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Old 01-29-2011, 10:29 PM   #1
ArmadilloPilot
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Mine is in the mail, but what about books?

After reading reviews for weeks, I decided to buy the PRS 650. I honestly do think it is a good machine - after all, I did pay a premium price over the Kindle. But now I have been doing internet shopping for books in advance of my reader arriving. I am disturbed that it seems I will now have to continue to pay premium pricing for the book content.

I checked for books (current) by authors that I like to read and find that the Sony store will charge $3 to $10 more than the same book on Amazon. And some books I can't even find for the Sony. Why does it have to be like that? I have this sinking feeling in my gut that I might have made a poor investment.

I checked out the vast array of freebooks available, but since they are mainly titles in public domain and written before the Great Depression, there are only a few titles I wanted to download. I will keep looking though. Meanwhile, I have to resolve my frustration of how to get current content at a reasonable price.

I have been accustomed to getting my reads from the library or even thrift shops and garage sales. I checked, my local library does not do eBooks -- too bad. So now I'm faced with "feeding" my reader at $12 to $16 a copy with content that I used to get much cheaper -- and for more than the "inferior" Kindle owners have to pay. How long is this situation going to exist?

Here's a question --- can I "borrow" an ebook from someone else? But how do I even find those people who might have a book I might want. Perplexing, yes?

Well, enough griping. I do wonder how you other owners have reconciled this issue of book publishers not giving Sony the same deal as Amazon? And...any suggestions?
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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You can get the books from the Kindle store and put them on your Sony. But you have to convert them to EPUB first, and if they have DRM it stops you from converting. It is possible to remove the DRM but people aren't allowed to post publicly here about that. Ask Google.

I've had great success getting books from a whole variety of sources, free or cheap, and using Calibre to manage my library. My Sony does it all, but I have to do a bit of fiddling to get there. I'm OK with that, and glad I got the Sony instead of the Kindle.

Last edited by elizilla; 01-29-2011 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:56 PM   #3
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Check stores like Borders, Kobo Books and Books on Board. You can also use a site like Inkmesh which will search various sites for the particular author/title you are interested in.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:19 AM   #4
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For the vast majority of mainstream titles, I am now seeing IDENTICAL pricing on Amazon, Borders, Kobo, and the Sony Store, so please cite some specific examples, so folks can decide if the titles you are talking about are something that would effect their own interests.

Before buying my reader I checked Amazon and Kobo on about 50 random titles from both New York Times best seller list, as well as several of my long time favorite authors. EVERY ONE WAS THE SAME PRICE. Also, for the authors that I am interested in, AMAZON'S LIST OF AVAILABLE TITLES WAS NO BETTER THAN KOBO.

As far as library services go - If you have a friend or relative that does live in an area where the library has 'overdrive' Adobe EPUB books available then you can look into getting a library card there using that address. For electronic checkout, access to the overdrive service is via the web, so after you have an account, it doesn't really matter where you access it from.

In regard to public domain material, please check out the public domain section of www.feedbooks.com I have found that feedbooks not only has better proofed and formatted EPUB titles, but also is has a much better selection (thousands of titles) from more recent 'copyrights lapsed' works from the fifties and even sixties (so it's not all "pre great depression").

And lastly, YES it is not too difficult to 'unswindle' the Amazon books so you can convert them to EPUB using Calibre, but personally I avoid this option, not because I think it's immoral (after all it's YOUR book after you buy it right?), but rather because, contrary to your experience, I find that I CAN EASILY FIND THE SAME TITLES ELSEWHERE, AND CHOOSE NOT TO DO BUSINESS WITH AMAZON. If Amazon doesn't want to support open EPUB titles that can be read on ANY reader, then they don't want my business, AND THAT'S JUST FINE WITH ME.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:37 AM   #5
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You will want to have a look here

Sony Reader book sources

eBook lending libraries

eBook stores

free eBooks

Patricia Clark Library

Singapore free library
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:06 AM   #6
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Not just e-books

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmadilloPilot View Post
... I decided to buy the PRS 650...
Congratulations on your excellent choice! I know it is somewhat off topic from e-books, but this is something that I find very useful with my Sony PRS-650. If you install calibre on your PC, you will find that you can download hundreds of different free periodicals (newspapers, magazines, cartoons, websites, etc).

You might find the neotake.com search engine useful.

BeWrite Books has DRM-free books, in many different genres, available in ePub format, for around $5.99

Addendum

Also, calibre is handy for editing metadata, book cover thumbnails, organising book collections, as well as fetching news, particularly useful if you are unable to use the Sony Reader Library Software, plus is a convenient way to transfer e-books to your reader (eg free e-books downloaded from MR or Project Gutenberg) - watch the demo.

Last edited by boxcorner; 01-30-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxcorner View Post
Congratulations on your excellent choice! I know this is somewhat off topic from e-books, but it is something that I find very useful with my Sony PRS-650. If you install Calibre on your PC, you will find that you can download hundreds of different free periodicals (newspapers, magazines, cartoons, websites, etc).
No need for Calibre, Sonys Reader Library does this very fine. Also the Sony Reader Library is perfectly able to download from the Online Libraries Overdrive System and all ebook stores. This means there is no need to download ADE, too.
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:17 AM   #8
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I see you've already gotten the usual round of suggestions. I can recommend Kobo quite enthusiastically.

But even for the Sony store, there are some tricks and tips for getting the best prices. I've found that if I put books I'm interested in on my "wish list" in the Sony store and just leave them there for a while, the prices often come down. Especially true for something just released. It's much like the old days where a book would come out first in hard back, then a year later in a much less expensive paperback edition. Only it usually doesn't take a year for the prices to drop.

Kobo often (but not always) has lower prices - but they also send out coupons good for 20 - 30% off one or more books. Again, if you keep titles you're interested in on your wish list (Kobo calls it your "library") you can jump on the chance to buy them when you get a coupon.

And check the list of libraries that do lend e-books. Sometimes you only need to live in the same state or county to sign up for a non-resident library card. There are a few libraries that will accept all comers, as long as you pay the annual fee (which is pretty nominal).
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:30 AM   #9
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I agree with all above. I also have found Kobo prices to be very good especially with any discount codes you can obtain by finding them in the freebie forum here. I live in UK and a large autobiography I wanted was £26 in hardback new edition. With Kobo discount I downloaded it for £4. I am sure you will find when you use and delve into book prices you will be very happy with your Sony.
If you read say one or two books per week you would have paid for your reader within 12 months from savings made on tree books, plus any fuel savings and time back and fore libraries etc,saving our forests and to travel with many many books on your reader without the bulk. I have also found that I am reading far more since getting this device.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppaea View Post
No need for Calibre, Sonys Reader Library does this very fine ...
Assuming the OP's OS is Windows, or Mac OS X, and they install the Sony Reader Library Software.

Last edited by boxcorner; 01-30-2011 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxcorner View Post
Assuming the OP's OS is Windows, or Mac OS X, and they install the Sony Reader Library Software.
@Boxcorner

Honestly I think one should keep one's advice as simple as possible in this case and not recommend programms like Calibre. The OP states to have read a lot of reviews here before making up their minds and still has not noticed the mobileread wiki or the P.C.M.library and think they have to buy their books in the Sony shop when owning a Sony. This is not what I should think a "device afficionado" or someone computer literate because then they would have been able to find out by using the forums search. Thus I do not think it wise to complicate matters further for them by mentioning advanced programms, a simple one like Sonys Reader Library that can do all the things asked for might be enough for them to master. Don't you think?
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:11 AM   #12
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Poppaea, I don't know whether ArmadilloPilot: uses Windows, or Mac OS X, or Sony Reader Library Software, would consider calibre too advanced to master, has not noticed MR's Wiki or the list of downloadable e-books, looked beyond Sony ReaderStore and Amazon, is a device aficionado or computer literate, has not used the forums search facility - I try not to make assumptions based on a single post. However, clearly they are discerning enough to have bought a Sony PRS-650.

Last edited by boxcorner; 01-30-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:59 AM   #13
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Welcome to MobileRead, ArmadilloPilot.

You bought what many people consider to be a very good ebook Reader. (I have 2 different, but older, Sony units myself.)

There's a host of additional areas in the Forums one can explore, such as News, Discussions, Freebies (for Sony and other reading devices from competing brands), in addition to many different Forums on any number of different areas.

While many people are quite content with Sony's software, you might also wish to explore calibre, which is a book management program available for free. There's a full Forum dedicated to it. It allows one to shift to different formats. It adds further functionality that the Sony software does not have.

You'll find many helpful people here who will be happy to help with any questions.

Let me close by saying that MobileRead has THOUSANDS of ebooks, which you may freely download. These are public domain and Creative Commons titles, and most are lovingly assembled by volunteers. Not only are there epubs (for your Sony), but other formats, as well.

Please visit the Forums of your choice and remember -----

HAVE FUN!




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Last edited by Dr. Drib; 01-30-2011 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:13 AM   #14
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Actually the fora seem to have far more complaints about using Sony Reader Library than calibre... and calibre is only as complicated as you wish to make it, ranging from install and manage your library to sophisticated re-editing and conversion but you don't start with the latter. More to the point, SRL isn't a straightforward option if the OP is a Unix/Linux user like a substantial portion of modern computer users.

Isn't it better to offer a new user the options available and let them decide which to use rather than making assumptions about their knowledge and capabilities... after all, they're already in the right place for any assistance needed...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppaea View Post
@Boxcorner

Honestly I think one should keep one's advice as simple as possible in this case and not recommend programms like Calibre. The OP states to have read a lot of reviews here before making up their minds and still has not noticed the mobileread wiki or the P.C.M.library and think they have to buy their books in the Sony shop when owning a Sony. This is not what I should think a "device afficionado" or someone computer literate because then they would have been able to find out by using the forums search. Thus I do not think it wise to complicate matters further for them by mentioning advanced programms, a simple one like Sonys Reader Library that can do all the things asked for might be enough for them to master. Don't you think?
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
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You can get the books from the Kindle store and put them on your Sony. But you have to convert them to EPUB first, and if they have DRM it stops you from converting. It is possible to remove the DRM but people aren't allowed to post publicly here about that. Ask Google.
Anything special to know about buying from Amazon without owning a Kindle?

There are a couple of books, that are only available for Kindle I wouldn't mind getting.
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