Aussie Readers discussion

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Book Related Banter > Which eReader?

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message 1: by Murray (last edited Sep 06, 2010 09:51PM) (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments I'm creating this new thread to continue the discussion started at How do you choose your books.

Capsguy wrote: "Heard Sony's batteries suck. Check up on that."

I took mine (Sony Reader Touch) to NZ for a week and only used half the battery. I read it for a couple of hours each day and almost all day for 2 days after a snowboarding accident. The trick is to turn it off properly during long idle periods as the touch screen chews up battery.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

So Murray, going back to my question. What are the Sony Reader minor defects as you see them?


message 3: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments The biggest defect is the reflection on the touch screen overlay. I bought mine knowing the risk and am satisfied with the quality, but it does mean I have to change the screen angle as the light moves.

The other defect that I haven't seen on the forums is that my power slider is temperamental. I think that component could have been designed better.


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Flanagan (loboz) Hi after much reserch I decided to buy a Kindle, and I have no complaints. As for Aussie content there are over 400,000 title available for our market.


message 5: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Great discussion Murray. Well I went to the 'dark side' and bought the Kindle from Amazon (a big US company). This is the latest generation and has apparently ironed out a lot of the problems of previous models. I've only had it for a week or so but I LOVE IT!!! I still buy lots of books from independant publishers but I purchase the 'mobi' format which can be read on kindle. Prior to this I've been reading ebooks on my minilaptop and the bright screen was killing my eyes. The kindle screen uses some 'e-ink' technology and the screen just looks like a book page. No glare or reflection. Because it's been around for a while you can buy heaps of groovy accessories. I'm sure there will be some kinks down the track but so far so good. One of the biggest problems is geographical restrictions but they are improving all the time. The big new blockbuster novels are usually released a week or two after the paper books. Here are some links:

the kindle ereader
http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Wireless...

I also bought 2 covers which are a luxury not a necessity and a plug so I can charge it from an electrical outlet and not just the computer.
http://www.amazon.com/Neoprene-Kindle... (Gail I'm sure you would also appreciate the hot pink lining!) and this brown leather one with a built in light: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003...


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

The one with the built in light comes in multi colours as well!!! Oh, I am so shallow, how could you tell?

I really appreciate the discussions on the ereader.


message 7: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda I could talk about it for hours, I'm hooked! But I'd really love to hear from anyone who uses their iPhone/iTouch to read books. It's a bit small for me but I've heard there are heaps of teens and twenty/thirty-somethings who are starting to read books this way. Also would love to hear from anyone who reads on an iPad.


message 8: by Jacqueline (last edited Sep 07, 2010 12:47PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I use a Bebook which is not bad and was one of the few available in Oz a couple of years back at $400. The price has now halved... thank you iPad! Bebook is not bad but their system of software updating sucks.

I am instinctively anti-Kindle because of Amazon's attempt to control the ebook market (which hopefully has failed but cost me a bunch of sales along the way). It is still almost impossible for outside producers to put out books in Kindle format, and now Amazon have gobbled up Mobipocket, another format has been put out of general use.

A standard ereader today should a) have an eInk screen, and b) cost less than U$200.

The iPad is more of a computer than a simple ereader, and then there are the inbetween products with interactive screens. I prefer an ereader that is just for reading. I can do my computing elsewhere, but that's just the way I work.

One thing I can guarantee - get yourself an ereader and you will save a bunch of money on books, as well as being able to carry a whole library along where-ever you go.


message 9: by Sass (last edited Sep 07, 2010 10:52AM) (new)

Sass | 14 comments I have a Kobo e-reader from Borders. It cost $200 and can hold up to 4000 books. I adore it :) but some people may find that it is low tech and on occasion it is slow when compared to the high speeds that most are used to. Being a fairly poor student who doesnt need the latest toys and gadgets, i found that it is perfect for me. the battery also lasts for ages.


message 10: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments I have a Sony PRS300 - pretty much bottom-of-the-range in the ebook market. I love it. Like the Kobo, it's low-tech (lower), but on the bright side, low-tech = awesome battery life. ;-) All I really want in an ebook reader is a large number of books available at once, some font size options, an e-ink display and a decent page-turn speed. That's all. If it can do all that, then I can replicate my usual reading behaviour with the awesome advantage of not running round the house like a headless chook looking for an unread book 2 minutes before I need to walk out the door to go to work (please tell me I'm not the only one who had that problem with paperbooks??).


message 11: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Naomi wrote: "the awesome advantage of not running round the house like a headless chook looking for an unread book 2 minutes before I need to walk out the door to go to work (please tell me I'm not the only one who had that problem with paperbooks??)..."

You're not the only one Naomi. I always take a book when I work night shift. If the Birth Suite is quiet it helps me stay awake. If I forget and it's quiet I spend the whole night grumpy (in-between bouts of my head falling down and hitting the desk as I nod off!!)


message 12: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments You're not the only one Naomi. I always take a book when I work night shift. If the Birth Suite is quiet it helps me stay awake. If I forget and it's quiet I spend the whole night grumpy (in-between bouts of my head falling down and hitting the desk as I nod off!!)"

Phew! Yup, I can see how in your profession, a good book would be priceless at times! :-) I hate not having a book on hand, and that's just for an hour-long train ride, not half-or-more of a shift. Hence my ebooks-are-awesome hobbyhorse.


message 13: by Sass (new)

Sass | 14 comments Naomi wrote: "You're not the only one Naomi. I always take a book when I work night shift. If the Birth Suite is quiet it helps me stay awake. If I forget and it's quiet I spend the whole night grumpy (in-betwee..."

I drive to work and hit 33 trafic lights each way, so I discovered I can read 2 pages for every red light :D Gotta love Melbourne traffic *sigh*


message 14: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge)
I drive to work and hit 33 trafic lights each way


Poor you, that's not living at all. Our nearest traffic lights are 300 km away, and I can drive right across town - to the Endeavour River mouth - in 5 minutes. And wave to a bunch of people I know on the way.


message 15: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 08, 2010 10:42PM) (new)

Sass wrote: "I can read 2 pages for every red light :D..."

I think you should do some serious investing in audio books.

(Glad I don't live in the same state as Sass!) :D


message 16: by Sass (new)

Sass | 14 comments

I think you should do some serious investing in audio books.

(Glad I don't live in the same state as Sass!) :D"

I get annoyed at audio books cause I can read so much faster than they can, lol. Yeah, Melbourne traffic sux, but the shopping makes up for it ;)


message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 10, 2010 05:49AM) (new)

Sass wrote: "
I get annoyed at audio books cause I can read so much faster than they can,..."


I just thought you might be able to get through more than 2 pages at each set of traffic lights. Ha ha, Victoria has so much more to offer than shopping, but love the shopping.

Actually you are right. Audio books are much better for a long car trip. You can relax and listen to the story. My kids love them.


Kat at Book Thingo (bookthingo) | 26 comments Mandy wrote: "I could talk about it for hours, I'm hooked! But I'd really love to hear from anyone who uses their iPhone/iTouch to read books. It's a bit small for me but I've heard there are heaps of teens and ..."

I have an HTC Desire and I occasionally use it to read ebooks when I'm caught without a book in my bag. I was surprised at how easy it was to read on a smartphone. (It helps that the Desire has an excellent sceren, though I think the iPhone 4 is supposed to be better.)

I also have an iPad, which I rarely use to read. It's too much like reading on a computer screen. But if you buy from Kindle or Kobo (I think) you can synchronise your library across all the devices you use to read them on. So for example, if you start reading a Kindle ebook on an iPad, when you open it on your smartphone it'll remember where you were up to.


message 19: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Thanks Kat. I don't know if it's just me but it really feels like there is a resurgence in the popularity of reading with all this new technology coming on the market.


message 20: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) Reading, or at least buying books. I see a bunch of classics in Target (nice discount store in USA, variety of general merchandise) like Wuthering Heights etc. in covers designed to appeal to fans of the Twilight series. I can easily see grandmas buying those books for their teenage granddaughters this coming Christmas, for example. Whether folks will actually read the books inside the pretty covers, I dunno.

Otoh, as you say, the technology is a different thing. It's handier, more 'fun', and after all more of an investment in the first place. I do hope more people are truly reading because of these e-readers!


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Cheryl wrote: "Reading, or at least buying books. I see a bunch of classics in Target ..."

Cheryl, yeah we have Target here too (but not Walmart). :)

Not always with the same stock but they do have discount books.

I think kids are being encouraged more to read at school(more so than when I went to school, what feels like a million years ago), maybe with the ereaders it will flow on to when they finish. They do love technology.


message 22: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) Knock me over with a feather - Target took a long time to cover the US and still there are lots of communities that want one but have to put up with Walmart.

Anyway, good to hear that (Aussie, at least) children are being encouraged to read more. Tx for your input!

Also, not sure if this is the right place to post, but I liked this little article about what we can lose as we convert to e-readers, even though it is a little snarky:

http://www.abebooks.com/books/shelves...


message 23: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Given what I've seen on offer and given my programming and electronics background, I'm likely to go with the Kindle more than anything else primarily due to the vastly superior display and processor performance.

The thorn in my side with the Kindle though of course is the whole DRM aspect and the preferred format being .mobi rather than ePub. Still, there's a strong showing of public-domain/free eBooks and Amazon offers a free ePub -> mobi converter (that works on Linux).


Kat at Book Thingo (bookthingo) | 26 comments I had a look at the new Sony Readers today. They look really good. (And they come in different coloured cases!) I think I might finally have found an ebook reader I like that I can afford.


message 25: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Go the new Sony. If only I'd known, I'd have waited a few months for the new ones.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Murray there is never any point in waiting, as soon as you buy technology today it becomes out of date.


message 27: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Paul,

I believe the choice in hardware is wide and you just have to do your research. The big choice you have to make is whether you want to be in the Amazon tent or not. They are in the unique situation of being a HUGE book seller with its own ereaders and its own protected book format (Mobipocket DRM).

Of course, Amazon are in the business of making money for themselves and if they choose to fight others suppliers of ebooks, ereaders or software, there is not much anyone can do about it.

However, it does not feel good when they throw their weight around. For instance, their increasingly monopolistic control of Mobipocket (once the ebook format of choice) has meant that lots of people who bought protected books from, say, Fictionwise cannot read their own books if they buy a new computer or ereader. You have to buy a Kindle to read your legally purchased books, or download illegal replacements. I am in this situation and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.


message 28: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Jacqueline,

I completely sympathise. I for one have a very real problem with DRM-tainted media. Thankfully for us there's always work being done by a lot of people who reside out of the juristiction of the USA (and now AU) who are bringing to us tools to enable us to regain control of our media. It is very sad that since the signing of the US-AU Free-trade-agreement (I have my own term for that) we have lost a lot of our freedoms.

The active DRM as such as what you experienced is the very worst of it - if the company goes down or is sold, you lose your investment. It's pure gold for the megacorps, nothing like buying out a company, destroying the validity of existing sales and forcing the consumer base to either live without or buy again. How this even stands up in law I really have no idea. Again, something that we as Australians lost with the signing of the FTA.

The best I can do is to produce non-DRM encumbered media and hopefully educate people on why DRM is a 'bad thing'. It's a big reason amongst many that I refuse to use Windows or other Microsoft software, Adobe or Apple and stick with Linux.

The Kindle on a technological front is a very good bit of gear and the price is very nice - the key is to fill it with stuff they cannot lock away from you. Thankfully Amazon has bought out their ePub -> mobi converter on linux so at least that's a plus.

Paul. (getting off his soapbox).


message 29: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments I should point out - one nice thing about the Kindle is that it is running Linux internally - so someone will likely at some point provide a native ePub reader.


Kat at Book Thingo (bookthingo) | 26 comments Also, you can check if Calibre can do the conversion to a format that your device supports. It's an extra step, but it's a good option if you buy from different stores or have switched ebook reading devices.


message 31: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments I tried using Calibre to convert from ePub to mobi for Elita's book (Tree of Life) but it failed for a reason I didn't bother digging into immediately. When I used the Amazon supplied converter, everything worked great though I did notice various glyphs I had used didn't convert properly, though I suspect it was due to the original graphics format (PNG with alpha).

Right now I am using Calibre however to generate the original ePub format from the LyX generated XML output off her manuscript. It's nice to have great tools like that.

Paul.


message 32: by Schelle (last edited Sep 22, 2010 01:23AM) (new)

Schelle | 8 comments I recently got an ipad for my bday - oh how much I love this thing!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!! (just in case you didn't realise how much I love it). I've read a few books on it and it's awesome - I prefer my background colour in sepia (which is very similar to the colour of book pages) and find it doesn't cause eye strain at all. At night I make it even dimmer and is easier on the eyes than using my book light. I have kindle for ipad and stanza which are both great. I often find that the paperbacks I buy from book depository are often still cheaper than ebooks - but ebooks are cheaper than book shops.

My only grumble is the fact that the kids keep trying to disappear with it - little poo heads!

edit: I should probably also point out that until now I have been an ebook virgin so comparatively speaking I may love other ereaders equally.


message 33: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda My cousin just got an iPad and loves it for reading as well. BTW loving the little poo heads description! Hilarious.:D


message 34: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) "I should probably also point out that until now I have been an ebook virgin so comparatively speaking I may love other ereaders equally."

I'm still not using my son's Sony very much. He might not ever ask for it back - but if he does I'll probably still be a very confused e-reader newbie and I'll be visiting this forum. So, that is, thanks for any and all input here! :)


message 35: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 114 comments I'll add my undying iPad love to Schelle's. Best invention ever!


message 36: by Shelleyrae (last edited Sep 23, 2010 05:29PM) (new)

Shelleyrae at Book'd Out | 147 comments Mandy wrote: "I could talk about it for hours, I'm hooked! But I'd really love to hear from anyone who uses their iPhone/iTouch to read books. It's a bit small for me but I've heard there are heaps of teens and ..."

I use my iPod touch - its why I got it. I primarily use Stanza as my reader, and use calibre to convert/ transfer my books over though you don't necessarily have to. I also have the kindle app, borders app, kobo app etc installed so it doesn't matter where a book is from I can read it.
I find it easy to read on mostly, you can adjust text size and background to make it more comfortable. I do find my eyes get sore if I'm too tired or have been on the computer all day already. What I love is that I also use my iPod to check into goodreads with the GR app, I have book organising software app so I have my TBR list with me all the time and I also keep up with book blogs etc using a RSS feeder app. I'd love an iPad but no budget lol.
I still want a Kindle as well too :)
You can BTW use third party software to convert files to mobi (for the Kindle) or any format mostly.

The only format I refuse to support is Adobe Digital Editions because it's not a portable format.


message 37: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Shelleyrae wrote: "The only format I refuse to support is Adobe Digital Editions because it's not a portable format...."

I agree with you about the Adobe Digital Editions. I tried it when I first started with ebooks and it's slow, unwieldy, and on a couple of occasions the books I had purchased suddenly disappeared and I had to download them again. I wouldn't recommend this software for ebooks.:(


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Tuesday, Kindle arrival day!!!!. I know Murray thinks I've gone to the dark side but Mandy you convinced me. :)


message 39: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Maybe you should change my nickname to bad influence!


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm saving up something special for your nick name change. For when you least expect it. :D


message 41: by Murray (last edited Sep 23, 2010 08:09PM) (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Tuesday, Kindle arrival day!!!!. I know Murray thinks I've gone to the dark side but Mandy you convinced me. :)"

I have no problem with you making a personal choice, Gail, even if it makes no sense to me. An author making a choice that affects me is a different matter. I do see the Emperor lurking behind Jeff Bezos, beckoning to David whatisname.


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

Murray wrote: "I have no problem with you making a personal choice, Gail, even if it makes no sense to me."

I know, but your message is having an impact. I did feel guilty when I made the decision and have been having twinges of guilt ever since.


message 43: by Murray (last edited Sep 23, 2010 11:50PM) (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "I know, but your message is having an impact. I did feel guilty when I made the decision and have been having twinges of guilt ever since."

You shouldn't be feeling guilty, Gail. My concern for people buying a Kindle is that they can only (as far as I know) buy from Amazon. Each time you want to buy a new book, it has to be from Amazon. Then when you want to upgrade / replace your ereader, you have to get another Kindle to be able to read the books you already have.

If I can get people thinking before they buy, I'll be happy.

Guilt should be reserved for authors that sign exclusive agreements!


message 44: by Shelleyrae (new)

Shelleyrae at Book'd Out | 147 comments My concern for people buying a Kindle is that they can only (as far as I know) buy from Amazon.

Actually Murray that isn't quite true, Kindles read (non-DRM) .mobi, .prc, .txt and PDF which means you can purchase from stores that offer .mobi (like http://www.fictionwise.com/home.html , http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/, http://www.booksonboard.com/landing.p...
On top of that almost any format can be easily converted to TXT or PDF yourself with free software, and Amazon offers a conversion service. Then you can easily transfer the file to your Kindle.

The only problem will be with DRM files which is true for every reader on the market.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you so much for that information Shelleyrae.


message 46: by Murray (last edited Sep 24, 2010 05:13PM) (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Shelleyrae wrote: "Actually Murray that isn't quite true, Kindles read (non-DRM) .mobi, .prc, .txt and PDF which means you can purchase from stores that offer .mobi (like http://www.fictionwise.com/home.html , http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/, http://www.booksonboard.com/landing.php?..."

Wonderful! Thanks for pointing this out, Shelleyrae. Now I only need to be concerned about Amazon not selling ePub and not licensing other ereader manufacturers to use mobi. I'd love it if someone could prove me wrong there.


message 47: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Shelleyrae, as you say, that's fine for non-DRM files, such as out-of-copyright classics. However, nearly all the new, interesting titles on which the author and publisher expect to collect royalties are DRM. I wish you could convert DRM files to different formats but you can only do that by breaking the DRM - usually illegal.

I hope Amazon sees the light eventually. In the meantime, it is a shame to see good people like Polk selling out to the Dark Side, even though I quite understand why.


Kat at Book Thingo (bookthingo) | 26 comments Jacqueline wrote: "I wish you could convert DRM files to different formats but you can only do that by breaking the DRM - usually illegal"
Distributing it would be illegal, but I'm not sure just breaking DRM for your personal use is automatically illegal. I suspect this is one of those things that publishers would like us to believe is true but hasn't been properly tested in a legal sense.

There are also a few DRM formats around, and you can read almost all of them on a reader, though probably not ALL formats on the one device. For example, Sony and BeBook will be able to read ADE formats, which make them compatible with library ebook lending.


message 49: by Jacqueline (last edited Sep 27, 2010 01:40PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I just noticed a Borders ad in passing, and am really impressed by the way ereader prices have fallen. They have a comparison chart at http://www.borders.com/online/store/M...

Note the ones with the longest battery life use eInk technology. The others have laptop type screens that are power hungry.

Still, an ereader for U$99 looks great...


message 50: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Jacqueline wrote: "I just noticed a Borders ad in passing, and am really impressed by the way ereader prices have fallen. They have a comparison chart at http://www.borders.com/online/store/M......"

I was excited to see that the Libre can read MOBI format, even if it's not an e-ink device. Looking further though, I see that Amazon sells .azw format which is only readable on Kindle products.


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