptop work just as well? With the e-readers, do you have to pay a monthly fee to use them? I ask because I read something about signing up for accounts - with Kobo, you have to have a Borders account, with the Nook, B&N, with Ipad, you have to have an Apple accout - this confuses me. Does all this having / signing up for accounts translate to more money output per month? if so, I would be just as happy keepin my print books, and getting a laptop for internet use in the comfort of my couch and/or bed.

Amy said...

I have the Kindle, and it was given to me as a gift. If it hadn't been, I wouldn't have gotten it. Personally I am loving the low price on the Kobo and also that it works with Chapters up here in Canada. What bothers me about the Kindle is
1) no sharing allowed between users with their own accounts and
2) everything is from in US dollars, which ups the price for me in Canada.

So, I love the Kindle, it is great for travel (I travel for work > 50% of the time), very easy to read on, but still has its flaws. And I am definitely still buying paper books too!

April (BooksandWine) said...

I have a Sony Reader that I got for Christmas. I haven't actually purchased any ebooks for it. Mainly because I just download books from Project Gutenburg which are free, and review galleys from Netgalley. I love my Reader, it's great for trips and for times when I have an unexpected free moment to read.

I do still purchase physical books, and I honestly believe the two can coexist.

evelyn.n.alfred said...

I was given a Nook as a birthday gift and I enjoy it, but I prefer books. How else can you get an author to autograph their work?

It's great for traveling though. Lighter than lugging a lot of books around.

Karla (Author K.L. Brady) said...

I have a Kindle and I absolutely love it. And trust me, I was NOT an easy sale. Not in the least.

There are several things I like about it. One--I wear glasses and reading the Kindle is far less straining to my eyes than books. I find that I can read faster and longer. The e-ink is great in the sun too. No glare. Two--it's much more comfortable to hold than a book and it's super light so it doesn't wear your hand an arm out. Reading and turning pages can be done with one hand. So, if you're like me and you read in bed or laying down, you don't have to move out of your comfy position to turn pages and you can hold it with either hand comfortably, doesn't matter whether you're a lefty or a righty. Three--no matter where I am or what time of the day it is, I can order my books with one click of a button. It's like carrying a bookstore around with you all day. When you hear about a great book, you don't have to wait to get to the bookstore anymore. And I don't have to worry about forgetting a book at home. It's all there. Four--it's compact and fits easily into my purse so I can carry anywhere and everywhere. Doesn't even add any real weight because it's so light. Five--I love techie toys. This is by far my favorite of all the ones that I own. It's great. Six--there is a lot of great free stuff out there that you don't get access to in a bookstore. Some indie books are really really good and free or less than $1.

I don't buy books anymore unless they're special. For instance, I ordered Terry McMillans book. It'll probably be the only hardcover I buy this year. Everything else, Kindle.

Stephanie, PQW said...

I don't have an eReader and have wondered if I would enjoy it as much as I enjoy books. I love the feel of the paper and that of turning the page. (Okay, I'm probably the only person on the planet that enjoys turning a page.)

I've seen the Kindle and the Sony and I'm not overly impressed. It's probably because I'm such a lover of physical books. I haven't seen the Nook and only read about the Kobo so I can't say if I'd want one or not. I have seen the iPad in action, but not as a reader. If I were to purchase one, today I would go with the iPad because of it's other applications and would probably easier to use on a plane than a book. But that purchase is still a long way off. Besides I'm still in love with turning the page.

Doret said...

Mardel - As far as I know there isn't a monthly fee for the Kindle, Sony, Nook, or Kobo.

With the Kindle you can only get ebooks from amazon. With the Nook you can only get ebooks from B&N. With the Sony and Kobo, you can get ebooks from any almost anywhere online. You aren't restricted to one place.

Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

Amy - what is Project Gutenburg? Is there a fee to join? When you get galleys from Netgalley how long do they stay on your reader?

Evelyn - Can you tell us a little about the nook? Is it easy to download ebooks? Is there a good selection of books?

Karla - thanks so much for all the info. Is there a price point that you think is too high for an ebook. I've had a few customers get upset over the price of a few new release ebooks.

Stephanie, I am right there with you with turning the pages

I do think ebooks and physical books will and can co -exist. So I am asking all of these questions to better understand ereaders, since I am not the best with techie things.

Laura Ellen said...

I have a Nook, and I love it. You are NOT restricted to buying books from B&N, and in fact the only books I've "bought" from B&N for mine are free ones. Just as with the Kobo reader, I can also purchase books from the Kobo bookstore, the Sony bookstore (in some cases),, Smashwords, Fictionwise, and more. I can buy e-books from anywhere that sells either unrestricted EPUB, PDF, or PDB, or EPUB with Adobe DRM.

I can buy books from B&N *directly* on my Nook without using a computer, and that's pretty much the only benefit of buying from B&N instead of somewhere else. If I buy or download from anywhere else, I have to download the books to my computer, plug my Nook in and manually transfer the files over.

I can also borrow e-books from my local library through Overdrive if they are PDF or EPUB formats because they use the Adobe DRM the Nook supports.

I also use sites like Feedbooks and Project Gutenberg to download free, out-of-copyright books. These are freely accessible to anyone, they just ask that if you aren't in the U.S., you check what the copyright law in your own country is before downloading as the books offered are considered out-of-copyright in the U.S., but it's possible in other countries the copyright might still be in effect.

One thing to note about the Nook. Although it technically supports PDF format, I have yet to find a PDF that actually looked good on the Nook. This might be because the only PDFs I've tried are journal articles with column formatting and tables and other things that just aren't meant to be read on a small screen like that.

Doret said...

Thanks so much Laura Ellen.

LaurieA-B said...

I have a Sony Reader, which I chose mainly because of price and because I could use it to read ebooks checked out from the public library. Seattle Public Library has a fairly large collection of Adobe EPUB format books, which work well on my Reader. The checkout/download process has been smooth. I learned through trial and error that, as Laura Ellen said about the Nook, PDFs technically will work but are hard to read. I stick with EPUB.

Generally the reader works well, and I liked being able to take a lot of books with me on a recent trip, but I do find myself missing real books.

I am puzzled by the popularity of the Kindle because you have to buy everything you read. While I buy lots and lots of books from independent bookstores, they're generally for gift-giving; most of the books for myself I check out from the library. But Kindle users seem OK with buying everything from Amazon.

Being able to check out books from the library is critical for me. One interesting thing is that the library's digital collection has lots of brand new books (I've been able to check out instantly the digitial edition of books whose paper editions have dozens of holds), and lots of classics, but otherwise is very limited; a huge number of books you might want to read simply aren't available in EPUB at all. You can't buy A Wrinkle in Time, for example, in the Sony Reader store.

My Reader, though, has brought me instant access to some great new YA books and unread classics (available through Project Gutenberg and/or Google Books).

Shellie - Layers of Thought said...

I love my nook -
Now granted its not perfect. The battery was bad on the first nook, so they sent me a new one. It did take them 6 weeks. I guess it was a common problem. Then the day I received the battery - the frame on it cracked. I now have a new nook....

They also have added new features which have been downloaded including a small browser.
My concern at the moment is that their text size changing element either gets too big so the text is out of order or is too small to read.

I will never ever give up real books. :)