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Old 05-24-2011, 04:56 PM   #1
Wanapitei
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Best eReader for Canada?

I've held off buying an eReader until now.

With new announcements to both Kobo and B&N's Nook, what are the best options for a WiFi connection? What about Kindle or Sony and other makes? Is the Nook even available in Canada? I may yet buy an iPad (eventually), but my first impressions are they're heavy, expensive to buy and expensive to maintain.

I essentially want to read eBooks, PDFs and TXT files away from my computer.

There's another thread on this forum dating from 2009 that gets tangled up on whether the Kindle is or is not available in Canada.

Much appreciated.

Morley Chalmers
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:26 PM   #2
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For Cananda? the new kobo touch, I would think.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:29 PM   #3
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1) The Nook is not officially available to Canada and can't be shipped outside the US (at least, not without involving one of those reshipping services), but if you make a cross-border shopping trip you can get one.

However, the B&N e-bookstore is also not available to Canadians and you'll have to fake using a US billing address to buy stuff from them. But you can buy books from other stores in Adobe Digital Editions ePub & PDF format, as well as DRM-free e-books. B&N also use a slightly different ePub DRM-scheme for their own books, and thus you technically have access to the broadest variety of stores to shop from.

2) The Kindle is available to Canada, but not within. All Kindles have to be ordered via the US Amazon store and shipped up here. Similarly, you buy your e-books from them at the US store, in US dollars.

Kindles use a proprietary format, and while you can get DRM-free Mobipocket books (and convert DRM-free other format e-books to work on the Kindle), for anything that's copy-restricted (like bestsellers from the major publishers), you'll either have to buy them solely via Amazon or learn to break and remove the DRM (still not illegal in Canada, despite the efforts of our current Conservative government, though I wouldn't count on that lasting much longer).

3) The Kobo is a pretty nice deal for Canadians, especially now that they've updated it to use the new Pearl e-ink screen. You can go in and try them at Chapters/Indigo stores.

The Kobo store charges in Canadian dollars and you can use Chapters gift cards to pay for your purchases, as well as use discount coupons to take the price down on much of their e-catalogue though sometimes even after coupon, the price will still be cheaper elsewhere.

You can also shop at any ADE-DRM or DRM-free ebookstore, such as the Sony Reader Store.

Kobos do have this flaw where the current firmware does not support following inline links, so if you read e-books with footnotes (academic nonfiction, for example), you're kind of screwed. But hopefully they fix that in the new firmware that goes with the Touch models. They also have this thing where the built-in dictionary can't be used with non-Kobo purchases, but again that's something they'll hopefully fix soon.

4) Sonys are kind of pricey but have nice features if you want a higher-end model. I have no personal experience with them, but as with the Kobo, you can shop at any ADE-DRM or DRM-free store.

5) Amazon has announced that they'll be supporting Overdrive library e-books (in the US, at least) sometime later this year. In the meantime, if you want to read library e-books, you'll need either an ADE-DRM supporting reader, or have the willingness and the skills to remove the DRM before you convert to a Kindle-compatible format.

Personally, as a Canadian myself, I think that either the new Kobo Touch or the Kindle would be best. And I'm leaning slightly in favour of the Kobo, which offers a good feature set at a good price, and the convenience of being available directly within Canada.

Hope this helps, and welcome to Mobile Read!
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:50 PM   #4
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Welcome Morley!

Who will you be rooting for to win the Grey Cup this year?

The situation in Canada seems to be much better than it was two years ago. It appears to this American that Kobo makes it easier for Canadians than their competitors do.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:24 PM   #5
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I'm slightly biased but

Get both an iPad and a Kobo....<g>.

I highly recommend the iPad for .PDF files. I'm really happy with my first gen model and have a few reading apps installed but do most of reading in iBooks.

I still have my original Kobo reader as well and will probably get the new Kobo when it comes out as I sometimes like to read outside which is not the iPads strongest point.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:09 PM   #6
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Thanks all, and especially ATDrake for your thorough response. Yes, I will probably go for the Kobo sometime in late June when I can get an actual demo of the new model, and then, once that dust settles, go for an iPad sometime next year.

Much appreciation.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:13 PM   #7
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And one more thing. I'm delighted to discover this MobileRead site. Reading, apparently, is not in the least dead. Nor is sharing.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:03 AM   #8
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Before you close the subject, if I were you, I'll try to look at the PRS-350 or 650. It's available in Canada and it's possible to find nice prices.

I will wait the release of the Kobo before making my mind but the collection thing in Sony's is very a big deal for me, I'm not sure I would go without now.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:26 AM   #9
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I would wait and see how the Kobo does once it is released. It looks like a great device and the specs are nice but it is a large leap from the current Kobo to the new Kobo. That could cause problems.

My own policy is to try and wait a few months to let others test the device and see how it really works. I waited a year on the K1 and 6 months on the K3.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #10
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Wait a bit for a new Kobo then or try to get a new Nook. Sony 650 is a great device, but it is also too pricey and features are the same as on new Kobo/Nook. Sony 350 is great if you will feel good with a 5" screen - easier to carry around (really tiny nice reader with everything) but for some people is too small for comfortable reading. Kindle does not have EPUB - so you have to convert book in MOBI or PDF. It is not a big problem, but it needs one extra step before reading.

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Old 05-25-2011, 01:06 PM   #11
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And the Sony 350 is still more expensive then the New Kobo or Nook.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:36 PM   #12
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I'd suggest that you go for the Kindle.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:50 PM   #13
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I think that your best choices would be the Kobo or a Kindle; I would suggest the Sony devices as well, but you have specified that you would like wi-fi, and the only Sony model that is sold with wi-fi is the PRS-950, which is only sold in the U.S. Between the Kobo and the Kindle I would personally choose the Kobo, as I like the touch screen, it looks like it might be able to render PDFs better than the Kindle and the Kobo store seems to be better for Canadian content (judging from the books that I've searched for there, anyway). If wi-fi isn't a must for you, I would say go for the Sony - you can shop at the Kobo store, and you have certain bonuses such as built-in multilingual dictionaries and reflow for PDFs, as well as rtf support. I also like the metal build of the Sonys, and the file organization abilities that it has ("collections").

I use my Sony for novels and some technical PDFs, but I find that PDFs display better on a larger screen, so I use my iPad for PDF reading when I am at home.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:56 PM   #14
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Until the Kobo is released and really reviewed it is hard to recommend it. If it works well then there is no way I would recommend a 5 inch screen Sony 350 over a similarly priced 6 inch screen Kobo Touch with WiFi. A smaller screen and no conncetivity vs more screen and conncetivity for the same price?

Kobo seems to have done very well in Canada. I would guess that the number of books available to Canadians through Kobo is the same available through the Kindle. The same geo restrictions will be in place. Amazon has a larger store if you are willing to pretend to be an American and use the US based book store.

I would say go with the Kobo (pending reviews) if you want a touch screen. Heck, if the Kobo has the same functionality as the Kindle than go with the Kobo even if the touchscreen doesn't matter to you.

If the reviews of the Kobo Touch are poor, I would go with the Kindle. It has great functionality, a great book store, is easy to use, and is reasonably priced.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ProfCrash View Post
Until the Kobo is released and really reviewed it is hard to recommend it. If it works well then there is no way I would recommend a 5 inch screen Sony 350 over a similarly priced 6 inch screen Kobo Touch with WiFi. A smaller screen and no conncetivity vs more screen and conncetivity for the same price?

Kobo seems to have done very well in Canada. I would guess that the number of books available to Canadians through Kobo is the same available through the Kindle. The same geo restrictions will be in place. Amazon has a larger store if you are willing to pretend to be an American and use the US based book store.

I would say go with the Kobo (pending reviews) if you want a touch screen. Heck, if the Kobo has the same functionality as the Kindle than go with the Kobo even if the touchscreen doesn't matter to you.

If the reviews of the Kobo Touch are poor, I would go with the Kindle. It has great functionality, a great book store, is easy to use, and is reasonably priced.
Yes, the Kobo seems to be doing well here. I've only seen one Kindle "in the wild", but I've seen many Kobos. The Kobo devices are sold and prominently displayed in Chapters and Indigo store, the largest bookstore chain(s) in Canada, which contributed greatly to sales, I'm sure. I'm not sure about the size of the Kobo store vs. the Kindle store, but I have found that I was able to find more Canadian content at the Kobo store and the at the Kindle store (not surprising, with Kobo being a Canadian company). This could be a big deal for some people (not to say that I haven't seen Canadian content at the Kindle store - I have, but less of it, and I've seen some books available there quite a bit later than they were available at the Kobo store. This could just be my experience, though, I don't have any hard facts to prove that the Kobo store is much better for Canadian content).

You are right, it is best to wait for reviews before purchasing, of course.

I would have no problem recommending the 350 over a Kobo, as it has features that I have found very useful that seem to be missing in the Kobo (multilingual dictionaries, PDF reflow). While wi-fi is a great feature, it is not a must-have for me. I enjoy the small size of the 350; I was really worried that I wouldn't, as I was used to reading off of a 6 inch screen, but I have found that I really love the smaller size of the Pocket edition, especially when taking it with me on errands around town. We all have our own needs and wants when it comes to ebook readers.

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