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?
it's going to be hard to get really solid data here because most people won't have used more than one e-reader and are likely to say that they enjoy the one they have.
for my part, i had held off for a long while and was about to possibly take the plunge and get a Kindle when my mom got a iPad for her birthday and offered to give me her Kindle. I've been enjoying it so far.
my digital bookshelf has more than 400 titles; all books essays and journal articles that i used to have to read on the computer but that now i can read anywhere i want.
i don't like the fact that almost nothing formats well on the device unless it's in Amazon's proprietary file format. they'll tell you that it can read .mobi and .pdf files, and it can, but the formatting often sucks-- there will be extra characters and errors that you'll have to drop out of your attention or parse on the fly as you read. it's not enough to stop you reading a book but it's a mark against the device for sure. but then if your intention is always to buy books from Amazon then that won't be an issue. i personally scour the internet looking for ebooks so that i don't have to pay to feed my outrageous reading habit i already spend a great deal on.
the screen is fantastic. the e-ink makes reading extremely easy on the eyes and is visible in bright sun. there's no back light of course but for the number of times i'd want to read in the dark it's not a concern for me.
the battery life is great. very happy with that. even in heavy use the battery indicator only drops by tiny bits over the course of weeks.
the UI is okay. it's certainly showing its age. it needs a touch screen obviously.
the new Kindle that's coming out will be priced at 250 dollars and have a touch screen and is powered by Android. in the meantime, and for a hundred bucks less, this Kindle really isn't bad.
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:
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.
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...
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 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 ;)
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...