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Thread: E-reader suggestions?

  1. #1

    Default E-reader suggestions?

    I'm trying to help someone with less than perfect eyesight select a ebook reader. Although there is an older thread about the Nook, I want to open up the question to include all ereaders. Do you have an ereader, and would you please give a short review? I've an IPod that has great lighting choices, changeable font style and size, and is lightweight. But the person only needs a basic ereader.

    Suggestions?
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    As far as the Nook or Kindle both are being sold at Best Buy so a trip to the nearest Best Buy to check both of them out might be advised.

    I don't have a Kindle so I don't know the pros and cons about it.

    For the Nook, I have a Simple Touch, the HD+ and I also have the reader installed on my PC. One thing I can say is that if you purchase an ebook title from one source, the other two devices will see the new purchase.

    The Simple Touch I can hold in one hand, whereas the HD+ I need to hold it with two hands. Another thing to consider is the Wi-Fi access availability and the availability of having a credit card when you register the device.

    The Nook's do have the ability to handle a microSD card, useful if you have PDF documents to read (I didn't have the chance to check it out on the HD+ yet).

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    I've had 4 Kindle models, and my wife and I now both use Kindle Paperwhites. We like them fine. This model has a built in adjustable screen light that makes it easier to read, including outside in the daylight and at night. I use mine only occasionally, but my wife is a mystery fan and spends several hours a day reading hers. We have 659 Kindle books, now, in our Amazon account, which we can either keep on our Kindle devices or download to a Kindle from Amazon, as convenient.

    There are some Kindle models with LCD color screens or keyboards, but the Paperwhite model is black & white only and has a touch screen. It needs a battery recharge every week or so. It's not very big -- the size of a typical paperback.

    Some Kindle models can read aloud to you, but the Paperwhite model won't do this. It has wi-fi and optionally 3G networking, for shopping online to buy more books. It can also connect to a computer by USB (which I don't do).

    Here is Amazon's product page for the Kindle Paperwhite: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...comp_sm_kp_txt. There are 3800 user reviews here. The cheapest model Paperwhite is $119.
    Greg

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Yes. I am planning to buy a Paperwhite from Best Buy today if it has the "no special offers" option for twenty bucks more. I've been reading on my phone, laptop, and desktop for a while now and have decided that even if I get a tablet eventually, I want an ereader that's designed with reading in mind. Book-loving friends who have the Paperwhite have told me this is the one I want. Good enough a testimony for me, even though I am a very loyal BN customer.
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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Another factor to consider is what the ebook title collections are like? Granted the latest books would be available but what about older books.

    An example would be the James Blish adaptations of the original Star Trek series which were published during the late 1960 to the mid 1970s (13 books in all). While the Barnes & Noble web site says the paper back editions are available it is not available as an ebook title.

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    I don't see any Blish Star Trek ebooks on Amazon, but a web search turned up a .pdf version advertised free at http://www.mytouristplaces.com/?p=303887 (and Kindles read .pdf files).
    Greg

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    Yes. I am planning to buy a Paperwhite from Best Buy today if it has the "no special offers" option for twenty bucks more.
    I can't find the specifics right now, but I think if you get a version with special offers, you can later pay the $20 to have them removed.

    Ah, here it is (but it doesn't say here what the charge is):
    Unsubscribe from Special Offers

    You can unsubscribe from Special Offers on your Kindle if you do not want to receive Sponsored Screensavers and Special Offers.

    Amazon is able to offer Kindle models at a subsidized price by delivering Special Offers and Sponsored Screensavers. If you originally purchased a Kindle Special Offer Device you will be charged a one-time payment to unsubscribe from this service.

    Visit Manage Your Kindle .
    Under Your Kindle Account, click Manage Your Devices.
    Click your device to display more information.
    Next to Special Offers, click Edit, and then follow the instructions to unsubscribe from Special Offers. You'll see the amount of the one-time payment before you confirm.

    Your 1-Click payment method will be charged when you unsubscribe from Special Offers. You'll receive an e-mail notification.
    Last edited by GregLee; December 28th, 2013 at 12:35 PM.
    Greg

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Thanks, Greg! I'm doing it, then. Within the hour.

    Helen, I totally understand the concern about what titles are offered, but since my preferred method will still be to read physical books, I'm not worried about old titles. They're still going to be (mostly) easily found at all the usual places.

    I didn't mention that one of the reasons I've been reading on my phone and various computers lately is that I've picked up a gig writing articles for an executive headhunting firm's website. The articles are on a variety of business-themed topics, and that's far outside my realm of expertise. I've had to do a lot of reading just to have a place to start with several of the topics I've written about. For that, I just didn't want books piling up in my house related to topics I have little but mercenary interest in. There are enough piling up as it is. That's why I finally made the leap to ereading.

    Most of my pleasure reading will still be physical books; dang it, I've got so many around here that I doubt I will ever run out. Sadly, I'm finding slightly less time for pleasure reading, since so much of my free time has been spent on the self-assigned reading. Here's hoping it won't always be this much.
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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Here is a very useful blog about the Kindle, with a miscellany of Kindle gossip, reviews, and news about special book and app deals: Kindle World.
    Greg

  10. #10

    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    If this makes a difference in your suggestions, the person I'm helping will be utilizing the public library system in their area that has a wide selection of free ebooks to check out. I doubt they ever buy an ebook, but instead use the ereader as a way to access free online sources.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Borrowing Kindle books from a public library. I haven't tried this, myself.
    Greg

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    I have one of the earlier Kindles, the one with the keyboard. Iíve had it for over three years and itís served me well, but Iím thinking of getting the Paperwhite to give me the additional flexibility of reading outdoors or in dark environments. Probably by January. I still prefer ďrealĒ books, but a stand-alone e-reader is perfectly acceptable to me (and sometimes itís more advantageous).

    As far as availability, Kindle probably has the largest selection, followed closely by Barnes & Noble, with Apple a distant third, but Kindle uses a proprietary format, while everyone else uses ePub. And as far as borrowing from libraries, Amazon only recently (2011) allowed e-books to be downloaded free to Kindle from libraries, but I think it's still king of the hill where e-books are concerned.

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Slightly off-topic, but:

    I wasn't kidding. I went right to Best Buy to make my purchase. There it was. I stood next to it. I caressed it. I played with it. I even made like I was trying to detach the display unit from its anchor, hoping that some alert security guy in the control room would dispatch someone right away to see what I was up to.

    Nobody came to help me.

    Granted, the store was very busy, and blue-shirted employees rushed past me right and left on their way to helping other people. I don't mind that I was going to have to wait; I minded that nobody was even telling me I would have to wait.

    I flagged someone down; she was carrying a clipboard. I told her what I needed. She said she'd add me to the list. I waited some more.

    It was stupid, really. I didn't actually need any help. I knew what I wanted; all I needed was someone to hand me the object and ring me up. All this customer service OTHER people were in line ahead of me for was fine, but I shouldn't have to wait for them just so I can purchase the thing I already knew I wanted.

    What this store needs, I thought, is one of those take-this-card-to-the-register systems.

    I flagged down someone else in a blue shirt. I explained that I understood she couldn't help me at that very moment, but that someone should really do something to serve customers who didn't need assistance. I know what I want! Let me buy it!

    She said she was grateful for my feedback and was the manager of that area of the store. Then she told me that there was a cashier in the very middle of the store, standing in front of a locked cage, and that the Paperwhite was inside that cage and he could ring me up for it.

    Grateful, I stood next to that cashier and waited for an elderly gentleman to veeerrrrry sloooooooowwwwwwly pay him and accept his receipt and product. Then I told the guy what I wanted. He said the cage was empty of them, so he'd be right back while he grabbed some from the back.

    He returned empty-handed. "We just sold that last three," he said. "Let me call the Aiea store."

    Aiea was out of them too, so he offered to hold one for me; it would only be a few days.

    No, I explained. I wanted it now. If I was going to wait a few days, I might as well order online from Amazon, for which I have a couple of gift cards.

    And so I wait.
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    What an adventure!
    Except for Safeway, I very seldom visit a retail store, these days. The last two things I got at Best Buy, I bought online.
    Amazon initializes a Kindle you buy from them with your account information.
    Greg

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Here is an excellent review of the newest version of the Kindle Paperwhite: Paperwhite 2 review.
    Greg

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    I simply downloaded Kindle-for-free on my PC from Amazon.

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by SusieMisajon View Post
    I simply downloaded Kindle-for-free on my PC from Amazon.
    I think that is Kindle for PC, which is one of 11 Kindle Reading Apps from Amazon. I use that, too. It's a nice program.
    Greg

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    I use it too, and also one for a Mac, and also for one on my iPhone. The problem is that none of those behaves anything close to a book. For the amount of reading I do, I need multiple options and all kinds of portability and flexibility.

    Placed my order today and opted for free shipping, so it could be a while.
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    Red face Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Coming late to this, but would've recommended the Kindle Paperwhite, too. $119, $20 more to remove ads, for a fantastic, small device with a nice readable screen, and nearly unending battery life. Even though my wife has an iPad and a Kindle Fire, the Paperwhite is the one that does the e-reading thing best.

    Interestingly it wouldn't have even occurred to me to go to a store to buy one. It's an Amazon product, after all. Glad I didn't even try Best Buy!

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    The suggestion to go to Best Buy was to physically check out both devices and see how they feel.

  21. #21

    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    It's not too late to add comments. I'm still in the "helper mode", collecting information. The person who wants the E-reader is not able to easily get to stores, so I'm helping long distance (with probable online purchase).

    Ease of use is important, and not having too many buttons to push or "confusing" options to work through. Think of an advanced age person with some eyesight problems.

    Thanks for your help so far, I'm paying attention to your suggestions.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    Ease of use is important, and not having too many buttons to push or "confusing" options to work through.
    The PW (Paperwhite) has only one button, for on-off, and if you buy an accessory case with the "auto wake" feature (around $40), you don't even need to use that one button, since opening the case cover turns the device on and closing it turns the device off.

    The charge cable uses a micro usb connector which is awfully tiny. My eyesight is not good enough to tell easily what the right way to plug it in is, so I just turn it over and try the other way if my first attempt is not working.

    My mother in her later years had macular degeneration and could not read a computer screen, no matter how bright, how much contrast, or how big the letters. She could read a newspaper with difficulty, but not a screen, for some reason. But if your friend has some facility with a computer for email or web browsing, I think the PW user interface, which uses the touch screen only, would not cause a problem.
    Greg

  23. #23

    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    Yes, she can still see her computer screen, and still read a paper-printed book and newspaper. Things aren't as clear to her as before, but I'm hopeful that an ereader with proper lighting will work well.

    I'll check with her local library and see what sort of ebooks they have, perhaps they don't have a large list for every type of reader.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
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    Default Re: E-reader suggestions?

    I have the original Kindle Paperwhite model, PW1. The version of Paperwhite now being sold, the PW2, has several improvements, according to reports. It is rumored here, http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/24/ama...rly-next-year/ that a new version PW3 will come out this Spring. I decided to cancel my order for a PW2 and wait for the PW3 (which has not been announced -- so who knows?).
    Greg

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