Cheap e-book readers discussion

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  • ksh123
    ksh123 Posts: 1,248 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Anybody got one of the cheap ones? Are they any good?
    Stop looking for answers....
    The most you can hope for are clues.....:)
  • Clowance
    Clowance Posts: 1,840 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    I don't yet have an e-reader but would love one. Having done some research I would like to point out that you can convert free out of copyright e-books to Kindle format, see http://ireaderreview.com/2008/01/18/getting-project-gutenberg-books-on-your-kindle/

    although as I say I haven't tried it. I have however done it for my kindle for pc and kindle for android (there are other ebook readers available for android by the way that read all sorts of formats).

    Also, Kindle is available much more cheaply in the USA if anyone is going or knows someone who is. $189(£117) versus £152 or $139(£86) versus £111.

    I think the whole point of an ebook reader is e-ink so wouldn't go for the cheaper ones above when kindle is not much more. I think without eink it may turn in to a useless gadget and be tiring to read, even impossible in sun? However it would be interesting to hear from the owner of one.

    I also noticed that for newly published books the kindle edition is often A LOT MORE money than the actual paperback!! Rip off or what.
  • I've had my Kindle since xmas. So far, I haven't found one downfall.

    You can buy books from anywhere in any format and convert them using free software called Calibre. It takes seconds to do, and then you just upload the book to your Kindle by connecting the device to your computer.

    You will also find on the Amazon Kindle forums that lots of authors (especially new ones) offer their books at discount prices - generally around the 75p mark. I have bought several of these books, and always been happy with the quality. (It's also good to be able to talk to the authors on the forum).

    You can also use torrents to find books - I have downloaded several books that I already own, and can now read them on my Kindle as well as my paper copy. (Obviously you can use torrents to download books that you haven't bought a paper copy of as well - depends on how you feel about copyright uses and abuses)

    If there is a book you want but you feel it is too expensive, just keep an eye on the price, as often Amazon have special offers and bring prices down on certain books for a few days - they did this over Christmas/New Year, and I got over 20 books for less than £15)

    Customer service is excellent - I had an issue with the formatting of one of the books I had downloaded from the site, and emailed their customer service. Within 2 hours, Amazon phoned me, and talked me through the formating (the font was too big and wouldn't reduce enough for my liking). When they couldn't sort it (apparently it was the fault of the publisher who supplied the format) they offered me a full refund, at that time, or any time in the future if I found it too difficult to read. Can't ask for better than that. I have also heard that if you damage your Kindle, they will supply you with a replacement free of charge. Someone on the Kindle forums noted said this is a one-time replacement, they won't keep replacing it if you keep damaging it - but even then - who else would do that for you?

    I'm totally sold on it. You may have noticed!:j
  • djhworld
    djhworld Posts: 221 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    The description for the Kindle is a bit wrong - the books you buy from Amazon do come in AZW format yes.

    But the Kindle also supports MOBI format as well, which is great if you use sites like http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page which offers free classics that have gone out of copyright.
    Can I afford to buy? Mortgage Affordability Calculator

    https://caniaffordtobuy.co.uk/
  • Big problem is you may own the reader but you don't own the books! You buy a 'book' for your reader but when you've read it you can't lend it to a friend or give it away or resell it. With an ordinary book all these are possible.
    Restrictions vary from make to make but I think I am right in saying that no reader gives access to all books. Some will let you use it only in their reader (and in the worst cases only in the one reader into which you downloaded the book) so lose your reader, you lose your library. I can't see insurance companies coughing up to replace your collection so any you want to read again after a reader loss or breakdown will cost you the full fee.
    Another snag is how long are they going to last? Technology moves on and new machines won't read old technology - how many people today have facilities to read the old square-shaped floppy disk? In five years time you may want a new reader but will you be able to upload all those books loaded on your old one? I doubt it.
    No, these readers are a gimmick. Buy a good quality traditional book and it will last you a long time (I have some over 400 years old). Also you can lend it or give it away and even photocopy pages you need to have handy. You can scribble in the margins!
    Buy a real book (at least if it's no good you can throw it at the cat!).
  • cgk1
    cgk1 Posts: 1,300 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Restrictions vary from make to make but I think I am right in saying that no reader gives access to all books.

    The free program calibre converts between most formats.
    so lose your reader, you lose your library.

    No because most readers allow you to store copies on your PC - so all of mine are backed up.
    I can't see insurance companies coughing up to replace your collection so any you want to read again after a reader loss or breakdown will cost you the full fee.

    You can redown books you have purchased. I simply reload them from my PC.
    Another snag is how long are they going to last? Technology moves on and new machines won't read old technology - how many people today have facilities to read the old square-shaped floppy disk? In five years time you may want a new reader but will you be able to upload all those books loaded on your old one? I doubt it.

    Calibre again or simply convert and store as .txt files.
    No, these readers are a gimmick.

    Ebooks are here to stay, they now outsell paperbacks on Amazon.
    Buy a good quality traditional book and it will last you a long time (I have some over 400 years old). Also you can lend it or give it away and even photocopy pages you need to have handy. You can scribble in the margins!
    Buy a real book (at least if it's no good you can throw it at the cat!).

    Or be a bit sensible and do a bit of both rather than taking an extreme Luddite position.
  • I use above net browser to eRead books from zip format - ebooks converted through Calibre. No problems, and the net browser aspect is my primary use of the device, but it is handy to have eReading on it too.

    Not sure of current price of Disgo 3000 approx £90 perhaps
  • I've had a Sony reader (the PRS-505, no longer available) for a few years, and I love it. It's in good condition, probably because it was supplied with a protective case.

    There are a lot of the 505's on sale 2nd hand for about the same price as the Kindle - probably from people who have upgraded to the new Sonys (as I'm planning to do in a couple of months).

    They support a wider range of formats than the Kindle, which means you can buy books from nearly anywhere - even Amazon with a bit of conversion. There's no Wi-Fi, but if you have a PC and can drag & drop to a USB stick, you can put books on the Sony.

    The best bit? I can take loads of books on holiday with me, or on the train to work, and they all weigh less than a normal paperback. :D
  • Boojum
    Boojum Posts: 24 Forumite
    I've had my Kindle since Christmas, and have downloaded dozens of free e-books from various sites, mainly Manybooks.com. There is no problem reading these on the Kindle as virtually all the sites offer downloads in Kindle format. I've also downloaded Audible audiobooks which work fine, as do .pdf files, so no real problems with sourcing books or reading them.
    I've found the Kindle to be excellent, and almost magical in its downloads - I ordered a book from Amazon on my laptop, and about 5 seconds after hitting the purchase button it was on my Kindle ready to read! Amazing.
  • Would very much also recommend Calibre as a fantastic e-book management program (free and open source) (I think this would be a great thing to link to), plus enables conversion between file formats as mentioned previously. I have recently got a kindle and think the description in the article is a little unfair as Amazon does tend to be cheapest but has a massive list of free books, plus the kindle reads other formats as also mentioned before (plus you can convert with calibre if needed from others) and it also includes native PDF support.
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