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Old 04-15-2013, 11:19 PM   #1
TongueTied
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Using your Kobo for anything other than personal reading

Have any of you used your Kobo (or other ereader for that matter) for anything other than personal recreational reading? And I'm not refering to using it as a coaster, plate, frisbee or chopping board What I am interested in is how people find using an ereader for research, reference texts, etc. When I read a book for my own personal pleasure, I tend to start at the beginning and read to the end and then start the next book. My KT has been a real pleasure to use this way. However, when I have to do any research or refer to reference books, I tend to jump around or flip through books to find the sections or pages I need to refer to; sometimes having to use all fingers to mark pages as I flip back and forth. So, I have trouble seeing how an ereader is going to eventually replace dead-tree versions of research books. I'm not trying to put-down or criticise ereaders. I would actually like to understand how other people use these devices for this type of work so that maybe I can too, embrace it.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:24 PM   #2
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I agree, the current readers/software is most suited to linear fiction-non/fiction. I can't imagine using them for any real reference work where I'd be flipping around all of the time, although I can't really say I've tried either as I still by those types of books in paper since I can't conceive of them working well on a Kobo/Kindle/Nook.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TongueTied View Post
Have any of you used your Kobo (or other ereader for that matter) for anything other than personal recreational reading? And I'm not refering to using it as a coaster, plate, frisbee or chopping board What I am interested in is how people find using an ereader for research, reference texts, etc. When I read a book for my own personal pleasure, I tend to start at the beginning and read to the end and then start the next book. My KT has been a real pleasure to use this way. However, when I have to do any research or refer to reference books, I tend to jump around or flip through books to find the sections or pages I need to refer to; sometimes having to use all fingers to mark pages as I flip back and forth. So, I have trouble seeing how an ereader is going to eventually replace dead-tree versions of research books. I'm not trying to put-down or criticise ereaders. I would actually like to understand how other people use these devices for this type of work so that maybe I can too, embrace it.
While annotations, notes and the like on ereaders are not up to what I can do with a dead tree book, some coloured tabs and a few highlighters, I've got most of the IBM Red books that I refer to fairly often on my Glo. It's more convenient than carting around 50Kg of binders with the printed versions. I will admit that on occasion, my hard copies have been more usuable but for the most part, I've been able to live with the Glo in the field. For PDF files, I've been using an iPad -- those expletive deleted Cisco diagrams are just too small to read on the Glo.

One other item is that since most of the technical epubs I have are not protected, I've also used Sigil to allow me to enter comments, highlight text and edit errors in the epubs.

Regards,
David
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:49 AM   #4
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I often add maps to my ereaders for State Parks, museums, etc. They're not ideal since they're in pdf format, but they work well enough to get your bearings. I have my reader with me all the time when out anyway, so it saves me from having the paper versions forced on me whenever I step through a doorway.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:20 AM   #5
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I think, at this point, that tablets are still better suited for the type of roles you folks are discussing. For one thing, 16 shades of gray does not a color display make and there are a lot of things that depend on color codes -resistor values and wiring diagrams come immediately to mind. Also, tablets offer much more in the way of apps, better browsers, spreadsheets, office suites, etc.

I'm not saying you can't do a lot with an ereader, but I think you can do more with a tablet. It seems the main reasons for the ereader being better might be viewing in sunlight or longer battery life.

Now, if there was an Android platform device with an 8-10" color e-ink display that allowed apps like a regular android platform tablet, and had Gorilla glass like my tablet then I'd get interested if it also managed battery life somewhere between an ereader and a regular tablet.

Last edited by TechniSol; 04-16-2013 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:46 AM   #6
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Except that there's no way I want to lug around a bigger, heavier tablet most places I go for the day or weekend. Not to mention the higher chance of breaking the bigger, heavier screen. I always have the reader with me though because of its size, so it's win/win for me. I'm often reading outdoors in the sun too, which makes a tablet totally useless then.

Don't get any of us wrong... the main use is still as an ereader because you can read it in the sunlight and long battery life as you said. But you can get other uses out of it.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TongueTied View Post
Have any of you used your Kobo (or other ereader for that matter) for anything other than personal recreational reading? And I'm not refering to using it as a coaster, plate, frisbee or chopping board What I am interested in is how people find using an ereader for research, reference texts, etc. When I read a book for my own personal pleasure, I tend to start at the beginning and read to the end and then start the next book. My KT has been a real pleasure to use this way. However, when I have to do any research or refer to reference books, I tend to jump around or flip through books to find the sections or pages I need to refer to; sometimes having to use all fingers to mark pages as I flip back and forth. So, I have trouble seeing how an ereader is going to eventually replace dead-tree versions of research books. I'm not trying to put-down or criticise ereaders. I would actually like to understand how other people use these devices for this type of work so that maybe I can too, embrace it.
I am not sure that the Kobo is suitable, but I can assure you that it is indeed possible to use a reader for research - but you need to have a firmware that would allow you to do multitasking. So in my case the Pocketbook 903 does that: you can keep as many books open as you like (or at least I've never hit the bound if there is one) and "flip" through them, and you also have a preview of the last pages seen in each document, so that you can move around without need for bookmarks if you don't want to add them. The problem with the pocketbook is that exporting annotations is cumbersome to say the least, so I have to agree with what has been said above already, namely that unless you have a very strong preference for e-ink (which I do) a tablet is probably a much more flexible choice.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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Not exactly an answer to the original question.
Once I put an e-ticket on my Sony 650 for a train trip because I was away from home without a printer. To be on the safe side, I put the same file on my smartphone. The inspector has just to scan the bar code or QR code and everything went fine
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:59 PM   #9
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I've used the browser a couple times when in airports (since no smart phone when traveling). Everything works surprisingly well: facebook, hotmail, etc. I can also see it being useful for maps but have never done that.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:25 AM   #10
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Ripplinger,

I'm not sure I'd agree about a tablet's screen being more vulnerable, mine have Corning Gorilla Glass and e-ink screens get damaged much more easily, or that size is such a big deal. My smaller tablet is a 7" in 16x9 format, so not much bigger than the Glo, a bit thicker, and about 1.25" longer. Would that it had the battery life! But, 5-6 hours depending on what you're doing, and if you can keep the backlight turned down isn't impossible. My biggest gripe is that they used a higher voltage adapter rather than setting it up for USB or micro-USB charging because you can find them all over. Heck, bring a cable and almost any USB port will do for charging on other devices like my phone or the Kobos.
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