Author Topic: Ebook Readers  (Read 108425 times)

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Ebook Readers
« on: December 01, 2009, 10:49:27 am »
Looks like readers are the hotness this Chrimbo.  What have people got?  What do people want?  Where are the bargains to be found?

I'm sorely tempted to treat myself to a Cool-er: £180, the size of a DVD case, takes SD and a sensible set of file formats, and half the weight of a Kindle or Sony. 
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009, 10:52:18 am »
I'm giving it another two to five years on this one. I totally see the point and the potential but am not convinced that the implementation is worth it as yet. But go ahead I need early adopters to drive the development so that I can get a really nice ebook reader in the future :)
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009, 11:47:18 am »
I'm giving my Sony eReader Touch a lot of use.

There are no bargains, and there won't be for a while. The readers are pricy and the source material price ranges from free to full RRP.

I'm either reading classics (Mark Twain stuff out of copyright) or thrillers from Waterstones or WHSmiths online presence.

The eBook versions are a quid more than their paperback equivalents on Amazon, but cheaper than full RRP that you will find in the chain bookstores.


I find I'm reading more than normal. When I'm lazy and don't cycle, I have 2 hrs a day on public transport, and I find that the ability to read one handed is awesome, as is being able to stop and start reading at exactly the right point.


Buying stuff online is awesome, 2am, finished a novel, go online, and download the next to your reader. Up and reading in 2 mins. No more browsing bookshops for books that are out of stock.

I've found that using it for graphic rich pdfs isn't that good, it updates too slowly to read effectively.


frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 12:42:35 pm »
No more browsing bookshops for books that are out of stock.

There's an entire riverside town on the Welsh border that would be most distressed by that remark.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 01:25:05 pm »
Bookies will still go to Hay, don't fret about that.
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009, 04:04:38 pm »
... reading with one hand. Delightful.

Braille?

Playboy?  (for the articles, obviously)

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 04:26:27 pm »
I have a Kindle.

I agree with geraldc about reading with one hand. Delightful.

I told you to stay away from the racier Mills-and-Boon titles (or at least don't read them on public transport).
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2009, 04:26:33 pm »
Quote from: Jurassic Park
" is it heavy?"
"yes"
"then its expensive. put it down"
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2009, 04:46:12 pm »
I don't travel on the tube that often, but I can turn pages with one hand, although admittedly it's easier on some books than others.

...on the other hand, I really dislike travelling on the tram or tube when I can't sit down, so I try and time things to avoid this, and generally travel by bike to avoid the issue altogether.

I suspect reading an ebook whilst on a bike comes under the heading of silly, but on reflection, epaper materials would be good for putting mapping on, since it would be easily readable in daylight, and the screen are a good bit bigger than most GPS units with mapping on them.

If the OS does get around to making their mapping free, I'd hack up a script to convert regions into A4 PDFs suitable for greyscale viewing (this may require some modification of colours), and then read them using an ebook viewer.

I may have found the killer ebook app for cyclists. ;D
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2009, 05:03:57 pm »
Get yourself a leather cover for your reader, it adds a bit of heft and makes it look that much better.  I don't know why, but holding something organic is that much nicer than just holding the plastic and metal of the reader.

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2009, 09:30:45 pm »
I had a play in The Shoppe and succumbed to the Cool-er.  Mostly because I think a reader should be fairly invisible, a portal not a gadget, and the competition (the Sony Pocket) was much too cluttered with buttons around the page.  I got both devices in my hand and it was a no-brainer.

The Cool-er fits my "magic size and shape" - a DVD case.  It's a little narrower and slimmer, and weighs exactly the same as a DVD in its box - ie, bugger-all.  The Sony was much more of a Quality Gadget - Sony don't make anything else - but it was heavier and thicker and just more gadgety.  The Cool-er does HTML which the Sony doesn't, and quiet a bit of my stuff is HTML.

There's no software with it: you manage it all with file folders or you get Adobe Digital Editions for the DRM stuff (yeah, riiiight).  That suits me just fine.  Charging is handled through the USB cable, so it should charge fine from ad-hoc USB chargers like the FreeLoader if you need to.

It takes SD cards up to 4Gb, which is total overkill for books but not for PDFs which get hefty - if you're a PDF slut like me, this is ace.  The crazy-toothed survivalist library can easily tuck in one corner of a big SD card without getting in the way, waiting the zombie apocalypse. 

Graphics are okay - 8 greys, very rich PDFs look a bit arse (zines no, papers with graphs yes).  Page turns are fast for its class. 
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2009, 08:25:07 pm »
I just ordered a Hanvon witha 5" e-ink screen from E-buyer - £119 including a leather case.  It's a pressie for Mrs Tewdric, but I'll probably put OpenInkpot on it, which seems like a commendably geeky thing to do.  I don't suppose anyone's tried it?

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2009, 09:01:48 pm »
I didn't know it existed, though I wondered if one did.  The Cool-er is a linux distro too.  I may have to play...
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2009, 09:41:55 pm »
A work colleague is well impressed with his Sony , it's a nice gadget.  I'd be tempted but not for general reading, I'm thinking of guidebooks on a bike tour. Take a couple of these along they can weigh a bit.  Lonely Planet appear to have theirs available on line, and you can buy them by the chapter, so only get the ones for the areas you are planning on traveling through.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2010, 12:17:57 pm »
I have a few pdf's of books on my Palm and I've never been able to see the appeal. Give me a real book any time. After all it doesn't need batteries for a start and I just love books too much.

border-rider

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2010, 03:48:51 pm »
Mrs MV is expressing interest...

I know nothing of these things - could someone explain the ins and outs of getting books for them ?

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2010, 03:54:33 pm »
A work colleague is well impressed with his Sony , it's a nice gadget.  I'd be tempted but not for general reading, I'm thinking of guidebooks on a bike tour. Take a couple of these along they can weigh a bit.  Lonely Planet appear to have theirs available on line, and you can buy them by the chapter, so only get the ones for the areas you are planning on traveling through.
No no no no no. Tour without guidebooks and without maps if you want to be authentic. Guidebooks will tell you where they want you to go. Form your own opinions of places. Be a real traveller not another tourist. ;)

NB the size and weight of guidebooks is the reason why I didn't carry any when I rode to Australia. I didn't carry anything needing batteries either.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2010, 06:33:43 pm »
I was bought a Stephen King book for Christmas. It weighs 1.3Kg. My arms are aching, and I would like it on an e-book reader. Thanks.

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2010, 06:39:02 pm »
Tour without guidebooks and without maps if you want to be authentic... Form your own opinions of places.

"Bugger, I'm lost and don't speak the language, everyone hates me and this place is a maze, OGOD other side of the ROAD and what's that? Nirvana! A Macdonald's!"

What works for you, MSeries old pal, may be utter crawling hell for others. 
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

border-rider

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2010, 06:41:30 pm »
I was bought a Stephen King book for Christmas. It weighs 1.3Kg. My arms are aching, and I would like it on an e-book reader. Thanks.

This is Mrs MV's problem.  She's trying to cope with a huge weighty tome.  It's currently winning

Assus are launching a couple of Ebook readers in March - I might wait to see if they have as big an effect on the market as the eeePC did...

Sigurd Mudtracker

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2010, 06:47:37 pm »
A work colleague is well impressed with his Sony , it's a nice gadget.  I'd be tempted but not for general reading, I'm thinking of guidebooks on a bike tour. Take a couple of these along they can weigh a bit.  Lonely Planet appear to have theirs available on line, and you can buy them by the chapter, so only get the ones for the areas you are planning on traveling through.
No no no no no. Tour without guidebooks and without maps if you want to be authentic. Guidebooks will tell you where they want you to go. Form your own opinions of places. Be a real traveller not another tourist. ;)

NB the size and weight of guidebooks is the reason why I didn't carry any when I rode to Australia. I didn't carry anything needing batteries either.

A camera?   :demon:

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2010, 06:52:59 pm »
oh yeah a camera, a Canon compact one, I carried a spare battery too. I forgot about that.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2010, 06:58:12 pm »
I was bought a Stephen King book for Christmas. It weighs 1.3Kg. My arms are aching, and I would like it on an e-book reader. Thanks.

This is Mrs MV's problem.  She's trying to cope with a huge weighty tome.  It's currently winning

Assus are launching a couple of Ebook readers in March - I might wait to see if they have as big an effect on the market as the eeePC did...

Yes - I have a feeling prices will fall significantly over the next 12 months. I've also found there are a couple of usenet groups for e-books. I would feel happy to download books I already own.

red marley

Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2010, 07:50:37 pm »
I know nothing of these things - could someone explain the ins and outs of getting books for them ?

I've had the Sony one for about a year now. I probably do about 75% of my fiction reading on it. The main reason I like it (and I was very sceptical before I used one) is that the screen is very readable, much more so than a monitor/laptop/palm/iPhone. Battery life is also very good compared with these devices (about 1 month of daily reading on a single charge).

Mine came with a CD of 100 or so out of copyright classics (Alice in Wonderland, Shakespeare, Gulliver's Travels, Illiad etc). But most of the content on Project Guttenberg and related sites should be freely available. See for example mobileread.com for Sony eReader content and other formats.

If you want modern copyright material, many publishers and bookstores seem to offer DRM content at generally just a bit cheaper than their paper equivalents. I tend to get most of mine from Waterstones. This requires (the free) Adobe Digital Editions to transfer to the device - available for the Mac and Windows but not Linux. There are various cracked warez circulating too, but I've not touched these.

You can keep a copy of all your books on a computer and transfer to the device with a USB cable, or (with the eReader at least), use SD cards to keep the content. I'm not sure what the capacity of the reader is but I currently have about 130 books on my reader with plenty of space left.

The Sony eReader at least can display any PDF content including graphics, but if the PDF does not encode reflowing, the results can be a bit messy and probably not comfortable enough for a long book.


Re: Ebook Readers
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2010, 09:19:33 am »
It's worth waiting to see what Apple's new 'i-Slate' turns out to be - I've heard talk of it being a 'Kindle Killer'. Of course, no one really knows yet! (Well, someone must...)