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Old 11-16-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
bobsi18
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Questions/concerns about the Kindle :)

Hi all,
I'm trying to decide which ereader I want to get for Christmas, and my head is spinning from all of the information. I currently use my iphone to read ebooks, and love the portability of it (I travel a lot, sometimes with a laptop, sometimes without). I had pretty much decided I wanted the Kindle (probably the 3G one because of the ease of downloading books when traveling), but there are a few things that are turning me off, any opinions on these?

- no support for epub books (which is what my entire library is currently in, but I use Calibre and do know how to convert books etc, I just wonder if this will continue to be a pain, particularly if libraries start to work with epub)
- not a touch screen (I'm so used to my iphone now!)
- unable to expand the storage (can't decide if this is an issue or not?)

I also had a few questions:
- I haven't found any reviews or discussions about the menu system on the Kindle - can you search for a certain book? Does it order books by author or title or both? Can you group books by series? Can you mark a book off as "read"?
- Does anyone have the cover with the light in it? Does it add a lot to the overall weight? Would you recommend it (when travelling, I'm often in poor light, not an issue with the iphone, but I imagine it will be an issue with e-ink)?
- Do you find the buttons for turning a page convenient? Is it very noisy?

Thanks for all and any information - if it matters, I'm in Australia, so will be getting this sent over, hopefully before Christmas!
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:59 AM   #2
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There is no way to legally read EPUB library books with a Kindle. Some Kindle advocates insist there are things you can do to the EPUB files so the Kindle can read them. But those ways are not legal. Personally, I don't see why anyone would want to get involved with such a moral and legal mess while there are many ereaders that do read EPUB library books, such as the Nook, Kobo, Sony ereaders, and more.

Edit: While I am considering the purchase of a Kindle 3 I will continue to use my Nook to download library books.

Last edited by AndyfromVA; 11-16-2010 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:15 AM   #3
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I have the DXG so I cannot speak for the K3, although the two are pretty similar.

The buttons do not make much noise and the menu us very easy to use. You can build your own collections. Essentially you are tagging books so they can be organized in a manner of your choosing. I have created collections for different genres that read To be Read Sci Fi and Read Sci Fi. I move the book after I have read it.

If you are a heavy PDF reader then storage space might be an issue. I have 400+ books on my DXG and am no where close to maxing it out. It can hold 3,500 books. The K3 has the same capacity.

Converting EPub to Mobi is suppose to be easy to do. Do a quick google search and you will figure it out quickly enough. Several folks who have moved from Sonys or Nooks to Kindle have said it was easy and not all that time consuming.

When you buy the device and the book the terms of service say you cannot strip the drm from books. Plenty of folks hear will argue that the rule regarding books that you buy has always been that you can do with them as you please as long as it is for your use only. As long as it is for your own use you can photocopy or scan a paper book you own, similarly you can strip the drm off of an e-book that you own.

That is an ethical/moral/legal debate you will have to wage with yourself.

Personally. Amazon has all the books I want. If they didn't and I found a book in another location I have a feeling I would be fine with stripping the DRM and converting it. I have not had to do this yet.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:47 AM   #4
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The K3 has buttons on both sides for moving forward or backward in a book, so it is quite easy to use.

The arrangement of "collections" is possible and you will find several posts here that discuss different options that folks have devised to get what they want.

I do have the lighted cover and love it. It does add weight to the K3, but also protects it and does not seem to significantly draw down the battery. I tried a variety of lights on my K1 and never found one that was as pleasing as the lighted cover, mostly because of glare. Plus, no more searching for new batteries.

Storage is not an issue for me as I keep my library in Calibre and only but a hundred or so ebooks on my K3 at the same time.

If you use Calibre and have the new plugins, coverting epub to mobi takes seconds. I tend to do it in batches after I have added a few new epubs.

I have an iTouch and have used it for reading ebooks. Yes, I miss the touch screen and considered the iPad. The price and weight quickly nixed that idea. Reading on my K3 is fabulous. Connecting to the web required patience after being used to an iTouch.

cheers
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:00 PM   #5
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Responding to your last couple of questions because every else seems to have covered the ePub situation.

1) Menus: It's a simple text listing, that looks like this:
Code:
BOOK TITLE                                           AUTHOR NAME
.................
BOOK TITLE CUT OFF IF TOO LONG...      AUTHOR NAME
.......
You can sort books by author, title, or "recently added", and while it doesn't group by series, you can put your books into "Collections" to organize them. Collections are single-level only, though, no nesting yet.

Marking books as read is tricky. Under the title, you get a line of dots indicating how far you've gotten into a book (progress is marked by bolded dots compared to the total). Once all the dots are bolded, the book is considered "read", but there's no more visible way to do so.

You can search for a certain book, but be warned, the Kindle tends to search for all books containing your search term when you do it from the home page. Might work differently in Collections.

However, you do have the option when sorted by title or author to type the first letter and press the 5-way controller button, and it will automatically jump to the "C" section or whatever and you can browse from there. Same sort of shortcut works for numerically ordered pages, so you can skip to the 29th page in your listing of authors/titles/recent adds.

3) The buttons are reasonably convenient. I have the older K2 model, and while the K3 improves on it by having Prev/Next buttons on both sides (instead of Prev/Next on the left and Home/Next on the right), it does make the buttons narrower. You may or may not prefer this as being easier to grasp without clicking, or too shallow, depending on your perspective.

They don't seem to make much noise, but perhaps I've simply gotten used to it.

I think you may perhaps want a Sony for touch screen and ePub support, and possible expandability. No WiFi, though.

Hope this helps, and welcome to MobileRead!
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:26 PM   #6
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Andy, can you elaborate on the moral dilemma of converting books you already own? Why would that be morally objectionable?

As for the legal ramifications for converting a book you already own for your personal use, I've never seen a case where someone was successfully prosecuted for this. Converting a book you own is not at all the same thing as stealing that book. If someone doesn't want to have to bother with converting a book, I can understand that. But being afraid to convert or morally opposed to converting puzzles me.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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On the ePub front, there is some alternate software that is in beta called Duokan, that will allow the Kindle to read DRM free ePub. Your Kindle would become a dual booting device, so that you can retain the original software. It's very rough around the edges right now but I have high hopes for this new software.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by McNutt View Post
Andy, can you elaborate on the moral dilemma of converting books you already own? Why would that be morally objectionable?

As for the legal ramifications for converting a book you already own for your personal use, I've never seen a case where someone was successfully prosecuted for this. Converting a book you own is not at all the same thing as stealing that book. If someone doesn't want to have to bother with converting a book, I can understand that. But being afraid to convert or morally opposed to converting puzzles me.
I'm referring only to EPUB books borrowed from the public library.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:10 PM   #9
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My mistake. You are definitely correct about the library books.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:55 PM   #10
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Oh eek. I just typed a detailed reply, then the forum kicked me out and made me sign in and I lost it all, grr!

Thankyou all so much for your detailed responses, I really appreciate it.

I didn't realise that the epub conversion is such a grey area - I just assumed that it was something that could be/had to be done in order to read existing epub ebooks.

I like everything else to do with the Kindle, but because of this I'm going to look at the other reader at the top of my list, the Sony Touch. The main things that I prefer in the Kindle is the 3G and the cost. But when traveling, I can normally find wifi somewhere along the line, so 3G isn't too much of a concern, and what's $100 when you're getting what you want

I'm heading to a store tonight where I should be able to see one on display, so hopefully I should be able to get a feel for it.

BTW - any Aussies out there, Choice has just released a review of ebook readers in Australia. Their top 4 were the Sony Touch (81%), the iPad (78%), the Sony Pocket (76%) and the Kindle 3 (73%) (they score based on ease of use, readability indoors, outdoors and in the bedroom).
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:15 PM   #11
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For what it's worth, I really like my Sony PRS 650. When you look at the readers, keep in mind that the new Sonys (350, 650, and 950) have the same Pearl screen as the Kindle 3. The factors become 3G versus size versus touch screen versus format types versus personal opinions about the two companies involved. I think either one of them would be a good reader.

One think that no one talks about before purchase is button placement/ease of turning a page. I average 500-700 page turns per book. If the ergonomics of the reader don't work with your hands/preferred way of holding the reader, reading can become very difficult. My arthritic thumbs never did make peace with the PRS 505...
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:24 PM   #12
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Let me just add that converting epub to mobi in Calibre is far from perfect.

If the epub specifies a left margin, it's probably going to be screwed up when Calibre converts it.

See

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...&postcount=330

For example (it actually looks even worse on a Kindle). You can edit the CSS (or just delete it is what I do) in the epub to fix the problem, but if you've got a lot of books with it, it becomes a hassle.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by polly View Post
For what it's worth, I really like my Sony PRS 650. When you look at the readers, keep in mind that the new Sonys (350, 650, and 950) have the same Pearl screen as the Kindle 3. The factors become 3G versus size versus touch screen versus format types versus personal opinions about the two companies involved. I think either one of them would be a good reader.

One think that no one talks about before purchase is button placement/ease of turning a page. I average 500-700 page turns per book. If the ergonomics of the reader don't work with your hands/preferred way of holding the reader, reading can become very difficult. My arthritic thumbs never did make peace with the PRS 505...
Thanks for that Polly. Do you find the menu system easy to use, and are you able to sort books by series etc?
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:53 AM   #14
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Hi, Bobsi. You mentioned that you want your e-reader for Christmas. If you opt for the Kindle, you'll need to be quick if you want it in time for Santa's arrival. Like you, I'm in Australia; I ordered my Kindle on Monday, and the expected delivery date is between the 8th and 21st of December. Good luck with your decision process!

Regards

Alison
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsi18 View Post
- no support for epub books (which is what my entire library is currently in, but I use Calibre and do know how to convert books etc, I just wonder if this will continue to be a pain, particularly if libraries start to work with epub)
It's only an issue if you have a need to read ePub books (obviously). Every book that's available as ePub is also available in Kindle format.

Quote:
- not a touch screen (I'm so used to my iphone now!)
True but irrelevant.

Quote:
- unable to expand the storage (can't decide if this is an issue or not?)
Not an issue. The Kindle can store 3000+ normal-size eBooks. This should be sufficient for most people.

Quote:
- I haven't found any reviews or discussions about the menu system on the Kindle - can you search for a certain book? Does it order books by author or title or both? Can you group books by series? Can you mark a book off as "read"?
1. Yes, you can search, and this will return matches on authors, titles, and text within a book.

2. You can order by author or title.

3. No ordering by series, but you can have "Collections". These are tags, so you can have a collection for each series if you wish.

4. You could add a "Read" collection, and put a book in that collection once you've finished it. Alternatively, you could simply delete the book.

Quote:
- Does anyone have the cover with the light in it? Does it add a lot to the overall weight? Would you recommend it (when travelling, I'm often in poor light, not an issue with the iphone, but I imagine it will be an issue with e-ink)?
The lighted cover works beautifully. I love it.

Quote:
- Do you find the buttons for turning a page convenient? Is it very noisy?
It works fine. Not "noisy" in the least.
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