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Zsofia
09-18-2009, 01:45 PM
The important part of this question is that unlike the people I know who have them, I am not an e-reader kind of person. I cannot fathom downloading that Gutenburg app to my iPhone because who the hell wants to read things on their iPhone? I like books. I don't mind reading stuff online that was born digital, but the paper format is my favorite.

That being said, like, I really want to read that Outlander book now because everybody's talking about the new one and I've never read any of them, and of course since there's a new one coming out they're all checked out at the library. And I want it NOW, not when Amazon sends it... plus, after the initial outlay it's cheaper.

So, would a person like me like the Kindle?

Also, is there a new one coming out soon that I'd kick myself for buying the old one about?

longhair75
09-18-2009, 01:55 PM
Friend Zsofia,

I don't know about a Kindle, but my wife bought me a Sony Reader as a gift. I was at first hesitant, but once I realized just how much literature is available online for little or no money, I was convinced.

I have bought newly released bestsellers at just slightly above the price they will eventually sell for in paperback. (Pat Conroy's newest book South of Broad cost $9.99 USD as a download) I can load a whole bunch of them onto my reader, and switch back and forth among them anytime I like.

Someone will be here very shortly to discuss the relative merits of the Kindle, but I really like my Sony Reader

Zsofia
09-18-2009, 02:16 PM
I IMed my boyfriend, "Talk me out of buying a Kindle!" So of course he returns "Buy me one too! We'll be Kindle buddies! Please!" He's useless when it comes to getting me not to spend money.

Lightnin'
09-18-2009, 02:23 PM
I IMed my boyfriend, "Talk me out of buying a Kindle!" So of course he returns "Buy me one too! We'll be Kindle buddies! Please!" He's useless when it comes to getting me not to spend money.

My wife's the same way- and she's an accountant! We're going to get each other Kindle's for Christmas.

koeeoaddi
09-18-2009, 02:42 PM
I really want one, but I'm waiting until you can check out library books to it. Until that happens, it just doesn't make sense for me.

ISiddiqui
09-18-2009, 02:58 PM
I think you may. I have one, and I absolutely love it, especially on the train (where having to stand with a thick hardcover would just get uncomfortable). And with the wireless built in, very easy to grab a new book whereever you are. Free e-books online (through Gutenburg or manybooks or whatever) are really nice.

Reply
09-18-2009, 03:00 PM
I think you should definitely try a Kindle. Amazon has a 30-day return policy on 'em and nothing beats actually having one in your hand and seeing if you like the way it works. You can also get the first chapter of any book they sell as a free sample.

That said, I'm kinda like you in preferring dead trees when it comes to books. e-Ink certainly reads like a real book (it's an unbelievable contrast to regular LCD screens if you've never experienced one), but real books have other advantages.

From experience, here are some negatives:
First off, reading on the Kindle isn't really cheaper. You can't check out books from libraries with the Kindle (though you can with some other e-readers). You can't buy used books with the Kindle. You can't sell your books after you read 'em.

You also have to take care of a $300 (K2)-$490 (KDX) device instead of a $20 book. You can't just toss it in a backpack unprotected. You can't nonchalantly lend it to a friend. You can't leave it on the table at the cafe when you use the bathroom or put it over your head when you take a nap in your hammock. Etc.

Also, in regards to the Kindles in particular, they have horrible user interfaces. There is no folder support (making it impossible to organize your books/documents). PDFs are barely supported on the Kindle 2 (they require conversion and don't always end up well); the Kindle DX supports them natively, but the screen is still too small for 8.5"x11" reading and PDFs take half a century to load and half a decade to page.

That said, if your main intent is to read plain-text novels (whether from the Amazon store or sites like Gutenberg), the Kindles do that really well. The Kindle 2 and Kindle DX just came out this year, so it'll probably be a while before Amazon releases anything new. I'd recommend Amazon over any other company (except maybe Barnes & Noble, see below) only because of the cachet they have with publishers and authors (which directly translates into the number of books available to buy).

If you don't mind waiting and you want a bigger screen, B&N is set to release their own e-reader (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/07/barnes-noble/) with a true 8.5"x11" screen and double the catalog size of the Kindle Store, but there is no release date or price set yet. Otherwise, I'd go ahead and give the Kindle a whirl.

ETA: FYI, I've owned both a Kindle 1 and a Kindle DX, but eventually resorted back to paper books because they were cheaper and because most of the books I was interested in, including textbooks, still weren't available.

Noelq
09-18-2009, 03:06 PM
Nope. Tried it, and its just not worth it.

The screen reader is hard to see. If there's not enough ambient illumination, you just can't read it - like a book.

The fonts are a difficult issue - If you set them too large, you get very, very few words per page before you have to turn, and if you set them too small, its difficult to read.

But for me, the largest issue was in the page turning. When you issue the turn command, the screen goes black for like half a second, then the words appear on the page. To me, this completely pulled me out of the reading experience. When I read, its kind of like a movie in my head - and when the screen blanks, and new words come on the screen, it makes the movie stop, and all I see are the words again.

The kindle's not worth it.

enipla
09-18-2009, 03:17 PM
I read on both my BB Storm smartphone, and my net book. I use the free mobiPocket reader.

I love it. I am reading probably 3 times more than I used to.

enipla
09-18-2009, 03:23 PM
Nope. Tried it, and its just not worth it.

The screen reader is hard to see. If there's not enough ambient illumination, you just can't read it - like a book.

The fonts are a difficult issue - If you set them too large, you get very, very few words per page before you have to turn, and if you set them too small, its difficult to read.

But for me, the largest issue was in the page turning. When you issue the turn command, the screen goes black for like half a second, then the words appear on the page. To me, this completely pulled me out of the reading experience. When I read, its kind of like a movie in my head - and when the screen blanks, and new words come on the screen, it makes the movie stop, and all I see are the words again.

The kindle's not worth it.Maybe a backlighted screen would be better. I use white text on a black background. Works great. And the page turns are instant on my BlackBerry and my netbook (mobipocket sw). As to font size, that's what I really love. My eyes are getting older and I can tweak colors and size to the best that works for me. Can't see why you would consider that a drawback.

ISiddiqui
09-18-2009, 03:41 PM
Maybe a backlighted screen would be better.

Backlighted screen would use far more battery (and it'd have to be sidelighted, due to the e-ink technology). Right now I can go weeks without charging.

enipla
09-18-2009, 07:06 PM
Backlighted screen would use far more battery (and it'd have to be sidelighted, due to the e-ink technology). Right now I can go weeks without charging.Good point. I can read for 6-8 hours on my BB Storm. But I pretty much always set it in its charger at night, so it's not an issue. It's all about how you use things, and IMHO, if you want another device to carry around.

I just discovered that reading/books where another use for a smart phone. I didn't buy it for that, and wasn't even thinking about getting an eReader at the time. It just worked for me.

Superhal
09-18-2009, 07:37 PM
Imho, it's going to be one of those things you buy that you'll never use.

Chefguy
09-18-2009, 08:08 PM
Mentioned before: My wife and I both bought one for our extended journey. We absolutely love them. If you travel a lot, it's the only way to go. If you're tired of, or don't have room for, all the damned books you keep collecting, you will love it. No dusting, no organizing, no packing, no moving. It's one of my all-time best purchases.

Boyo Jim
09-18-2009, 08:21 PM
How do you build a library with one of these? Can you upload to a flash drive or disk when the thing fills up? I want my books to be permanent, I often re-read something years later. What I especially don't want is to have to start choosing what older stuff to erase to make room for newer stuff.

Seriously -- that's why I never got TIVO or a DVR, because they're basically hard drives without anyway to copy off the files.

Reply
09-18-2009, 09:32 PM
How do you build a library with one of these? Can you upload to a flash drive or disk when the thing fills up? I want my books to be permanent, I often re-read something years later. What I especially don't want is to have to start choosing what older stuff to erase to make room for newer stuff.

Seriously -- that's why I never got TIVO or a DVR, because they're basically hard drives without anyway to copy off the files.

First, anything you purchase from the online Kindle Store is permanently associated with your account and available for re-download whenever you want (unless Amazon remotely deletes something like they did with the recent 1984 fiasco).

Second, you can always keep local backups of anything you buy or get, whether they came from the Kindle store or another source. Keep them however you normally keep your files and swap them onto the Kindle as needed. The Kindle can be accessed as a regular USB drive and you can both upload and download from it this way.

One concern, however, might be with the very long term: If Amazon should ever stop supporting the Kindle or if Amazon should ever go out of business, there may be no way to read your DRM-protected books. This has happened with a lot of digital music vendors over the years; sometimes they'd get refunds, other times they'd get free service with a competitor, but in all instances the DRMed music was rendered unplayable and useless. In the short to medium term, this seems unlikely to happen with someone as big as Amazon, but if you're planning to pass on your library to your grandkids, I'd seek out alternatives.

Boyo Jim
09-18-2009, 09:41 PM
What was the 1984 fiasco?

Reply
09-18-2009, 09:45 PM
I'll let Wikipedia explain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Kindle#Remote_content_removal).

For what it's worth, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apologized a few months later and offered a re-download or a gift certificate for all affected, but as far as I know there was no promise that something similar would not happen again. Edit: I was wrong; it seems that Amazon did say it won't remove books under similar circumstances (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10290047-56.html?tag=newsEditorsPicksArea.0) in the future.

As a general rule with DRMed content, you're always at the content provider's mercy.

Frostillicus
09-18-2009, 11:27 PM
The important part of this question is that unlike the people I know who have them, I am not an e-reader kind of person. I cannot fathom downloading that Gutenburg app to my iPhone because who the hell wants to read things on their iPhone? I like books. I don't mind reading stuff online that was born digital, but the paper format is my favorite.

That being said, like, I really want to read that Outlander book now because everybody's talking about the new one and I've never read any of them, and of course since there's a new one coming out they're all checked out at the library. And I want it NOW, not when Amazon sends it... plus, after the initial outlay it's cheaper.

So, would a person like me like the Kindle?

Also, is there a new one coming out soon that I'd kick myself for buying the old one about?

You could've downloaded the book and started reading it in less time than it took you to write the first paragraph of your OP.

Frostillicus
09-18-2009, 11:28 PM
Imho, it's going to be one of those things you buy that you'll never use.

Wow. This is sooooo wrong.

obfusciatrist
09-18-2009, 11:51 PM
As mentioned if you think it might be useful and are willing to deal with the potential hassleo f a return, buy it and try it. If your perception of your preferences is accurate then you probably won't find it a tool for you.

But mine was an experiment I didn't expect to work, I just wanted to see the e-ink screen first hand and then return it. Turns out that I've only read three or four books on paper since getting mine in May '08.

If you can comfortably read on regular screens, though, that might be the better option. I can't (and eye fatigue is why every previous attempt at ebooks failed for me) so the e-ink is perfect for me. The complaints about not being able to read in the dark are valid but that's true of paper books too so isn't much of a knock in that comparison to paper so much as in comparison to other electronic options, plus as light dims I can increase font size and continue reading in much lower light than with paper books.

But for me, the largest issue was in the page turning. When you issue the turn command, the screen goes black for like half a second, then the words appear on the page. To me, this completely pulled me out of the reading experience.

While it is true that the screen does "flash" to redraw for the new page it isn't nearly half a second in length. The entire process of turning pages is closer to a second but most of that time is spent processing with no visual change.

When I first had the Kindle this was a bit annoying but now isn't an issue at all since I've adjusted to the timing and have hit the next page button so that it is pretty seamless to the next page. As for visual interruption that happens when turning the page of a book too.

One unintended feature I've used is hands free reading (such as while eating in a restaurant or walking on the treadmill). I turn on the text-to-speech feature but turn the volume all the way down. This enable autoscroll. Once I get it set to a speed I usually have to wait a little bit at the end of a page for it to catch up but that is worth the hassle to be able to read while eating a sloppy burrito with both hands while sitting on a park bench. It is also much more convenient for one-handed reading while hanging from a train strap than with paper books--especially hardcover or trade paperbacks.

DSeid
09-19-2009, 12:19 AM
My wife's the same way- and she's an accountant! We're going to get each other Kindle's for Christmas.
One thing you can do is share the Amazon account and then both Kindles have access to all the books either of you buy.

I just got mine 2d ago - so far I've barely been getting through my first issue of Foreign Affairs (an article by Zbignew Brezniski on NATO and one arguing that America's is going to remain the default world superpower) and the intro to the Kindle. I like it so far. I find that the font size changer works in that I can make it larger in lower light in bed with my glasses off and smaller when I am alert in good light with glasses on. I like having a variety of material with me. And while the read to me feature comes off a bit like Stephen Hawkings sometimes misreading punctuation and forgetting how to pronounce "Obama", it was still fun to continue with an interesting article on my way to work.

But.

Many titles are not in the Kindle store or in Gutenburg. Eco's Foucault's Pendulum for example. Or Everything is Illuminated. Both of which I've been meaning to read and I'd love to be able to get when the mood hits me, when I am likely on a vacation not near a bookstore. And books that are in paperback editions are often cheaper to buy that way.


I am glad I've gotten and see that it will help me get more of a chance to read, but perfect it aint.

BlackKnight
09-19-2009, 12:53 AM
Are there many nonfiction books in the Kindle Store? How does the Kindle handle figures and graphs, or other illustrations?

Reply
09-19-2009, 01:29 AM
Well, the Kindle Store lists 223,899 nonfiction results (http://www.amazon.com/Nonfiction-Books-Kindle/b/qid=1253337974/ref=sr_tc_2_0?ie=UTF8&node=157325011), but that's kinda meaningless since any number of them could be junk. Better to search for the book(s) you're interested before you buy (you can search without owning a Kindle).

The Kindle displays graphics inline the way books do, but keep in mind the limited screen size makes detailed diagrams difficult to see. Even on a Kindle DX, I had to flip the orientation to landscape to get a better view at certain pictures.

Markxxx
09-19-2009, 07:47 PM
Well the DRM is hardly a real issue ;)

Remember the DRM act allows for a person to remove DRM legally from a CD (CDs fall into a special case because of that Sony fiasco when CDs with DRM were putting things on people's computers without their knowledge. It doesn't apply to other mediums like direct file downloads, because of that special rules were adopted for a period of time and as of now have been extended for another period) or an e-reader device IF that DRM prevents a person with a disablity from properly viewing it.

All DRM'd e-readers must comply with the ADA or they cannot prevent removal of DRM

I know this board doesn't allow discussing that so just Google for details

Reply
09-19-2009, 07:56 PM
Well the DRM is hardly a real issue ;)

Remember the DRM act allows for a person to remove DRM legally from a CD (CDs fall into a special case because of that Sony fiasco when CDs with DRM were putting things on people's computers without their knowledge. It doesn't apply to other mediums like direct file downloads, because of that special rules were adopted for a period of time and as of now have been extended for another period) or an e-reader device IF that DRM prevents a person with a disablity from properly viewing it.

All DRM'd e-readers must comply with the ADA or they cannot prevent removal of DRM

I know this board doesn't allow discussing that so just Google for details

Wait, what? I've been away from civilization for a while (seriously)... has something come along to override the DMCA's restrictions on removing DRM? No details needed, but got a link or even just the name of this act?

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
09-19-2009, 08:26 PM
There's a current Thread about somebody dropping their Kindle & breaking it.

Chefguy
09-19-2009, 08:44 PM
Are there many nonfiction books in the Kindle Store? How does the Kindle handle figures and graphs, or other illustrations?

They can be difficult to see, but one can manipulate the "joystick" to the picture or map, click on it and it will enlarge.