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Old 08-20-2008, 08:10 AM   #1
JasonWalton
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Iliad or Sony for heavy reader?

Hello all!

Ebook newbie here. I'm thinking about picking up an eBook reader for my wife for xmas this year. I think I've narrowed it down to the Iliad and the Sony, and was looking for some advice. My wife mainly reads sci-fi and fantasy, and is a voracious reader. If I were looking for a reader for me, I'd probably go with the Iliad, because I'd want the larger screen, but I'm worried about the lack of suspend-to-ram.

My wife will pick up a book and read it at ANY TIME! We'll be watching TV, I'll pause it to go get a drink, and I'll come back and find her with a book in hand.

Price isn't really a huge concern. DRM is a concern, because I'm a stout critic, but on the other hand there's a lot of DRM-free eBook content out there (and formats that can *ahem* become DRM-free).

It's a shame the Mentor has been pushed back to next year, because that looked like the best of both worlds.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:12 AM   #2
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The 505 is a better choice for just reading the type of books your wife reads. You get a longer batter life and a device that's more portable due to the size. Also, you can get the lightwedge cover for her for reading in bed.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:17 AM   #3
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You should also consider the CyBook Gen3. It support MobiPocket, just like the iLiad, and has many more features than the Sony (eg dictionary lookup, the ability to load your own fonts, proper support for font families, a user-replaceable battery, etc etc).
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:26 AM   #4
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The "read anytime" aspect rules out the iLiad.

I have both, and I use the iLiad at home because I read in long sessions (so the start up time is not critical) and the larger screen does make a difference. I use the Kindle when travelling because its smaller size and longer battery life. The Kindle is a very good choice among several strong 6" screen contenders, and if my iLiad broke I would probably switch full time to the Kindle (at least until the next generation of EInk devices comes out).

If Tor finally gets its catalogue onto Baen's webscriptions (as they are supposed to "soon"), then a very large fraction of sci-fi and fantasy will be available DRM-free. This actually argues against the Kindle, since the Kindle Store becomes less of an advantage, but so long as you avoid TOPAZ ebooks buying from the Kindle Store does not shackle you to Amazon (mobdedrm will crack AZW ebooks).
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:59 AM   #5
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I read 3-4 hours per day for pleasure and am very pleased with my 505. I'm the type of person who simply reads (no need for dictionary, note taking, or other special features). It fits easily into my purse (depending on the size of the purse, of course) and goes everywhere with me.

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Old 08-20-2008, 11:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BookishDreamer View Post
I read 3-4 hours per day for pleasure and am very pleased with my 505. I'm the type of person who simply reads (no need for dictionary, note taking, or other special features). It fits easily into my purse (depending on the size of the purse, of course) and goes everywhere with me.

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Can you download stuff from fictionwise onto Sony??? And will it support cropped PDF's in russian language or even .TXT or .DOC in russian???
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:04 PM   #7
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I haven't downloaded anything from fictionwise, but yes, I believe you can if the book is available in Multi-format. I'm sure there are other people here who can provide specific details. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about Russian language documents. You might want to do a quick search forum search regarding Russian.

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Old 08-20-2008, 12:34 PM   #8
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Can you download stuff from fictionwise onto Sony???
If you buy Multiformat from Fictionwise you can download it in LRF format (native Sony format), this content is generated by them using calibre, so you can also download that yourself and convert other content
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:22 PM   #9
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So, are you saying that the Sony doesn't have a dictionary available? Not that it is a huge deal.. being the geek that I am, I have an electronic pocket one I was just impressed with Kindle's feature.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:32 PM   #10
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The 505 is a better choice for just reading the type of books your wife reads. You get a longer batter life and a device that's more portable due to the size. Also, you can get the lightwedge cover for her for reading in bed.
Agreed 505 better than iLiad for her needs.

But, I'm not sure why you don't consider the Kindle. It is the easiest to add books to for a non-techie it also adds a dictionary and search which the Sony doesn't have. As a bonuse Amazon keeps all your purchased eBooks online and you can redownload them as needed. Basically you never need to connect your Kindle to a PC at all unless you want to put some non-Amazon sourced books via USB.

Unless your not in the US... You don't have a Location in your profile.

BOb

Last edited by pilotbob; 08-20-2008 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:34 PM   #11
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So, are you saying that the Sony doesn't have a dictionary available? Not that it is a huge deal.. being the geek that I am, I have an electronic pocket one I was just impressed with Kindle's feature.
That's right. No dictionary lookup on the Sony.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:35 PM   #12
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Agreed 505 better than iLiad for her needs.

But, I'm not sure why you don't consider the Kindle. It is the easiest to add books to for a non-techie it also adds a dictionary and search which the Sony doesn't have. As a bonuse Amazon keeps all your purchased eBooks online and you can redownload them as needed. Basically you never need to connect your Kindle to a PC at all unless you want to put some non-Amazon sourced books via USB.

BOb
The original poster has not stated which country he is in. A Kindle is really only a practical proposition for the minority who live in the USA; people living elsewhere can neither (easily) buy one nor (practically) buy books for it from Amazon. I agree that for people who do live in the US, the Kindle is certainly very worthy of consideration.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:42 PM   #13
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The "read anytime" aspect rules out the iLiad.
Yes, I figured it would, but I thought I'd ask in case this was one of those "not as bad as you think it is" scenarios. Thanks for the tip about mobdedrm. I wasn't aware mobibook had been broken. I'll have to check that out when I get home (although, really, any DRM for ebooks could be easily broken with a screen-capture/OCR robot).
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:46 PM   #14
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Unless your not in the US... You don't have a Location in your profile.
Fixed.

Yes, I'm in Canada. The eBay Kindle is an option, but it seems like it is very limited in terms of what kind of books it supports compared to most other platforms. I'd been shying away from the Sony for much the same reason, although the recent addition of ePub format opens it up considerably.

I only just recently found Calibre, which opens up the Sony platform quite a bit as well (although I'd already had plans in the works to write something similar, but with the ability to export to more than just the Sony format).
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:16 PM   #15
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But, I'm not sure why you don't consider the Kindle. It is the easiest to add books to for a non-techie it also adds a dictionary and search which the Sony doesn't have. As a bonuse Amazon keeps all your purchased eBooks online and you can redownload them as needed. Basically you never need to connect your Kindle to a PC at all unless you want to put some non-Amazon sourced books via USB.
(sorry, I meant to add . . . to show what I deleted )

Bob,

My answer would be that the Sony is much more like a paperback and is much easier to carry around. I like its ergonomics better and its looks. It can handle a lot of different formats easily so I'm not locked into Amazon. I personally prefer not to buy anything from Amazon -- I'm very concerned about concentrating too much market power in its hands, at least as far as reading material goes. I do not want Amazon to be in the position of dictating to publishers and to readers.

As for the dictionary, I do wish the Sony had one built in but only if it were a well-recognized standard dictionary, not simply one from the Internet that may not have been vetted. But I never found it problematic to use the dictionary that I keep next to where I read (I have them all over the house ), as I also use them when I read pbooks (yes, I still buy and read pbooks -- just fewer of them).

Although the wireless connection might be nice, I don't find it needed. I currently have 171 unread books on my Sony. If I can't find something to read among them, there is something amiss. I can wait until I'm at a computer to add books to that trove, so it isn't a big deal not having wireless. Truthfully, if the only way I could have wireless book buying was by having a built-in keyboard like the Kindle, I'm one who would pass. I want my reading device to remind me of the pleasure of reading not the torment of my daily working on a computer and being connected to the world. Reading is an escape, a vacation from daily stress. (That's why I also refuse to sign up for all the extra services my cell phone can provide -- all I want it to do is let me place and receive telephone calls; I don't text message or check e-mail or roam the Internet with my cell phone.)

Like someone else noted they do, I spend 3-5 hours a day reading on my Reader and love it. I take it everywhere. It easily fits in a waist pack so it is easy to carry. Love my Sony 505.
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