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Old 04-22-2010, 12:16 AM   #1
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Considering nook, Sony, or Kindle for gift to a senior

Hi everyone. My family is trying to decide on a reader for my father-in-law, who is in his 80s and not very quick with technology anymore. (He's a retired electrical engineer, and loves new technology. But mastering it is another matter.)

Ease of use is critically important. While I love my PDA and my Sony 700, he needs something a lot simpler to use. Wireless function would probably be good, so that he can easily buy books and add them without needing to connect to the computer.

Nook and Sony are kind of at the top of my list right now, because there are stores nearby where I can go see those. I also like the epub support, though he wouldn't care. But portability to another device is always a good feature. (I can't remember--does the nook use the ADE DRM for the epub files? Also, if you buy a book wirelessly on the nook, is it difficult to back the book up onto a computer?)

The color cover display on the nook is something I think he might like.

Any thoughts, experiences? The nook is the one device I haven't heard anyone give much feedback on.

Thanks.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:14 AM   #2
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I think you should also consider a Kindle. They are going to be at select Targets starting April 25th and in more stores as the months move on.

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Old 04-22-2010, 03:29 AM   #3
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I'd forgotten that Kindles were going to be in Target stores. Is there a list somewhere of the stores getting them first? This is a decision that needs to be made very soon for an upcoming birthday, and I probably want to limit the options to devices I can go see and try in a local store.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:32 AM   #4
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Jeff, my father is 88 and I have discussed with him ereader devices. Although I am not a Kindle fan, I thought that might be a good choice for him. He rejected it because of the keyboard and the additional real estate that he has to hold.

As much as I personally dislike the Nook and am displeased with how B&N treats its members when it comes to buying the Nook and ebooks, this turned out to be the best choice for him. Easy to use easy to hold, wireless, and able to buy from a bookstore with which he is familiar. Then there is the comfort factor -- there is a B&N store not far from him so he feels he can go there is he has any questions. (I suspect that the staff would do their best to be helpful, particularly because of his age.)

No final decision has been made, but it comes down to the Sony or the Nook and it looks like it will be the Nook should we end up buying one.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:19 AM   #5
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I'd forgotten that Kindles were going to be in Target stores. Is there a list somewhere of the stores getting them first? This is a decision that needs to be made very soon for an upcoming birthday, and I probably want to limit the options to devices I can go see and try in a local store.
From the pr:

As the first brick-and-mortar retailer to carry Amazon's Kindle, Target will make Kindle available at its flagship downtown Minneapolis store and 102 south Florida stores beginning April 25, rolling out to more Target stores later this year.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:59 PM   #6
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Jeff, my father is 88 and I have discussed with him ereader devices. Although I am not a Kindle fan, I thought that might be a good choice for him. He rejected it because of the keyboard and the additional real estate that he has to hold.

As much as I personally dislike the Nook and am displeased with how B&N treats its members when it comes to buying the Nook and ebooks, this turned out to be the best choice for him. Easy to use easy to hold, wireless, and able to buy from a bookstore with which he is familiar. Then there is the comfort factor -- there is a B&N store not far from him so he feels he can go there is he has any questions. (I suspect that the staff would do their best to be helpful, particularly because of his age.)

No final decision has been made, but it comes down to the Sony or the Nook and it looks like it will be the Nook should we end up buying one.
Your thinking sounds similar to mine. I see from the next post that the Kindle won't be in stores near me for a while, so if we want to physically try one (my mother-in-law is in town and I'd like her to have a chance to try it), it comes down to the Sony or Nook. And the Nook might indeed be the more comfortable choice for him, even if it's not what I would pick for myself. (Although my mother-in-law, who is also in her eighties, burst out laughing when I said "Nook." The double meaning did not escape her.)
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:03 PM   #7
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May I butt in here to ask a dumb question? Does the Kindle "text to speech" function allow the user to listen to the book? Sorry if this is in the wrong place; I am also trying to decide between the Kindle and the Sony!
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:18 PM   #8
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May I butt in here to ask a dumb question? Does the Kindle "text to speech" function allow the user to listen to the book? Sorry if this is in the wrong place; I am also trying to decide between the Kindle and the Sony!
Yes, in a computer-generated voice. If the publisher has enabled the function. (It's a rights thing; some do, some don't.) A Kindle owner told me once you wouldn't want to listen to it for too long. Certainly not equivalent to a good audiobook.
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:55 PM   #9
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Thanks, Starrigger! I'm wanting to use it when I'm walking or on the treadmill...eek. Sounds like it will work for me.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:45 PM   #10
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Thanks, Starrigger! I'm wanting to use it when I'm walking or on the treadmill...eek. Sounds like it will work for me.
It will do. But, some books will have TTS disabled. Your probably have much more enjoyment if you joined Audible.com and got read audi books. They are so much fun to listen to they will keep you on the mill longer.

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Old 04-22-2010, 07:39 PM   #11
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Agreed. I only recently started listening to audiobooks--I download them for free from the public library and put them on my MP3 player. They're great for dog walks and other exercise occasions. Lately, I've been working my way through a very nice production of Dune.

A little off topic, I guess. But yes, audiobooks on an MP3 player would be my choice for the treadmill over TTS ebooks on a Kindle.

On the other hand, for my last birthday, I asked for a portable DVD player. I have it hanging in front of the seat on my exercise bike.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:23 PM   #12
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I'm sure the audio books would be the best solution, but I was thinking more along the lines of...say I'm reading a great book and am suddenly compelled to get on the treadmill! What to do???

Thanks for the responses.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:37 AM   #13
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I'm sure the audio books would be the best solution, but I was thinking more along the lines of...say I'm reading a great book and am suddenly compelled to get on the treadmill! What to do???
When I get on the treadill I simply put my Sony 505 in the magazine holder and continue reading. I haven't found it to be a problem.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:39 AM   #14
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Jeff, something else has occurred to me. Does your father's local library lend ebooks? If so, you might want to get a device that is compatible with the library's lending scheme. My father prefers to borrow from the library, which is why no decision has been made on a device. As he put it, at his age, why spend money on books he can get for free?
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:04 AM   #15
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Easy to use easy to hold, wireless, and able to buy from a bookstore with which he is familiar. Then there is the comfort factor -- there is a B&N store not far from him so he feels he can go there is he has any questions. (I suspect that the staff would do their best to be helpful, particularly because of his age.)
That sounds like a good list to me. For older people, the business of negotiating the different methods of buying and/or borrowing online might well be every bit as confusing and stressful as learning how to operate the device itself. Feeling comfortable with having a face to face option to help with sorting out problems with all aspects of the operation would probably high on most oldies lists. Hooking into a lending library sounds like a great option, with just one routine to learn.

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