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Old 08-21-2008, 08:39 AM   #1
TopKnot
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Suggestions on a future purchase?

Hi all, been lurking for a while, but I've finally gotten around to saving for a reader for myself.

I used to be an incredibly voracious reader, reading and rereading dozens of books a month, sometimes up to two novels a day. College slowed that down quite a bit, and now I really can't be bothered to carry around a book with me - normally I just listen to music, etc.

I want to get back into reading, and I've been doing some light reading on my computer, so I think an ebook reader would be perfect for me.

My issues are : I have quite a few ebooks in *.lit format, and while I've heard that isn't a reader-supported format, I'd need a reader that handles a format I can convert them to (should be easy, converters seem commonplace)

I do quite a bit of reading on the web - fictionpress.com and fanfiction.net, to name a few sites. These are sites that are high-text, low-image, so they should be viewable. The best solution for this reading would be web functionality, but HTML reading would be a runner-up, if web functionality isn't possible (I've been reading on here about the iliad... but...)

I, often, read in many short and long bursts. One page here, three pages there, seven pages here, then when I get home, I'll have a 75 page session. Because of this, I need a reader that is a: easy on the eyes for those long sessions (which is why I'm dead-set against tablet PCs and the like); and b: easy to put down and pick up, being able to read a page, then come back two hours later and read a few more pages, etc.

Finally, my eyes are atrocious. I have, in my knowledge, the worst prescription in my small town, and I'm nearly blind. I'm nearsighted (far away is where it's blurry), but I literally can't see an inch in front of my eyes without glasses. Easy readability is a must - glare, lighting notwithstanding. I only read in well-lit areas, but computer screens suffer from the slightest bit too much or too little light, in my eyes.

Well, that's my situation. I tried to give as much info as possible, and I hope you can help me. I'm not looking for an immediate purchase - Christmastime wouldn't be a bad time, and later isn't an issue. I've read up on the iLiad, and while it sounds like it's the closest to what I'm looking for, I've also heard problems with the being-able-to-read-in-short-bursts aspect.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:47 AM   #2
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Welcome .. Good luck on your search.


You should look into Font type and Font Size for each of the e-ink readers. I have a Cybook Gen3 that can have VERY LARGE FONT Size for reading. I am not sure of the other devices. Definitely reasearech before you buy an e-ink device. They are not cheap.

Most .lit files can be converted easily into another format if needed.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopKnot View Post
Hi all, been lurking for a while, but I've finally gotten around to saving for a reader for myself.

I used to be an incredibly voracious reader, reading and rereading dozens of books a month, sometimes up to two novels a day. College slowed that down quite a bit, and now I really can't be bothered to carry around a book with me - normally I just listen to music, etc.

I want to get back into reading, and I've been doing some light reading on my computer, so I think an ebook reader would be perfect for me.

y issues are : I have quite a few ebooks in *.lit format, and while I've heard that isn't a reader-supported format, I'd need a reader that handles a format I can convert them to (should be easy, converters seem commonplace)

I do quite a bit of reading on the web - fictionpress.com and fanfiction.net, to name a few sites. These are sites that are high-text, low-image, so they should be viewable. The best solution for this reading would be web functionality, but HTML reading would be a runner-up, if web functionality isn't possible (I've been reading on here about the iliad... but...)

I, often, read in many short and long bursts. One page here, three pages there, seven pages here, then when I get home, I'll have a 75 page session. Because of this, I need a reader that is a: easy on the eyes for those long sessions (which is why I'm dead-set against tablet PCs and the like); and b: easy to put down and pick up, being able to read a page, then come back two hours later and read a few more pages, etc.

Finally, my eyes are atrocious. I have, in my knowledge, the worst prescription in my small town, and I'm nearly blind. I'm nearsighted (far away is where it's blurry), but I literally can't see an inch in front of my eyes without glasses. Easy readability is a must - glare, lighting notwithstanding. I only read in well-lit areas, but computer screens suffer from the slightest bit too much or too little light, in my eyes.

Well, that's my situation. I tried to give as much info as possible, and I hope you can help me. I'm not looking for an immediate purchase - Christmastime wouldn't be a bad time, and later isn't an issue. I've read up on the iLiad, and while it sounds like it's the closest to what I'm looking for, I've also heard problems with the being-able-to-read-in-short-bursts aspect.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:50 AM   #3
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Any of the major eInk devices would be just fine, I suspect. It's easy to convert LIT to other formats such as MobiPocket or Sony's BBeB format. Devices such as the CyBook Gen3, Sony Reader or (if you live in the US) Amazon Kindle would all do what you require.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses. I'm looking more into the readers you suggested, Harry. The prices are all similar, and the readers themselves seem to each have their own shining points. So long as I can use my *.lit books, and the supported formats are easily available, I'm definitely going to get one of these readers.

A few questions:

The Kindle's 'experimental' web browser - I've heard next to nothing except on here, and most of the posts here seem to be saying that it's really bad, especially considering the EVDO battery drain. Is it navigatable, useful? I read online fiction, so while the pages aren't large (text only, usually), there are normally alot - one 'book' i read on fanfiction.net was over 800,000 words (roughly, what, 4000 pages?). This involves not only alot of scrolling (pageflipping?), but clicking "next chapter" links.


The Sony 505 - what is the memory card used there? I thought I saw something here that said SD, but I can't find it again, and Sony's sight is SUPER unhelpful.

Is there a big advantage that the CyBook has over the 505? To be honest, I'm leaning Kindle if the web browsing is worth it, and CyBook or Sony if it isn't. Out of those two, I'm leaning Sony, but only for price reasons. I can't find too much of a difference between the two, especially considering that I don't have any proprietary ebooks.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:17 PM   #5
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Howdy - I'm a brand new Kindle owner (yesterday) but I wanted to talk to 2 of your points.

First, eyes...I have bad vision too. My glasses prescription is something like -11 nearsighted AND -3.25 astigmatism. My contacts are about -8 and -2.75. I am never without my contacts or glasses except asleep or in the shower. I got the kindle yesterday and read a book on it last night at default font level 3 just fine (in my glasses). I looked at Font Level 4 and in low light I might switch to it but level 3 was fine in my living room. I might also consider level 4 if I turn on the auto page flipping (technically it is a "slide show" mode I think but when used in a book it is basically an auto page turner; it is a little fast for me at font level 3).

As far as ff.net, what I am looking at doing is using a tool that downloads a story and combines it (or I will combine it myself). For example, in the Format Conversion section, there is a thread on a tool called FLAG which you can use to download a story and which combines it into a single html file. Then you can run the html file through Calibre (Sony) or MobiPocket Creator (Kindle) for appropriate format and move to your reader. After finding out about FLAG I did a quick online search and there are some other tools like this too such as DeFFNetizer. So personally instead of reading online, I would download the stories. Then as far as the page flipping goes, the auto page turning might be nice. (Note: no way to change the speed of the auto page turns as far as I know which is why I'm considering changing font sizes for this). There may or may not be similar tools for fictionpress.

Last edited by texasnightowl; 08-21-2008 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopKnot View Post
Is there a big advantage that the CyBook has over the 505?
It has many benefits, among which are:

- Support for dictionary lookup, with hundreds of different dictionaries available.
- You can load any "TrueType" or "OpenType" font you wish onto the machine, and view any book in any of 12 different font sizes. On the Sony, the fonts are defined by the book, and you have 3 sizes available.
- Full support for font families - ie "proper" bold and italic fonts, vs. the Sony's synthesised italics.
- A user-replaceable battery.
- Support for the industry-standard MobiPocket file format.

Of course there are people (Jon?) who will argue just as strongly in favour of the Sony. For me personally, though, the Gen3 is (at least until something better comes along) the best bookreader available.
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input, TexasNightOwl. I'll definitely be using FLAG and/or DeFFNetizer. That will make reading them very simple in and of itself, since on my computer screen i have to make the font so big that often, the Next Chapter button is off the screen. For some reason, paper is just SO much easier to read (it may be the astigmatism - I have -3.0, so we're in the same boat; with -10 nearsighted).

And HarryT, thank you very much for your input. I think you've pretty much made a good case for the CyBook, and I think that will be my choice. Of course, things can change between now and when I actually have saved up enough to buy it, but it does seem to beat out the Sony (12 font sizes, especially. Wow!)

I even checked the dimensions on Bookeen's site, and it will fit in my pocket! It's perfect. (I think the Sony would to, but still 12 font sizes.)

Thanks for all your help. I'll be in the shadows, lurking like before, until I have something worthwhile to say.

EDIT : Sorry, i thought of another question. I've been watching some of the CyBook videos, and it seems to show a collection of buttons on the edges of the device - what do these do?

The main reason I'm asking is because I really see myself using this like I read a paperback, with my palm on the back of the book/reader, fingers curling around the side (usually the right side, since I'm right handed, and thus I read with my off-hand). Would those buttons on the right side possibly be next/prev page buttons? That would be the PERFECT setup.

Thanks again!

Last edited by TopKnot; 08-21-2008 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Thought of another question
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:46 PM   #8
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The thread Best for font size support - Ilead or Cybook Gen3 ? gives more info on Cybook fonts. See the links in post #6 for more Cybook screenshots and Kindle font info.

The iLiad's larger screen is good for larger fonts, but your reading patterns are not a good fit to its very long start-up time.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopKnot View Post
The Kindle's 'experimental' web browser - I've heard next to nothing except on here, and most of the posts here seem to be saying that it's really bad, especially considering the EVDO battery drain. Is it navigatable, useful? I read online fiction, so while the pages aren't large (text only, usually), there are normally alot - one 'book' i read on fanfiction.net was over 800,000 words (roughly, what, 4000 pages?). This involves not only alot of scrolling (pageflipping?), but clicking "next chapter" links.
Provide a link to an on-line fiction title and I'll make some screenshots on the Kindle. The web browser is typically ok for simple content. If a site works using a basic cell phone browser, then it will definitely work on the Kindle. However, even on the Kindle it may be best to download the entire ebook and read it off-line (as you will need to do on the Cybook).
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:35 PM   #10
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Right now the buttons on the side don't do that much - to page to the next, you'll use the large, square button.

Just a warning - I highly recommend not just putting the Cybook (or really any of the eink devices) into a pocket unless you can fit them in while in the case, and even then I'd be a little wary about the stresses.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:21 PM   #11
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wallcraft - yes, I was looking at the iLiad, but to be honest, I don't need all it's extra features (WACOM, etc), and the price point is just much too high to justify it. also, about the online fiction, I do much prefer texasnightowl's suggestion of ripping programs, even just for reading on my computer. I'm going to be doing that even on my computer, so the web browser functionality is really unneccesary. the Kindle just doesn't seem to be that much better than the sony/cybook, to be honest.

rixte - yeah, I figured the pocket thing is something to be wary of at least a bit. I'm a big guy, and generally wear the baggiest jeans possible, so I've literally fit some of my hardcovers in my pockets, with no bending or stress on the book. that's the only way i'd try to fit the reader in my pocket, but i would definitely be careful (no gymnastics)

I was leaning Kindle until texasnightowl pointed out DeFFNetizer and FLAG. Then I was leaning CyBook, until rixte just pointed out the control weirdness. The large square button to flip seems to be a little weird (i made a mock CyBook to the dimensions, etc. out of a CD case and some cardboard. it's weird feeling to my fat hands.)

Now i'm back at the start, I don't know what I'm doing. The Sony 505 seems to be the best bet, but it's kind of a last resort thing, and I don't like that. In the pictures of it, it shows (what I believe are) next/prev page buttons on the right bezel of the reader, right where I'd be able to hit them with my fingertips curled around the device. The price is, of course, more attractive as well. The memory is less, but to be honest, I've got 3.2 TB in my computer - that's ~3,200 gigabytes. I can afford to store some ebooks.

The thing that's really holding me back from just going with the Sony is the fonts. When I'm reading on ff.net and things, I hit ctrl+ (font size up, at least in ffox) at least 3-4 times. No doubt the eink will be alot easier, and even texasnightowl said his Kindle's Font 3 was fine, but will I regret not getting the larger fonts?

I think I'm going to be going with the Sony, simply because of the button placement (those are next/prev page buttons, right?). Le sigh. I've got time. Need to skip a few weeks of meals to afford it, anyway.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:23 PM   #12
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The thread Best for font size support - Ilead or Cybook Gen3 ? gives more info on Cybook fonts. See the links in post #6 for more Cybook screenshots and Kindle font info.

The iLiad's larger screen is good for larger fonts, but your reading patterns are not a good fit to its very long start-up time.
Sorry must disagree about start up time for the Cybook. I find it quite fast...but then again..some people want Instant start up for their products.

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Old 08-21-2008, 08:15 PM   #13
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Hey topknot,

Keep in mind that you can try the Kindle for 30 days and return it if it doesn't work for you (I think it will ). There are a couple of posts around here with deals of $70-$100 off the Kindle right now making the price $260-$290 if you qualify. You can order the Kindle and then go to a store selling the Sony and compare the 2 up close and personal, then make your choice.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:56 AM   #14
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Hello Topknot, I had the same situation as you. So Hanlin V3 is the best selection in my opinion, which I have got one. Thank you!
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Old 08-22-2008, 05:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
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EDIT : Sorry, i thought of another question. I've been watching some of the CyBook videos, and it seems to show a collection of buttons on the edges of the device - what do these do?
There are four buttons on the side. They are, respectively:

1. A "Trash can" button which currently does nothing.
2. A "back" button. When you do a lookup in a dictionary, pressing this takes you back to the book.
3. A "menu" button which displays the menu at any point.
4. A "music" button which displays your MP3 files.
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