Author Topic: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc  (Read 1610 times)

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Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« on: March 13, 2015, 04:54:55 PM »
Anyone go to Ebooks? If so what is the best ereader to use? I'm not looking for an iPad or to use for internet but to read (fiction and non-fiction; not comic books or art books, so color and interactivity is not a concern.)
My concerns are:
1) I fear the "clouds." I don't want to be tied into cloud and all the marketing etc. I want to be able to add books from my PC (via Wifi or just by USB, in fact maybe easier via USB) and (not saying I would OF COURSE) I would like ability get DRM-free books from torrents, open sources, public domain, my library, etc. I also want to control my books and not have amazon, apple, etc being able to store, delete, edit etc my books remotely or know what I am reading (out of principle, I won't read anything bad, I promise.)
2) Ideally would like to be able to read different formats (see #1) (Epub, pdf, DocX, AZW, etc the more the better.)
3) Good on eyes. Most like reading paper as possible. Not glaring like looking at my laptop. If possible to read outside or in dark (like airplane at night etc) also.
4) Good amount of storage and battery life. Not necessary but expandable storage also, maybe?
Thanks

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 06:56:56 PM »
The only one that reads multiple formats is the iPad - or using different software on a computer.  Old Kindles and Kindle Paperwhites have the best battery life.  You can easily add books to Kindles and Nooks with aUSB cable. iPads require you to email the books or use a USB cable with iTunes.  You can turn off internet connectivity on any of them.  All said, the most books are available through Amazon for Kindle.

Protect Gutenberg, for instance, has hundreds of books available free in mobi, ePub, PDFs and other formats.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 12:47:29 AM »
I had a Kindle for a while and it had pretty good battery life and readability like ink on paper.  However after some time I sold it and went back to low-tech books. 

The good thing about a plain old book is you can just pick it up, and start reading, and put it back down w/o worries about if it's charged, or navigation, or font size, etc. 

Also I found Kindle was pretty good for short bits like an article or whatnot, but for long reading sessions, like novels, I found it disorienting and tiresome.

My reco would be to pick up an old used Kindle and give it a try before investing alot in the latest greatest.  Also I totally think color versions of whatever e-reader are silly unless you're into reading magazines with pictures etc.  If you really want to just read with it then the most important thing is the ease of reading plain text.


Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 01:22:16 AM »
I had a Kobo Mini which broke in my pocket, and now have a Kobo Glo, which I like quite a bit.  It's primarily built for the Canadian chain Indigo/Chapters so I don't know if it's available for the United States, but it reads a variety of formats and it's not just restricted to their books.  Of course, if you want to read something from Amazon you have to use illegal third party software on your computer to take the DRM off.  I'm having problems with the .pdf though.  It cuts off half the page for some reason, even if I scroll, and it's a pain to scroll for each line with the e-ink anyway (slow and clunky).  .Pdfs seem to be a real pain for any ereader.  The text is too small and you can't expand it without having to scroll constantly.  They don't convert to other formats very succesfully, either.  Supported formats are EPUB, PDF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, TXT, (X)HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR

 Glo comes with 2 GB of memory which holds up to 1000 books according to the site.  I have about 100, but that includes a giant 1 GB .pdf and several other large .pdfs I'm still hoping to get to work.  Most are 500kB to 2 MB.

It's expandable to 32 GB, has optional front lighting which can be adjusted from 0 to 100 percent (no backlight, can read with natural light), a web browser (clunky,b&w, and low-res due to the e-ink, but good in a pinch), onboard dictionaries in multiple languages (just touch a word in a book and the definition pops up) and a few other features like Sudoku.  A battery charge can last weeks if you only read a short time each day.  Display is similar to real paper with a persistent passive display and matte finish on the screen.  It loads 3 pages at a time so mostly flips pages pretty seemlessly.  Navigation within a book can be a nuisance if you want to find a particular spot or section.  You can download books directly from the Kobo bookstore or through your computer.

The best thing to do is get the free open source program Calibre for your computer.  You can manage and read all your books on there, create libraries, convert between formats, and even set it up for automatic daily downloads of most newspapers in .epub form (often free).  You can then use it to manage, upload, and download books to your ereader.


Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 06:08:11 AM »
Ereaders were designed to read their native formats - mobi for Kindle and ePub for all the others.  Those files take advantage of resizable type and flowable text, which are two main features of ebooks.  Fixed format files, such as PDFs, just don't work well, and don't resize or reflow.  As for color, Amazon is pushing the Kindle as a multimedia device.  The Fire does work well streaming movies.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 07:18:21 AM »
You can turn the internet part off. I usually have it off because I get 2x the battery life with the wifi/3G off. That should prevent some of your worries. If your library has overdrive-or some way for you to download an ebook for 2 weeks- you will have to connect to the internet.

I would recommend a kindle 2, search amazon for Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display
They sell used for $50 and the secondary market is quite strong so if you don't like it you can just relist it-probably losing around $15 with fees on the resale. 

Normal text files and books look fine on the smaller kindle, however, most pdfs don't look as good because the margins of the pdf take up much of the screen space. Another problem is (as zeebo mentioned) it is really hard to move around a book with a normal kindle. It is easy to go a page at a time, but moving through pages quickly or scanning a book is hard (for example, you can't drag up or down on a scroll bar to move 20 pages at a time). I haven't used a kindle touch before, but it may solve that problem. I think they have kindles at target? if you want to physically try one out.

Another thing you can try is a cheap tablet: 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834759071






Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 06:56:19 PM »
for what  it's worth, I have both Nook and Kindle Fire.  I much prefer the Nook for ebooks and it meets your five criteria.  Fire is awesome but very easy to get distracted...( I have the attention span of a gnat), so am always getting off on some tangent on the net.  My Nook was a gift and with its cover has the size and appearance of a regular book, which by the way I still prefer, turns off when I close the cover and when I open it, is still at the same place, like a bookmark.  It also has a "lending" feature which you can take advantage of, although I have not yet, where you can "borrow" books from other users for 14 days or so. 

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2015, 07:57:54 PM »
Thanks for all the replies and advice!! I'm still undecided and sticking with actual books, for now, but going to borrow a Kindle and a Nook and just see how it goes as a test. I definitely am not looking for "Fire" or the more tablet-style with the internet, too bright, harder to read outside, facebook, etc. I'm also a little concerned because it seems they are pretty small (not that I have bad eyesight.) I wonder also if ebooks use fonts or just all use a generic font. (Some authors and publishers use different or even throw-back fonts. I wonder if still written in fraktur will work. Haha!)

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 10:58:00 PM »
Thanks for all the replies and advice!! I'm still undecided and sticking with actual books, for now, but going to borrow a Kindle and a Nook and just see how it goes as a test. I definitely am not looking for "Fire" or the more tablet-style with the internet, too bright, harder to read outside, facebook, etc. I'm also a little concerned because it seems they are pretty small (not that I have bad eyesight.) I wonder also if ebooks use fonts or just all use a generic font. (Some authors and publishers use different or even throw-back fonts. I wonder if still written in fraktur will work. Haha!)

With epub, you can generally define the font type, size, line spacing, justification, or whatever other characteristics the ereader offers.  The text flows to fit the page according to your preferences, increasing or decreasing the number of pages accordingly.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 05:45:25 AM »
It's the same with mobi.  Ereaders have a few built in type faces.  No two types of readers are the same, so you pick your favorite from what's available, then set your font size to whatever is comfortable.  The text reflows to fill the screen.  That, and storing many books in a small physical space, are the best features of ebooks.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 12:34:04 PM »
I use tablets, a kindle paperwhite and have used in the past a nook color when it first came out.   By far, if I'm just reading a standard book, the paperwhite is the best, IMO.   It's great to be able to just open the cover and it immediately takes you to the page you're on - even syncs between kindles.  I have three paperwhites floating around the house.   

If it's something technical though and has diagrams or formulas, tablets seem to be better.     I hardly ever buy technical books on Amazon, usually I get the PDF format so that does change things.  If you can get one that is specifically formatted for the kindle, maybe that would be better.   I've got a few tablets too.

Either way, I haven't purchased a real book in years now.  E-readers are definitely the way to go.   If you are strapped and just want to buy one, I would say get a 10" android tablet.  You can get a Asus Memo Smart 10 for about $100 used, and it is a great fast tablet.    You can get a kindle app for free to read any amazon books you might want, and EzPdf is a great pdf reader app for a couple bucks.  Plus with a tablet you can watch netflix or do other stuff that the kindle paperwhite just can't do.




Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2015, 07:50:21 PM »
I use tablets, a kindle paperwhite and have used in the past a nook color when it first came out.   By far, if I'm just reading a standard book, the paperwhite is the best, IMO.   It's great to be able to just open the cover and it immediately takes you to the page you're on - even syncs between kindles.  I have three paperwhites floating around the house.   
My friend has a paperwhite. After giving it a spin for an hour or so, it reads really well. The page memory is cool, too. He loves the darn thing.

Personally, I'd go tablet instead. I'm actually shopping for a cheap one and may look into the Asus 10" you mentioned.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2015, 04:14:30 AM »
Personally, I'd go tablet instead. I'm actually shopping for a cheap one and may look into the Asus 10" you mentioned.

You won't be disappointed.  For the price, I don't think it can be beat.  Excellent form factor, fast and snappy, good battery life, nice screen, good touch sense... I hope you do get one!

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2015, 03:20:17 AM »
I have a Nook. I was sorry It only seems to hook up by wifi. I have an aversion to living in a wifi ,microwave,cell rich environment and like to hardwire things.Nice big nook. I may have to wonder in to Greenville and ask a barnes&noble clerk to help me. I have Nook and Kindle programs on the computer or at least on the last one that died. I tend to download a lot of free books via amazon or barnes cheap books that are public domain such as classics. Gutenburg  project. Books thet are out of print. I am always looking. I once had a couple thousand books. I probably have 10,000 on various hard drives both alive and dead. Always mean to burn CD's,DVD's with them.  I have always had a sort of "end of the world-library of alexandria sort of fear fetish".

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 07:15:03 AM »
You should be able to hook the Nook to your computer with a USB cable, such as the one that is part of your battery charger.  The Nook should show up as another drive, and you can move ePub books from your computer using Windows Explorer or Finder.  That's at least how it works on mine.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2015, 09:18:18 AM »
You should be able to hook the Nook to your computer with a USB cable, such as the one that is part of your battery charger.  The Nook should show up as another drive, and you can move ePub books from your computer using Windows Explorer or Finder.  That's at least how it works on mine.
Does any version of the Nook support USB OTG?

It would be kinda cool to have the option to simply hook a drive up and go that way.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2015, 12:54:10 PM »
I don't think so - the USB seems to be only for charging and connecting to a computer for data management on the Nook.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2015, 07:12:38 PM »
I will have to find a usb cable that has that thin flat kind of end on it and try that.
 The only thing I got was a wall wart with attached power cord that goes to that flat thin socket on the south end of the nook. I was not aware that the Fsocket on the nook was also a usb port.
male end is about 1 1/4 inch-1mm shy of 3cm, I had not seen this type of plug before.
Thank you for the tip.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2015, 11:24:46 AM »
I love my Kindle - it's the most basic version with a blue leather cover (on sale at Amazon - market down from close to $40 to $10- huzzah!

Anything that saves space is good with me - and I love being able to take most of my library with me by just sticking it in my purse. 

What I DO miss is easily marking pages and flipping back and forth in a low-tech book - but I'm getting used to it.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2015, 11:34:52 AM »
What's best about my Kindle Fire is that I can read comics in public without anyone knowing. The worst thing about it is impulse-buying the next chapter.

And the fact that now when I read a normal book I sometimes tap the page to check the time.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2015, 11:36:36 AM »
I go back and forth with E-readers. The portability arguments is hard to contradict - you can just fit so much in such a small space that it makes sense to have one at least as an option. But, I don't 'feel' that I am reading a book when I read it on Kindle and I will often end up buying the paper version if it is any good. I also read somewhere of a study that claimed that people don't retain information as well when they read it on screen as opposed to a book, and I certainly feel that way at times.

I am sure it's not going to go away any time soon, but I find it a pretty sterile experience.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2015, 11:46:32 AM »
I love my Kindle - it's the most basic version with a blue leather cover (on sale at Amazon - market down from close to $40 to $10- huzzah!

Barbarian.

Re: Ereader: Kindle, Nook, Kindle Fires, iPad, etc
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2015, 11:58:58 AM »
I go back and forth with E-readers. The portability arguments is hard to contradict - you can just fit so much in such a small space that it makes sense to have one at least as an option. But, I don't 'feel' that I am reading a book when I read it on Kindle and I will often end up buying the paper version if it is any good. I also read somewhere of a study that claimed that people don't retain information as well when they read it on screen as opposed to a book, and I certainly feel that way at times.

I am sure it's not going to go away any time soon, but I find it a pretty sterile experience.

What bothers me is that there are a huge amount of old books out there that will never be transferred to digital format. A lot of my favourite books were ones I picked up simply because they were there on the shelf already. (my parents used to buy and sell old books when I was a kid, I literally used to build forts out of them)