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Old 06-05-2012, 02:59 PM
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Thanks to everybody for the comments and ideas, which have tempered the semi-official product reviews on line.

Garland: Too bad Sony crapped out on you. The same thing happened to me with one of the firm's portable DVD players. When I took it back, the store had three or four previous returns. Sony used to have impressive quality, and I see that some Forum members have had good luck with the brand, but finding that quality may be a crap shoot.

Darwin: If the geometric expansion of models continues, somebody may come out with a uinit such as you describe for just $150. But for now, manufacturers are relying on the novelty factor to keep prices high. Not even the priciest current models have all your features, yet they cost almost what a laptop does. As long as the device lets me carry around a library of several hundred books I enjoy, at little to no cost, I might not care about most features on your list.

Interim conclusion: If I had to buy an eReader today, it would be the Nook Glowlight -- many reviewers rave about its unlighted predecessor, and I really like the idea of reading in bed without disturbing my wife. Another important discovery is Calibre -- a free software download that converts among the various eBook formats. This means that the many eBooks you have in Format X should not force you to stick with that format forever.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:15 PM
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Folks have a Kindle, I've got the basic Nook (black & white, wireless net only - no phone connection). It holds more books than you'll ever need, Barnes & Nobles has a great selection, you can shop from a hot-spot or download books from your computer, it reads a wide variety of file formats (a big consideration for me as I read a lot of reports and other internet traffic; some formatting might be needed for text files), and it's cheap. Black and white with no glow light means the battery will last the length of an international flight from the US to Asia (with several connections) and the e-ink screen is as readable as a paperback's page.
So, I'm happy with it as a book (or a whole roomful of books) but I only use it for that. If what you want is a giant smart phone (connect anywhere to shop, color, lights, etc.) it's not the one. Course you can just carry a smart phone to do that stuff.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:09 PM
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Follow-up: After considerable time comparing customer comments, especially the bad ratings, I finally got a Kindle Touch. The Nook may have a slight technical edge at the moment, and I very much liked the lighted screen. But there were waiting lists, as suppliers couldn't make them fast enough. Perhaps more importantly, it appears that Amazon's post-sale support is much better than B&N's.

It's early days, so am still exploring all the features. But it's already clear that whatever eReader you obtain, there are far more free eBooks available than you'll have time to read -- and not just from B&N or Amazon -- there are several additional website sources. 1923 seems to be a key date -- just about all earlier copyrights have expired. Among other ideas, I hope this leads to electronic reprints of the WWI novels of Elliot White Springs -- who really was a US pilot in that war.

There's an odd parallel to paper models -- it's easy to spend more time on line searching for models/eBooks than you do building or reading. And so far, I've restricted myself to the free stuff. Some modern books cost more as eBooks than they do as paperbacks, but vast numbers of eBooks are available for $5 or less. I'll never forsake printed books completely, but I am having a great time with the Kindle.

Y.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:56 PM
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I agree with Yogi and I have a basic Nook as well - the battery will last me a long haul AKL-LAX, longer if I am on one of the enlightened airlines with USB ports in the seats...B&N are hopeless if you do not have a US-billed credit card (previously you had to be physically in the US to download books) -this goes on a list of things they don't tell when you buy a Nook. I bought a cover for mine with a built in light because I find it hard on my eyes reading for long periods from a backlit screen + the backlighting sucks up the battery...

Through the power of Calibre (way more user-frendlly than it was early last year) I was able to shed the tyranny of B&N and now I mainly buy epubs from Amazon and use Calibre as my epub manager for compatibility and up/down-loading books into the Nook.

If you are into scifi/fantasy, check out the free library at Baen Books Science Fiction & Fantasy - Home Page where there is a very generous distribution of free epubs, many of which you will see on the shelves of B&N and the like...
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:07 PM
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Yes, I wonder how Baen can afford to offer so many freebies, and many of their other books are a fraction of the Amazon/B&N price. Nor does Baen restrict people to official eReaders -- the books are available in PDF, HTML, and many other formats, so can be read on virtually any computer.

Two other great sources for free eBooks are www.manybooks.org and www.gutenberg.org, although their books tend to be much older -- great if you like PG Wodehouse or H. Beam Piper. There also are several membership sites that require a $50 or $100 payment up front, in return for fantastic bargains on modern books, but I'm leery -- you know the saying about too good to be true. So if any members of this forum have experience with such sites, I would be very interested. Same goes with experience with local libraries -- which I still haven't had the time to try.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:20 PM
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Good choice - the Kindle.

As a reader the Kindle ink technology is far better then trying to read on tablets etc.

And yes, there are many great freebies - but also a lot of rubbish as well. The problem is a lot of free stuff is not effectively formatted, which makes it a pain to read electronically as it is not properly ".indexed" etc.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:43 PM
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One freebie I can recommend in Chris Culver's The Abbey - can't remember where I d/l it from, maybe smashbooks.com, but enjoyed in the police thriller genre...

Eric Flint comments on the Baen free library philosophy on the Baen site...interesting reading...both in his comments on the ebook business model but also on the tactic of releasing early books in a series to hook readers to want to buy later instalments...
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