Seoul Readers discussion

e-readers worth getting?

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message 1: by James (new)

James | 16 comments Anyone have an e-book reader? Contemplating getting one? What do you think of them? Are you reading more than without one? Are you equally engaged by the content? What features make an e-reader valuable to you.

I'm up in the air. While I love the printed page, it would nice be nice to access a lightweight, portable device and read on the go anywhere.


message 2: by brian (new)

brian dean (surprisesaplenty) | 11 comments Hey Jake,

I open Goodreads everyday, but often don't go past my homepage.

I was reading Sarum - a novel of England - on the train over the weekend and found it a little heavy for one hand - also, I needed a finger to hold the book open enough to read. And finally, it is a softcover, but a big one and I carried it for the entire trip.

I have been looking for and comparing e-readers for a while now and definitely want one. I will probably get one while in Canada this winter. Unless the market changes, I will probably get the Kindle, especially if I can get the US$139 version in Canada.

The funny thing is, now that I am planning to get one, I have trouble buying paper books now.
I am in the air about features. I like the long battery life of E-ink and will be satisfied with a reader that accepts many formats (I am not sure that Kindle does well on this score). Extras, like an MP3 player, seem standard and I would use them, but am not specifically hunting them...

with one exception: the ability to annotate. I may start a Masters Degree soon and my books will come as txt file that I could print - or hopefully read on the reader. The ability to comment in depth on what I read and for my comments to be searchable, would be very handy.

The iRiver, normally a good name in electronics, has a reader, the iStory, and I don't love it. It has a good keyboard and many applications - calendar and the like - but is not syncable with your computer. It is like a notebook - you write stuff on it and when you get home, you copy it out into your computer.

I am not sure what the Samsung reader offers. It is expensive, around 390,000won, and is quite thick. I am not sure if it is correspondingly heavy, but I suspect it is. It may be a competitor for the iPad, although I thought their iTab was their iPad killer.

Sorry to go on like this. I am in a similar position to you; considering a reader, but on the fence about when and which one to get.

I hope to hear back - hopefully faster than I myself have replied!

message 3: by James (new)

James | 16 comments Thanks a bunch Brian for your input.

I'm inclined to get one sooner or later, but still buy paperbacks to manhandle, as there's nothing like turning pages, creasing bindings, unlining or highlighting, etc.

I have a new cellphone, a Galaxy U. I read blogs and news quite often now and enjoy keeping up with what's going on in the world. However, the white background drives me nuts and I often feel like I may go blind at any time. So, my number one concern my eyes.

message 4: by brian (new)

brian dean (surprisesaplenty) | 11 comments I see Seoul Readers has a new member. In that person's honor, and in the hopes that this group will be recharged, I guess it is time to post new material here.

I bought a Kindle ten months ago and still love it. to be honest, it's main fault is that it makes it too easy to access new books.

My Kindle may now be obsolete, but I am still satisfied with my purchase. Mine is the black & gray scale model with the keypad and no touch screen. The new ones look great, and I can recommend buying an e-reader but can't suggest which model.

The e-ink looks great and is fine for extended reading periods. The short warm-up time means it is also good when you have only a few minutes at a time.

I don't know what I am paying on average for a book. I have paid more than $10.00 on occasion, but most purchases have been under, including free and $2 or $3 for older books.

I am definitely not getting one month between recharges, but I use the light (built into the case but using the Kindle's battery) sometimes and buy new books almost every charge cycle.

And that is the problem. It is easy to get books and I now have a backlog of perhaps fifteen that are unread or unfinished that I want to read and finish. I also have one (Stones into Schools) that I no longer want to read, but that is a different problem.

The problem may be inherent in me, rather than in the Kindle. I thought I liked non-fiction, but, with the option, I tend to look for and buy fiction, while non-fiction stacks up on the device.

The Kindle is great for reading and you can surf the internet with it, but I can't say this is a fun or rewarding experience. If you need something stored in an email or online, it'll get you there. If you want to use Google RSS reader, it's okay. For more involved websites, it's pretty annoying.

message 5: by James (new)

James | 16 comments Thanks for the Kindle review. It's very helpful. But now Amazon has that new Kindle Fire, and it's in color. That's what you call the paradox of choice.

Yesterday I was on the subway and saw someone reading on a Kindle. I was caught in one of those enviable moments of hey I want one of those gadgets, too.

For me there are two issues. One is text readability. I'm now an old guy..and I know this because this year my eyes have gotten so progressively bad that I can't read read with my glasses. I need grandfatherly reading glasses to set on the end of my nose. Can you change the text size on your Kindle?

Second, I think file type is worth keeping in mind. I read an interesting article by David Pogue (tech writer in several papers and magazines) who noted that as machines change and upgrade (like Kindle Fire), former files might become obsolete (sort of like 8 track, VHS, CD, Blue Ray). Will these e-books you've bought still open in 15-20 years?

I should also mention a third. Yesterday I read an article E is for Errors, a look at the high number of errors gracing the pages of e-books. Brian, have you noticed that many typos?


message 6: by brian (new)

brian dean (surprisesaplenty) | 11 comments You can adjust the text size and I think the readability is excellent. This is the strong point of the old models and e-ink. Do not worry about this aspect at all.

The variety of file types and formats is a problem. I don't know if any format for anything related to digital media will be around in 10 years, much less 15+. As it is, PDFs can be read on the Kindle but if they need to be resized, there is often trouble. For example, I have seen PDFs with two columns of text, but the Kindle chooses to put it all on one screen or enlarge it so a column and a third are in view, then when you shift over, two/thirds of the second column are in view. This is not a deal breaker for me but it is a real problem.

There are a noticeable and sometimes jarring number of errors in the text. As your article mentioned, older books that have been OCRed (Optical character reader scan?) have more errors. Younger books have far fewer and I don't notice many (or any) in the newest books. I haven't been as upset as the Huff Po people, but I have noticed.

I saw the Amazon page for the new Kindle Fire and noted that the first feature described was playing movies...the eighth was about reading books. I am not knocking the product, and have heard good reviews of the web browser, but the product is no longer dedicated as an e-reader. I would love to have one, but still enjoy my older version immensely.

message 7: by Ara Veronica (new)

Ara Veronica (cupio) | 2 comments I've recently come across the new Amazon Kindle Fire and I've also own an iPad and have an e-ink type kindle in possession.. As a person who tried all three I don't really see any appeal in using a Kindle Fire because I can do all the things on KF on my iPad. However, I had some friends tell me that KF is better because it's connected to the account (again you can also down load the kindle reader on iPad and that'll solve the problem)

As for readability I think it's great on e-ink and also on the back-lit screens. I do feel that my eyes gets less tiring when I'm reading it with a kindle, though but I prefer using my iPad for my night readings because then, I don't need my lamp on.

File wise, I'd have to agree with Brian, technology these days are improving so fast sometimes it's hard to keep up. kindle only takes mobi format(aside from pdf and txt files) I have friends who use nook and kobo and they are both great as an e-reader device however, they accept epub format so it's difficult to transfer a copy I have to friends(though I do tend to have both formats because of my iPad)

I have noticed errors as well, but I wasn't too upset because I've noticed some errors in paper books too. Besides, these things are created by humans and we all mistakes, right?

I believe when it comes to reading only, an e-ink reader is the best and as for which to choose from, I think that's just up to personal taste in design and size or how long it lasts after charging, whether you want wifi or not, etc.

message 8: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (QuiverLeaf) | 2 comments Great thoughts already written above, and it seems that everyone, myself included has a fondness for the paper page.

But I love my Kobo e-Reader! Why? Highlighting passages, making notes, and for my inability to remember the books titles and authors a month later. Paper will always have a special place in my heart, and all the books I want to re-read I buy in print. But, for travelling and quick reads by lamplight - eBooks!

JAKE - I can change the text size on my Kobo, so I'm sure Kindle is similar. The screen isn't bright, so that is gentler on the eyes.

message 9: by brian (new)

brian dean (surprisesaplenty) | 11 comments Perhaps this article will be of interest to the ESL teachers in this group:

from a review of the article:
Kindles, Nooks and other E-readers catch flack for threatening the future of printed books. But reading itself may get a boost from the devices. For example, a study of struggling students found that the kids felt better about reading after a course in which they used Amazon Kindles. The research is in the International Journal of Applied Science and Technology. [Twyla Miranda et al,]

message 10: by David (new)

David | 2 comments This might be a bit late but I have the kindle keyboard 3rd gen and love it. for a long time I refused to even contemplate having an e-reader device for lots of reasons but mainly because I love paper and I still do.

However I read a lot of epic fantasy and that means some serious paper and as I read fast, I generally need a couple of books when I go travelling and the like. I got tired of carting round a lot of heavy books with me where ever I go, the kindle has been a revalation.

Now it is not all great, some of the issues I've had are as follows:
bad conversions in terms of spelling, punctuations and editing.
The way I read means I never get a month between charges, but I will get two weeks out of one charge so you just need to keep an eye on it.

Now with any e reader there are a lot of free ebooks, a lot of torrent sites have free books and if you get a management program, I recommend Calibre, then no matter what the original format the book is in or which e-reader device you have you can convert the books to what you need.

also changing size of font, highlighting, dictionary, orientation of text and making notes are all possible as well.

message 11: by Teri Pre (new)

Teri Pre | 2 comments David: You mentioned torrent sites. I've looked into them a little but I have a fear of downloading a virus since I don't know any safe, reliable sites. Do you have any suggestions?

message 12: by brian (new)

brian dean (surprisesaplenty) | 11 comments David, I second Teri's question and thank you for the heads-up about Calibre.

message 13: by David (new)

David | 2 comments I use and havent had a problem. I run a Mac so there are a lot less Viruses and I havent had a problem, on a PC however I'm not sure.

message 14: by Jae Hyun (new)

Jae Hyun Han (hanjaehyun99) | 1 comments Hi, I am new to this group!
It would be good if I get to know some of you. I am a Korean, but I live outside of Korea. I am back here in Korea for a summer hoilday. Hehe ^^

message 15: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (QuiverLeaf) | 2 comments Kobo service is appalling. I still haven't had proper resolution of the desktop version, which helps you purchase and synch books. I've had to do this using WiFi from my Kobo e-reader directly. Also their selection of books is not great, well, if you like $1 romances then you've hit a gold mine.

I've been using my e-reader daily for two years now, and once it deleted my library including the free books. Even with repeated attempts to contact Kobo, no one from service has EVER contacted me, even with many service tickets.

Boo, boo.. Kobo.

message 16: by Marc (new)

Marc Finks | 1 comments I didn't really think I would like a Kindle at first, but I love it. It's easy to download books from Amazon, and there are tons of free books if you know how to use torrents. It's like my favorite possession now...

message 17: by Samuel (new)

Samuel Ronicker (sronicker) | 10 comments My take on eReaders...

If you have an iPad or similar tablet, there's no need for an eReader. UNLESS you want a lighter easier to carry portable reading system. I LOVE reading on my iPad, but sometimes it gets heavy. Since I mostly read in bed or laying down, it's not a real problem. If you often read sitting up or standing (subways, trains, bus, etc.) you might want to get an eReader. Though, the iPad mini or other mini tablet might be better. I prefer the tablets because they can do so much more than just read. The eInk of the eReaders is nice but not a deal-breaker, and it's also slightly less convenient at night.

message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Raeside | 1 comments I totally agree with Samuel. The Kindle app on my ipad is great for downloading books from Amazon. The same with the iBooks app downloading from itunes store. So therefore I feel that I don't need to buy a kindle.
Even though I love technology, I still prefer to read a paper copy of the book, and I find that I get through a book quicker when it is in non-digital format. My husband and I share the ipad and hence it often isn't available when I would like to read a book (or have battery power). I don't ever see myself lying on a beach with an ipad due to sand. So I prefer the non-digital format at the moment.

message 19: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (matthew254) | 1 comments I thought I would feel the same as Samuel and Jessica but the kindle (3rd gen) has been the best attempted replacement for "real" books for me. The battery life is longer than a iPad, the resolution is closer to real paper, and it's light as a real paperback. The kindle is a dedicated ereader and does that one function very well, instead of a tablet that does a lot of things moderately well. I also read fairly fast and don't like lugging around my treasured dead trees, so the kindle fits the bill.

I find I read more books on the kindle. Anyone else discover your inner speed-reader?

message 20: by Ara Veronica (new)

Ara Veronica (cupio) | 2 comments I have both kindle and an iPad. I think they're both great. Kindle, like a lot of you have mentioned is great for people who read fast or people who like to read a lot of books at the same time. iPad is somewhat the same and yes it's a bit heavier but great when you're reading in bed. I just got a kindle paper white for my sister and am waiting to get it so maybe that will be great for reading at night as well. Will let you all know how it is. :)

message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hallgren (xaghce) | 1 comments I use book bazar on my windows 8 slate, and magicscroll ebook reader in chrome (while at work). I just ordered a Kindle from,jp cause its about $40 cheaper than the same model in america, and you dont have to pay $15 to remove ads.

I've checked out the ereaders available in korea: sam and crema, and they feel incredibly cheap, yet are more expensive than similar kindles or kobo readers... plus the software is glitchy and I can't often load my books on the computer and android apps... so I would stay away from those!

message 22: by James (new)

James | 16 comments The November issue of Scientific American has a brief article, "Why the Brain Prefers Paper." In short, for those of us who relish the turn of crispy pages over the click of a button or sticky finger swipe, we are also supported by years of research. Even among digital natives, text is better understood and remembered when it's on paper. Gadgets, on the other hand, tend to be too demanding on the brain. Also, text on a page creates a mental map that e-readers can't quite generate to the same degree.

It's only 3-4 pages, so if you get a chance, read the article.

message 23: by Joe (new)

Joe (joeseoulman) | 20 comments Mod
James wrote: "The November issue of Scientific American has a brief article, "Why the Brain Prefers Paper." In short, for those of us who relish the turn of crispy pages over the click of a button or sticky fing..."

Thanks, sounds like an interesting read and may confirm what I've noticed when I'm reading for pleasure vs reading for academia. I did try, but I really do have to print out the articles to read, underline, and write all over the page if I'm going to truly absorb what is there.

I'm fine with e-readers for novels and fluff.

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