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Old 11-08-2010, 08:48 PM   #16
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I think I've scratched the Kobo off the list; the device quality just isn't there for me. I've tried it in Chapters several times recently and it just feels cheap and fragile. Especially the d-pad.

My options are probably a Sony (flexibility due to epub) or a Kindle (larger selection on their store) and I can buy books from kobobooks.com that aren't available on the US stores.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:08 PM   #17
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stodge, if you are willing to consider the Sony, why not also consider the jetBook Lite or the Aluratek Libre? They both have the same reflective TFT screen which I am quite content with.

You can see the Libre in Ottawa at the Costco, and you can order the jetBook Lite (I expect) from newegg.ca.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:28 AM   #18
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I don't know anything about those two ereaders - I assumed they were very small players in the marketplace and not that popular.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:33 AM   #19
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Just read a couple of reviews - don't like the sounds of either of them. Thanks though.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:32 AM   #20
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I did a quick search for 31 books on my to-read list on Amazon (to Canadians) and Kobobooks:

12 available at both
4 only at Kobo
5 only at Amazon
10 available at neither
3 available as ePub from my library

I thought this would help me decide between Kindle and Kobo but it doesn't other than saving a couple of bucks by using the library. That would be offset by Amazon books being cheaper by $1-$2 each. Is it easier to remove DRM and convert from ePub to mobi on a Mac or the other way around?
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:57 AM   #21
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Excellent question - this is exactly the point I reached last night. What about the Sony book store - are any of the 10 available there instead?
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:06 AM   #22
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All of the 10 books that were not available at Amazon AND Kobo were not available at Sony (three were not found in the database, seven were "unavailable" to Cdns)

Three of the books that were not available at Kobo only were available at Sony. Which puts the ePub format slightly in the lead for most available to Canadians for the books on my list (19 vs 17 out of 31 for mostly fairly current literary fiction).
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:49 PM   #23
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Hi Stodge, I thought I'd go through your requirements point by point. I've got both a Kindle 3 and an original Kobo so I'm familiar with both.

- reading books - Kobo feels a little better in your hands, but the Kindle has a better screen, better turn buttons, better navigation options, faster page turns, faster navigation of menus, faster resizing of text.

- reading newspapers - I have not used the Kobo for newspapers so can not comment on it. I can say however that newspapers on Kindle work well. Having page turn buttons AND a d-pad makes navigation through stories easy. Fast pages turns allows you to flip through the paper quickly. You can either pay to have papers or magazines delivered wireless by Amazon to your Kindle, or you can use a program like Calibre to create one for you for free (the success of this option depends entirely on how much content a newspaper puts online for free).

- reading PDFs - never do this so can't comment

- don't care about playing games or browsing or twitter access etc - me neither. The Kindle can do some of this but I don't bother. That's what computers are for IMO.

- I want to download books via wifi from a store - the new wireless Kobo and the Kindle can now both do that. I only have the original Kobo so I can't comment on how browsing and buying from the new Kobo works. I can say that buying from the Kindle store is really easy. Thanks to the speed of the device, browsing is fairly quick. The keyboard also allows you quickly search the store. The store on the Kindle uses "one-click" shopping that you'll be familiar with if you've bought anything from Amazon. So once you pick what you want and click purchase, you have it on your Kindle in about 30 seconds.

- I want to transfer PDFs from my Mac but otherwise I want minimal interaction between my laptop and the reader. I don't want to mess with converting files or removing DRM etc - if you're happy with the content available on the Kindle store, and fine with not being able to share that content with other company's readers, it's probably your best bet. Whether either store meets your needs obviously depends on what your reading needs are. If you like to read a lot of Canadian literature, you MIGHT find more on Kobo. Personally, I read a lot of non-fiction military history. Kobo has 760 titles. The Kindle store has 5,300. That said, they both tend to the carry popular new releases on almost any subject.

Thanks[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:31 PM   #24
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Thanks Wildstar - great info.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:09 PM   #25
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A couple of additions to the info already presented in this thread.

- My experience with my (now ancient) prs505 was similar to what was said about Sony readers in general. It is solidly built piece of hardware, firmware that come with it was stable and there were no major headaches with it. Their PC-based application was awful (a couple of new versions introduced, I still use it only for purchases or freebie downloads), but who cares, with Calibre around. One thing that is not pointed out is that Sony rarely does firmware upgrades. You buy a new model if you want the new version of ADE on the reader. Kobo reader firmware might be inferior to Sony at this moment of time, but if they continue to actively develop and distribute updates, that reader can easily end up with better software feature set in the future. It looks like Amazon provides upgrades for its older models.

- It is possible to format-shift from DRM-free ePub to mobi, but you might experience difficulties. It is my understanding that ePub feature set is a superset of mobi format capabilities. The difference is not important (Kindle books are nice "enough") until you stumble upon an ePub publication where the designer has taken advantage of, say, svg graphics. Can calibre handle that gracefully? No idea. You might want to do a bit of investigation (Kindle or Calibre subforums) if you decide to go that way.

- Ottawa public library uses Overdrive, and you should, if you haven't, check the collection to see how is it matching your taste and expectations wrt availability. It might or might not be a factor for your decision.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:56 AM   #26
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I'll take a look at Ottawa's ebooks assuming borrowing is platform independent.

Which is the easier conversion (assuming no-DRM):

- epub to mobi
- mobi to epub

Last edited by stodge; 11-10-2010 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:07 PM   #27
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Following from Ankh's excellent comments. I assume library books are DRMed and I would have to strip it and convert them to read on a Kindle. Will the Sony and Kobo read library files straight from the library's site, maybe using ADE?

Hmm Ottawa's library site says that Mobipocket downloads are available. Does this mean I can download a .mobi file?

Last edited by stodge; 11-10-2010 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:35 PM   #28
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If Ottawa's ebook lending system is anything like Vancouver's, for ePub books you download an ".acsm" file from their website. When you open that file using ADE, it appears in ADE as a DRMd ePub file. ADE will show how long the lending period is for, and allows you to "return" the book before the expiry period. If you have your Kobo or Sony connected to your computer when you start ADE, it will recognize the device and allow you to copy the ePub over to the device.

To read non-DRM ePubs on a Kindle, use Calibre (aka iTunes for ebooks), load your ebooks into calibre, and connect your Kindle to your computer. When you send an ePub to your Kindle Calibre will automatically convert to mobi format.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:55 PM   #29
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I similarly had this dilemma when I was shopping around for a new ereader to replace my ancient PRS-500. The highest priority on my list was readability - I mean, that's the point of the ereader. My biggest qualm with my PRS-500 is how poorly some books that I download from...ahem...3rd party sites show up on the device - when I'm 200+ pages into a novel it really irks me when some texts are missing/screwed up at the end of the book. For me, Kindle 3 was the easiest to read.

To address the issue of import fees - I thought of it as sales tax which you would have to pay in Canada anyways. I got the 3G Kindle and the import fee was ~22, plus ~10 for shipping. Here in BC, if I were to buy the Kindle in a retail store, the sales tax is 15%, which would work out to ~28. Also, I received the Kindle *literally* a day and a half after I placed the order online. As Canadians, I don't think we are so much screwed by the import fees than we are constantly screwed by high sales tax; I attributed the extra cost to that. Plus, the Kindle showed up at my door and I didn't need to spend gas or hop on the bus to go get it.

All in all, I'm fairly happy with my Kindle. I do pay for books now but since I'm a fairly slow reader I only buy 2-3 books a month, and the authors are compensated for their work.
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:55 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildstar View Post
If Ottawa's ebook lending system is anything like Vancouver's, for ePub books you download an ".acsm" file from their website. When you open that file using ADE, it appears in ADE as a DRMd ePub file. ADE will show how long the lending period is for, and allows you to "return" the book before the expiry period. If you have your Kobo or Sony connected to your computer when you start ADE, it will recognize the device and allow you to copy the ePub over to the device.
Unless I am mistaken, all public libraries in Canada use Overdrive for their digital collections. Ottawa Public Library most certainly does.

The only addition that I can make is a requirement for both ADE instances (1.computer, 2. ebook reader) to be authorized with the same Adobe account/key. Then and only then can you borrow a book from the library and read it either on your PC or on your ADE-capable reader. The installation wizard will lead you through the authorization of the computer when you install ADE, once ADE is running on a computer, it should ask you to authorize the reader when it senses its presence.
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