Christian

Kindle and other E-readers

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There's a 3rd generation Kindle on the way. It's lighter, faster, longer battery life, sharper display, smaller with twice as much storage. This one also comes complete with WiFi for $189. A version with WiFi only is also on the way at $139 which is cheaper than B&N's Nook and Sony's Reader.

USAToday article

Amazon's blurb

I may invest in one yet. :)

Edited by CherylR

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Just out of interest, what format / file extension do Kindle books come in/with. Does anyone know about how you can create one of those files (Assuming it's not something you get with Office / Adobe).

Matt

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The Nook is definitely being taken seriously by Amazon (thus the $139 and $189 price points of the Kindle, $10 less than the $149 and $199 Nooks). And for good reason -- the Nook is a very cool device. I test-drove one last night at my downtown Barnes and Noble, and it is pretty freakin' sweet. Especially because it takes the first tentative steps towards what I prayed for earlier:

The next step, I feel, would be for Borders to allow me to browse their shelves of printed materials and then buy e-books/magazines using a port there in the store. I have a Borders a block from my workplace, I would do this All The Time if I could. But this is probably a decade away.

I love thee possibility of walking the aisles of a Barnes and Noble and browsing their shelves, and then checking if the book is available for Nook on the free, fast Wi-Fi. ::blush:: I hope this does not make me a total geek -- no wait, I'm past that.

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Has anyone tried Border's Kobo yet? I still have some allegiance to my former employer, and am curious about how the Kobo stacks up compared to other e-readers.

Edited by Jason Panella

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MattPage:

Kindle books are generally Mobifiles. If you check out the Mobipocket ebook creator (free software) you'll find you can import Word files saved as website and several other file types and convert them into mobi files; you're supposed to be able to convert PDFs with that software, too, but I've not been able to get it to work for me. However, there are other converters out there (I use something called the Auto Kindle eBook converter and, beyond Windows asking for confirmation every time I use it, I've not had any trouble with it).

The biggest problem with the second program is that, depending on your PDF file, the formatting can get really badly messed up and result in something that's ugly and nigh-unreadable. Still, it's better/easier to read than an unconverted PDF on your Kindle.

Edited by NBooth

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Thanks NBooth / e2c

Matt

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Cheryl - get it for reading, not for web browsing! I love my K2, but the browser capabilities are very primitive. (Doesn't matter to me; I got for reading only.)

Thanks! I'll keep that in mind. :)

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I have downloaded the Kindle app for PC. I haven't read any books with it yet, but I'm having a grand time downloading free books; mainly Chesterton's works. So far. ;)

Cheryl

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Cheryl - have you tried http://manybooks.net/ ?

In the drop-down menu for file type, choose MOBI

I have now! ;) Thanks! :)

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Want to read some Ray Bradbury on your iPad or Kindle? Good luck!

"Fahrenheit 451" author burns at idea of digital books

Interestingly, I heard another author on NPR (for the life of me, I can't think of who), who said that, after the initial love affair with his Kindle, it ultimately drove him back to the printed page.

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I have a lot to learn.

I've now downloaded two books in my life. One was from Borders. I was told by a Borders rep I wouldn't need the Border's digital book app in order to read the book, that Adobe would do. But Adobe didn't work with the book, so I downloaded the Borders app, Borders Desktop, which I've quite liked so far.

Not so with Adobe Digital Reader, which I was required to download in order to read Roger Ebert's Alone in the Dark. It's as simple as page display. The Borders app gives me short pages I can move through. I doubt the hard copy of the book has such short pages. With the Ebert book, what appears to be the full page of either the hardback or paperback is displayed, and I have to click down the screen to read a complete page.

I don't like that. I can click through short pages like I would a book, but clicking to read down a displayed page? That irritates me.

Now, I can use the "fit single page" option to get an entire page of Ebert's book to display, but the print is too small to read without squinting. I don't recall choosing any settings on the Borders app; it displayed fine the first time.

OK, e-book veterans: What crucial detail(s) have I overlooked that would make my digital book-reading experience more simple?

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I purchased a Nook nearly a month ago and I absolutely love it. I've been reading more in the last month then I have in many months. I certainly don't see this handy contraption replacing my entire library (I have close to 1000 books-- thanks, seminary!), but I'll definitely be doing most of my pleasure/fiction reading on it from now on. Certain kinds of books (theology, philosophy, etc.) demand engagement and thus necessitate a hard copy and a pen in hand. But as for reading a novel or something like David Simon's Homicide (one of my first Nook purchases), it's perfect.

There are also lots of great public domain books available to download off the interwebs, legally. And since the Nook is epub compatible (a big selling point for me), there are all kinds of free, public domain books available on the internet. The best site I've found so far is Project Gutenberg ( http://www.gutenberg.org ).

My wife, who I always assumed loved technology, became a luddite when I bought the Nook. There's nothing like the feel of a book in your hand, she said. But after one night of playing on the Nook, she announced that she might have to get one. Of course, there's nothing like the feeling or smell of a real book, but there's also nothing like being able to carry up to 1500 books in your backpack or purse.

So far, no complaints. I'm sold on the Nook, but I won't be selling my library any time soon.

Edited by Gavin Breeden

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Gavin, after my Sony Reader gave out I got a Nook, and I've loved it, too. I especially love the low-price and free books (including through Overdrive).

PS We should totally add each other as contacts, in case we own "Lend Me" capable books that we might want to share...

I purchased a Nook nearly a month ago and I absolutely love it. I've been reading more in the last month then I have in many months. I certainly don't see this handy contraption replacing my entire library (I have close to 1000 books-- thanks, seminary!), but I'll definitely be doing most of my pleasure/fiction reading on it from now on. Certain kinds of books (theology, philosophy, etc.) demand engagement and thus necessitate a hard copy and a pen in hand. But as for reading a novel or something like David Simon's Homicide (one of my first Nook purchases), it's perfect.

There are also lots of great public domain books available to download off the interwebs, legally. And since the Nook is epub compatible (a big selling point for me), there are all kinds of free, public domain books available on the internet. The best site I've found so far is Project Gutenberg ( http://www.gutenberg.org ).

My wife, who I always assumed loved technology, became a luddite when I bought the Nook. There's nothing like the feel of a book in your hand, she said. But after one night of playing on the Nook, she announced that she might have to get one. Of course, there's nothing like the feeling or smell of a real book, but there's also nothing like being able to carry up to 1500 books in your backpack or purse.

So far, no complaints. I'm sold on the Nook, but I won't be selling my library any time soon.

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I had missed this USA Today roundup of e-readers. For the first time, I'm taking a hard look at the Sony e-reader. Hmmm...

EDIT: Ooops! I was combining descriptions of the Sony and the Libre. Can't have it all.

Edited by Christian

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I bought a Kindle this week--the 3G+Wi-Fi model. I haven't done a lot of reading with it, but I have noticed it's easier to read on a kindle than it is on my computer. :)

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Way to go, Cheryl! Forrester has put out a study concluding:

And the biggest winner in the e-book sweepstakes? Forrester says it will be … the Kindle.

“Sure, other eReaders have been introduced that are intriguing, but Amazon has a secret weapon: an existing relationship with a large share of all book buyers,” Forrester said. “Four in 10 people who own or expect to buy an eReader shop at Amazon for physical books. Exactly 50% of people who bought an eBook in the past month have bought eBooks from Amazon’s Kindle store.”

“This is why we’re convinced that Amazon’s Kindle store will be the most used eBook store, even on the iPad or any other platform open to its Kindle apps.”

I'm still adjusting to reading e-books on my laptop -- and I'm not alone. The linked story also reveals:

[The Kindle] is edged out by the humble laptop as the e-reader of choice. ... Laptop users could very well be reading Kindle editions on a computer using software provided by Amazon, and may be motivated to merely avoid a third device (assuming a phone is also a necessary one). But the choice may be very interesting to Google, whose “Editions” e-book service (which was supposed to launch this past summer) would be an entirely web-based store, requiring no special device or software.

Laptops only slightly trump the Kindle, 35 percent to 32 percent. Coming in third was the iPhone, with 15 percent, followed by a Sony e-reader (12 percent), netbooks (10 percent) and the Barnes & Noble Nook (9 percent). Also at 9 percent was the iPad.

I know some have professed loyalty to the Nook, but just last week I picked one up at a store display ... and couldn't get the thing to work. No one was around to help. The lag time after I pressed various buttons seemed interminable.

It was probably me more than the device, but that first frustrating experience won't soon be forgotten.

Edited by Christian

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FWIW, I don't have a Kindle, but I did install the Kindle app on my cell phone (an HTC Hero, which runs on Android) the other day. Now all I need to do is buy a book or something, I guess.

(I have, however, already read a book on my cell phone, even if I didn't read it via Kindle, because a PDF copy of that book was e-mailed to me for my endorsement. I opened the e-mail on my phone, saved the PDF to my storage card, and read the book on bus trips etc. 'Twas fun.)

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FWIW, I don't have a Kindle, but I did install the Kindle app on my cell phone (an HTC Hero, which runs on Android) the other day. Now all I need to do is buy a book or something, I guess.

Why buy? Download the free stuff. :)

Well, nuts. Nook now supports color, which means Amazon will roll out a color supporting version sometime in the near future. That's the biggest complaint I've had so far w/ the Kindle--no color support which makes book covers really boring. Oh well. For now, I'm mainly using my Kindle for grad school reading. :)

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CherylR wrote:

: Why buy? Download the free stuff. :)

Heh. I did, in fact, download Alice in Wonderland and one or two other freebies. Was disappointed that they didn't come with the illustrations, though. :)

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CherylR wrote:

: Why buy? Download the free stuff. :)

Heh. I did, in fact, download Alice in Wonderland and one or two other freebies. Was disappointed that they didn't come with the illustrations, though. :)

iPad envy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gew68Qj5kxw.

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CherylR wrote:

: Why buy? Download the free stuff. :)

Heh. I did, in fact, download Alice in Wonderland and one or two other freebies. Was disappointed that they didn't come with the illustrations, though. :)

One of the books I downloaded didn't have the illustrations either and that's a bummer.

Whoa. The speed of that made my eyeballs vibrate. :shock: It was still pretty cool, though. :)

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I had $100 in spending cash I was saving for Black Friday specials. My not so secret hope was that the Kindle might be put on sale at Target for $100.

By last week, I had dipped into that money to buy CDs. Turns out no Black Friday ads I saw featured e-readers. But today, at Borders -- where I've been spending most of that money, bit by bit -- I saw that their Kobo reader is $99 through the weekend. People at the store were busy looking at the various e-readers on display, including the Kobo. I'm loyal to Borders, thanks to its Rewards program, and would like to investigate the Kobo in more detail. But I no longer have $100 to spend.

Ugh. Just looked at the Consumer Reports e-reader ratings, where the Kobo is ranked near the bottom. I did think earlier, when considering the attractive Kobo price point, "I bet the Kindle is worth the extra $40." And I bet it is.

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I've started downloading magazine issues to my Kindle--so far, I subscribe to One Story and Narrative. Once my battery is re-charged, I'm going to download

Ploughshares. I like not having to worry about where to store or how to dispose of the back issues. :)

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The attitude among publishers toward the sales trend in e-books is encouraging. And while I have no issues with romance fiction, it's nice to hear that serious nonfiction also is making a dent in the e-books marketplace.

The tastes of e-book buyers has broadened somewhat in recent months, said David Young, the chief executive of the Hachette Book Group. Nonfiction books like “Life,” the Keith Richards memoir, and “Cleopatra,” a biography by Stacy Schiff, have sold rapidly in digital form.

“I’m excited by the fact that we’re seeing quality nonfiction selling through in e-books,” Mr. Young said. “Clearly there are buyers of all persuasions now in that market. That’s really good news.”

Edited by Christian

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Christmas brought the long-awaited Kindle, and the early returns are positive.

Aside from the hour I spent scrambling to locate the password to the wireless network I never use, setup and registration was a breeze. The Kindle’s display is crisp and easy on the eyes, navigation is intuitive, and downloading books is as easy and fast as advertised. I’m very pleased.

One of the delightful surprises for me was the abundance of free books available from the Kindle bookstore. I spend most of my reading time trying to catch up on the world’s classic literature, and I had not realized until I gave the Kindle its test run that almost all of this literature is available for free. The rest is available for pennies. As a cash-strapped parent of two college students, I’m very appreciative. So I downloaded Fielding’s Tom Jones, several Fitzgerald novels, a couple Chesterton detective stories, and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels for $0.00. I downloaded the complete works of Dickens for $1.99. The Scrooge in me was delighted.

My only quibble concerns page numbering. Or more correctly, the lack thereof. Given the 6-inch display screen, it’s obvious that conventional page numbering will not work. And given the fact that different editions of the same book will use different page numbers, it’s probably not a big deal anyway. But it’s a little disconcerting to see a progress bar (marked off by percentages) at the bottom of the screen, and to see fairly bizarre bookmarks (I’m currently at 10,897 of 13,097 in Tom Jones, for instance) instead of page numbers. Since we’re currently three-quarters of the way through Tom Jones in my book club, it’s going to be a bit of a challenge to provide the locations of specific passages I’d like to discuss. I’ll get used to it. It’s just a little odd.

But you can certainly count me as a very satisfied customer.

Edited by Andy Whitman

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