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Old 02-07-2009, 11:09 PM   #1
DianaQ
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Question eReader for military spouse

Hello!

My name is Diana and I'm a complete newbie in the world of eReading. Most of what I've done is d/l free pdfs of classics and read them.

My husband is in the Air Force and we just started a 4 year tour in Okinawa, Japan. During our move, a lot of our books suffered water damage and had to be thrown away.
Since we're military, and he has ten years left to go, it's safe to assume that we'll be on the move a lot. And I would like to avoid any more water-damage-lost books, plus be able to move from base to base with a little more ease. One of the downsides of having been a librarian for 8 years is that there's always a large amount of books I just "have to have" with me.

This brings me here to ask for your input on eReaders. Have in mind that while I do learn quickly, I should be considered a beginner when it comes to hardware lingo.

So.....things that I need from an eReader:

1. It has to be truly portable. If a specific eBook seller will not work with me when I'm not in the US, then it's off the list. Chances are we won't be back in the US for the next 10 years.

2. Affordable. I do have a job, but a small-ish paycheck. I'll probably be going through a lot of free ebooks until I can afford others.

3. I would like for it to have the capability of reading more than one format of ebook. At least mobi, hopefully pdf.

4. The choice of reading more than one book at a time.

5. Touchscreens and notetaking are really not important to me. I always carry pen and paper with me for that purpose.

6. SD card expansion. Like I said.......I like a large amount of books.

I have heard good things about both Hanlin and Bebook.

So.....that's my rant. My deepest apologies for any resulting headaches.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:23 PM   #2
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Hello, DianaQ, and Welcome to MobileRead.

First of all, please thank your husband for his service to our country. And thank you for supporting him.

Now, IF you have a US based credit card with a US mailing address, the Kindle could be one way to go.

You don't need the whispernet. Anywhere in the world you can get internet access, you can download books from Amazon or whereever and transfer to the Kindle with the USB cord supplied.

Free books are available from here, feedbooks.com, mnybks.net, and assorted other places, you'll get more suggestions from members as they chime in. Also, did you know, if you have a US based library card, you could read their e-books on your Kindle without stripping the drm.

I am in the middle of three books right now....whichever one I want I just click on the title and it takes me to whereever I last left off.

I also really enjoy the built in dictionary, available only in English at the moment.

Currently, with the 4GB SD card inserted, I have room for about 4000 books.......that should last even you!

I am perfectly satisfied with the current Kindle model, and wouldn't switch to the new one even if their offered an even trade. Others don't feel the same. amazon offers a 30 day no strings attached return policy if you aren't satisfied.....

Since I see you are already in Japan, this may not be the best choice for you, just wanted to give you a 'heads up'.

Other readers I can't talk about, but again, I"m sure you'll get more info from their owners.

Good luck with which ever reader you decide on, and be sure and check out our books here. They are hand formatted by our members, and can be read without an ebook reader as well.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:33 PM   #3
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I have heard good things about both Hanlin and Bebook.
The BeBook is a Hanlin V3. It is sold under several other names too. In the US it is the EZ Reader. The Hanlin (under whatever name) is a good choice. In your case one of its selling points is folder support. This is currently rare among ebook devices and it allows you to better manage a large collection of ebooks. You will have to decide on the folder layout yourself though. Reading multiple ebooks is not a problem with any of the ebook devices. They all remember where you got to in each ebook. The Hanlin has a recently read list, which is a convenient starting point (but again not unusual).

I like my EZ Reader. It is well made and comes with a cover (which you definitely need). There have been some reports of sticking keys, but the hardware is otherwise very solid. It has the longest battery life of any reading device (about 3 weeks if you don't actually read anything), so there is never any need to turn it off. Just pick up immediately wherever you left off. Its primary e-book format is MOBI, the only format with DRM that the Hanlin supports, but many other DRM-free formats are supported. It is also possible to use the Open InkPot alternative firmware, which only supports DRM-free formats but does this very well.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:01 AM   #4
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Hi DianaQ and welcome to Mobile Read

I come from an Army / Air Force family and my nephew just came home... (he loved moving around).

I have the Sony PRS 505 and that is the only device I am familiar with so far. (I love it!)

The link below is one that you could check for additional information.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37499

If you have questions, just ask and someone will pop up and answer and / or point you to a thread.

Check out the beautifully formatted (free) books uploaded by all the dedicated members.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:29 AM   #5
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I have a BeBook (Hanlin v3) bought at http://mybebook.com/. I am very pleased with though it has its limitations, probably like al of them have. My review: see signature
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:43 AM   #6
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The CyBook or BeBook/Hanlin are your best bet since you state that you need Mobi support.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:33 PM   #7
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The CyBook or BeBook/Hanlin are your best bet since you state that you need Mobi support.
These are the ones I would recommend as well. If you want access to dictionary support the Cybook is the best as you can use any Mobipocket dictionary, in fact you can have more than one dictionary installed at the same time. However, the BeBook/Hanlin has the elusive folder support that many of us would love to enjoy.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:23 PM   #8
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These are the ones I would recommend as well. If you want access to dictionary support the Cybook is the best as you can use any Mobipocket dictionary, in fact you can have more than one dictionary installed at the same time. However, the BeBook/Hanlin has the elusive folder support that many of us would love to enjoy.
I agree but I've found that I get more real use from the folder capability of the Hanlin/BeBook/EZReader than I do from the dictionary on the Cybook. Would like both plus some other features but the folders really help with a lot of books loaded.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:59 PM   #9
DianaQ
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Thank you very much for your input everybody. I think the BeBook is the one that will fullfill my needs at the time being. Now I just have to work enough hours to buy one :P

Thank you again!!!! ^__^
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:24 AM   #10
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I hope you are able to get him one soon.
Okinawa was not my favorite place (although it is much nicer down at Kadena than up at Schwab).

The Schilling Community Center at Kadena was a nice place though.
I spent lots of hours down there whenever I got a weekend off.

You might get him a zipper case for it before you send it and desiccant packets.
The humidity there is hard on electronics. Pack it well to keep it dry in shipping.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:57 AM   #11
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Hi!

> 1. It has to be truly portable.

They all will be, even the Kindle, although with that particular one, you'll not be able to use the wireless capability, so may be less compelling than normal.

> 2. Affordable. I do have a job, but a small-ish paycheck. I'll probably be going through a lot of free ebooks until I can afford others.

Again, they all will read various free books.

> 3. I would like for it to have the capability of reading more than one format of ebook. At least mobi, hopefully pdf.

They all read multiple formats, but this is where things seperate, in that the Cybook & Kindle read mobi (plus others) while the Sony reads ePub & LRF (plus others). They all read PDF with varying degrees of sucess.

> 4. The choice of reading more than one book at a time.

I believe most/all support that, but I don't know the details. With the Sony, it keeps track of the last read page in each book, plus it has a book-independent list of all user-set bookmarks. You can jump straight from a book to the list (press & hold the 'mark' button) then jump straight to the point in a different book. I expect most/all have somethig similar, though.

> 6. SD card expansion. Like I said.......I like a large amount of books.

Again, most/all, although the file-handling UI's typically not really that good for more that a few hundred books at a time, so typically I've ended up with using just the internal memory and only having 2/300 books on the internal memory, with others on my laptop, etc.



Check the Wiki here for device overviews, plus the device forums for specific info, but there's not really any huge indicators as to what one to go for there! I'd suggest looking at the Sony 505 (not got Mobi, but has other strength - exactly how firm is that requirement?), the Kindle, the CyBook and the BeBook/Hanlin.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:44 AM   #12
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Phogg: We're both in Kadena and loving Okinawa. I'm halfways through my first semester of Japanese and looking forward to the next four years. I'm the one who's all interested in the eReader, but considering how often he'll off, I might get one for him.

Since I plan on taking all the levels of Japanese that the school offers, I would also be interested in an eReader who could display kana, kanji and other foreign words (I can read in more than a couple languages and now that I think about it, it would be cool to get foreign books where available).

gwynevans: Basically, I made a search of the last handful of books I've read and the ones I'm planning to read in the near future and they're almost all available in the mobi format.
If I would be able to use the Kindle successfully in Japan (and wherever they send us next), it could probably still be in the running. Since it's going to take me a bit to save up the money to get it, I have time to review as many options as I possible.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:02 AM   #13
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Phogg: We're both in Kadena and loving Okinawa. I'm halfways through my first semester of Japanese and looking forward to the next four years. I'm the one who's all interested in the eReader, but considering how often he'll off, I might get one for him.

Since I plan on taking all the levels of Japanese that the school offers, I would also be interested in an eReader who could display kana, kanji and other foreign words (I can read in more than a couple languages and now that I think about it, it would be cool to get foreign books where available).

gwynevans: Basically, I made a search of the last handful of books I've read and the ones I'm planning to read in the near future and they're almost all available in the mobi format.
If I would be able to use the Kindle successfully in Japan (and wherever they send us next), it could probably still be in the running. Since it's going to take me a bit to save up the money to get it, I have time to review as many options as I possible.
For the other languages, you'll probably want the Hanlin V3 or one of its variants (EZ Reader - US, or BeBook - Europe). It's the only one I know that can handle several languages. (English, Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Japanese, Korean, Bulgarian, Estonian, Polish )
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:23 PM   #14
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:21 AM   #15
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For the other languages, you'll probably want the Hanlin V3 or one of its variants (EZ Reader - US, or BeBook - Europe). It's the only one I know that can handle several languages. (English, Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Japanese, Korean, Bulgarian, Estonian, Polish )
I don't think that's true - I'm fairly sure there are active groups of both East-European & Chinese/Japanese/Korean Sony users around here, for instance, and I'd expect the same to be true of the CyBook.
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