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Old 10-22-2007, 10:58 AM   #1
Beauts
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Buying for an older child

Hello everyone
Early next year I am going travelling with my family. My 10 year old is a bookworm and we can't take the weight of books that she would want to read away with us, so I am looking for some sort of electronic handheld device which we could buy her for Christmas. Does anyone have any suggestions? Don't want to pay too much.
Thanks
Sian
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:24 AM   #2
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Your best option may be the eBookwise-1150. See the thread eBookWise eb-1150 hands-on review. It's styling is outdated, but it is a very capable e-book reader - particularly for the price. You will probably want the 128MB memory card, but it may be best to buy this separately. I would also buy multiformat books from fictionwise, rather than single format books from eBookwise, when there is a choice. For "secure" books (with digital rights management), the eBookwise site is your only choice and the selection of new titles may be more limited than with some other formats (e.g. Secure MobiPocket).

I don't have an 1150 any more, but it was my first e-book device and I was very happy with it. It is more capable in some ways than the newer and more expensive E-Ink devices.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:48 PM   #3
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For cheap, I'd suggest the 1150 too. But you might want to look at the Sony or Cybook (if it ever actually launches) as their feature sets might be worth the extra cost to you.
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Old 10-22-2007, 03:20 PM   #4
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if it was me, I'd look at the Sony PRS-505 or the Cybook Gen3 (if it gets released in time). Both have the new 6" Vizplex screen which is a nice reading experience. The Sony has some nice conversion tools available here for converting content. But you may prefer to go with Mobipocket format. One downfall to Mobi format is that images are usually on the small side.
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Old 10-22-2007, 05:52 PM   #5
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It appears that the $49.95 offer for a PRS-500 if you sign up for a Sony credit card might still be in effect (you just don't get free classic titles any more), see New offer from Sony Credit card on Sony Readers!. If so, and if you don't mind applying for the credit card, this is certainly the most cost effective way to get a new E-Ink device.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:33 PM   #6
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If you decide on the 1150, I still have one for $60.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:23 PM   #7
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Kudos to you for being a thoughtful parent of a book lover!

Another vote for the eBookwise 1150. (You can always get .LIT format books and strip out the DRM to make them readable on the 1150.) I think it's probably sturdier than the Sony model, though the Sony batteries last longer and the display would be better if your daughter likes manga as much as mine does. It's worth checking to see if the credit card deal is still available.

Be aware, however, that the choice of titles for this age range (even adding on a few years of maturity for the young bibliophile) is pretty slim. There are many older public domain "classics" available, and some very popular fantasy/sf that the publishers think might reasonably appeal to older readers. I don't know what kind of books your daughter likes to read, but you might want to check some online bookstores to see what's there for her. Even on the "darknet," it's hard to find books that kids are interested in. On the other hand, if you think this might be a good opportunity to encourage her to diversify her reading tastes, you might be able to be more flexible in your content requirements. PM me if you'd like to hear some of my experiences in this area. (My 13 year old daughter, who does enjoy reading, uses my old eBw 1150, but not as much as I'd hoped-- but we're in easy reach of libraries and book stores, not on the road.)
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Old 10-23-2007, 05:31 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I think the 1150 will probably suit her needs (although I'm very tempted by the Sony) Here appears to be the tricky bit though...I'm based in the UK and it doesn't look like I can buy it here. I have a friend in the states who I'm sure would purchase it for me, but the question is, am I going to be able to use it over here? Will I be able to recharge the battery etc? Sorry I'm a bit of a beginner with all this stuff. Plwease help.
Thanks
Sian
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbenny View Post
If you decide on the 1150, I still have one for $60.
I I think I have decided on the bookwise (although the sony does appeal) Just one problem, I am in the UK, will I be able to use it over here? Will I be able to charge the battery and download stuff over hear? Sorry I'm new to all this so just not sure.
Thanks
Sian
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:12 AM   #10
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You'll need a power outlet converter to charge the battery. I'm not sure how robust the power supply is, given that the design is a bit old, so you might want more than just something to change the shape of the plug.

For downloading books, I highly recommend the "librarian" program (see the link at ebookwise.com) which will run on Windows or on Linux under Wine. (This is assuming you'll have a laptop or other computer with you.) With that program, you can convert books in HTML or RTF format easily to the eBw format, and it also helps keep the books organized. Even with the 128Mb card, your daughter probably won't be able to fit all the books she reads on the device itself, but it's very easy to use the Librarian program to swap books on and off of the device at will.

I don't believe Fictionwise/Ebookwise has geographic limits on where they sell. You might want to email them and ask, or maybe one of our non-US members could chime in here. There are certainly many other places you can buy .LIT format books, which can be converted to HTML and imported to the eBw using the Librarian. Many people like to buy their books this way to protect their investment, so they can continue to read the books later on another device that may not support current proprietary formats. (The legality of this varies from country to country, but most people seem to agree that if you are converting books for your personal use only, publishers are unlikely to care.) Also, Baen Books has a Young Adult section your daughter might check, if she likes science fiction-- their books are available in HTML and RTF, which import nicely to the eBw. And there's always Project Gutenberg. The E. Nesbit books are there, Louisa May Alcott, Lewis Carroll, etc. (Gutenberg doesn't seem to have a youth or YA category, so you need to know what you're looking for.)

Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauts View Post
Thanks for all your suggestions. I think the 1150 will probably suit her needs (although I'm very tempted by the Sony) Here appears to be the tricky bit though...I'm based in the UK and it doesn't look like I can buy it here. I have a friend in the states who I'm sure would purchase it for me, but the question is, am I going to be able to use it over here? Will I be able to recharge the battery etc? Sorry I'm a bit of a beginner with all this stuff. Plwease help.
Thanks
Sian
You need 12Volt input for the eb1150 so any source of 12 Volts will do. The one that comes with it will only support 110 V input but I bought a different supply from a link in one of these forums that has a 110/220 switch on it. I paid about $5 plus shipping for it.
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