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Old 04-03-2020, 06:04 PM   #1
Laurelle00
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E-reader, for library books & PDFs with some caveats

I have been reading these forums for a few hours and haven’t quite found the answer to my search for a “middle-of-the-road” e-reader.

I am looking to buy an e-reader primarily to read books, in e-ink, downloaded via overdrive from my public library.

I do have a Prime account and I do use audible, but I mostly use audible on my iPhone. I do not buy many books - I mostly borrow them.

I am also, however, interested in a few functionalities:
1) PDF reading: I am a graduate student and would like to be able to read basic PDF articles, highlight them, and export annotations (meaning export a list of the highlighted texts, for example). I have a MacBook and would like to re-export the highlighted PDF to simply store in a folder on my MacBook. I would like to copy and paste a list of the highlighted passages (the “annotations,” if I'm getting my terms right) to Evernote, which is what I use to keep track of my notes.

2) Highlighting library books: I would like to be able to highlight passages from library books, and if possible, keep those highlighted excerpts somewhere (like Evernote?) after I have returned the books. (Basically, if there is a lovely quote from a book I'm reading I'd love to be able to save it someone after I have returned the book.)

3) Dictionary: I would like to be able to click on a word in a book I am reading and see the definition. I primarily read in English but foreign language capabilities would also be great.

I am not really interested in spending $400 on an e-reader, but I’d love a $100-$200 option that I can feel ok about taking to the beach, and that I can use for my research/reading. (If there is an amazing option that costs more, I would consider it, but then I wonder if it wouldn’t be smarter to just buy the cheapest e-reader there is, and then buy an iPad for PDF reading, as that would already sync with my MacBook).

Any feedback or suggestions - I would greatly appreciate it!

In any case, I'm really glad I discovered this forum.
best,
Laurelle
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:24 PM   #2
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With your budget you will find inadequate hardware, if you are going for an eink Android device. When your eink device is not Android, expect hassle with syncing and not-so-good notetaking, dictionaries, and text-to-audio options.

If you are okay with some hassle, then I for example use a 7.8" screen Pocketbook Inkpad 3 to read mostly PDF files for research. Some say 7.8" screen is not adequate for PDF, but actually in landscape mode it is okay. Pocketbook 3 has pretty good annotation option, less good note-writing options, and syncing notes is a hassle, which is why I actually take notes on computer and smartphone, while reading on the e-reader.

There are enough dictionaries for the device for my purposes, but there are far more dictionaries available for smartphones, so I use the smartphone for dictionaries too. And of course for audio.

The cheapest way to get a Pocketbook Inkpad 3 outside Europe is to buy a Vivlio, which is the same thing rebranded https://www.decitre.fr/liseuses/lise...152095542.html
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Old 04-06-2020, 02:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Laurelle00 View Post
I am not really interested in spending $400 on an e-reader, but I’d love a $100-$200 option that I can feel ok about taking to the beach, and that I can use for my research/reading. (If there is an amazing option that costs more, I would consider it, but then I wonder if it wouldn’t be smarter to just buy the cheapest e-reader there is, and then buy an iPad for PDF reading, as that would already sync with my MacBook).

Any feedback or suggestions - I would greatly appreciate it!

In any case, I'm really glad I discovered this forum.
best,
Laurelle
For your wants, I would go with the low end e-reader and an iPad for PDFs. Basically, none of the eInk ereaders I've tried are a great way to read a PDF other than the it's the only device I have with me so I'll pan and zoom situation.

Given that you haven't put your location in your profile so I'm going to assume North America, I would suggest the Kindle Paperwhite (the waterproofing is pretty much a necessity for beach reading or the Kobo Libra H20 which is also waterproof and has the same 7" screen as the Kindle Oasis for a lot less money). The PaperWhite shows on Amazon.com for $149.99 US for the 8GB model without special offers while the Kobo Libra H20 shows on Kobo's site for $169.99 US ($169.96 from Walmart's website). An alternative for the Libra H2O is to order from Chapters-Indigo where the price is $199.99 Cdn which translates to $141.44 US plus shipping which still works out a nice chunk cheaper.

In either case, calibre can be your best friend for managing your library, converting formats, etc.
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Old 04-08-2020, 11:54 PM   #4
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Here goes again for a second attempt at replying: Mobama, thanks so much for the recommendation! I've checked out the Vivlio, and it looks like a great product, but seems to ship only from France. I will keep it in mind for sure for the future.

DNSB, thanks also for your recommendations. Indeed, I was thinking of the Kobo Libra H20. From perusing these forums, it seems that the Libra is
1) best for library books/overdrive (including overdrive outside the US), and library books are what I mostly read (I do not really purchase many books);
2) relatively better for PDF reading (of which I'd like to do a little, not a lot - but definitely the capability is important);
3) better for annotations/highlighting (no handwritten notes necessary);
4) has neat capabilities like saving news articles for later reading.
Would you concur with this? Or would the Paperwhite, which is admittedly cheaper (and lacks the page-turning buttons, which are nice but not a game changer), be just as good for my purposes?

Also, if I can: would it be possible on any of these devices to save a few excerpts from a library book, to a note section or such on the e-reader, and to keep these highlighted or underlined sections *even after* the book is returned? I've been dreaming about that for years, but with my 10-year-old Nook, never got that far.

Thanks a bunch!

Last edited by Laurelle00; 04-08-2020 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 04-09-2020, 12:40 AM   #5
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Kindle does nor support Overdrive. If you want library books, Kobo is the way to go. Kobo is also relatively better at PDF compared to Kindle. As for the annotations, Kindle and Kobo are about the sams in that aspect. However, the 'saving news articles for later reading' is Pocket capability, which only Kobo supports. If these 4 things are the things you need in an eReader, I highly suggest you go for the Kobo Libra.
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Old 04-09-2020, 03:01 AM   #6
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Kindle does nor support Overdrive...
In the U.S. Overdrive does support Kindle. Though, I agree, that the Libra would probably be the better choice for this user.
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Old 04-09-2020, 10:39 AM   #7
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Would you concur with this? Or would the Paperwhite, which is admittedly cheaper (and lacks the page-turning buttons, which are nice but not a game changer), be just as good for my purposes?

Also, if I can: would it be possible on any of these devices to save a few excerpts from a library book, to a note section or such on the e-reader, and to keep these highlighted or underlined sections *even after* the book is returned? I've been dreaming about that for years, but with my 10-year-old Nook, never got that far.

Thanks a bunch!
Personally, I would prefer the Libra H2O over the Paperwhite. Part of this though is a preference for Kobo's open system compared to Amazon's locked down system. It makes it easier to play with my toys. For reading PDF's the larger screen is a better choice.

For annotations from a library book, a Kobo ereader does keep your annotations but this requires the automatic download of a preview for the book to tie those annotations to. You can also copy the annotations from the Kobo to your computer using the annotations plugin for calibre (a one way transfer only). That calibre plugin will also copy annotations from a Kindle but I've never tested that functionality.

You might notice that calibre gets mentioned rather often. IMO, it's one of the two must have applications for using an ereader.
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Old 04-09-2020, 06:25 PM   #8
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Thanks a bunch everyone for these very helpful suggestions!

I just purchased a Kobo Libra H20, and I'm looking forward to checking out all it can do (with the help of this forum).

I've downloaded Calibre too, so that I can get started.

Thanks everyone, and see you soon in the forums!
Laurelle
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Old 04-09-2020, 06:43 PM   #9
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In the U.S. Overdrive does support Kindle. Though, I agree, that the Libra would probably be the better choice for this user.
The Forma with KOReader would be better for PDF.
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Old 04-09-2020, 06:44 PM   #10
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Thanks a bunch everyone for these very helpful suggestions!

I just purchased a Kobo Libra H20, and I'm looking forward to checking out all it can do (with the help of this forum).

I've downloaded Calibre too, so that I can get started.

Thanks everyone, and see you soon in the forums!
Laurelle
Given that you want to read PDF, cancel/return the Libra H2O and get a Forma at 8". It makes a big difference.Also, you'll want to install KOReader as it handles PDF much better then the Kobo software.
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:47 PM   #11
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The Forma with KOReader would be better for PDF.
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Given that you want to read PDF, cancel/return the Libra H2O and get a Forma at 8". It makes a big difference.Also, you'll want to install KOReader as it handles PDF much better then the Kobo software.
Umm.. Jon, the reason I'm using a Forma is that my wife decided she preferred my Libra H2O after having borrowed my Forma pretty much as soon as I unpacked it. I've read PDFs on both and there isn't that much difference in most of my tech manuals between either. KOReader doesn't help much when you are spending your time trying to read pages that are too small to read when fitted to the screen. Heck, my iPad Pro barely made them readable.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:12 PM   #12
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Umm.. Jon, the reason I'm using a Forma is that my wife decided she preferred my Libra H2O after having borrowed my Forma pretty much as soon as I unpacked it. I've read PDFs on both and there isn't that much difference in most of my tech manuals between either. KOReader doesn't help much when you are spending your time trying to read pages that are too small to read when fitted to the screen. Heck, my iPad Pro barely made them readable.
Koreader might be of some help because it has also got K2pdfopt's reflow engine for complex pdfs, so, we don't have to adjust (convert) our pdfs beforehand by using K2pdfopt app on our laptops/PC's and then to transfer those adjusted (converted) pdfs to our smaller sized eink readers.

https://www.willus.com/k2pdfopt/

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Old 04-10-2020, 07:42 PM   #13
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Koreader might be of some help because it has also got K2pdfopt' reflow mode for complex pdfs i.e. there is no need to adjust our pdfs beforehand by using K2pdfopt app on our laptops/PC's and then to transfer those adjusted (converted) pdfs to our smaller eink readers.

https://www.willus.com/k2pdfopt/
Quite a few of the pages in my tech manuals are images which don't reflow very well. Ever tried viewing a page featuring a connection diagram which in the paper edition is folded to A4 which folds out to an A2 sheet on a 6.8" screen while keeping track of the line you are trying to follow? One of those experiences you hope you never ever have to repeat.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:59 PM   #14
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Quite a few of the pages in my tech manuals are images which don't reflow very well. Ever tried viewing a page featuring a connection diagram which in the paper edition is folded to A4 which folds out to an A2 sheet on a 6.8" screen while keeping track of the line you are trying to follow? One of those experiences you hope you never ever have to repeat.
Yep, there are situations when 10" or even bigger lcd tablet or laptop is a much better solution, but if we prefer eink screen we can still read a good part of such troublesome pdfs on eink screen e.g. I'd sometimes use lcd tablet simultaneously with eink reader, reading pdf on eink but annotating the same pdf on a tablet, or would use tablet only for colored tables/diagrams or for better dictionaries, quicker searches etc.

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Old 04-10-2020, 09:12 PM   #15
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Yep, there are situations when 10" or even bigger lcd tablet or laptop is a much better solution, but if we prefer eink screen we can still read a good part of such troublesome pdfs on eink screen e.g. I'd sometimes use lcd tablet simultaneously with eink reader, reading pdf on eink but annotating the same pdf on a tablet, or would use tablet only for colored tables/diagrams or for better dictionaries, quicker searches etc.
Most of the time, I use my laptop or iPad Pro for PDFs. The eInk devices are my emergency fallback when "they're better than nothing" is the mantra.
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