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Old 06-20-2010, 09:08 PM   #1
speakingtohe
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Ereader for my 84 year old mother

I want to get my mother an ereader
She has arthritus in her hands so weight is a consideration. She has some vision problems ao adjustable text sizes are important.
She reads a fair amount and is able to manage large paperbacks but not hardcovers unless sitting at a table with the book flat.
I have a Sony 600 but she has never seen it or any other ereader as she lives a long way away.
Any guidance appreciated
Helen
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:56 PM   #2
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You mentioned weight specifically, so I would look at a PocketBook 301+ if I were you. It is exceptionally light. It's about half the weight of a Nook. And it does text resizing very well. The side buttons that control text size are small, so she might have some trouble seeing them. But as long as she remembers the upper button is larger text, and the lower button is smaller text, she'll be just fine.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:47 PM   #3
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I went through similar issues when researching to buy a reader for my 82 y.o. MIL last Christmas. In the end, we got her a Kindle 2 because the Nooks weren't available yet, she was already familiar with Amazon and she wouldn't have to fiddle with her computer to get books. She is also about 3,000 miles away from me, so I wouldn't be able to help her with it.

So far, she claims she's really happy with it and has read 20+ books
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:58 PM   #4
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The pocketbook firmware lets you customize the display and render the text with any font at any size. It also has an embolden option.
The 301+ is a good option, as pointed out above.
The 360 might be too small (It is the exact size of a CD jewel case), but it has an optional reader app that lets you switch pages by moving the reader itself instead of pressing a button. It might suit her needs in landscape mode.
The 302 has a touch screen and a motion sensor with a 6 in screen, plus large paging buttons on both sides. It might give you the best of the two other models but it is a bit on the pricey side by current standards and, for the same price, they are going to be offering a fairly light 9in model starting around september, the PB901.
There are threads on all four models over at the Pocketbook forum.

On the low-end of the scale, the Kobo might be an option at (US$150); the hardware is very similar to the 301 but it uses different, simpler/leaner firmware.

The Kindle's new firmware added two more larger font sizes so it might also work for you.
My mother is doing okay with the older Kindle firmware at the largest size. Biggest issue with the K2 is the tiny size of the 5-way controller button.

You may also want to check out the user interface on the Sony PRS-600; it has the touchscreen at US$199 these days.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:37 PM   #5
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Hi!
I can't and don't want to recommend a specific device, I haven't had one myself yet.
But generally, I have to say that buying electronic stuff for other people, especially when they are a little older isnt easy.

When I go to find something my parents, I have learned to either not look at the price but solely on the convenience or not buy anything (because if unconvenient they wont use it anyway or I'll have to exchange it).
I made that mistakes when I bought wireless phones for them, and I wont make that mistake a 3rd time .

You have to consider the usability in a big way.
The haptics, the ergonomics of the device, the size and the contrast of the screen, the intuitivity of the menus.
Ruggedness might be a factor too.

It shouldn't have too many buttons, but enough so you can use the Ereader without having to go too often and too deep in menus.
The buttons should be easy to handle, I read about the Opus that the buttons are a pain for example.
I know people with arthritis who totally dislike small buttons especially when they are closesly arranged.
I am not sure how a menu "joystick" of a PB 301 and its buttons on the side would work for them, if that's okay I guess that Ereader is an option.

An Ereader also must have the buttons logically arranged, so for example you can hold the device in one hand or both hands and turn the page easily.
There are examples where you would hold the device in say your right hand on the right side of the reader, and have to turn the page with your left hand on the bottom of the reader which is altogether a pretty unstable and inconvenient approach.

I would opt for a bigger screen than 6" since you mentioned she has vision problems.
Which would apparently narrow down the alternatives.
For example Irex, the Sony PRS 900, and if it should be released soon the PB 901.
They have touchscreens (the PB doesnt) are about the same weight at 360g.
Sounds heavy perhaps, but your PRS 600 already weights 285g.
So you can compare how heavy that might be for your mother.
Perhaps the older PRS 700 is an option, I’m not sure.
Some touchscreens are said to have either contrast problems or problems with reflections or both.
For someone with vision problems (and for a lot of other peole too) that is a NoGo, so if you would prefer a bigger screen you have to check whether their touchscreen hasnt got these problems.

The Kindle 2 as recommended by Jezebel might be a good option.
My prejudice is, it might be simple to use and personally I dig the side buttons.
However, I am not sure whether she will be happy with a 6" screen and whether she really needs the keyboard.
Plus, the Kindle doesnt do epub does it?
I dunno, maybe that's all okay for your mother.

Concerning the PB 302 I read a review whose author was pretty unhappy with the Home-Button, it's right in the middle of the device at the bottom, which might be inconvenient for both lefties and righthanded people, and the button doesnt have the joystick functionality of the button that the 301 has.

Have you thought about how your mother will get ahold of books and how she can get them on her device?
I am just curious, because I have never considered 84 year people as interested in Ereaders especially getting used to them andwhat comes with it (using a PC, buying books online etc.).
Indeed a Kindle might be pretty neat for that because you can buy the books and get it on your Ereader without a PC.


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Old 06-21-2010, 12:34 AM   #6
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Is very large text a consideration? If so I large screen device (even though heavier) like the Kindle DX or upcoming large screen Pocketbookmight be a consideration. The 6" devices only get a few words per line when cranking up the font size.

How computer savvy is she, will she be loading her own books?


My grandma is the same age and has arthritis in her hands. I think if I was getting her a reader I'd look for a Kindle 1. Reason being I think the very large page turn buttons/bars would be most comfortable for her.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoboslobobabe View Post
Have you thought about how your mother will get ahold of books and how she can get them on her device?
I am just curious, because I have never considered 84 year people as interested in Ereaders especially getting used to them andwhat comes with it (using a PC, buying books online etc.).
Indeed a Kindle might be pretty neat for that because you can buy the books and get it on your Ereader without a PC.
My MIL was having trouble seeing the text in books and was not able to find many she wanted to read in large type. This is why we first thought of getting her an eReader. She says it has helped her quite a bit, the biggest problem is that she has to turn pages more often.

The Kindle was the best choice in this case because she was already buying most of her books from Amazon. She's able to use her computer for many things and she's pretty sharp, but she didn't know what a USB port was or where to find it on her computer, even if she could get at all the way down there on the floor. She uses the 3G to get her books, easy as can be for her.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
The pocketbook firmware lets you customize the display and render the text with any font at any size. It also has an embolden option.
The 301+ is a good option, as pointed out above.
The 360 might be too small (It is the exact size of a CD jewel case), but it has an optional reader app that lets you switch pages by moving the reader itself instead of pressing a button. It might suit her needs in landscape mode.
The 302 has a touch screen and a motion sensor with a 6 in screen, plus large paging buttons on both sides. It might give you the best of the two other models but it is a bit on the pricey side by current standards and, for the same price, they are going to be offering a fairly light 9in model starting around september, the PB901.
There are threads on all four models over at the Pocketbook forum.
PocketBook 302 is quite heavy comparing to other PocketBook models and I wouldn't recommend it since speakingtohe is looking for a light weighted reader for his mother.
PocketBook 301+ is a good choice if consider 6" screen reader.
I personally would go with a light weighted large screen reader. Once PocketBook 901 is available for sale it would be a great pick.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:02 AM   #9
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PRS-600 and PRS-900 have insane font sizes, XXL and such. Great for elderly. My father can read my 600 perfectly fine for hours on end, and did most of today... He wanted to use it to read an ebook a colleague had sent him.

My father is competent enough to plug it in, so the 3G isn't an issue for him.
The nook wifi would probably be a good option, what with its price. Consider demoing it, and the sony, at your local bestbuy/barnes and noble.

The 600 isn't very heavy at all, though I've never bothered to weigh it.
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:25 AM   #10
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Hya Jezebel: Your mom puts a year on my mother-in-law who has been reading ebooks in PDF on an Acer 10" net book. Like your mom, though, she finds it cumbersome for reading in bed or curcled up in a chair and has been casting an envious eye over my PRS-505. We'll be buying her an ereading device, for sure, and I think a no-frills Sony or a Kobo might be the way to go. Fancy internet browsing would only confuse the issue -- just something that she can easily manage through a simple programme like Calibre, browsing for her books on her netbook (which she handles well) would be ideal. Good luck. Neil
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:56 PM   #11
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Wow a lot of interesting replies
My mother is not really computer literate but I can manage her computer remotely so not that important.
She can plug in her camera so should manage to plug in the ereader.
I am in the arctic right now so can't actually go into stores and compare.
A bigger screen would be good, but she reads generally with a book hele in her hand so weight is possibly more important than amount of page turning.
I really appreciate the input
Helen
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:42 AM   #12
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Another advantage of e-readers like the Kindle2 or Nook is that she doesn't have to manage her computer at all. You can tie several e-readers together, using the same credit card, and all have access to the same library of books. If both of you like the same type of books, that might be a good way to go.
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