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Old 02-12-2009, 02:14 PM   #1
geneluvr
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Question E-Book excitement

I am newly exploring the e-book world, and excited about the possibilities of carrying many books in such a portable manner, that I might actually be able to read more! I recently decided to read Ayn Rand's classic, "Atlas Shrugged", while in bed, but I know if I fall asleep and drop this book, I will be crushed like a bug! I am trying to be patient and study the few products available, yet not knowing how soon improvements might be available in the current economy, or, how quickly the prices may be discounted, I hesitate to make a purchase. I dropped in on the Sony site, where the product advantages seem to be the open source, and disadvantages include lack of wireless capability. The K2 seems sleek and interesting, the price puts me off a bit, but reading about the hack, might just seal the deal. Can someone push me off the Sony/Kindle fence, or shall I continue to be impatiently patient?

Teri
**hoping to win the K2 giveaway!!
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:01 PM   #2
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The last book I read before my Kindle 1 came was over 1000 pages. I had to prop it up on a pillow which made it hard to switch positions while reading. I was so happy to start reading on such a light little device. It's so nice when you travel, too. I read 10 books on my last week-long vacation. Can you imagine trying to cram 10 books into your luggage? And I wasn't just stuck with those 10. I could choose from thousands.

As for choice of device, obviously this is the Kindle board so most of us have Kindles. You may want to post in the "Which one should I buy" board or the Sony board to get a full idea. We all have our own priorities fro what we want in a device, but here are they pros and cons from my perspective:

Sony

Pros: Sleek form-factor, lower price for the 505. 505 and 700 can read Adobe Digital Editions. Most of the library ebooks are ADE. 700 has touchscreen and integrated front light.

Cons: No integrated dictionary support. No content search or annotation in 505 (700 has search and annotation but is more expensive than the Kindle and some say the screen is less clear due to the front light.). Fewer books available of the type I want. Most books are more expensive than they are at the Amazon store. If I were mostly reading library books, free public domain and Creative Commons works, and buying from Baen's, this wouldn't matter. I read lots of new releases and "literary fiction" so it does matter to me.

Kindle

Pros: Dictionary lookup, content search, annotation, Web and Wikipedia search. The Amazon store lets you download free sample chapters and get the book immediately on finishing them with wireless delivery (I buy a lot fewer books this way. I've never bought a book I didn't finish.). More books I want to read at lower prices. Wireless download also works for the catalogs of MobileRead and Feedbooks.

Cons: Larger than the Sony. More expensive than the 505. Smaller selection of public library ebooks. I don't like the white color. No front light but M-edge has a case with an integrated book light.

I haven't mentioned all the feature differences, just the ones that matter to me. Hope this helps!
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:39 PM   #3
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I have a Sony 500. I'm not sure if my feelings about it would be different if I had a 505 or 700. I LOVE reading from it. But I HATE having to plug it in to a PC to transfer content. In fact, I'm pretty sure I don't use it nearly as much as I would a kindle, just because it would be so much easier to get content on to the kindle.

So I'm thinking of ditching my sony for a kindle. We'll see.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by europas_ice View Post
I have a Sony 500. I'm not sure if my feelings about it would be different if I had a 505 or 700. I LOVE reading from it. But I HATE having to plug it in to a PC to transfer content. In fact, I'm pretty sure I don't use it nearly as much as I would a kindle, just because it would be so much easier to get content on to the kindle.

So I'm thinking of ditching my sony for a kindle. We'll see.
Doooo it! you know you want to
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:00 PM   #5
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My Kindle 1 was my first e-book reader. What really sold me was not just the wireless connectivity, but in fact wireless connectivity to one of the largest book retailers on the planet.

At least 99% of the DTBs I've purchased over the last 10 years I have purchased from Amazon. The idea of being able to download a book from Amazon in about a minute was just too much for me to pass up.

Just my opinion, YMMV etc...
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
The last book I read before my Kindle 1 came was over 1000 pages. I had to prop it up on a pillow which made it hard to switch positions while reading. I was so happy to start reading on such a light little device. It's so nice when you travel, too. I read 10 books on my last week-long vacation. Can you imagine trying to cram 10 books into your luggage? And I wasn't just stuck with those 10. I could choose from thousands.
Oh do I hear you on that! On my last trip, two of the books I took (out of 4 total) were World Without End and Edgar Sawtelle, and I'd waited for months on a pre-order for World Without End in paperback to cut some of the size and weight. World Without End by itself convinced me I needed the Kindle before my next trip if at all possible (not quite going to happen, but will before my next trip longer than a couple days). While I don't mind reading for awhile with a book on a pillow, or on my stomach, my preferred position is on my back or side, and that just wasn't comfortably possible.

Not to mention I passed them to someone else once completed as I needed to free up weight in my bags for the return flights. So I no longer own them and can never go back and re-read if desired.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelamvr6 View Post
At least 99% of the DTBs I've purchased over the last 10 years I have purchased from Amazon. The idea of being able to download a book from Amazon in about a minute was just too much for me to pass up.
Honestly, when I first heard about Whispernet, I didn't really consider it a big deal. Loading stuff via USB is pretty easy so I didn't see it as a huge value add unless I wanted the subscription content or I was out of the house away from a computer. It was nice but I didn't think it would be increasing my happiness or changing my reading experience all that much.

I was wrong. First, the combination of the free samples and the fast delivery has totally changed the way I buy books. I used to go to the book store and try to buy enough books to tide me over for a few weeks. I might read the first page or two. More often I would rely on a recommendation or a review. I ended up with a lot of books I didn't like well enough to finish. Some I didn't even start because my fancy for them passed. This was pretty wasteful. Now, I download a sample and only buy the book after I finish the sample. I have it in less than a minute and I am rarely anywhere I can't get Whispernet coverage. I move from sample to book without really breaking the rhythm of my reading. Most sites don't offer free samples of this kind of length, if they do at all, and you can't read them at your leisure on the device. You read them on the website. I doubt I would buy as many books in advance with another reader as I did with pbooks, but I still would do it some and I would still be buying some clunkers. When I hear about a book I might like, I just send myself the sample. It's like a "to read" list.

Second, I love Wikipedia and Web search. Sometimes when I'm reading I come across a reference and want to look into it further. I can satisfy my curiosity without annoying the cat. Before, I used to just make a mental note to look it up later. Sometimes I'd remember, sometimes not. Now, I just look it up right away. It makes my reading experience richer.
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:20 PM   #8
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yes...atlast shrugg could do some damage if it fell on your nose. along with war and peace. ebooking is a good choice.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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yes...atlast shrugg could do some damage if it fell on your nose. along with war and peace. ebooking is a good choice.
unfortunately, to get atlas shrugged onto the kindle, one must format it oneself. (i read this in the content list -- someone responded to the thread i started over there. and it doesn't show on amazon as available in kindle format.) but the person who did it says it's *far* more accessible in electronic format. i do wish amazon would put out a kindle edition of that one. same with 'the making of the atomic bomb' and 'dark sun'. i would not get rid of my print copy of that one. on the bright side, neal stephenson's 'baroque cycle' and 'cryptonomicon' (and probably 'anathem') are available as kindle editions. to me, they count as huge. especially the 3-volume baroque cycle.

and -- no, i do not own a kindle yet. i am being patient and waiting for a couple of things before i take the plunge. but. for me personally the deal-killer on the sony, was the lack of content searchability. if i'm going to get a reader that's going to draw power, i want more than just storage capacity. i want searchability. the best uses of large storage capacity *are* things like giant books, and a big ol' dictionary; which would be completely annoying to use without content searchability.

besides. i know this is going to sound totally insane (leeet's call it a quirk..), but i would truly feel stupid looking in a print dictionary to get more definitions of a word that i saw while reading an e-book on a device that draws power (albeit not that much), and that cost me n times what the print version of the book would have cost.
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:46 PM   #10
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Sadly, if it's not Public Domain, Amazon can't unilaterally decide to put out an electronic form.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:56 PM   #11
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Atlas Shrugged would be a GREAT ebook. So thick as DTB that its cumbersome to carry around. I did, however, just listen to the newest version of the book on Audible. Was, very very good. It has been 25 years since I read it last.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:22 PM   #12
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Atlas Shrugged would be a book I'd keep permanently loaded on my Kindle. I make it a point of reading it every 3-4 years, less frequently also the Fountainhead. If anyone finds a formatted version, I'd love to hear about it.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:57 PM   #13
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I had both. The Sony is a sleek device, very pretty.

But the store bites. No newspapers or magazines. Whispernet is handy. I hardly ever spend any time converting files.

But a few more concrete details:
- Not all libraries have ebooks (mine doesn't, for instance)
- I don't know what the Sony bookstore's selection was. Last time I looked it was under 50,000. The Amazon bookstore has over 200,000 books and has doubled in the last year.
- Prices are generally MUCH better in the Amazon store.

I took my Sony back and got a Kindle. I miss the "pretty" of the Sony reader, but the Amazon store has MORE than made up for it.

For me content is really what makes an eReader worthwhile. I don't read a lot of genre fiction (I bring this up only because there are many online vendors that sell a lot of pulpy sci-fi, fantasy, mysteries and romance but don't have much else) and generally read non-fiction and the Amazon store continues to surprise me in how much I can get there at a reasonable price.

Price is definitely higher but it is the second gadget I've bought (and I get a lot of gadgets) that I never regretted for a moment. Right after my iPhone.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:32 PM   #14
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For me content is really what makes an eReader worthwhile.
Concur.

That was the overriding factor for why I went with the Kindle 2. Not only does it have the most available books NOW.... but the CEO has publicly stated his goal of having all books available in electronic format.

It doesn't do you any good to have the best looking E-Reader out there if you don't have anything you want to read available for it.
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