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Old 02-08-2009, 03:49 AM   #1
stevepxs
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Yet another fellow with too many choices! HELP!!!

Here's my situation,

I used to read a lot. (Or what I considered a lot for a guy with his own business, family, and 25 diverse hobbies from guns, to pinball machines, video games, and on and on).

I'd usually go through 8-14 novels a month, and many got multiple reads over the years. I'll read almost anything except romance novels, (Though there have been some crossovers).

About ten years ago something happened to my back, and now I'm on huge doses of pain meds on a daily basis and no longer able to work or do much of anything else. I also now have a very hard time reading. Something in the pain medication causes me to mentally lock up if I try to read more than a few minutes at a stretch. If I do read a book, I have to start and finish it in one sitting to keep the number of times I get horribly ill down to a minimum. It's so bad, that I'm down to reading one or maybe two books a year at the most. I keep a look out to see if there's going to be a John Connolly book released this year, and if so, I've got my book for the year.

I don't know if one of these e-book readers will help the problem or not, but I'm willing to try anything to be able to get back to reading again.

I tend to enjoy longer books like novels, but also like short stories sometimes, (new releases or old, fiction or non it doesn't matter), but I also like the occasional manga, and have even read a few textbooks from cover to cover. I have no need for a wireless function, battery life isn't a real big deal, and I don't read newspapers. I won't need to edit or look-up sections other than where I left off when I quit reading. Weight may be an issue, as will comfort to use, when it comes to having different ways to hold it. As usual the cheaper the better as long as quality doesn't suffer.

Didn't mean to write a novel, but I do need some advice on which device, or devices if there are several, would be the best fit for me, (if one helps at all). If it matters I live in the U.S., have internet access, and am pretty tech savvy.

My main options as far as what I have access to, and can return if this experiment fails, are the Sony505 and 700 series, the Ectaco Jetbook, and the Astak which it says is a Hanlin V3.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Steve

Last edited by stevepxs; 02-08-2009 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:46 AM   #2
HarryT
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Your requirements are modest - really any device would be fine, I'm sure. I would avoid the "Jetbook" - its format support is extremely poor, and it doesn't support any of the popular commercial eBook formats. Other than that, I'm sure you'd be fine with any - Sony, CyBook, EZ Reader, Kindle, etc.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:58 AM   #3
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I would not get the PRS-700, because its screen is less clear than the others and you don't need its added features. The PRS-505, EZ Reader and Kindle 2 are all good choices, as is the Cybook if you can get a good return policy.

Amazon has a 30 day return policy, and you may be able to get a Kindle 2 by the end of the month (if it is announced tomorrow and you order a Kindle 1 today to get in line). A problem with the Kindle is that it has one font (6 sizes) and no bold option, so if the font and layout does not work for you all you can do is return it. It is also the most expensive, although used Kindle 1s may soon be cheaper.

The PRS-505 allows customization by changing the ebook itself. This is easy to do with Calibre, but it means that ebooks for different sources are not consistent. The Sony is the cheapest option.

The EZ Reader with the standard firmware is very good with FB2 ebooks and fairly good with MOBI ebooks. For FB2 ebooks you can change fonts (and always use the same font once you find one you like), but there are fewer font choices currently with MOBI. However, I suggest using the Open InkPot firmware which comes with two "reader" options (FBReader and Cool Reader 3) and allows you to install your own fonts. For examples of how the screen looks using the standard firmware and OI see BeBook font sizes and types. For FBReader with a different font and Cool Reader 3 see New OpenInkpot snapshot released (now includes CoolReader). Once you have the font and page layout setup to your liking with FBReader (say) every ebook will look that way no matter where it comes from. An issue with OI is that it only supports DRM-free ebooks, but there are tools to strip the DRM from three of the most popular "Secure" ebook formats. This is generally thought to be illegal in the US, but it is hard to see who is hurt by doing this on ebooks you bought for your own personal use.

All Eink devices work very well in daylight and with "full spectrum" lighting. I was amazed how sharp the screen looked when I first viewed it under such a lamp. It isn't clear that lighting is your problem, but these lamps are worth looking into even for reading paperbacks. Some are expensive because of the "health" angle, so avoid those.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:01 AM   #4
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I am very happy with my Sony 505 in terms of comfortable holding.
It's lightweight and not overly large (which I like, for me).
Reading in bed is great.. I don't have to keep adjusting myself.
With a pbook, my wrist gets tired from holding the book open
and then turning the page.
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