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Old 11-12-2010, 12:12 PM   #1
Liz S
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Hi
I've already posted my intro in the "introduce yourself" forum.
I've been lurking for a while trying to figure out which ereader to buy.

My requirements are simple, I hope

I need an ereader which can handle PDF (mostly scanned image) books, mostly downloaded from archive.org or from google books. The collection is around 700 books and I promised myself nott o download any more until I have a decent ereader. I generally won't need to reflow as I have few PDFs in text format. I don't need to read technical books in A4 format which probably helps the choice I also have a fair collection of .mobi books from Gutenberg. I use Calibre and have tinkered with Sigil and ABBY Finereader. What I would like is:

eink

a) 6 inch screen as I want portability. I think this is the best compromise although I would consider a 5 inch if it can cope with the type of PDFs I want to read.
b) no real need for WiFi of 3G as I won't be buying books for quite some time until I've got through the ones I already have!
c) landscape mode, preferably with auto-rotation
d) SD storage
d) ability to sort books into folders or collections.
e) either .mobi or epub support - not to bothered which as I can convert in Calibre
f) no need for DRM support as my collection is free, out of copyright
g) touch screen would be really nice but not if it compromises readability. I already have a Viliv X70 EX Ultra if I really, really need touch screen and colour but the backlight is bad on the eyes for long reading sessions, it has poor battery life and gets rather hot.
h) I have no need to take notes etc. I just want to read.

What I don't want is for the ereader to mess with the PDF - just want to see them "as they are", as theyw ere downloaded from archive.org


The more I look, I'm quite taken with the PocketBook series especially the P301 and 602.


I think I'm heading for the Pocketbook 602. However, some of my PDFs are rather large as they are image PDFs, for example 33MB! and I'm worried that the 602 won't handle them without falling down. I suppose I can always break them up into smaller files.



These will be the colour PDFs from archive so I can always go back and get the B&W versions which will reduce size a little. I preferred the "colour" version as it is easier on the eyes "as is" rather than the processing that has been done to the Google books which become stark B&W and over-sharpened and rather harder on the eyes.
I like to keep the option of the colour so I can also read on the PC, laptop or Viliv if I want.

So, do you think I'm heading in the right direction with the 602?
I really need some reassurance before I spend more money on gadgets!


Examples of pages from a typical book that I would like to read is below, remembering that it has been processed to reduce file size for upload here.


Thank you for taking the time to wade through my ramblings
If nothing else, it clarified some things for me, rather cathartic really!

Cheers

Liz
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, no device with a 6" screen is going to display a page-scanned PDF in a readable manner - the screen is just too small. You really need to be looking at something like the Kindle DX or the iPad - something with a larger screen.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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I've heard good things about the PocketBooks and really like my Sony 650. Right now, the Pearl screens, used by the Kindle 3 and the Sony 350/650/950, are the best screens on the market.

PDF is a horrible format for readers, especially if they are images instead of text. The format is designed to render a 8.5x11 page exactly as it was created. Those images aren't going to work well on any of the 6" readers out there. Since these are free and out of copyright books, I'd recommend looking at the 18,000 books posted here at Mobilread. You'll find that they are very well formatted and already in formats, like ePub and mobi, that do well on readers. People like HarryT take books from places like Google books and Project Gutenberg, clean them up, create tables of contents, rework the images, and format them to look good on ereaders.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Unfortunately, no device with a 6" screen is going to display a page-scanned PDF in a readable manner - the screen is just too small. You really need to be looking at something like the Kindle DX or the iPad - something with a larger screen.
This. My SIL has the DX and the reading of pdf's are awesome.

Please try some of our PD books......formatted by our own members, proofed for errors and ready to read on your device.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Unfortunately, no device with a 6" screen is going to display a page-scanned PDF in a readable manner - the screen is just too small. You really need to be looking at something like the Kindle DX or the iPad - something with a larger screen.
Hi Harry
I was hoping that landscape format would solve that problem. I don't mind not seeing the whole page at once.

Cheers
Liz
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polly View Post
I've heard good things about the PocketBooks and really like my Sony 650. Right now, the Pearl screens, used by the Kindle 3 and the Sony 350/650/950, are the best screens on the market.

PDF is a horrible format for readers, especially if they are images instead of text. The format is designed to render a 8.5x11 page exactly as it was created. Those images aren't going to work well on any of the 6" readers out there. Since these are free and out of copyright books, I'd recommend looking at the 18,000 books posted here at Mobilread. You'll find that they are very well formatted and already in formats, like ePub and mobi, that do well on readers. People like HarryT take books from places like Google books and Project Gutenberg, clean them up, create tables of contents, rework the images, and format them to look good on ereaders.
Hi Polly

I've looked again at my collection and realise I have got around 550 of the PDFs also in .mobi format. A good proportion will be the automatic conversions via archive so will have some dodgy text etc so I can start with them. However, I have many hundreds in well-formatted text so I'm good to go for quite a while. As I said to Harry, I was hoping that landscape format would mean I could read the scanned PDFs reasonably easily. All in all, I think I will have enough .mobi books to keep me going for a while. I'll re-visit the PDF issue again, and if I need to, I have ABBYY Finereader to OCR and create "proper" ebooks It's just finding the time that's the issue!

Cheers
Liz

Cheers
Liz
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:38 PM   #7
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If you have good eyes and don't mind tiny text, a 6" Sony reader could work. Landscape will probably be a bit better than portrait, but maybe not much, because Sony's landscape is "half the page," not "width of the page, for however many pages that takes." Sony's landscape does okay with Letter or A4 sized pages, but if they get far from the 1:1.3 ratio, it puts extra whitespace on the sides & makes them smaller.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:43 PM   #8
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If you have good eyes and don't mind tiny text, a 6" Sony reader could work. Landscape will probably be a bit better than portrait, but maybe not much, because Sony's landscape is "half the page," not "width of the page, for however many pages that takes." Sony's landscape does okay with Letter or A4 sized pages, but if they get far from the 1:1.3 ratio, it puts extra whitespace on the sides & makes them smaller.
Hmm, age is creeping up on my eyes but nothing a pair of reading glasses won't fix. I can't quite get my head round your description of the Sony landscape mode.
One think I can't seem to find out is the the zoom capabilities of the 602 such as remaining at a fixed zoom, and how it handles landscape Can't find a manual to download yet.
I suppose, even for all the mobi (converted to epub) books I have to get through, the 602 will be worth it?

Cheers
Liz

Last edited by Liz S; 11-12-2010 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #9
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If you have good eyes and don't mind tiny text, a 6" Sony reader could work. Landscape will probably be a bit better than portrait, but maybe not much, because Sony's landscape is "half the page," not "width of the page, for however many pages that takes." Sony's landscape does okay with Letter or A4 sized pages, but if they get far from the 1:1.3 ratio, it puts extra whitespace on the sides & makes them smaller.
With good eyes, a 6" reader can display an A4 document with 12 point text, but any smaller and it borders on unusable (though still OK in landscape, if just doing documents without any hurry).
I prepare an A4 article with 12pt Chaparral for work twice a week and am able to view it on a 6" screen just fine, even in portrait mode. The text is super-tiny, but still readable, and landscape is fine. I wouldn't want to try smaller print than that though.

I'd imagine a scan of a smaller book would look OK, though a little bit on the small side for those with poorer eyesight.

Good point on the aspect ratio thing though...if the book block is too narrow (which it often is, unless you're using like a Daily Edition or something), it might cause problems with white space.

Last edited by LDBoblo; 11-12-2010 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:04 PM   #10
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:28 PM   #11
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Looks like you secretly really wanna an IPad....!!!!!

Honestly, I weeeely, weeely don't
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:54 PM   #12
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Pocketbook readers are probably the best choice. They can even open both unprotected Mobi (PRC) and ePub.

The following document will be of interest with you (User Manual for the PB 602).

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/att...1&d=1289067186

Last edited by Logseman; 11-12-2010 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:12 PM   #13
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go for an ipad

if you can afford,buy an ipad.it's the coolest gadget i've ever seen.ipad is a tablet pc,so it can emulate any ereader with the right software. as far as i know,there are ipad apps for kindle,nook,and very likely for any other ereader on the market (now or soon)
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:12 PM   #14
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PocketBook does have Persistent Zoom, Liz . I f you could link to a particular text as an example for download we could take a look at it on device
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:50 AM   #15
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PocketBook does have Persistent Zoom, Liz . I f you could link to a particular text as an example for download we could take a look at it on device
Hi and thanks for taking the time to reply. Persistent zoom is good! THe 602 is seeming better and better for my needs.

I have included two links below. The first one is to a PDF which has "selectable text" within the images. I suppose this would make it easier for me to put through ABBYY Finereader and tidy up into a proper ebook. The link to the PDF is at

http://www.archive.org/details/descriptionofpit00barr

The second link is to a google book via archive.org. This is an image PDF which will be harder to OCR and tidy up.
The link to the PDF is at

http://ia341019.us.archive.org/0/ite...aus00jonegoog/

I know both archive and google provide various formats and I have downloaded lots of the mobi and a few epubs but they are automatic OCR production and are badly formatted and contain a lot of spurious text. If and when I get time I should spend some time turning some of these into well made ebooks. In the meantime, I'd rather be able to read the PDFs in the original format.

Cheers
Liz
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