Archive for the ‘E-Reader/Book Technology’ Category

The great e-reader debate of 2011

March 15th, 2011    Posted in E-Reader/Book Technology, Kelly, Kim

Kelly: Over time, the siren song of an e-reader has become louder and louder. To be able to carry multiple books around in one small device, especially while traveling, is appealing. I’ve thought about buying one for over a year, and recently took the plunge.

Originally, I debated four devices:

1. Nook
2. Kindle
3. Sony E-Reader
4. Ipad

When I learned that it’s possible to check e-books out from my library and read them on the Nook, Sony E-Reader, and any Apple or Android device, I deleted the Kindle from my list. Amazon has done a great job showing there is a marketplace for e-reader devices and e-books, but I didn’t want to limit myself to one source to acquire e-books. The Kindle strikes me as Beta while other e-readers, e.g. the ones that use ePub, strike me as VHS. Time will tell if I’m right or not.

So now I’m down to three potential devices. I love the Ipad—whenever I see one, I want one the way a chocolate display makes me crave candy—but I decided to delete it from my list due to few reasons: one, it costs more than a stand-alone e-reader, although that’s balanced by the increased functionality. Two, it has a backlit LCD screen instead of e-Ink display. Three, I want to see how the Ipad 2 does, and how it compares to the new android-based tablets due to hit the market. So I scratched an Ipad off of my list, although I can see my household acquiring a tablet device in the next year.

So that left the Sony E-reader and the Nook. My friend and go-to-person of all things books uses a Sony, and likes it. They make a variety of devices with different sized screens, and I looked at several in person at my local Best Buy.

But I ended up going with a Nook. It’s easy to use. It has a touch screen. More importantly: Barnes and Noble offers in-store help. I can take my Nook to a store, and read e-books onsite for an hour a day if desired. (That being said, the free samples available for each e-book has been enough to tell me whether or not I want to make the plunge and buy the full text.)

Plus, Barnes and Noble occasionally offers free treats, discounts, and other promotions when customers bring their Nooks into the store. I’m a sucker for free food and deals. Plus, I can buy e-books from sources other than Barnes and Noble. This means I can purchase e-books from my local independent shops in addition to Barnes and Noble.

But ultimately, the decisive selling point for me was this: I can checkout e-books from my local library and read them on the Nook.

While traveling last week, I purchased my first novel to read on my Nook—Feed by M. T. Anderson—and I plan to review the reading experience as well as the novel itself. I’m also looking forward to reading my first library e-book and plan to critique the experience on this blog as well.

Maybe if we’re lucky Kim will post a review of using an Ipad as an e-reader!

You Win Again, Apple

Kim: The decision to go with an iPad in my household almost had more to do with Angry Birds, The New York Times Crossword, and some motorcycle app my boyfriend likes to play than it did with finding the perfect e-reader. The iPad has proven to be a great addition to the electronics in our repertoire, even if a bit redundant. It must be said that if you own a Mac (like I do), an iPod (like I do), and an iPhone (like I do) springing for the iPad might not be the best choice. My boyfriend, however, had none of the above and was smitten with the product. Truth be told, it has been a great addition and for all the wonderful things it allows us to do, and anyone who is interested I wouldn’t turn away. For an e-reader though, it probably lacks in some areas where the Nook or Kindle excel. I haven’t used it much for e-reading but the screen does have a terrible glare in bright light, and from what I know, it doesn’t provide some of the e-borrowing and trading capabilities other e-readers now employ.

To make a long story short, if you’re a Mac, iPod, and iPhone user you don’t need the iPad and I would go for a different e-reader. BUT if you’re looking to indulge in an Apple product, it does offer some wonderful touchscreen-type fun— e-reading included.

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