I like paperless for almost all things, but for some reason, I still prefer real books. However, I think I'm coming close to breaking down and buying a Kindle. Does any have any strong opinions on the topic?

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I have previously owned a kindle but now use the kindle app on my ipad2 (and iPhone). Tbh I was more than happy to get rid of space demanding books for electronic versions.

Some of the built in advantages - dictionary (highlight a word and the definition pops up immediately). No physical storage space. Auto-synching across devices (never lose your page). And, although not an advantage over a book you can easily highlight sections and make notes. The advantage is that your notes (and the entire book) are fully text searchable - especially handy for non-fiction.

The major downsides are with larger format books that don't fit onto a smaller screen (think academic books) and battery life (mainly an iPad issue, as I recall, kindle's have outstanding battery life.

Final couple of points, I know a couple of ppl who resisted a kindle because of the 'tactile' argument. Both are now on kindles and wouldn't go back. One was my father in law. He borrowed my mother's kindle for a couple of days before buying one himself.

I'd suggest trying one out if at all possible. But I personally will never buy another physical book if I can avoid it. Love reading on my iPad.


I just got one in July.  My sister and family LOVE their kindle.  And have been trying to talk me into getting one for a long time. But I wasn't biting because I have talking books (audible) online.  I can hear a book while traveling or hiking, etc.  Anyway, one thing led to another and I have one...

* I needed a computer programming book (wouldn't exact be a good audible choice).  So I ended up at Amazon. 

* I saw kindle book versions were less expensive

* I remember my audible offered $100 off a Kindle (it plays the talking books too!)

I do enjoy it. I have an M-EDGE cover that makes if feel like a book. 

Thank you for your responses. They were very helpful. I was not aware of, but love the idea of it having a built in dictionary. That will be extremely handy, especially when reading Hitch!


I just purchased a Kindle on Amazon so I'll let you know what I think when it arrives.

I have friends that absolutely love their Kindle, and I've flirted with the idea of getting one as well. The thing is, I seem to be in the same boat as you. I know that the Kindle would be very efficient and convenient, but at the same time I still love real books. They look nice filling my book shelf, the feel of it in you hand and turning the pages, the cover art... It's hard to describe, but real books are just more pleasing to me when I come right down to it. Yet I still find myself debating getting one from time to time. Then I look at my old books with the embossed cover or cloth binding, rice paper pages, clasp closure,etc and I decide to skip the e-reader for the time being. One of my biggest concerns was something that seems to be a non-issue now. Screen glare. I was worried reading off of one would give me a headache, but such doesn't look like it would be an issue at all once I got to hold one in a store.

I happen to have a Barnes & Noble nook (1st edition with wifi and 3G). I love it. I chose the nook over the Kindle for a few reasons:

  • I liked the form factor - the way the screens are laid out provides maximum flexibility for adding new features via software updates
  • The OS is Android, based off of the current builds. This allows B&N to address any bugs very quickly, and they are able to add new features very quickly as well. The Kindle OS began life as an older version of Android, but it is much, much different than Android now. This means that Amazon not only has to create and maintain the hardware, they also are in the software/OS business as they have full responsibility for the development and maintenance of the OS.
  • The nook allows you to easily change the battery, get to the memory (including the micro SD card that holds the Android OS), etc.
  • I like the idea of a "brick and mortar store" being there when I need it. B&N has a nook kiosk in every store, and dedicated nook specialists man them all hours the store is open. I've gotten to know our nook specialists quite well, and I like that.
  • If you bring your nook into a B&N, you can browse any book you want - just like you can pick one off the shelf and sit down to read a bit of it, you can do the same thing with your nook while you're in there. There's also specials that you get in-store, like free frappachinos from Starbucks.
  • B&N gives you a free book every Friday. Yes, sometimes the books suck, but I have actually discovered quite a few authors that I would have never read otherwise - so I like that.
  • The B&N ebook store is every bit as big as Amazon, and you can also get the free books from Google and other sites as well - and it's pretty easy, as B&N has integrated the Google stuff into their store, so when you search for, say, Edgar Allan Poe you will get his complete works, free, and it comes from the Google site, seamlessly.
  • You can lend books to friends for 2 weeks.
  • You can borrow books from the local library.

So, based on all of this I chose the nook. Now, don't get me wrong - the Kindle is an exceptional machine as well, and you really can't go wrong if you choose either the nook or the Kindle. The main thing is to pick the one that best suits your needs and the "way you think". If you do this, you can't go wrong.


Good luck!


Oh, and BTW - once you get your nook or Kindle I strongly recommend getting an exceptional case from Oberon Design. They are a little pricey, but I absolutely love them. I actually have 3 - one for my wife's nook, one I bought for myself, and one I won in a Mother's Day essay contest. They are simply the best covers on the market, period.

My ideal living space is based on the Miami Vice TV series, so a living room with two chairs, a couch, an abstract painting on the wall, and a view of the ocean. Books? Who needs 'em.


More seriously, a certain type of book will almost certainly move over to ereaders almost entirely, and that is the commercial/popular novel, self-improvement, and current topic sort of mass sales book. Books with a short shelf life in other words.


It will be a long long time before ereaders take over the coffee table book market, and I think there will always be a market for paper books where photos are really important, as in cookbooks and travelogue books.


I like a reader which can display color, so I have a Nook. I know that a color Kindle is coming out soon and I may get one of those because Amazon has a larger selection of titles.


The disadvantage of the Nook is that with its bright 16,000,000 color display, battery life isn't nearly as good as a Kindle. My experience is about six to eight hours on a full charge.


Yes, you can read Kindle (or Nook) books on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Android device in color, but I think the eBook format is the most convenient for reading in the local Starbucks or sitting in a narrow airplane seat. I love my Nook, but not because it's a Nook. I like it because I can see color on it, read and answer email, and surf the net in a way that's about 80% similar to doing it on a laptop. It has a virtual keyboard, which means you won't be typing any term papers on it (unless you're a masochist). The Kindle isn't much better with it's keyboard consisting of little buttons.


The problem, as always with electronics and especially computer-related electronics, is obsolescence. When the color Kindle comes out, I'll compare it with the Nook and may very well go to the Dark Side.


BTW, I have a dozen or so self-published erotica titles available on the Kindle site. It's very easy to publish there. All of them selling at $.99 each! That's where the ereader will kill the traditional books whose prices have skyrocketed over the past two or three decades. Paperbacks that used to be $1.99 are now $7.99, and the ones that used to be $4.99 are now $14.99 or higher. Who wants to spend that kind of money for "flavor of the week" books? Also, authors have gotten tired of the shenanigans of the publishers. Self-publishing is the way to go nowadays.

I would go with a used ipad. It formats PDF files like a charm and it really does, "just work" as you would expect it to work.  Trust me the headache of having a book that you want to read only in PDF format on a kindle is well... PAIN.


Also, a ipad is a mini computer to do daily tasks such as email and if you have a bluetooth keyboard write your own stories on :]


I myself have a ipad2 and I ALMOST use it more than my mac laptop.

I think it is important to draw a distinction between a tablet and an e-reader - and highlight that they are targeted towards different audiences. Currently there are quite a few tablets on the market - the Nook Color, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the upcoming Kindle color tablet offering, and the mac-daddy of all tablets - the iPad/iPad2. The target audience for one of these tablets is quite different than the target audience for a dedicated e-reader such as a Nook, Kindle, Sony Reader, Kobo eReader, etc. Here is a breakdown of the features offered by each of these device types, which should help with deciding what device is right for you...


  • Tablets are multifunctional devices, meaning that you can do many things on them - surf the web, participate in social networking, manage emails, etc. The ability to read an e-book is just one of many features
  • Tablets tend to be bigger
  • Battery life on a tablet is short when compared to an e-reader
  • Tablets have vibrant color; but the tradeoff is that they are extremely hard to read in bright light such as sunlight
  • Tablets are backlit, which allows you to use it in the dark
  • Tablets usually allow you to install additional applications on them

Now the price range for tablets is pretty large - from the relatively inexpensive Nook Color to the iPad 2. If the feature list above sounds like it fits your needs, then you should compare specific feature/function differences between the various tablets on the market; you may find that you would be perfectly happy with a Nook Color, which would save you quite a bit of money compared to the iPad 2.


  • Where tablets are multifunction, e-readers are dedicated devices that serve one purpose - allowing you to read e-books. While some of the e-readers do provide a few other features, such as the ability to listen to music, or surf the web, they are not very well suited for these uses as they are first and foremost designed for reading books
  • e-Readers tend to be lightweight and small
  • Battery life on an e-Reader is very long - quite often you can go more than a week between charges
  • e-Readers use a special screen technology known as e-Ink. e-Ink provides a reading experience that is very much like reading a book from the printed page. Eye fatigue tends to be minimal when reading from an e-Ink screen when compared to a tablet (or computer) screen
  • The e-ink screen allows you to read in bright sunlight
  • e-Readers do not have a built-in screen backlight, so you must provide an external source of light to read in the dark or low-light conditions (just like a real book)
  • e-Readers are dedicated devices, so they usually do not allow you to install additional applications

Where tablets are multipurpose devices, e-readers are single-purpose, dedicated devices. Simply put, e-readers are designed to replace printed books. They provide you with a reading experience that is very similar to reading a printed book, but add nice conveniences like the ability to carry literally thousands of books with you, and they also allow you to purchase a new book from anywhere at any time.

When I was deciding what type of device to get, I looked at my usage patterns for both books and my laptop, and I seriously considered what my goal was in purchasing a new device. Was it to replace much of the things I currently do with my laptop? Or was it to make it more convenient for me to carry books with me on trips? For me, I have no problem using my Macbook Pro (MBP) for any computing stuff I need to do. It is lightweight and convenient, and I really don't see a reason for having a tablet since my MBP does everything I need in that regard. However, I travel quite a bit in my job; and when I travel I tend to bring 3-5 books with me to read when I'm on a plane, in the airport, in my hotel room, etc. I wanted something that made it easier for me to bring my books along with me, and allowed me to purchase additional books should I decide I needed something new to read. Another big reason for purchasing an e-reader was that I'm not getting any younger, and reading small print is getting harder and harder - and I really like that I can increase the font size to make it easier to read. So, for me, getting an e-reader was a no-brainer.


I hope this helps anyone who's considering one of these devices!

Really good summary. Thank you.

No problem. I know that it can be very confusing, and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple definitely do NOT help the situation. All 3 love to brag about their devices; but they do little to help consumers make informed decisions, since their goal is to get you to buy the most expensive device they offer.


So, I decided to write this up since I want to help my heathen peeps make the right decision when considering a tablet or e-reader. I know with the right information they'll make the best decision for themselves, since they've already made the right decision concerning a deity - or lack thereof ;)

To Kindle.


Definitely, to Kindle.


Houses are simply not built large enough to hold physical copies of all the books I want access to at a moment's notice.  :)


But remember: you don't have to BUY a Kindle, to Kindle.


Kindle software is free on Droid devices, iPhones (I think), and Windows.


Of course, physical Kindles are easier to read in natural light than any devices with backlit screens I've seen...


Kindles are easier to read in direct sunlight than the Nook Color, , too, but I can almost always find shade and the added contrast makes the NC easier to read under most conditions than the dark gray on light gray display of the Kindle.


I suspect that when the color Kindle makes its debut, it too will have a backlit display behind a highly reflective glass panel because that's the only way to display photos accurately and maintain sharpness.


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