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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Archna
    • By MSE Archna 22nd Feb 11, 10:34 PM
    • 1,874Posts
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    MSE Archna
    0 WOW
    Cheap e-book readers discussion
    • #1
    • 22nd Feb 11, 10:34 PM
    0 WOW
    Cheap e-book readers discussion 22nd Feb 11 at 10:34 PM
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Page 1
    • ksh123
    • By ksh123 23rd Feb 11, 3:07 AM
    • 1,229 Posts
    • 750 Thanks
    ksh123
    • #2
    • 23rd Feb 11, 3:07 AM
    Who's got one?
    • #2
    • 23rd Feb 11, 3:07 AM
    Anybody got one of the cheap ones? Are they any good?
    Stop looking for answers....
    The most you can hope for are clues.....
    • Clowance
    • By Clowance 23rd Feb 11, 7:49 AM
    • 1,672 Posts
    • 1,165 Thanks
    Clowance
    • #3
    • 23rd Feb 11, 7:49 AM
    • #3
    • 23rd Feb 11, 7:49 AM
    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.
    Don't forget quidco/topcashback - I do!
    • angie54321
    • By angie54321 23rd Feb 11, 8:32 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    angie54321
    • #4
    • 23rd Feb 11, 8:32 AM
    Kindle
    • #4
    • 23rd Feb 11, 8:32 AM
    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!
    • djhworld
    • By djhworld 23rd Feb 11, 8:58 AM
    • 216 Posts
    • 82 Thanks
    djhworld
    • #5
    • 23rd Feb 11, 8:58 AM
    • #5
    • 23rd Feb 11, 8:58 AM
    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

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  • Bluecaster
    • #6
    • 23rd Feb 11, 9:16 AM
    Snag with e-books
    • #6
    • 23rd Feb 11, 9:16 AM
    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
    • By cgk1 23rd Feb 11, 9:22 AM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 1,098 Thanks
    cgk1
    • #7
    • 23rd Feb 11, 9:22 AM
    • #7
    • 23rd Feb 11, 9:22 AM
    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.
  • maria087
    • #8
    • 23rd Feb 11, 9:32 AM
    eReading on Disgo 3000
    • #8
    • 23rd Feb 11, 9:32 AM
    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
    • janineo
    • By janineo 23rd Feb 11, 10:01 AM
    • 56 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    janineo
    • #9
    • 23rd Feb 11, 10:01 AM
    2nd hand Sony's
    • #9
    • 23rd Feb 11, 10:01 AM
    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.
  • Boojum
    Kindle reader
    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.
    • SiuLoong
    • By SiuLoong 23rd Feb 11, 10:30 AM
    • 216 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    SiuLoong
    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.
    • bobmccluckie
    • By bobmccluckie 23rd Feb 11, 11:20 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    bobmccluckie
    Totally agree about the free download of Calibre. I have over 400 non Amazon sourced books on my Kindle all converted in seconds to kindle format by Calibre.
  • Mo99
    Elonex 621EB 6" eInk eReader
    Hi everyone,

    I am new to this site but felt like i had to mention the eReader i brought the other day, i was looking for a relatively cheap eReader that had an e-ink screen as the tft ones affect your eyes after a while and i stumbled across this one on the Waterstone website,

    Elonex 621EB 6" eInk eReader

    It was 79.99 and it can read a variety of ebook formats including epub, MINO, Pdf. I Think its one of the cheapest out there that has an e-ink screen.

    I think it was well worth the money. Hope someone will find this helpfull.
  • patrick0
    I'd like to buy a Kindle but as the existing one has been out for a while, I'll wait a few months for the new one. I've seen predictions of March and July for the Kindle 4 release date.

    Anyone know any better?

    Will be interesting to see what the screen is like on the new iPad too.
    • MasterOfNinja
    • By MasterOfNinja 23rd Feb 11, 2:51 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    MasterOfNinja
    Don't judge just on price (also why I like my Kindle)
    Hi. Just to add a bit to this conversion. People might look at the e-reader's price and go for the cheapest but I want to argue a few points about why not to do that. Just to declare I own a 3rd generation Kindle (the one that's out now that you can buy from amazon, but also tesco/john lewis etc.) and I love it.

    Before you buy an e-book reader judge whether you really really need one. If you read a lot of books and/or travel a lot the answer may well be yes.

    You then have the question of what e-book reader to buy. I would recommend an e-Ink screen as the screen is suited to printed text. I would discount the cheap colour readers as for reading they won't be great.

    After that the question is what e-Ink reader you want. There are 2 main camps here: the amazon kindle (the most popular type linked to amazon's store) or everything else (e.g Sony) which is linked to ePub+Adobe's Digital Rights Management (DRM) software

    I will now argue why I think the Kindle is the best solution.

    Now there's an argument (for another thread) about DRM but I would argue amazon's is better and less restrictive, and that I just don't like adobe's software and limitations. True with the Adobe option there are multiple stores but there is no real competition and from the whole experience (and philosophical) point of view I would go with the kindle.

    There are a lot of arguments why the kindle is a closed format. Amazon has the closed azw format, but also .mobi which a lot of other stores use. It can also do text and pdf files (as well as some other types). People like to argue that the other ebook readers are more open and that they can read the epub format, however all book stores will make you buy things with the DRM format making it somewhat useless.

    I also would argue if you have other phones etc. the kindle is better in that it is a system. If you buy a book once you can read it on your kindle, on the kindle software for your iphone/ipad, and software for other phones and for pc/mac. Using the kindle will allow to finish reading on one device and pick it up from the same page on another machine.

    Furthermore amazon are committed to getting books out, and supporting the kindle. There are free books for the machine via amazon. Plus you can get other types of free books and load it onto the machine manually (although they won't auto-synchronise as they're not specific kindle books). Amazon is constantly improving the software - today I got a new update which allows me to tell people about books via facebook. Plus on the horizon is a book lending feature (which is already available in the US but we're still waiting).

    Overall I wanted to say I was pleased with my kindle and overall as a system (and an experience), plus the fact you can buy a book once and read it on iphone/kindle/computer, I have to recommend it even it is slightly more expensive.
    • KevinLawry
    • By KevinLawry 23rd Feb 11, 3:05 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    KevinLawry
    For the really hard of cash
    A second hand palm from ebay can be picked up for a couple of quid (the one I use is a Palm tungsten C - one is just closing on E-Bay for 9)

    Combine that with a free program called plucker here and you have a functional e-book reader - project gutenburg supports it, there is software around to do conversions, and palm battery life is very reasonable. I used to have a couple of very old palms I picked up really cheap just so that I could have more than one book open in front of me at a time.

    It won't suit everyone, new books don't tend to come out in plucker format, but I have had great holidays reading out of copyright books and if you have a palm or microsoft based mobile 'phone you can even combine your e-books with your phone.

    Works for me, see if it works for you
  • Yelseleneri
    Asda's. Never had one before so can't compare, but this is easy enough to use and serves its purpose. Very small and light so perfect for holiday reading - will never replace a good book though.
  • Yelseleneri
    Anybody got one of the cheap ones? Are they any good?
    Originally posted by ksh123
    Perfectly adequate.
    • stphnstevey
    • By stphnstevey 23rd Feb 11, 4:36 PM
    • 3,125 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    stphnstevey
    A second hand palm from ebay can be picked up for a couple of quid (the one I use is a Palm tungsten C - one is just closing on E-Bay for 9)

    Combine that with a free program called plucker here and you have a functional e-book reader - project gutenburg supports it, there is software around to do conversions, and palm battery life is very reasonable. I used to have a couple of very old palms I picked up really cheap just so that I could have more than one book open in front of me at a time.

    It won't suit everyone, new books don't tend to come out in plucker format, but I have had great holidays reading out of copyright books and if you have a palm or microsoft based mobile 'phone you can even combine your e-books with your phone.

    Works for me, see if it works for you
    Originally posted by KevinLawry
    What size is the screen? Presume not eink? Can you read PDF's?
    Last edited by stphnstevey; 23-02-2011 at 4:43 PM.
    • StumpyPumpy
    • By StumpyPumpy 23rd Feb 11, 5:27 PM
    • 1,379 Posts
    • 3,793 Thanks
    StumpyPumpy
    People like to argue that the other ebook readers are more open and that they can read the epub format, however all book stores will make you buy things with the DRM format making it somewhat useless.
    Actually, this argument shouldn't be dismissed so easily. I have a Sony reader, my brother a Kindle. They have some different features but generally speaking are very similar and you could argue for either side. I think it is just a personal choice - for instance, the fact that the Kindle has a keyboard taking up quite a bit of space on the device was a deciding factor for me, for someone else it might be a plus - but the lack of ePub support on the Kindle also entered into the decision and as the Sony supports it, I can get the latest blockbuster eBooks for free from my local library should I wish (UK Libraries use the ePub format with Adobe DRM) My Kindle toting brother can only buy them from places like Amazon.

    +1 for Calibre by the way it is by far the best eBook management software I have come across.
    Come on people, it's not difficult: lose means to be unable to find, loose means not being fixed in place. So if you have a hole in your pocket you might lose your loose change.
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