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books, books, and more books! > My eReader Conundrum

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message 1: by Natanya (last edited Nov 09, 2010 07:27PM) (new)

Natanya (vraisemble) | 255 comments So here's the deal. I have spent the last couple years pretty vehemently hating eReaders, but still acknowledging their convenience. I am now seriously contemplating getting one, largely because I frequently have to print out pdf readings for class, and it's a pain in the butt to print them out, but even worse to read them on my computer screen (mostly because I can't focus at all--my computer's far too distracting). However, I'm not sure if I would really use it enough to warrant buying it. I do not buy very many books to begin with (I get most from the library), and I really don't want all of the adorable used book stores to go out of business, so I would still occasionally buy books from them (but really, I currently only buy like 5-7 books a year). I'd also probably still buy the books I really love. And...I just like real books.

I've read through the eReaders thread, but a lot of it is about kindle vs. nook, which isn't an issue I've even gotten to yet. I've also done online searches, et cetera. But I'd like some specific advice, if that's alright with you guys.

So given that I would in large part be using my ereader for school, here are my questions. Obviously answer for your specific eReader (unless you know a lot about others), and let me know which one you have. If you don't have an eReader, let me know why! Feel free to direct me somewhere if you know articles/posts that address my concerns!

1. Currently, when I'm reading something for school, I fill the book with little post-it tabs so I can easily flip back through. How easy is it to flag/tag/whatever eReader pages and then return to them?

2. Do you still buy books you really want/love in real book version? Do you find that to be totally monetarily inefficient?

3. Do you still get books from the library if you did so before?

4. Have you used your eReader in class, like for an English class? If so, was your professor okay with you having it out during class?

5. Does it just provide you with even more distractions while reading, or do you feel that your read more efficiently (or the same) with it as with physical books?

6. Is it easy to store and access random documents on your ereader (like homework assignments or something)? It would be nice not to have to open my computer to refer to everything.

And here are the pro/con lists I've come up with:

Pros
- Don't have to print out class readings/read them on my computer, which should make me more efficient (slightly less distracted), save paper, and save me a trip to the library to print the readings.
- Can look up words I don't know without having to pull out my dictionary (I've actually wanted an electronic dictionary for years...I don't have an itouch or smartphone to quickly look stuff up on while I'm reading)
- Can look up weird references I don't know on wikipedia (at least on the kindle)
- Don't have to lug so many books with me when I travel (which is relatively frequently since I'm from the west coast and go to school on the east coast)
- Can download all those free books
- My library has some ebook affiliations, so I could still get certain books from there
- Technology just makes me happy

Cons
- I <3 used bookstores. When I walk by one, I get so happy. I don't actually buy very many books from them, but I feel bad supporting the industry that's going to put them out of business in the next decade.
- Looking at the books lined up on my shelf makes me happy.
- I currently get a lot of books from the library, so I will probably continue to get them from the library because that way they're free
- Yet another piece of expensive technology to fear getting stolen

I know my pro list is longer, but my con list has some weightier points on it.

Thanks so much for bearing with me through this super long post. If you could give me any advice, I'd really appreciate it.

Lots of bookish love,
Natanya


message 2: by Natanya (last edited Nov 09, 2010 08:03PM) (new)

Natanya (vraisemble) | 255 comments Just found this anti-eReader article... http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter...

But that's oriented toward adults with jobs and whatnot, not a college student who could actually use it for schoolwork. But it does bring up the point of being potentially even more environmentally unfriendly.


message 3: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (annashu) I have a Kindle2 and have had it for about 2 years now I guess. I used to hate the idea of an e-reader but I am fully converted now.

1. Not sure if it would be super efficient for things like that, but it is really easy to highlight things and then look back at what you highlighted

2. I sometimes buy an extra copy but just for books that I would really like to have in the future, and feel that my future library would be lacking. Still kinda cheaper since if the book is a new release you can read it immediately without having to pay big bucks or wait for library

3. I never really got books from the library but I still do buy books from used bookstores when I see they are cheaper than e-book would be. I never pay more than $10 for a book and it is great.

4. I haven't but I'd assume it would be similar to people who use lap tops in class

5. I think it makes me read even more efficiently somehow. Maybe I'm crazy but sometimes I read in weird positions that make turning pages hard or hold the book awkward but it isn't really a problem with e-readers

6. Again I've never used it for this but they claim it is doable so I don't know.

I agree that books lined up make me happy but I recently moved and packing up loads of books I didn't love did not make me happy.

Also whatever you choose keep showing love for independent used bookstores, best way to build a library and support local businesses.


message 4: by Natanya (new)

Natanya (vraisemble) | 255 comments Thanks, Annashu! I totally didn't think of the whole awkward reading positions thing -- that happens to me all the time! I'll want to read while lying on my back or something, which is quite difficult when holding a big book.


message 5: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
I decided to get a Nook for Christmas. I was really anti-ereader as well but I just decided that I wanted it! Let's hope I use it! lol


message 6: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberlywithat) | 2140 comments 1. Currently, when I'm reading something for school, I fill the
book with little post-it tabs so I can easily flip back through. How
easy is it to flag/tag/whatever eReader pages and then return to them?


Easy. You can bookmark pages, and highlight text and leave a note next
to the highlight. And you can "flip" through the pages with the touch screen at the bottom.


2. Do you still buy books you really want/love in real book version?
Do you find that to be totally monetarily inefficient?


Yes, if it's a book I really love, I'll by the real version. I want to
be able to lend it out. And it looks pretty on my bookshelf. : )

3. Do you still get books from the library if you did so before?

Yes. You can also get signed up with your local library and "borrow" a
ebook from the library.

4. Have you used your eReader in class, like for an English class? If
so, was your professor okay with you having it out during class?


Yes! I've used it several times. My professors were totally fine with
it. One of my professors from the English department has one herself.

5. Does it just provide you with even more distractions while
reading, or do you feel that your read more efficiently (or the same)
with it as with physical books?


There aren't really any distractions. I think I actually read faster
with the nook, as strange as that may sound.

6. Is it easy to store and access random documents on your ereader
(like homework assignments or something)? It would be nice not to have
to open my computer to refer to everything.


You can open up PDF files, I'm not sure about Word documents. You
wouldn't be able to make any changes.

- Yet another piece of expensive technology to fear getting stolen

Yes, it might get stolen. But B&N stores all of your books online and if
your nook is stolen they will freeze it for you so that no one else can
use it.


My nook is one of the best things I've ever bought. I never leave the house without it. And I'll second what Annashu said, it is a lot easier to hold when I'm sitting or lying in weird positions while I read.

Jamie- I think you'll be surprised how much you use it.


message 7: by Erin (new)

Erin (ersiku) I don't have an eReader yet, but I've done a lot of research and messed with the Nook and the Sony Reader in stores. I will never get a Kindle because of how ridiculous Amazon is about letting you put books on them. My library offers ebooks for loan, which Amazon will not let you load.

Between the Nook and the Reader, I was much more impressed with the latter. The Nook was kind of cool, but it loaded slowly and was clunkier than the Reader. You can highlight and look up words, but you first have to navigate to the word/phrase you're after. Only the little strip at the bottom is a touch screen.

The Reader, on the other hand, loads faster. It also comes with a stylus, so you can just double tap a word to look it up. You can swipe to turn the page, scroll down, or turn using a button. You can also highlight or write a note using the stylus. The whole screen is touch, which makes navigation much more precise. The Reader also comes in two sizes, one of which is the size of a small paperback. Both models are lighter than the Nook, which I found surprisingly heavy.

That being said, there are two downsides to the Reader. First, it's more expensive. Second, it doesn't have WiFi or 3G connectivity; you have to plug it into your computer to load books onto it. To me, I'd rather have the better reading and note-taking functionality. If I had WiFi, I'd just end up buying too many books.

I've been staunchly anti eReader ever since they came out, but I'm seriously reconsidering now. I would use mine primarily for library books, e-galleys, and free classics as I just can't justify spending $10-$15 for a file. I'd rather have the book. I will absolutely continue buying books and using the library! If I get an eReader, it will be a supplement to, not a replacement for, my books.


message 8: by Natanya (new)

Natanya (vraisemble) | 255 comments Thanks Erin and Kimberly! Yeah, the lack of file support for epubs might deter me from getting a Kindle. My dad has a kindle though (but he is, unfortunately, across the country, so I wouldn't get to try it out until late December), so it might be nice to be able to read the books he buys.

Good to hear that people read more efficiently with their eReaders...I definitely need a way to more efficiently read my random school readings.


message 9: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberlywithat) | 2140 comments That's one thing about the Reader, it has a back light. That was a downside for me, it's hard on the eyes.


Oh and with looking up the word, you don't have to scroll down to look it up, you can type it in.

Another thing I like about the nook is the android technology, they are sending out upgrades quite often.


message 10: by Erin (new)

Erin (ersiku) Natanya -- I'd definitely recommend playing with any eReader you're considering before picking one. It makes such a difference to try them out for yourself. I was surprised how different they were--I'd assumed an eReader was an eReader.

Kimberly -- the Sony Reader? The new ones don't have a back light. Don't know if the old ones did, but the one I tried didn't. The color Nooks do, as does the iPad. I'm not a big fan of the direction the Nook is going, with its emphasis on music and internet and apps. I figure I have a phone and a laptop and an iPod for those things. I'd rather my reader just be an electronic book. But, different strokes for different folks!


message 11: by Natanya (new)

Natanya (vraisemble) | 255 comments Ah, that's good. I just discovered that my library's eBook borrowing system includes a file type called mobi, which is apparently supported by kindle. Also, Project Gutenberg has kindle format too. So now the lack of ePub support is kind of getting to be a moot point, unless I suddenly acquire lots of free B&N eBooks.

I don't think I'd want one with a back light because I have a hard enough time falling asleep at night, and I know lighting from computer screens, etc does not help that.


message 12: by Natanya (new)

Natanya (vraisemble) | 255 comments Erin -- yeah, I'm planning on going to Barnes & Noble as soon as I can to try out a nook. I'm also having my dad load some PDFs onto his Kindle so he can tell me how well they work.


message 13: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberlywithat) | 2140 comments Oh ok, my mistake then. I thought they were back lite.

I agree about the new nook. I don't really like it, although for some people it will be perfect.


message 14: by Erin (new)

Erin (ersiku) Natanya -- The guy I talked to at the B&N Nook station I visited was really knowledgeable. Hopefully they're all like that--it was helpful talking to him! The Borders people were less knowledgeable about the Sonys, unfortunately.

Kimberly -- Yeah, the new Nook will be nice for people who read a lot of kids' books and graphic novels, especially...though the back light would bug me! It's too much like an iPad and too little like an eReader for me.


message 15: by Ashley (last edited Nov 14, 2010 08:43AM) (new)

Ashley Lauren (ashleyllauren) I did tons of research before I got my ereader and decided on the Nook. To be honest, it seems like no one has really regretted whether they get a Kindle or a Nook (or Sony, etc) but I'm very glad I decided to go with the nook.

The Nook has the fancy shmancy touchscreen which is great - as opposed to the Kindle which just has the buttons. I really prefer, too, that you can still go to Barnes and Noble and do this like read for free, etc. Also someone else mentioned the lending capacity - which I've never used - but it makes it way more exciting when I find out someone else has a Nook too. I plan to buy about a million books too, eventually, so I'm glad I don't have to worry about storage issues.

And, unless a new Nook has come out since I got mine in August, it's not backlit... the touch screen is, but you don't read from that, but the touch screen goes black after about 30 seconds unless you are using it.


message 16: by Natanya (new)

Natanya (vraisemble) | 255 comments I decided to get a Kindle. The touch screen would be nice, but most other aspects of the Kindle beat out the Nook.


message 17: by Meg (new)

Meg (aurawn) | 44 comments Looks like you've already decided, but I'll add in my two cents. I have both a Kindle 2 and a Sony 505.


1. It is very, very easy to bookmark or highlight passages on the Kindle, but only when the document/book is in the Kindle format or Mobipocket -- ie, it doesn't work on PDFs. On my Sony, I can bookmark a page on the PDF (or other document) but can't underline/highlight anything. I'm not sure if the newer models of Sony can highlight, but I think they may.

2. Yes, I do, if it's something I've been waiting for for a while, or if it's a book I'm planning on doing a lot of highlighting in for class. I've significantly cut down on buying hardcover/paperback books though, because it usually is cheaper in ebook format.

3. Yes, all the time. I am currently surrounded by four library books :)

4. Yes, in English and History classes. My professors have been fine with me having them out in class - one professor even has a Kindle of her own - but be prepared for curiousity and questions!

5. More efficiently - page turns tend to be faster for me with my eReader.

6. Yes. On my Kindle I have a "School Readings" collection that makes it easy to flip to exactly what I need. There are also collections on the Sony. Very easy to find things.

As for your pros, if having a dictionary built in is important to you, make sure the eReader you buy comes with one. My Kindle does, my Sony does not, but the newer model Sonys might.
For library books: the Kindle does NOT currently support any library ebook formats - ePub, PDF or Mobipocket - due to DRM/encryptions. Yes, this INCLUDES Mobipocket, which the Kindle technically supports. This is because of the library's DRM.
ePub & PDF library books CAN be read on Sonys and Nooks.

Cons - just because you have an eReader doesn't mean you can't go to used bookstores! Sometimes you can find better deals at used bookstores than you can on ebooks. There's also nothing wrong with library books - and it saves money. You can always use the eReader mainly for classics/school readings/books that you can find cheaper online or books that you need RIGHT.NOW.


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