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.