An eBook Reader sounds like a good idea?

It is nearly my birthday and I was trying to come up with some inspiration for a gift idea. I have been inspired to look into e-readers for few reasons:

  1. We are going away later in the year, I want to have limited luggage and I do love to read. Plus I might be able to store important and useful information on the e-reader.
  2. If you read this blog, you know I am reading the Steve Jobs bio at the moment and it is giving my little hands some serious cramping, stiff neck and back twinge issues. The lure of a lighter format is very real.
  3. My lovely friend Jules has a Kindle and was singing its praises recently and she is a woman of impeccable taste.

I have read only one book on an electronic device – my iPad and thought this was great and assumed this format would be replicated on eBook Readers. So today off I went with my husband to do some research – now I like to see things in the flesh (so to speak), I am a person who likes visualising things with the 3 dimensional object in my hands. This is one of the reasons I wander through display homes, trying to imagine our renovations and what products to use.

As we live in a small city in Australia the choices are limited and dispersed across a wide range of shops and locales. I narrowed down my search to those eBook Readers which had received good reviews through a February 2012 review in PC Authority magazine.

  • Kobo Touch- Light, good to have a touch screen and neat little unit, but I didn’t like the way the pages refreshed, there was shadowing and shuddering. Ultimately, I was disappointed by the appearance and the limitations, but the price is great. (At Officeworks)
  • I was able to view a few other eBook Readers at Officeworks at increased prices, but did not feel they offered too much more than the more basic models.
  • Kindle – unfortunately the Kindle’s battery was flat at BIG W (BIG Waste of time if you have money to spend) which meant I was not able to play with it. However, I had used one very recently that belonged to my friend. It was quite similar to the Kobo in appearance, but interfaced through using side buttons to control the screen.
  • Sony – I immediately dismissed the Sony due to the often accompanying proprietary restrictions. Could have been a rash decision…

What did take my eye whilst there, were the little tablets (Samsung, Toshiba, Nexus) – it seems the appeal of colour is obviously what I want.

Colour and movement; the black and white of the traditional eBook Readers in my view was literally drab and lifeless; at least paper based books have life in them, through their covers and texture.

I have not found reading on the iPad difficult on my eyes, this seems to be a common concern, it is more the size that I find problematic. I love the idea of the iPad Mini, but the cost is a barrier. I think, what this exercise has shown me is that the eBook Reader I want is really a function that is included as a feature or an APP on a mini tablet. Fortunately the costs of these tablets is becoming far more accessible and just may be what I end up buying in the future.

What is offered by technology for our reading pleasure is diverse, wonderful and amazing; what will these brilliant inventive techo folks come up with next, and I cant wait to get my hands on a little tablet soon.


13 thoughts on “An eBook Reader sounds like a good idea?

  1. Buying an ebook is awesome. I love how I can lie on the same side for hours. With big books I’ll usually switch sides depending on whether I’m reading the left or right page. I personally love my kindle and prefer not to have touch screen. I want my screen to be clean and I’m such a clutz with touch screens. I never hit the right stuff right away.
    Even if you can’t feel it you could still be suffering under a regular screen e-reader. After all when you’re reading on a kindle you’re actually just watching small magnets turn one side or the other. That doesn’t hurt your eyes. And in length it could hurt your eyes looking too much at a screen.
    And also, I like how simple the Kindle is. There are no distractions. Just words.

  2. My feelings on the subject vary. I have used (and very recently had to use again) a Sony PRS 505, and a Kobo Vox (cheap tablet replaced now by their Arc).

    If I had my time again I’d go for the new sony e-Ink, if I was using it purely for reading. I wouldn’t go a Kindle because it doesn’t seem to have the range in the genres I am looking at and I don’t like their business model.

    If I wanted something that has extra functions I’d go a slightly more upmarket 7 inch tablet, a Samsung, maybe a nexus.

    My Vox lasted 11 months before the battery gave out ie wouldn’t hold it’s charge and it cost me $20 in postage to get it replaced ( i live in the Mid-North) going back to the old e-ink, it stayed charged for 2-3 weeks use and the difference in page turn was negligible.

      1. The my advice there is to go with something slightly more pricey, and check forums for battery issues etc.

        They are good in terms of flexibility ie I can read amazon books and epubs on the same device, and you can get apps that handle pdfs much better than the eink readers.

        Good luck 🙂

    1. Thanks Sean! My library has only just gone onto the one card system and I still have to work out how it works. Still haven’t made a decision as yet. Saw the beautiful Fiona McIntosh last night at a library talk – as entertaining as ever.

      1. I am a Librarian at joint use library in the mid north. We just recieved some cheat sheets that are helpful with seeing what’s required in terms of software for accessing the Libraries SA collection. If you want I can email them to you on Monday.

  3. I have both a Kindle (entry level) and a Kindle Fire. I love the Kindle Fire for video, games, e-mail and general web browsing. However, I don’t like it for reading on.

    The lovely colour screen that is so great for all of the things I mentioned just isn’t good for reading on – not for any length of time at least. I much prefer the “drab” monochrome of the basic Kindle reader when it comes to reading books.

    However, it’s a personal choice, and I know plenty of people who like to read on their tablets.

    1. Hi Jim,
      Thank you very much for your feedback. I agree that it is easier on the eye the more monochrome background. Having just read Pride & Prejudice on the iPad, it can get a little tiring after a while and I find myself adjusting the screen brightness etc.

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