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Old 05-31-2009, 07:56 AM   #1
Gideon
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Talking The Handy Dandy Guide to What Reader You Should Buy

(Explanation below, QA up here)

I read lots of scanned PDFs....
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I read lots of text PDFs....
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I read mainly classic literature...
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I read mainly best-sellers...
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I just want to read books, I don't want to deal with all this converting crap...
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I read mainly non-fiction...
If you're reading current non-fiction, the biggest is the Amazon store, followed by the Sony store. Not many other ebook stores have a significant non-fiction section compared to these two, and the prices are often much higher.

I want to save money on books....
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I read lots of Comics and Manga...
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I want to be able to listen to music or audiobooks...
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I read mainly academic papers and journal articles...
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I want to read newspapers, blogs, or magazines...
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---------------
In hopes of helping out people who come here asking the same things over and over again, perhaps we can get a list of the 'facts' regarding the various reading devices put together. That is to say - leaving out our personal biases as much as possible (you know you have them! )

Essentially, I'll just keep editing this document with what you people correct and then we can put it on the Wiki, too. (I can do that, right? Edit after a long time?) I'm starting here because most people start here rather than the Wiki.

Now, I know we have this:
E-Book Reader Matrix

And I think it does a most of what is needed. But it doesn't handle the more.. well, a lot of the questions we actually get that are still 'facts' but not so much technical data. It's about "I read X, which one should I buy?" The technical details make up a lot of those replies, but you have to know a certain amount to make sense of that.

Ideally, I'd like to see relevant info for any device that is relevant to the question, and trying to keep it as simple as possible. E-book readers that have similar compatibilities and functionality shouldn't be all listed out separately, for instance - unless they differ on that particular point in a substantial way.

So the only one I actually filled in so far was non-fiction (because this is what I have the most experience with) and I put the following:
Quote:
I read mainly non-fiction...
If you're reading current non-fiction, the biggest is the Amazon store, followed by the Sony store. Not many other ebook stores have a significant non-fiction section compared to these two, and the prices are often much higher when they do have the material.
There's probably a much better answer than that, but hopefully you get what I'm saying in terms of pragmatic responses. But if there is another option (in particular for non-US people) we'd want to explain that option as well - "but if that is not an option, the "X" store is your best bet" with whatever store that is.

Ultimately, I want this to be something useful and not be an extended fight over whose e-reader has the biggest.. uh... pixels. So we have to think away from just our own uses "I can use mine just fine for X" when you may be using it in a very unorthodox way or in a way that is not at all representative of what most would use it for.

What do you think? And if you like it, let's start getting these answers flushed out! I've been up all night, so I'm not even going to TRY!
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:23 AM   #2
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hi gideon !
i think this thread is a great idea. i've made it sticky so it will be easy to find.

concerning the "i read mainly classic litterature" and "i want to save money on books", i would say that really almost any device could be fine, since with places like feedbooks, manybooks, baen, and of course here, there is more classic and free litterature available than you could hope to read in your entire life, and they are available for any device you can think of.

i would add though that particularly if you are living in europe you should consider format support (this could also go in the "i just want to read, none of that converting crap" section) ; in europe, almost all publishers are adopting epub format. this means that if you do want to buy a book from time to time or add some contemporary litterature to your mix, it's going to be more and more vital to have native epub support.

also, this is important for those who want to make sure to keep access to their books over time (which isn't on your list, but might be a criterion worth considering) ; epub format is much more future-proof than any other, since 1. it's an open format and 2. it's the industry standard format.
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
i would add though that particularly if you are living in europe you should consider format support (this could also go in the "i just want to read, none of that converting crap" section) ; in europe, almost all publishers are adopting epub format. this means that if you do want to buy a book from time to time or add some contemporary litterature to your mix, it's going to be more and more vital to have native epub support.
Another thing, if you advice the Amazon store, also mention that it is not available anywhere but in the US. Not too sure about the Sony store availability...
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:13 AM   #4
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You might want to add:
I want to check out ebooks from a public library

This is a fantastic idea for a thread! : )
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
Another thing, if you advice the Amazon store, also mention that it is not available anywhere but in the US. Not too sure about the Sony store availability...
Well, thats the popular opinion, BUT if you notice, we have people in Australia, Canada and other countries who have Kindles.

There are work-arounds if you are willing to go thru the hoops.

AND once the K has books on it, you can read them anywhere.......even in space, I'll bet!
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbFabGab View Post
You might want to add:
I want to check out ebooks from a public library

This is a fantastic idea for a thread! : )
right ! i forgot to mention that. it could go under "i want to save money on books".
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:19 PM   #7
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AND once the K has books on it, you can read them anywhere.......even in space, I'll bet!
Nope. No device with lithium-ion batteries is "space certified". Any electronic gizmo taken into space has to use a more primitive battery technology, such as NiNH. That means no current eBook Readers for the poor astronauts .
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:21 PM   #8
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Nope. No device with lithium-ion batteries is "space certified". Any electronic gizmo taken into space has to use a more primitive battery technology, such as NiNH. That means no current eBook Readers for the poor astronauts .
Darn. Great idea, tho, eh?
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:31 PM   #9
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Absolutely!
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:36 PM   #10
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But you could read one page, if you turned it on before you went up. Of course, you'd have to read fast before you ran out of air and couldn't read any more.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:45 PM   #11
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Nope. No device with lithium-ion batteries is "space certified". Any electronic gizmo taken into space has to use a more primitive battery technology, such as NiNH. That means no current eBook Readers for the poor astronauts .
No Blackberries either.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:35 PM   #12
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Well, thats the popular opinion, BUT if you notice, we have people in Australia, Canada and other countries who have Kindles.

There are work-arounds if you are willing to go thru the hoops.
Then that should be noted as well, it might be a turn-off for some people.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:19 PM   #13
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Then that should be noted as well, it might be a turn-off for some people.
That would depend on how badly you'd like to access the Kindle bookstore....
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:36 PM   #14
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I wasn't aware that any readers had support for DRM'd eReader yet. Interesting!
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:56 PM   #15
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I wasn't aware that any readers had support for DRM'd eReader yet. Interesting!
No eink readers have support for DRMed eReader. And to be honest, I do hope they never do. It's a format that we can all do without.
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