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Old 05-23-2010, 04:14 AM   #1
ap10046
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So Many Choices! Require Simplicity!

Hello all,

I am new to the forum and have joined because I really would like some knowledgeable experience on getting an e-reader. To be honest, I never gave it a 2nd thought before.

I am a pilot and travel a LOT! I carry a very heavy Hand Bag, which more often than not, has at least 2 500-pagers in it!
A friend of mine suggested an e-book reader, so here I am.

1) I ALWAYS have my Apple MBP with me, so I really don't require wifi/wireless or mobile connectivity.
2) I travel hand-HEAVY-so size is a factor.
3) I carry an iphone, so I don't require mp3/browsing/email/3G...
4) I DON'T LIVE IN THE STATES, so how would I get content? Free or Otherwise? What has DRM got to do with books?
Does one need to get rid of it?
5) Good Battery Life much appreciated, but not imperative.
6)Ease of use-Should read many formats with not much fuss..converting, etc
7) Price-I am not going to spend more than $300 it. Cheaper the better.
8) Are there any color readers?

Thank you
Regards
AP
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:58 AM   #2
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Why not use Stanza and/or Kindle on iPhone? One less thing to carry around is always good, and you already have the iPhone.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:18 AM   #3
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Good to have your company, AP. If you don't want to use your iPhone as a reader, it sounds to me that you might do well to think over one of the Sony range, Kobo or Cooler. DRM, by the way, is slapped on some books by some retailers and publishers allegedly to combat piracy. It's so easily stripped, though, that all it really does is to inconvenience the genuine customer so that you can't easily share your books or move them between devices. There are also geographical restrictions on some books. All in all, though, it's no big deal and shouldn't put you off. Best wishes. Neil
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:02 AM   #4
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If you don't mind reading in an LCD screen, you can go the easiest way: download a reading program like Stanza, like Toddos suggested, for your iPhone and you'll be happy.

Advantages: you don't have to spend a dime, you have access to a lot of content and you can even download both books for Kindle and books for other readers, something that hardly other reader can do. One of the problems with DRM is that it ties you up to one kind of DRM (e.g, if you buy a Kindle, your DRM'd material provider will needingly be Amazon, not Borders or Barnes and Noble) and eventually to the ebook reading devices which support that DRM. Of course, as neilmarr suggests, DRM is removed from books with ease, thus it shouldn't be a big issue for you. Plus, much content is DRM-free.

Disadvantages: a screen too small to conveniently read on it and LCD screen lead to potential eye strain (I say potential because I had it in my iPod touch after reading some hours on it, but others don't seem to mind). Plus, the battery life of an LCD device is not too long in comparison with an e-Ink one.

If you decide to go the e-Reader way: for the price range you're suggesting, and considering that size matters for you, Pocketbook 360 will be helpful for you. It reads a lot of formats, it has a very comfortable screen of 5 inches, the design is quite well-done, and, since it is e-Ink, its juice will last for a long time. $240 dollars in the States, I guess you'll have to pay shipping charges since you don't like there. In Europe it's €240.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap10046 View Post
4) I DON'T LIVE IN THE STATES, so how would I get content? Free or Otherwise? What has DRM got to do with books?
Does one need to get rid of it?
5) Good Battery Life much appreciated, but not imperative.
6)Ease of use-Should read many formats with not much fuss..converting, etc
7) Price-I am not going to spend more than $300 it. Cheaper the better.
8) Are there any color readers?

Thank you
Regards
AP
I live in Germany, so I understand the difficulties that can be involved with geographic restrictions. I use a VPN program that gives me a US IP address and I have a US credit card that goes to a US address. Between those, I've been able to buy books from the major book stores. Some people use PayPal and gift cards to get around the restrictions.

DRM encrypts books such that, in theory, only the person who purchased the book can read it. How the book is encrypted depends on the format and book store. Over the eight years that I've read electronic books, I've seen DRMed formats come and go and I've read on several different devices. I remove DRM because it gives me more flexibility to read content that I've purchased where I want and when I want. Also, I don't trust any format to be around in the future and would hate to no longer be able to read something because its format is obsolete.

You don't need to get rid of DRM to read a book on a reader; you just need to be careful to only buy formats your reader can handle.

Any of the epaper readers will give you good battery life. An epaper reader without WiFi, 3G, LCD screens etc. should last for a couple of books over a couple of weeks.

Ease of use is important, but I'm not sold on the idea of a reader that can read a bazillion different formats. I use Calibre to organize my library and it does a very nice job of converting to my preferred format. I've found that even if a reader reads lots of different formats, it doesn't read them well. Folder and/or metadata support is really important for readers. I still don't understand why the major players (Amazon, B&N, Sony) make it so hard to organize your books

There are several readers at our below $300 price point. I really like my Astak 5" because it's small enough to fit in my pocket. The PocketBook has a loyal following. I"d avoid the Sony 5" simply because Sony stripped so much from it that the other 5" have for the same price. The Sony 505 was a great reader. Sony discontinued it last year, but it's still available on eBay.

Color readers are supposedly on the way, but will almost certainly be more than $300 for a while. There's supposed to be a new generation of readers with SiPix screens, but there are problems at the factory that have delayed shipment.

Have you looked at the ebook matrix? It's the best place to compare readers and features. http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_Reader_Matrix
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by toddos View Post
Why not use Stanza and/or Kindle on iPhone? One less thing to carry around is always good, and you already have the iPhone.
very good idea, best of both worlds
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