Catching up with this whole eReader phase

I’m a little behind the times.  While my household owns a Kindle (the first generation), other than moving it out of my way while cleaning, I’ve never really handled it or used it.  My excuse was that picture books don’t look good on the kindle, you can’t download library books on it, and I just plain old like paper.  Paper that I can read near water and not worry about killing it (this is especially valid since I just dropped my camera into the Pacific Ocean a few weeks ago and it died).

Having said that, I recognize my need to jump on the technology bandwagon.  Especially technology not produced by apple, which is about all i keep up to date on.  So when Redondo Beach Public Library offered me the opportunity to attend an eReader workshop today through SCLC, I jumped on the chance.  These are the gadgets I got to play with this morning:

          

                Kindle DX                                Kindle Reader

 

            Sony eReader                 Barnes & Noble Nook

            

Barnes & Noble Nook Color                      Apple iPad

Christian and  I have been discussing getting a tablet or a prettier eReader for some time.  This workshop was as much a personal interest as a professional one, and I think it was really really helpful.  We had a guided walk-thru of each eReader, but we only actually downloaded a book onto the Kindle, and it was not a library book, it was a free book from Amazon.

That was the biggest disappointment of the workshop.  The question we get most often is “How the heck do I get the book onto my eReader or computer?!”  And while this question wasn’t exactly answered, we at least have a better idea of the beast that we’re dealing with and trying to tame.

I felt that of course, the best product overall was the Apple iPad, which, of course, costs 2-3X as much as the rest.  But, it was vibrant, easy to use, and you could use all the other formats on it.  Kindle, B&N, Overdrive.  Apple isn’t picky.  They want to share.  Unless, of course, you want to view somethign with adobe flash, but thats a completely different situation.

Since I can’t afford an iPad because dummy me decided to replace the floors in my house this month, I wondered, what would be my second choice?

The Barnes & Noble Nook Color was pretty amazing, although I disliked that it was limited to B&N Apps and that the files you downloaded from someplace other than B&N (aka non-purchased library books) were stored in a completely different place and not available on your main screen.

The Sony eReader and regular Nook were both pretty terrible, although I’d buy the regular Nook before the Sony eReader.  The Nook was akward with its touch screen below and then main screen up top.  I kept wanting to just touch what i wanted and I also kept accidentally exiting out of my book.  I heard, though, that the Nook 2 will be a full touch screen like the Nook Color except in B&W.  I would definitely consider purchasing it if the only issue was color.  Unless, of course, I wanted to read picture books, then I think B&W doesn’t really do them justice.

And last, but not least, the Kindle.  My problem with the Kindle is that Amazon is so full of themselves I no longer want to support them in any way shape or form.  That it took them until Thursday to allow users to download library books, I feel, is ridiculous.  Also, the keyboard was super akward to use.  Either my hands were too small or the keyboard was just in a really horrible place, its hard to say since the people with larger hands felt their fingers were too fat to use the keys.

So, taking into consideration all of the above, here is my wish list.  Christmas is just a few months away and my birthday is 6 months after that.  I’d be willing to combine both gifts into one.  Unless you still owe me a birthday present, then I’d be willing to take a belated Birthday/Early Christmas present.  Oh yeah, the list:

1.  Apple iPad

2.  B&N Nook Color

3.  B&N Nook 2 (assuming that it is exactly like the Nook Color, minus the color)

4.  Kindle DX

5.  Kindle Reader (my main problem with this one was its so small… I might as well just read the ebook on my phone at this point)

and that’s it.  I would never want the Sony eReader.  It was difficult to manage and really the only thing I actually liked about it was that you could use it in more than english (which would be awesome except that I only speak English).  This thing doesn’t even have wifi — You HAVE to plug it into the computer to download books everytime.  While this is true of the B&N Nook as well (for non-B&N books), at least the interface is prettier and much more manageable and if you really had to have that book and couldn’t wait for your computer, you could always buy it from B&N.

Sorry sony eReader.  Its no wonder Borders went out of business if they were selling you AND the Kobo.

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7 thoughts on “Catching up with this whole eReader phase

  1. I have a Sony eReader and I do LOVE it. It’s much much better than Kindle. Easy to use, easy to read, light weight and it’s by Sony and not by Borders. True, Borders introduced it but Sony has all the support for it and it’s seriously great.

    • how do you feel about the size? I think another thing that turned me off was that it was too small. Although the Sony eReader did have the best large print options. No other reader got the font that big – although it wasn’t consistent throughout and had to be changed everytime I turned the page. For awhile, Sony eReaders were the only thing Borders sold, so sorry if I made it sound like Borders owned them in anyway!

      What I like best about eReaders is that there is one for everyone – everyone has different tastes in what they’re looking for and different things, too!

      • I don’t use large fonts, even on my PC i don’t have large fonts. But Sony lets you change the font. That’s interesting that you say everytime you turned the page you had to change the font. I never had that problem; I change the font at the beginning of the book and never touch it again & what I like about it is you can read it landscape or portrait, just like an iPad and for larger fonts I think landscape is better.

        I do agree with you, everyone has a different taste and the good thing about eReaders is that you can choose and find your taste.

  2. The default operating system for the Nook Color is pretty terrible, agreed! What a lot of nerds like me really like about the Nook Color is the fact that you can “root” it to turn it into a fully functional Android tablet. This means you can do the same things with the Nook as a much more expensive tablet. The Android Market has Overdrive, Kindle…and Angry Birds.

    Ars Technica has a good guide on it:

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guides/2011/02/howto-root-a-nook-color-to-transform-it-into-an-android-tablet.ars

    • Wow! I had no idea! I just got my first android phone after having my iPhone forever but finally being fed up with AT&T’s service, and I must say I’m fairly impressed. To change the nook color into a tablet… well, this could definitely change things for me!

      Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Picture Books for iPads « Lessa Librarian

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