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Default Are ebook readers worth considering?

August 3rd, 2010, 14:40
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
Lastly books don't run out of power
My ebook reader runs months with single charge. Thats one of the points of e-ink. Another is that its softer for eyes than regular computer monitor. It doesnt tire your eyes.

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August 3rd, 2010, 14:56
I guess there are still people that prefer having torches in their houses instead of lightbulbs
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August 4th, 2010, 00:58
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
My friend has one and adores it. However for me nothing in the world beats curling up on the couch to read a good book. Especially on a rainy/snowy day, with the dogs curled up at my feet.

The E-books are just to cold and impersonal. To techno. I spend most of my life on a computer (work, gaming, etc.) and for me having a good ole paper books can't be beat.
(Just to assure you, I do not actually get paid by the e-ink industry to promote it.)

You would be surprised at how you don't even notice that it isn't a paper book when you are reading. A few weeks ago, I was looking at the list of books that I read on my Kindle and I was surprised because I honestly thought that I had read them in paper format. I didn't even remember that I read them on my Kindle because the only lasting images were those painted by the words. It sounds a little far fetched, but after the novelty of reading on an e-reader wears off, it is just like a normal book.

And GG, I refuse to believe that you are so old that you cannot appreciate an e-reader. What are you 25? 30? If you were 80, I might let you get away with saying that you're too old.
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August 4th, 2010, 01:49
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
I guess there are still people that prefer having torches in their houses instead of lightbulbs
Hmm .. there happens to be this big glowy thing up in the sky that, last I checked, lets you read without a light-bulb at least part of the day, you know … like before electricity :-)

Not that I don't get your point about needing them to read at night. But still plenty of enjoyment to be had reading by the lake, at the beach, in the park, on the deck, or in a room … that has, like, windows that let light in.

@Korplem: I am not really anti-kindle by any means lol - I see nothing wrong with them at all. In fact I think they are a great thing. I just don't have any desire for one myself. I am not trying to convince anyone that books are better. It is a matter of taste.

I like folding a book edge over, I like the feel of paper. I don't want to have to tie myself to yet another piece of electronics; no matter how long the charge lasts or how stable and reliable they are. I do admit saving trees is good … but after reading so many articles about wars being fought in third world countries over electronic supplies, and the issues with disposing of electronics, I wonder where that balance is.

Anyhow for me I just like a good book. I am 45 so I am old I suppose compared to many around here. I grew up on books since I was just a tot. I find a sense of comfort and relaxation with them.

I get enough electronic reading in other venues. For pure escape and relaxation I still find a book preferable. Of course if one of you want to gift me with a Kindle I will give it a try
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August 4th, 2010, 10:30
Agree with all the above poster said.

And GG, I refuse to believe that you are so old that you cannot appreciate an e-reader. What are you 25? 30? If you were 80, I might let you get away with saying that you're too old.
I didn't say I was TOO old for it, I still have some years left until 30…. I said this thread makes me feel old.

I just think a lot of young people can't appreciate this sort of thing which are not on a screen anymore. I mean I see young people travel through beautiful landscape and sit and play with their cellphone without looking.

A book has a certain beauty to it from the cover to the pages and font in print… a kindle is well ugly and unpersonal. Books look beautiful in the bookcase… a kindle looks well… ugly. The feel cuddling down with a book ( why not in torchlight by the way ) and turning the pages which makes a light sound…. it is kind of romantic and relaxing and can never be achieved by kindle.

I get what you guys say, you can have both a kindle and read normal books for different situations…. like when you travel…. but well when you travel how often will you have time to read through several books? if you read that much… I guess you might as well have stayed at home since all you've done is reading

I guess the kindle can be useful for work related reasons though… like one guy said he has 100's of PDF files he needs to seach and find information in, instead of bringing prints of these, they're all in a kindle…. ok can't argue with that.

What I am worried about is that fewer and fewer books will be sold as… well books… and just distributed electronically. Another thing is as this happend book piracy is going to become a lot easier… so people might stop buying books.. and they'll just write low quaily mainstream crap which has to sell 10 million copies to be profitable…….. hmmmm sounds familiar…..
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August 4th, 2010, 14:11
I agree that kindle is ugly. Its not the prettiest of e-readers. And I dont like the fact that it has a keyboard. Books shouldnt have keyboards.

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August 4th, 2010, 14:32
Now that the Kindles are coming down in price I am considering getting one as well. How well do they do when transferring a pdf? I know Amazon's website says you lose some features such as changing font sizes unless they are converted to Kindle format. Are there any recommended conversion programs if you have a book in epub, prc, or another unsupported format on the Kindle?
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August 4th, 2010, 14:52
My Sony PRS-600 is like the most beautiful e-book reader, if that's what shakes your boat
Nobody is going to convince anybody here, but I can only tell my story. Until I bought my e-book reader, I only read in the bathroom in those #2 moments. Getting the reader got me into reading again. The novelty of the device is already off, and I just see it now like the portable library it is, it's definitely now part of my everyday life (not like other gadgets that, once the novelty wears off, you never use again). And, English not being my native language, the built-in dictionary with the touchscreen to double-tap words I don't understand is a full blessing.
And did I say it's pretty? the red metal glossy finish looks really good.
And don't be confused. E-ink is not LCD. It really is just like paper, including being able to read it under direct sunlight, but also including needing an external light at dark.
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August 4th, 2010, 16:31
Originally Posted by Xian View Post
Now that the Kindles are coming down in price I am considering getting one as well. How well do they do when transferring a pdf? I know Amazon's website says you lose some features such as changing font sizes unless they are converted to Kindle format. Are there any recommended conversion programs if you have a book in epub, prc, or another unsupported format on the Kindle?
There is Calibre which will do conversion to many different formats for many different readers. Really easy to use with kindle from my experience. It cannot handle DRM which happens to be used quite a bit on new books as I found out when buying from Barnes & Noble recently.

Regarding PDFs, I think it will lose vector images which tables I think are rendered in so tables may not be converted. (At least that is what Calibre loses)
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August 5th, 2010, 00:30
Thanks figment. I had always said once they reach $99 I would bite, but $139 is getting pretty close. My biggest concern is breakage with an ebook reader. I will have to change my habits - often while reading in bed I am woke up when I hear the book hit the floor.
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August 5th, 2010, 03:59
The very first book I checked (Alistair Reynolds - Redemption Space) is not available. Pass. Books are the cost of paperbacks too. I don't think I get this concept.

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August 5th, 2010, 06:05
Its worse that you think on the cost in my experience. They tend to be charging even more than paperback for books I've looked at by and large. You tend to still win on ebooks when compared to hardbacks but only by a little and the publishers are trying really hard to force us to pay full price for digital delivery. I also expect publishers to start delaying ebooks by a month or more after hardback release in the near future to extract more money from eager buyers.

Anyway, they can be nice devices if you read a lot and do so outside. I think I overpaid for my kindle as I've just not gotten the use out of it that I expected but I think the calculus is different for each person. And now that I have it I do use it for its intended purpose but I think I would have been better served if I waited for the iPad.
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August 5th, 2010, 14:48
Originally Posted by figment View Post
Its worse that you think on the cost in my experience. They tend to be charging even more than paperback for books I've looked at by and large. You tend to still win on ebooks when compared to hardbacks but only by a little and the publishers are trying really hard to force us to pay full price for digital delivery. I also expect publishers to start delaying ebooks by a month or more after hardback release in the near future to extract more money from eager buyers.

Anyway, they can be nice devices if you read a lot and do so outside. I think I overpaid for my kindle as I've just not gotten the use out of it that I expected but I think the calculus is different for each person. And now that I have it I do use it for its intended purpose but I think I would have been better served if I waited for the iPad.
the iPad is not really an ebook reader. It's pretty much a notebook without a physical keyboard. LCD screen is not easy on the eyes on long usage, and it's not nearly as portable as an ebook reader (I can put the PRS600 in my pants pocket. Barely, but I can). And at $500, it's just not in the same ballpark (or even the same city) as a $150 dedicated book reader. Also, its touted 8 hour battery life is nothing compared to the 2-3 week battery life of the ebook readers. Most people (avid readers) I know that have an iPad, also have an ebook reader and use that for book reading, and the iPad for browsing and apps.
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August 5th, 2010, 16:19
iPad cant replace ebook reader. Also the device sounds like a female hygiene product.

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August 6th, 2010, 04:30
Regarding the iPad, I know its not fully comparable but I paid $300 for it and for $200 more the iPad does quite a bit more and still functions as a ebook reader and to me is competing for the same disposable income which is why I'm willing to compare it. I don't have problems with eye strain after all I'm in front of a computer 14 hours a day and it doesn't bother me anymore. I use my iPod Touch quite a bit for book reading when I'm on the go just because of its general utility and pocket size and am generally ok with it just wish the screen was bigger. The pad would be useful for browsing the web or what not at home which is pretty much the only place I use the kindle any more. I'm not willing to fork out $500 at this point and will wait for a major price drop.

Anyway its going to be different for each person and at $150 it would have made a lot more sense to me. I still like the kindle and I haven't charged it for probably 3 weeks and still have most of the battery available which is great.
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August 6th, 2010, 22:15
Some initial impressions after a couple of days usage.

Positives
- Excellent display. Good contrast text despite the background being light-gray. Even for tiny fonts. E-ink is impressive.
- Organizing documents. Initially it looks kind of messy since everything is in the main folder, but you can create collections and stuff documents into those.
- Remembers last page you read. Pretty elementary but nice when you jump between documents.
- Checking the web for news and updates. When reading on my computer it's fairly easy to get distracted. Less so in this device.
- Full page content is a joy to read. I'm glad I bought the version with 9" display. Hopefully this will serve me well in the time to come. Thanks for all the recommendations getting an e-reader!

Negatives
- Slightly heavy. I guess the battery and display is part of the reason. A great deal lighter than a 500-page hardcover book though.
- Navigating pages in PDF (other than next page). Maybe it's me using it wrong, but activating "go to page" you get letters instead of numbers as default. You need to press ALT for each number. Kind of clunky when your trying to hold onto the device.
- Zoom handling of pdfs isn't particularly good. Certain pdfs become too small when fitted to width, even though the texts is crystal clear. No fit to height when in portrait mode.

Some images of the device: First one is showing full-page pdf against a hardcover book and a 20" widescreen monitor. Last one is showing 2-column pdf. The image quality doesn't represent the actual display. Text in last image is crystal-clear on the device.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg ereader01.jpg (108.3 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg ereader02.jpg (62.8 KB, 101 views)
Last edited by hishadow; August 7th, 2010 at 20:41.
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August 7th, 2010, 05:38
I love mine. It's an Aluratek Libre. ebooks are great!
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August 7th, 2010, 18:06
Hishadow thanks for the review. That's the same Kindle I've been thinking about buying.
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August 8th, 2010, 18:55
Thanks for the review and pics hishadow. The 9.7" one is just too costly for me - I will probably go with the 6" Wifi Only when it comes out. I would probably like the larger one better though. One concern is the number of lines displayed on the smaller model. I am a pretty fast reader and the pictures I have seen on the web show about 20 lines of text per page - the paperback that I just finished had 32 lines per page, so I would have to be turning the page a lot more often than with a real book which might slow my reading speed down. That might be adjusted by using a smaller sized font though.
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August 8th, 2010, 23:19
The font size is adjustable if you read books in Amazon's format. I get about 35-40 lines (+ about 5 lines in paragraph spacing) on the 9" display. Not sure about 6" display.

I also checked samples from technical textbooks. The result wasn't too impressive with the flexible layout. Guess it works better with ordinary books.
Last edited by hishadow; August 8th, 2010 at 23:34.
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