Kindle, Nook, Kobo etc

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jollyrogered
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Post by jollyrogered » June 10th, 2011, 10:12 am

Dear Librivoxers,

I've recently come ot the conclusion that I actually do need an e-reader of some sort. I put this off for a long time because they used to be much more expensive and because I rather like having a library of books. I find, however, that my library is already out of space, and my husband is relucatant to let my books migrate into other rooms (in his defense, he has seen my grandfathers library, which is practically the entire house, bookshelves askew and hanging away from the wall, sagging with weight, and I think he shares the fear that someday, someone will die under them). If I love a book, I will still buy the paper copy, but an e-reader is so portable! Not to mention I think that reading off of a computer screen from gutenberg and archive is making my eyes go bad prematurely...

Now the hard decision. Which one do I get? I've read the reviews, and talk to my friends, but lets face it, I know that they arent reading as much as I am- but you are! I know that the librivoxers who kindle and nook it with books are doing so frequently and with longevity. So I really want your opinions! Especially when it comes to use with our wonderful PD publishers :)

I'm leaning towards an e-ink book, and I know B&N has one (though no one I know has one), and that Amazon has them. I know that there are other brands like kobo etc. So whats your take? Do you love yours, hate it?
duck... duck... ZOMBIE!

Jc
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Post by Jc » June 10th, 2011, 10:29 am

Ah, how timely!

I'm just about to call Amazon Customer services because my Kindle's screen is broken.

I really like my Kindle, got is as a gift from my boyfriend. He got the Kindle 3 with the free 3G access, which was really useful when we sent traveling and were in some places with no wireless.

The Kindle reads txt files, and if you get the 3G, you could read a text in HTML from Gutenberg. It can also download the txt file directly from the Gutenberg website. (although the downloaded file will be named something like "pg1234")

I don't think there's much to say about the e-ink display quality compared to other readers, I think they're fairly equivalent.

Kindle lets you sort books in collections, but it has to be done manually on the kindle, book by book. It also doesn't allow sub-collections, which is a bit annoying for me. The keyboard is also a bit small, and I find the keys somewhat hard to press. The 5-way controller is also a bit small, and I often have to press it with my nails.

In general, it's a good device, but it seems that screen failures are quite frequent, which I found out yesterday after mine died. it seems that the Kindle's screen is REALLY fragile, and prone to fail for no reason. You might want to opt for another device that's a bit more sturdy. Kindle does come with 1-yr limited warranty, and it seems that Amazon isn't too fussy about replacing it for failed screens (provided it doesn't look like you crushed it). I guess I'll update after I call them.

I haven't really looked into it, but you should check out other brands like the Nook, Kobo, or the Sony E-Readers.
Things to look for: screen sturdiness, ease of content management, file compatibility (txt, pdf, mobi, epub -- Kindle doesn't do epub), ergonomics.
Put yourself in the Readers' Accents Table. See this post.
(Busy real life & traveling, sorry if not here often.)

wtalon
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Post by wtalon » June 10th, 2011, 10:38 am

I've got a Kindle and love it. Fortunately, I've yet to experience any malfunctions with my Kindle yet- (knock on wood) but knowing me, I did opt for the extended Squaretrade warranty, which does cover spills/drops/accidents etc. My kindle currently holds a couple of full-price books, but also some cute bargain books and a (large) handful of contemporary free titles- those are often hit and miss, but it's worth it. I also have quite a few public domain books, as well as one or two reference texts I compiled myself through .rtf.

My kindle also lets me listen to books (so that I can multi-task) and the voice does take some getting used to, but usually works out well. The Wifi browser is also nice, and its battery life is to die for. Another awesome thing is my subscription to the AP news blogs- $.99/month for news updated usually at least once an hour.

When I was shopping for mine (mine's fairly new, as it was a christmas present to myself), I chose it over the nook because it's e-ink device is slightly better than the nook's and the scrolling touchscreen is a problem because I use so many self-loaded books (pd and articles etc.) that a large chunk of what I was reading wouldn't have the book covers at the bottom.
Betty

Poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking. ~John Wain

Jc
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Post by Jc » June 10th, 2011, 1:11 pm

So Amazon didn't give me trouble, and they'll send a new Kindle with a return label for the broken one.

There was a bit of a snag because the shipping address is different than the previous one's (bf had it shipped to a friend's place in NYC) and the lady had trouble changing it. Other than that, it was a smooth ride.
Put yourself in the Readers' Accents Table. See this post.
(Busy real life & traveling, sorry if not here often.)

Lucy_k_p
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Post by Lucy_k_p » June 10th, 2011, 2:51 pm

I've got a Sony Touch and I'm really happy with it. It stores tons of books, can display txt files and the epub files from project gutenberg (along with other files types such as PDFs, but I don't use those so much), these books can be sorted into collections. It's comfy to hold, scrolling through the books you have is easy, turning pages feels natural and the e-ink display is comfortable to read from. I can make written notes on any book using the stylus, there is a dictionary function, which is really useful - you just tap on a word and a definition pops up at the bottom - and it can even play MP3s although that really eats up the battery. There are several different text sizes and the text can be displayed in vertical and horizonatal orientation. I would really recommend it, I haven't had any problems with it.
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gypsygirl
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Post by gypsygirl » June 10th, 2011, 3:56 pm

Lucy_k_p wrote:I've got a Sony Touch and I'm really happy with it. It stores tons of books, can display txt files and the epub files from project gutenberg (along with other files types such as PDFs, but I don't use those so much), these books can be sorted into collections. It's comfy to hold, scrolling through the books you have is easy, turning pages feels natural and the e-ink display is comfortable to read from. I can make written notes on any book using the stylus, there is a dictionary function, which is really useful - you just tap on a word and a definition pops up at the bottom - and it can even play MP3s although that really eats up the battery. There are several different text sizes and the text can be displayed in vertical and horizonatal orientation. I would really recommend it, I haven't had any problems with it.
Ditto. I like my sony touch. Main difference from a kindle is there's no wireless capability; you have to plug it into your computer to load new files onto it.
Karen S.

kattekliek
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Post by kattekliek » June 12th, 2011, 7:23 am

I got a Kindle from my husband yesterday :9: My first impression of it is fine. Only problem is that it seems quite hard to get PDF's displayed well; the default zoom possibilities are 150%, 200% ... it is not possible to enter a percentage oneself. However, putting it on landscape view works fine for a PDF of one of my ongoing projects, but I'm not sure yet if it is comfortable holding the device and zapping to the next page like that (I want to use it to read away from my computer; found - with a paper book - that reading while standinggives much better and lively recordings than while sitting). However, I have not actually recorded with it yet; will let you know how that works. I've already found an alternative OS, Duokan (can be installed next to the default OS), which is said to have much better handling of PDF's. So if reading from the Kindle at landscape view is not handy, I might install that.
jollyrogered wrote:my husband is relucatant to let my books migrate into other rooms (in his defense, he has seen my grandfathers library, which is practically the entire house, bookshelves askew and hanging away from the wall, sagging with weight, and I think he shares the fear that someday, someone will die under them).
On the other hand, such a book collection would take away the need for (replacement every now and then of) wall-paper :mrgreen: And I slept underneath bookshelves for years and never got killed by falling books. Perhaps your grandfather needs a handyman as good as mine :mrgreen: It is true, a Kindle won't kill anyone by falling on their head (unless perhaps it is dropped from an airplane) and it can hold more than a 1000 times as much text as the entire Bible contains ... but it can never replace the view of a wall full of books :)
Do you live in Europe, Canada, Australia, ... any country where death date of author determines if a book is in the Public Domain? Come to legamus.eu to record books published in 1923 or later, written by authors dead since >70 years!

jollyrogered
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Post by jollyrogered » June 12th, 2011, 7:40 am

I guess I'm confused about the pdf thing, both gutenberg and archive support a kindle download? I suppose I dont know when I would be looking at a PDF?




And my grandpa does need a handyman, but he refuses to believe so ;). So far my library is well managed, lol.
duck... duck... ZOMBIE!

kattekliek
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Post by kattekliek » June 12th, 2011, 9:41 am

jollyrogered wrote:I guess I'm confused about the pdf thing, both gutenberg and archive support a kindle download? I suppose I dont know when I would be looking at a PDF?
I read stuff from Google books; they often have PDF only. At archive.org the texts from scans are OCR'ed, but not checked. Therefore the txt, epub, kindle formats etc. are useful for quickly browsing a text, wordcounts ... but not for reading for LV. There are too many mistakes in there. The Gutenberg-files are all checked by actual people before uploading, so these kindle format books are fine.
Do you live in Europe, Canada, Australia, ... any country where death date of author determines if a book is in the Public Domain? Come to legamus.eu to record books published in 1923 or later, written by authors dead since >70 years!

Hokuspokus
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Post by Hokuspokus » June 12th, 2011, 9:46 am

Kindle has one big minus: it can't read epub with DRM (it can, I think, read epub without DRM). So you can only buy books from the kindle store (nowhere else) and you can't borrow books from online libraries like Singapur National Library http://singapore.lib.overdrive.com/D4CB0E33-9828-4D06-BCCB-90F1E658F958/10/382/en/Default.htm

re: PDF on Reader
If the PDF contains text and not images like google books, you can convert it into mobi, epub, txt or what ever you like with Calibre http://calibre-ebook.com/

MobileRead http://www.mobileread.com/forums/ is a very good forum for all questions around ebooks, with tonnes of useful information, nice community, tonnes of user-made pd (Canadian) ebooks, ...

MikeStanich
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Post by MikeStanich » June 12th, 2011, 12:34 pm

I held out for quite some time, but I'm picking up the new Nook. IF B&N ever calls me to let me know they have one :evil: I chose it for the form factor and responsiveness compared to others(as much as one can tell from an in-store display unit anyway). I'll try to remember to let you know how it works out.

It doesn't have all the formats that some of the others have; but at half the cost of the Sony readers, at a better size(I don't write in my books, I"m not going to make many notes in my e-reader) and form factor, and because eventually it'll be rooted and the format issue will go away I finally said "I need this one". I also considered that I have a word processor so I can convert things(including RTF and TXT) into PDF.

My original goal is to use it with some of my Dungeons and Dragons role play source books, which are PDF with heavy graphical components.

I hope it gets here soon, and I started all sentences except for one with an "I".

kattekliek
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Post by kattekliek » June 13th, 2011, 2:59 am

Hokuspokus wrote:re: PDF on Reader
If the PDF contains text and not images like google books, you can convert it into mobi, epub, txt or what ever you like with Calibre http://calibre-ebook.com/
That sounds interesting! But doesn't it have the same disadvantage as the OCR on e.g. archive.org, i.e. the resulting text containing errors as it has not been checked by anyone? Or is it working with PDF that already has recognisable/copyable text? In this case it would still be interesting for quite many PDF's around, but (indeed) not for Google Books and alike.
Do you live in Europe, Canada, Australia, ... any country where death date of author determines if a book is in the Public Domain? Come to legamus.eu to record books published in 1923 or later, written by authors dead since >70 years!

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Post by Hokuspokus » June 13th, 2011, 5:10 am

It only works with text pdfs.
Calibre can transform an image pdf into epub but there are still only images inside.

For Google books I want to read on my reader, I use pdfill http://www.pdfill.com/ to extract the images, cut away the white margin with a autohotkey script and irfanview and make a new pdf with the images. pdfill can do the cutting automatically but not so good. With a 6" screen this works better that landscape and scrolling, especially with old books and small pages.

Jc
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Post by Jc » June 14th, 2011, 1:57 pm

Only problem is that it seems quite hard to get PDF's displayed well; the default zoom possibilities are 150%, 200% ... it is not possible to enter a percentage oneself.
Yeah, I agree. I once had a book in PDF, landscape, 2 (book) pages per PDF page. It was a major pain to read, especially since none of the zoom levels gave a decent view of the text.
I guess I'm confused about the pdf thing, both gutenberg and archive support a kindle download? I suppose I dont know when I would be looking at a PDF?
You can download a Kindle format (probably .mobi) from Gutenberg, or you can get the text file. Both will work.
Kindle has one big minus: it can't read epub with DRM (it can, I think, read epub without DRM). So you can only buy books from the kindle store (nowhere else)
I thought Kindle didn't support epub... You can get a .mobi file too, and though they're not as widespread as epubs, they're still reasonably available.

Amazon also lets you email PDFs to your kindle (your kindle has an email address), and will convert them for you, and deliver them to your kindle. I've never tried it, tho.

BTW, my replacement Kindle arrived today. Hopefully I won't kill it too.
Put yourself in the Readers' Accents Table. See this post.
(Busy real life & traveling, sorry if not here often.)

jollyrogered
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Post by jollyrogered » June 17th, 2011, 8:01 am

Thanks everyone!!!


I ended up getting the Kindle, because of its good user support, and its e-ink tech, and because I feel that their book base is really expanding. So far I love it, though I had a bit of problem connecting it ot my wifi (apparently, their special characters werent being accepted by my computer), everything is up and running. I can go straight to gutenberg and download a book instantly.

First book Spell of the Yukon by Robert W. Service, most beautiful book of poetry ever.

If you have a kindle let me know, I need book buddies on the web ;)
duck... duck... ZOMBIE!

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