E-Books and E-Readers?

I’ve been wondering for a while if it’s worth my time to get a Kindle. On the one hand, it’s technology, which means it’s dated nearly as fast as you can buy it. On the other hand, it’s a small piece of technology that can hold tons and tons of books.

So I’m asking you, oh people of the internet. Is it worth getting a Kindle? Are any of the other readers better? If price wasn’t an issue, would you get one? Which one would it be?

24 Comments

Filed under Not a Book Review

24 responses to “E-Books and E-Readers?

  1. Don’t get a kindle. They’re locked to Amazon content, and so you can ONLY use books on them that you purchased from the Amazon store. Secondly, they have no memory card/SD slots for external storage, which means you can’t add your own word/PDF documents to it. I work for a publisher, and frequently have to read unpublished manuscripts, which I add to my e-reader rather than read on my laptop screen – I wouldn’t be able to do this with a kindle.

    I have a Sony PRS-650, which is amazing. Touch screen too! plus, it’s got a built-in MP3 player, the note-taking capabilities are great, and it’s got 2 types of memory card slots for adding whatever you like to it. Also, you can shop at tons of different e-book stores, you’re not limited to just one, like you are with the kindle.

    There’s my two cents! xxx

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    • The content lock has been one of my main concerns when considering it, and is likely the source of my greatest hesitation. I mean, as proprietary as Apple is, even they allow third-party songs on iPods.

      I cannot read for long on my computer, I find it makes my head ache pretty severely. So an e-reader is a must if I’m going to play with virtual books.

      I like Sony (not just ’cause they make playstation) but I wasn’t sure how their readers rank.

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    • They are pretty, and I have a soft-spot for red technology. Or pink cases. (Though I think that derives from the pink-aversion most males in my family suffer from; my pink tools have never been appropriated by either my father or my brothers)

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    • Also, the prettiness factor does help me when I’m tempted to mourn the loss of a physical copy.

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  2. Perhaps a Nook? I always think I would get a Nook if I got an e-reader. Only I’m always afraid I’d lose it, and then poof, there’d be all that money gone in a trice.😦

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    • I would worry about that, except that I’m not the sort of person who loses things. Well, not permanently. The worst thing I can remember in recent times is realizing my iPod (an old 5th gen which I’ve had for six years now) has not been on my desk in a few days… only to remember that it’s hiding in my car’s trunk because I forgot to bring it back up after work.

      I do worry about buying one, and then never using it because I’d rather have physical copies…

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  3. I can only speak from my personal experience with the Sony PRS-650. It’s much like an iPod, in that I have a ‘Reader library’ on my desktop computer which functions in muchthe same way as iTunes – I use this to add files to my e-reader. So, if I do ever lose my reader, or if it breaks, I still have access to everything I’ve downloaded/bought via the Itunes-esque library on my computer.

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    • The only issue I foresee with something like that is that (even with iTunes) I tend to load things onto the device and delete them from the drive. (In part because I do not have a terribly large harddrive, and what I do have is mostly used by Sims 2 & 3)

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  4. Erin

    I’ve been researching all three companies’ e-readers. Even though the Kindle is so popular, I refuse to be locked into Amazon. A big reason I’d like to have an e-reader is to borrow books from the library, which a Kindle won’t let me do.

    I’ve been leaning toward the Nook, mostly because I’ve heard the pointy corners of the Sony readers get uncomfortable to hold. I have heard that Sony’s organizational system is great, but that there’s no internet capability, so you can’t just buy a book on the fly using a wireless connection.

    I’m not quite ready to take the plunge yet myself. I think secretly I’m waiting for THE NEXT BIG THING, even though I have no idea what it’ll be or when it’ll show up. I’ll be interested to see what you decide!

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    • That is a good point that the Sony’s don’t have the wireless. I personally don’t feel like I need it, but I can see that if you just want to a snag a book real fast wireless makes it convenient.

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  5. I haven’t taken the plunge yet either. When I was still an academic, the e-reader concept sounded awesome just because you could load your entire bibliography onto one device. Now I’m not so sure. I like to take my books to bed with me, and I’m not convinced an e-reader would do.

    But my roommate loves her iPad for reading, and I’ll admit the page-turning feature is pretty nifty.

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    • I haven’t seen the iPad’s e-reading software, but I imagine it’s handy for when you want to go somewhere and fuss around on the internet *and* read a book while you’re out.

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  6. I have my Sony E-reader. I like it. I think the Sony Reader software blows, but I like my reader when I get the content on there. And you can get so many classics for nothing or just really cheap.

    I think there’s a lot of benefits for E-readers, but it all depends on what you get.

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  7. ela21

    Smart Bitches Trashy Books are currently reviewing several e-readers on their site at present – see http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/ – October 13 has the latest review.

    I am tempted by a Kindle, mainly because of the price (the Sony e-book readers are way more expensive), and I haven’t seen any of the others on offer.

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  8. I’d like to get an e-reader myself, eventually.

    I don’t like e-ink very much though, personally, which is the main reason I don’t have one yet.

    Are you sure that the Kindle is locked into Amazon? I mean, it may not offer you the ability to easily purchase e-books from anywhere else, but I know a few people who have them, and they seem able to put e-books onto it that they have obtained from sources other than Amazon.

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    • It seems fussy about filetypes, but some searching has shown that you can jailbreak your Kindle, or you can use file-conversion software to change the files from non-Kindle-compatible to Kindle-friendly.

      I’m undecided about e-ink. It’s more readable than my laptop screen for sure, but it’s less readable than an actual book. Then again, I’ve spent days straight staring at a screen playing games and my eyes didn’t fall out then…

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      • Ah yeah. That must be it. If it’s from a non-Amazon source, you might need to change the file-type.

        I’m almost kind of leaning toward going with an iPad at some future date. I like being able to choose the background and text colors (I read on my phone sometimes), and it would also allow me to access most any e-reader service I wanted to, including Kindle… since there is Kindle for the iPhone/iPad.

        I haven’t spent a LOT of time trying to read e-ink, but when I did, it seemed to make my head hurt. Reading on my phone where I can set the background color and/or text color to my own preference doesn’t make my head hurt.

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  9. Kindly IS locked to amazon; it’s one of the main controversies. The only way to get other store’s books on there is to hack it. Which, of course is illegal.

    e-ink is much easier on the eyes than a back-lit laptop screen. It’s just a shame that nobody’s been able to get it to work in colour yet.

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    • Since the US Courts just ruled against Apple, and said that it *is* legal to jailbreak iPhones and other devices, I imagine it’s a low priority crime (if it is a crime at all) to jailbreak a Kindle here.

      That aside, I’ll admit that I’m likely far too lazy to either jailbreak or convert files. I prefer low-fuss means of reading.

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