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Old 08-22-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
txcheart
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Buy now or wait?

I am a newbie to e-book readers, although I am an avid reader. I finally have gotten fed up of packing 10 books or more for any trip I go on, only to wish I had more books to read or a different genre that I was feeling more like reading at the moment.

I have an upcoming three week trip in September, for which I really wanted to buy a reader, but then it seems like in October there may be new readers coming out. I am the type of person that hates buying something only to have a version that no one will offer support for anymore because they came out with a new and better version.

Which means I am torn. Do people think the updates are going to be substantial enough to warrant waiting?

I also am not sure whether a Kindle, Sony, or Cybook would be better for me. Do kindles not accept pdf files at all? A lot of articles and documents I need to read for school and work are pdf files, articles and such, and I would love to be able to read those. I also care about battery time and space, because on many of my hiking trips I will be without electricity for a number of days. The Kindle also seems more expensive, which is hard for me because I am a student and really don't have that much extra cash floating around.

Also, last question I promise - where would be the best place to buy ebooks from?

Any help would be appreciated!

Tiffany
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Old 08-22-2008, 11:48 AM   #2
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Welcome to MobileRead txcheart

You raise some great questions. I may not have great answers but here goes.

The best time to buy is always next month when they might have new models out, when they might lower the price, when they might have a special promotion. In short, we don't know what is coming. We expect that there might be new models coming, there are lots of rumors around that there is a new Kindle coming or that Sony is preparing a new reader. I have heard no rumors about Cybook offering a new reader. Yes, color is coming but the best guess is not in the next year. All of us wondered the same thing when we bought our readers. (OK, I worried not at all as I bought within the first month that the Sony PRS-500 was offered.)

As for the new models coming out, many have suggested that the Sony may add a wireless feature and the Kindle may get a facelift. What value these are to you only you can determine. While there are advances in the e-ink technology to increase the resolution on screen I have not read any rumors about the major manufacturers adopting a newer display. All of the existing readers are excellent. It is a matter of which meets your requirements best. That leads us to your next question about ebook sources.

Check the MobileRead Wiki which lists the formats each reader can use. It is an excellent resource.

For unprotected ebooks (i.e. DRM free) there are many sources throughout the web including the MobileRead free ebook download area. Lots of great public domain material -- read lots of great classics there.

Some other sources for non-DRM material include Steve Jordan Books, Fictionwise, Baen, and a host of others that I am forgetting at the moment. (Sorry about that.)

When you get to DRM protected books (and that means almost all of the current best sellers, etc.) your choices drop. If you have a Sony, there is the Sony Store. If you have the Kindle, there is Amazon. If you have a Gen3, any place that sells Mobipocket books is fine. There are hundreds of sites all over the Internet to pick from including Fictionwise.

Two formats often sold that you may want to avoid are PDF and eReader. PDF, while a great print layout format, is not an ebook format. The new Adobe Digital Editions and the reflow support on the Sony 505 make this a good future candidate. However many PDFs are sold with DRM and there is no current way that I know of for any portable reader to use a DRM PDF. The eReader format started life as PalmDoc and has evolved very little since then. While I can use it on my cell phone, none of the current crop of e-ink readers can use it. The Apple iPhone also uses it.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:55 PM   #3
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I have more than one e book reader, and I find myself almost always using my Kindle to buy books at Amazon simply because the book prices are better. True, the Kindle may be more expensive, however that is a one time payment. If you like best sellers as I do, then Amazon {to me} has the best prices and best selection. You can send your pdfs to Amazon and they will convert them for you, but it is .10 per page.
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txcheart View Post
I am a newbie to e-book readers, although I am an avid reader. I finally have gotten fed up of packing 10 books or more for any trip I go on, only to wish I had more books to read or a different genre that I was feeling more like reading at the moment.

I have an upcoming three week trip in September, for which I really wanted to buy a reader, but then it seems like in October there may be new readers coming out. I am the type of person that hates buying something only to have a version that no one will offer support for anymore because they came out with a new and better version.

Which means I am torn. Do people think the updates are going to be substantial enough to warrant waiting?

I also am not sure whether a Kindle, Sony, or Cybook would be better for me. Do kindles not accept pdf files at all? A lot of articles and documents I need to read for school and work are pdf files, articles and such, and I would love to be able to read those. I also care about battery time and space, because on many of my hiking trips I will be without electricity for a number of days. The Kindle also seems more expensive, which is hard for me because I am a student and really don't have that much extra cash floating around.

Also, last question I promise - where would be the best place to buy ebooks from?

Any help would be appreciated!

Tiffany
I toyed with some of the same questions before I made the plunge. In my case, the 30 return policy of Amazon made it easier.

Since I have the Kindle, I can only speak from that voice. Don't wait. As RWood mentioned, upcoming devices will probably tweak the technology, not reinvent it this time around. You will so love having all the books at your finger tips, it's worth the risk.

Kindle does do PDF. You have several options. Install Mobipocket Creator (free software) on your PC and convert yourself; email the PDF to Amazon and they will convert. While the conversions vary in quality, with occasionally ungainly spacing, the text is usually very readable. Tables, pictures or symbols, pose other problems, but I don't know how much of that is remains unsolved in other readers.

I find my Kindle easier on the eyes than p-books. Especially if the light is bad or when I'm tired, I just bump the type up a size.

The battery life on the Kindle is great if you leave the Whispernet off. Mine easily goes 3-4 days without recharge with a lot of reading, and 5 days with part-time reading.

Because of the Whispernet, you can email things to your Kindle which makes it effortless to load things on it, and if you have purchased magazine or newspaper subscriptions are uploaded whenever you have Whispernet on.

With a few tips/tricks from this site, you can read ebooks from your public library on both Sony and Kindle. Additionally, both this site and feedbooks offer hundreds of older books, all free just for the downloading.

Ebook readers rock!
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:25 PM   #5
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You can send your pdfs to Amazon and they will convert them for you, but it is .10 per page.
This isn't true. They will convert it for free. If you want it sent to you via wireless, it's 10 cents per document, not per page. That is quite a big difference.

The charge is for the convenience of wireless delivery, not conversion. If you don't want to pay at all, you email the document to yourname@free.kindle.com and they will send a link for the converted document to the email address registered to your account. You can then download it and load it via USB. You can also convert it yourself with one of the software converters.

In general, PDF is problematic for 6" devices. If it's text and marked for reflow, it may convert nicely. If there are tables, charts or other graphic elements, it can get really screwed up. PDFs are intended to preserve the format for printing on a given page size which is typically much larger than a 6" screen (letter or A4 usually). Some devices can load and display a PDF but that doesn't mean they do it well. It mostly depends on how the PDF was created in the first place.
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Old 08-22-2008, 05:42 PM   #6
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Are Kindles easy to use with macs? I forgot to mention that I am a macbook pro user (and love it), and my husband as well, so I don't have normal access to a PC.

I read one review that said Kindles were bulky - but I really have no frame of reference. Is it bulkier than a hardcover book?

Which posts do I look for or search for to find out the public library information? (The Chicago public library is rather large )

Thanks for the replies!

Tiffany
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txcheart View Post
Are Kindles easy to use with macs? I forgot to mention that I am a macbook pro user (and love it), and my husband as well, so I don't have normal access to a PC.

I read one review that said Kindles were bulky - but I really have no frame of reference. Is it bulkier than a hardcover book?

The Kindle will be recognized by your Mac as an external drive (same with a PC).

On "bulkiness", here's a visual for you. It's 7.5" x 5.3" x 0.7" and weight 10.3 oz. If you check out the Buy a Kindle page, you'll see lots of video, still photos and additional information about the Kindle.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by txcheart View Post
Are Kindles easy to use with macs? I forgot to mention that I am a macbook pro user (and love it), and my husband as well, so I don't have normal access to a PC.

I read one review that said Kindles were bulky - but I really have no frame of reference. Is it bulkier than a hardcover book?



Tiffany
Kindles are easy to use with macs, but the one thing you'll miss is access to the mobicreator program. Amazon will still convert and mail files to you, however, and transferring them is easy.

The Kindle is definitely smaller than a hardback - in a good case, it's similar to trade paperback in footprint, maybe slightly smaller. A thinnish one, not a hugely bulky one.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:39 PM   #9
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I read one review that said Kindles were bulky - but I really have no frame of reference. Is it bulkier than a hardcover book?

Tiffany
The Kindle in its case is almost exactly the same size as a computer game plastic case or a DVD set of a TV series season. I know because I just checked it against my Chessmaster CD case and my Eureka season 2 DVD set.

But, the Kindle, inside its case, isn't as thick and tapers to one side. It's considerably less bulky than your average full-size hardback novel.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:17 PM   #10
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Okay...I realize I do things quickly, but I just bought a Kindle. I figure I will have a few days to see how I like it before Thailand, and the month-return policy will help if for some reason it doesn't work out
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:21 PM   #11
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Okay...I realize I do things quickly, but I just bought a Kindle. I figure I will have a few days to see how I like it before Thailand, and the month-return policy will help if for some reason it doesn't work out
Good plan!
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Old 08-22-2008, 11:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by txcheart View Post
Are Kindles easy to use with macs? I forgot to mention that I am a macbook pro user (and love it), and my husband as well, so I don't have normal access to a PC.

I read one review that said Kindles were bulky - but I really have no frame of reference. Is it bulkier than a hardcover book?

Which posts do I look for or search for to find out the public library information? (The Chicago public library is rather large )

Thanks for the replies!

Tiffany
the Chicago Public Library has a modest selection of ebooks. Here is the link. http://overdrive.chipublib.org/128BB...en/Default.htm
You will need the PID of your Kindle, and even though your library does not say they support the Kindle, with your PID and "Kindlefix.py", your Kindle will take mobipocket format library books. Look for Igorsk python script information under Kindle Developers Corner.
If you need any further information, just post a request here at Mobileread.

Congrats on your Kindle purchase. You'll love it.

cheers
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