View Full Version : Is being able to read on a desktop machine important to you?


HarryT
11-21-2007, 08:35 AM
The topic has come up elsewhere about the importance of being able to read books on the desktop (PC, Mac, or whatever) as well as on a hand-held device.

Is being able to read on the desktop important to you or not? Please answer the poll so we can get an idea of the proportion to whom it is.

tompe
11-21-2007, 08:46 AM
I think you need a third alternative "being able to finish the book I am currently reading using a PC is important when the reading device does not work".

dugbug
11-21-2007, 08:51 AM
I think you need a third alternative "being able to finish the book I am currently reading using a PC is important when the reading device does not work".


I think the poll was intended to reflect the primary/desired method of reading. Maybe a third option shoud be "an actual book" for the unconverted.

HarryT
11-21-2007, 08:54 AM
The poll arose through a thread in which someone is saying that Amazon have made a big mistake in not permitting Kindle books to be read on a PC. I don't read on a PC myself, and I was interested to see whether I am typical in only using handheld devices for reading, or whether many other people would also regard PC reading as a vital thing.

FixB
11-21-2007, 09:00 AM
I just voted accordingly to my post on the other thread.
I don't feel any eye strain reading on a classical lcd, but I just don't like it :)

tompe
11-21-2007, 09:01 AM
I see, I slightly misread the alternatives.

I would say that being able to read on another device is important for me but not because I would do it normally. So I can see this as an argument against Kindle but not for the reasons stated in the other thread.

So my vote here went to the second alternative.

dugbug
11-21-2007, 09:06 AM
I see, I slightly misread the alternatives.

I would say that being able to read on another device is important for me but not because I would do it normally.

Sorry, my bad. I misinterpreted Harry's poll not you. He was interested in anyone who has to read on a computer monitor (be it desirable or in your case the my-reader-is-freakin-dead-and-I-need-to-finish-it!).


-d

azog
11-21-2007, 09:32 AM
Define "read". I do "read" PDFs and stuff on my desktop, but that's usually technical material which I am reading to solve a problem. I do have many RSS feeds, and I read them on my desktop (until any of these can get Google feeds onto their devices, that will remain so), but that's a casual read, like watching TV to catch the news rather than reading a newspaper.

But when I read for pleasure (or leisure) I'd rather not use my PC.

HarryT
11-21-2007, 09:41 AM
Reading for pleasure.

TallMomof2
11-21-2007, 10:03 AM
I wish you had a third option. To be able to read on the PC is nice but not essential. My first ebooks were .PDF and then eReader .PDB. I could only read the PDFs on my PC and the PDBs on my Clie. Eventually I was able to read the PDFs on my Clie but I didn't care for the interface. Now eReader has a PC reader so I can read on that if I care to. Mostly what I use the PC readers for is to organize my books.

For non-fiction, I prefer pbooks because it's easier to annotate and bookmark. *But* I'm hoping that the Kindle with its larger screen and easier ability to annotate will change my preference.

For pure pleasure, handheld all the way.

Sparrow
11-21-2007, 10:12 AM
I voted 'Yes' - I'll read on anything and the more options I have, the better :book2:

JSWolf
11-21-2007, 10:15 AM
What I do is I view (not so much read) the book on the computer so I can have a look at the formatting so when I convert it, I make sure I do a good job of converting.

fugsly
11-21-2007, 10:23 AM
I voted that it's not important. It isn't but it's certainly a bonus. As other said it's good to have a back up way of reading :)

nekokami
11-21-2007, 10:28 AM
If I'm reading just for fun, I prefer to read on my iLiad, but sometimes I'm trying to find a particular passage (even in fiction that I'm reading "for fun") and this is a bit harder to do on the iLiad, so I do it on my desktop linux box. (For example, recently I was looking through my Steven Brust books to find information for a t-shirt project I'm working on for him. I used grep on the linux box. I use it when I'm contributing to wikis, as well.)

HarryT
11-21-2007, 10:30 AM
What I do is I view (not so much read) the book on the computer so I can have a look at the formatting so when I convert it, I make sure I do a good job of converting.

That's what I do as well, but I don't classify that as "reading" :).

JSWolf
11-21-2007, 10:31 AM
But without the ability to display the book on your Computer screen, you could not read it enough to get the format.

HarryT
11-21-2007, 10:35 AM
That's being "picky", Jon :). When I load a Mobi file into the Mobi desktop reader it's just to briefly glance through it to make sure that it looks OK, that all the links are present in the TOC, etc. I don't sit down and read the book. When I read for pleasure, it's always on my iLiad or Gen3.

slayda
11-21-2007, 10:45 AM
Yes I would prefer to read on my reader but there are times when I can be at a computer but don't have my reader so I do read on a PC. Therefore being able to read on a PC is important to me.

But the main thing here to me is being able to backup & store my books on a PC and/or change the format type as I desire.

AnemicOak
11-21-2007, 11:18 AM
It's not really important to me, but it's a nice backup option. I drained my Reader the other day to the point of a low battery warning & couldn't continue reading. Since I was at home at the time it was nice to be able to fire up the Connect software & continue reading while the Reader charged via USB.

HarryT
11-21-2007, 11:23 AM
It's not really important to me, but it's a nice backup option. I drained my Reader the other day to the point of a low battery warning & couldn't continue reading. Since I was at home at the time it was nice to be able to fire up the Connect software & continue reading while the Reader charged via USB.

Go to your local video game store, and buy a wall charger for a PlayStation Portable - it'll probably cost you under $10. Use that to charge your Reader (it works fine - the PSP and the Reader have the same charger spec) and you'll be able to carry on reading while it charges :).

AnemicOak
11-21-2007, 11:33 AM
Yeah, I know. I actually own a PSP, but couldn't find the charger when I needed it. :)

astra
11-22-2007, 07:19 AM
I voted for option 2 - I'm only interested in being able to read on a hand-held device.

Yes, I do need software to see a book on my PC but only because I have to prepare the book myself. If it were a book from connect store, I would not need the software.

As for Kindle issue. the current situation would not bother me. I would not be able to see Amazon's books on my PC which is fine, I don't need to edit them I only want to read them, at the same time I would be able to see any self-made books on Mobipocket PC software.

HarryT
11-22-2007, 08:16 AM
Same here, AL. That's exactly the same position I'm in.

tompe
11-22-2007, 11:23 AM
You might not want to edit the book you bought from Amazon but I would definitely want to be able to search the book on my PC and to be able to cut out selected passages and use them for other things.

astra
11-23-2007, 05:11 AM
You might not want to edit the book you bought from Amazon but I would definitely want to be able to search the book on my PC and to be able to cut out selected passages and use them for other things.

Frankly speaking I never thought about it (the search feature).

Alisa
11-23-2007, 05:23 AM
You might not want to edit the book you bought from Amazon but I would definitely want to be able to search the book on my PC and to be able to cut out selected passages and use them for other things.

That's one of the big reasons I went for the Kindle. The search function is a huge deal to me. Annotating and excerpting is less a big deal to me now than it was when I was in school but it's a good thing to have.

JerryEF
11-23-2007, 12:12 PM
I'm only interested in being able to read on a hand-held device.

I have been using a Dell Axim as my eReading device since Gemstar announced their departure from the ebook business. I have logged well over a hundred fictions books and a few dozen non-fictions. I received my Kindle early this week and, generally, love it. The screen size is nice. Readability under decent light conditions is a delight. It appears that battery life will be a major bonus (at least for me. I have to carry spare Axim batteries on long airplane flights.) Location of the paging controls is a bit of a pain, but I can adapt.

Reading under low light conditions is still an issue. I have developed a habit of reading in bed each night. The PDA backlight "light pollution" has never been an issue for my wife. She is not happy with the book light that I must now use with the ePaper. Who will have to adapt has not yet been determined.

Ease of purchasing and installing new titles is a breakthrough in the ebook world. While (being a geek myself) the old methods of downloading and transferring has never been an issue, I can see (looking at my family and friends) that it was not going to fly for the general public.

My dilemma is that I have found myself more tethered to my Axim that I initially realized. I use it on a daily basis for doing sudoku and crosswords puzzles. I play Gransmaster chess and occasionally hearts and spades on it when traveling. When overseas, I find foreign language dictionaries / translator software to be real handy. The latest "hot app" to appear on my PDA is SlingBox. While away from home, (access to wifi needed) I have full access to my home cable TV, local news, CNBC, 24... more of a benefit when overseas. While I have been successful in migrating the Contacts and Calendar syncing to my WM compatible cell phone, all these other apps that have crept onto my Axim life have become 'irreplaceable'. I have no expectations that any of these will appear any time soon on my Kindle.

So now the Kindle comes along and I have not been able to get rid of anything. Fortunatly, all the toys can be charged using the USB port and a single USB based charger. Not as fast as the dedicated chargers, but fewer chargers to carry.

hidari
11-23-2007, 01:42 PM
Same here, AL. That's exactly the same position I'm in.

As for me I prefer a mobile device but occasionally I like to reread bits of a book on my Notebook in the morning with a cup of JOE.

gregr209
11-23-2007, 01:44 PM
There should be a third choice for sometimes I wish I could read a book on my desktop. It isn't something I want to do all the time but now and then I wouldn't mind.

Just my 2 cents.

Greg

sirmaru
11-23-2007, 03:10 PM
It is simply amazing that in a MOBILE READER Forum there are still over 30% of users who still want to use their PC screen for reading books.

I've examined Kindle, Cybook Gen3 and the Irex products. I am convinced that NOTHING beats Microsoft Reader and a 24" HD Monitor for reading books. Zinio Reader beats all others for magazines. Internet Explorer is best for newspapers.

Especially with magazines all the colorful pages with ads and internet links all stand out with Zinio. None of the Eprint readers have color yet.

With books Microsoft Reader beats all. It provides a dictionary and one can do other tasks while reading books in very clear fonts. I usually multitask while reading books. I may read magazines IN COLOR simultaneously and newspapers as well in FULL PAGE spreads in color as well.

At the most I would use an Eprint reader if it was POCKETABLE as a SUPPLEMENTARY reader. None fulfull this requirement yet. It would require touch screens with all controls available within the screen as the Garmin Nuvi 750 GPS does NOW with a full QWERTY keyboard. The reader would have to match the measurements (My Garmin Nuvi 750 is 4 3/4" x 2 7/8" x 5/8") of that GPS. None do at the moment.

It is highly probable that both Microsoft and Apple are now working on Eprint readers as well. I will see if any come out pocketable and with full color.

astra
11-23-2007, 07:33 PM
I am convinced that NOTHING beats Microsoft Reader and a 24" HD Monitor for reading books.

eInk.

TallMomof2
11-23-2007, 07:38 PM
eInk is amazing. I've read for more years than I care to claim off of monitors and about 5 years off PDAs. My current monitor is HD but I don't read much on it. My eyes don't track well enough. The PDA is okay but the screen is too small and requires more back and forth eye motion.

The eInk screen is the closest to print that I've experienced. It's a nice size, easy to hold and carry, and it creates far less eye fatigue.

nekokami
11-23-2007, 11:01 PM
LCD screens don't bother my eyes, but I'm able to get a lot more comfortable with my iLiad than with my laptop. Even so, there are times when I do need to read something on my laptop or desktop, either because I need the larger screen or because I need a more functional interface (e.g. keyboard, grep, etc.) I need them both.

HarryT
11-24-2007, 05:57 AM
At the most I would use an Eprint reader if it was POCKETABLE as a SUPPLEMENTARY reader. None fulfull this requirement yet. It would require touch screens with all controls available within the screen as the Garmin Nuvi 750 GPS does NOW with a full QWERTY keyboard. The reader would have to match the measurements (My Garmin Nuvi 750 is 4 3/4" x 2 7/8" x 5/8") of that GPS. None do at the moment.


You appear to be describing a PDA. Have you looked at MobiPocket running on a Pocket PC or Palm PDA? Pretty much exactly what you describe.

bob_ninja
11-26-2007, 01:04 PM
Harry,

The trouble is that there are too many different aspects mixed into this topic. First there are younger people (for the most part) that don't realize the damage they are doing to their eyes by using LCDs 24/7. Sure, some exceptional individuals may be able to handle LCDs their entire life, but they are exceptions.

Then there are many technical/text books that include sophisticated diagrams, illustrations, etc. that the current eInk readers cannot display very well. For those we still have to use larger LCD screens, like it or not.

Then there is reading position. Again younger people may have the stamina to sit at a desk 24/7 while older readers would prefer a more comfortable position.

Depending on the mix of criteria you select, there are different answers. For instance, "casual mostly test (literature) reading for low eye strain and flexible reading positions" would clearly favor eReaders. However, "technical/complex books, don't care about eye strain or reading position" favors full desktop computers with large monitors. Then there are a bunch of combinations in between.

So readers having different preferences/needs are interpreting you question though their own combination of ciretira and produce different answers. Hence the confusion.

Alisa
11-26-2007, 03:09 PM
Then there are many technical/text books that include sophisticated diagrams, illustrations, etc. that the current eInk readers cannot display very well. For those we still have to use larger LCD screens, like it or not.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen coworkers print out sections of PDFs even though they're sitting in front of their computers just because reading on the screen is so painful. I resist doing it because I hate killing trees but with an ebook device (Kindle or otherwise), I could still look at any graphics I can't interpret on my big screen and read the text on e-ink. I'm less concerned about that with .azw books so far because those will likely be recreational books for me. Hopefully if they make a serious move into the tech and textbook market, they'll put out a software reader.

bob_ninja
11-26-2007, 03:15 PM
I can't tell you how many times I've seen coworkers print out sections of PDFs even though they're sitting in front of their computers just because reading on the screen is so painful. I resist doing it because I hate killing trees but with an ebook device (Kindle or otherwise), I could still look at any graphics I can't interpret on my big screen and read the text on e-ink. I'm less concerned about that with .azw books so far because those will likely be recreational books for me. Hopefully if they make a serious move into the tech and textbook market, they'll put out a software reader.

Of course. Guilty as charged :(
If I need to read more than 20-30 pages and really concetrate then I cannot do it in the office. I need to take it home and find some quiet corner to read it. Plus after staring at LCD monitor at work for 8+ hours I really do prefer paper. So I used to do it all the time. That is why I got Cybook: save some trees, save my eyes and have easy access to all the info I need.

Jorgen
11-27-2007, 11:56 AM
I use desktop readers to

1) check the books I have formatted myself.
2) browse books before choosing which to load onto my PDAs / memory cards

dunster
11-30-2007, 09:15 PM
Reading books on the desktop machine is important for me.
I'm only interested in being able to read on a hand-held device.

I think your second choice undercuts those who would love to have a portable, easy-on-the-eyes method of reading and carrying multiple books, primarily because the word "only" suggests that they are not interested in other electronic methods of reading or getting info. Both of these are obviously important. The post that prompted your poll, if I am right, implied that the whole concept of a portable reader that was not a desktop PC was stupid.

michaelejahn
11-30-2007, 10:09 PM
I read on my PC. I read on my laptop. I read on my phone, my treo, my TV. And no, i don't buy CDs or physical books anymore - can bring them with me easily and they make to big a carbon foot print to produce, distribute, sell and then recycle.

This eBook - it is freakin' data, and I paid for it. Why on earth does anyone think it would be sustainable that i can't choose what device i want to read my content on. This is like talking to someone in the 70's, where they just don't see why computers are important. sheesh.

It is not an issue of if it is important to me. Analogy time - Can i call you on the phone ? I mean, really, do i care what phone or what service or if it is a land line or a cell phone - the service follows a standard, and that is why it is widely accepted and wildy popular.

Yes, I am a PDF Evangelist, but now, this is not about PDF, this is about open standards, portability and this insane notion that somehow an ATM card idea would be popular when it only worked with YOUR BANK.

I have no idea why I am even wasting my time posting here. To dumb a question, next one, please oh please.