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Electronic Book readers Kindle, Sony Nook etc

Electronic Book readers Kindle, Sony Nook etc

Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 06:31 PM
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Electronic Book readers Kindle, Sony Nook etc

I know this is not Asia related but just trying to catch some of you that may not visit some of the other forums.....I have posted this on another forum but though I would also post it here incase any of you have any experience with these readers. Do any of you use these electronic readers when you travel? Any opinions on better or worse or if they are worth the hassle of carrying yet another electronic gaget when you travel??? I do not carry a lap top when travelling. I know the Nook isn't out yet so don't expect any reviews of this! Thanks in advance! J
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 08:09 PM
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We love our Kindle (we have the latest--the larger sized one) and absolutely can't imagine life without it. I'm actually a bigger fan of the larger one than the previous smaller version we had. It just feels somehow a bit more natural in size--much more like holding a fullsize hardcover novel (natch, without all that weight.)

Sure it takes some getting used to, but it really is true what they say: your eyes do play tricks on you and, after awhile you have no idea you're reading an electronic device...it's really no different than reading a hardcover book.

The biggest plus for me is simply one of weight. When my DH and myself go to Asia every year on vacation, he used to bring about 40+ pounds of the hardcovers he'd accumulated over the year that he wanted to tackle on our vacation--all in his backpack. Naturally, it made life getting to our destination miserable and even worse having to lug them around in our suitcases when he was done reading them. You can imagine how nice it was to see all those books go out the door and for him to be able to carry all of those titles (and the hundreds of scripts he needs to read) all in one device. One that has, I should add, an abundant battery life. One charge will last you for a VERY long time.

It honestly has changed our life--it's that good. And to think of all the paper we were wasting before the Kindle came around. I've seen the lot of other devices popping up on the market, but for my money, it's all about the Kindle. Amazon has the most vast title collection I've seen to-date, their WhisperNet (the wireless network they use to download books directly from your Kindle) is flawless...PLUS they still have their preferred pricing tiers, so you won't find yourself paying more than $9.99 for the latest hardcover bestseller.

Good luck deciding!
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 05:49 AM
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I bought an Iliad last year for trips to Africa and Papua New Guinea on which I was limited to 20 kg in luggage. (I am a person who brings a substantial amount of books on a vacation.) At the time I was comparing types of e-books, the Kindle only offered their small screen version, and its wireless feature is not supported outside the US (I live in Hong Kong), although I believe that may have now changed. I have to say right away that I would suggest you get the largest screen size which you can afford. That is the most important feature, IMO.

I also have to say that if you can wait 2 years or so, I think you will find e-books will be much cheaper and will offer better features. As an example, Kindle has increased its screen size on its latest model. People who bought the the last Kindle not so long ago may not now be too happy. I think you may find the same to be the case with other features if you wait. (The Iliad has an electronic pen feature which lets you underline passages, make notes in margins of books and mark-up documents; this is a great feature that is not presently available on the Kindle or other e-books to the best of my knowledge, but I have no doubt that in a bit of time it will be.)

I like the e-book very much for travelling, but would not say it has changed my reading habits in a substantial way. I don’t for example, use it at home for reading. I only use it for travel, and then not all the time. First of all, I tend to read of lot of Indian and other local Asian authors whose works are not available on line. So you have to consider the type of reading you do and whether the books you tend to read are available on line. If you read books in languages other than English, you may also find the books available on line to be more limited as well.

The screen flashing when you “turn” pages is weird, but you do get used to it. Reading in bed is quite convenient, although there can be some glare, there can also be glare reading outdoors in bright sunlight. Reading in the bathtub is not really possible. Reading on the beach with sand blowing is possible, and does not seem to hurt the machine, but one never knows. (Leaving such an expensive book by your lounge chair when you go for a swim at the beach may be another issue.) For planes, airport layovers and hotel rooms it is great, but only you can determine if that is worth the price.

It is not heavy. It does not take up a lot of room in a carry-on bag, and certainly is convenient as you can leave the books in the suitcase. But it does require a charger wire and then an adaptor once you leave the US. So more wires and plugs to carry. I also have always had to separately put it through the screening machine at airports as if it were a laptop.

With the wireless feature, you can subscribe to newspapers, useful when travelling, but make sure that the system you use is supported in countries to which you will be traveling.

The other feature I like is that there seem to be a good number of books which are out of print which are available on-line for free. I have found old Fitzgerald short stories, and Somerset Maugham stories as well. (I don’t really read best sellers I must admit.) The Bible, the Koran, the Upanishads; there is a ton of stuff out there available for download. That is a very good feature, but you can also download them to a PC and print them out (double sided, 4-page format really reduces page numbers).

Also remember that when traveling, you can usually find a used English book store to buy books and sell or trade the books you have read, so you don’t necessarily have to lug books around. Or just leave paperbacks in your hotel room or business centre for the next guest.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 12:53 PM
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I have the Sony 505 and I love it. I have around 200 books on my reader. I pick the sony because I can borrow ebooks from the Library online and transfer it to the reader. They also tons of free books online.

Check out www.mobileread.com for ebooks info. Its a pretty good website for news, reviews and tips.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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Love the kindle. The only down side would be worrying about where to charge it (but that's only happened to me once on a very long train ride and was solved once I talked a waiter into charging it for me in the "kitchen".) One tip is to turn off the wireless when you're not using that feature, the battery lasts twice as long.

Other bits of usefulness: I download chapters from Lonely Planet in pdf format, then download them to my kindle. All my notes that I pick up from Fodors and elsewhere get put into a text file and downloaded. Itineraries as well. No more folder full of loose papers and travel books.
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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Thanks everyone. Sounds like you all love the one you have!! So on another site somewhere that if I have a Kindle I can only buy books from Amazon, if I have Nook only from B&N etc?? Do I have that correct? If so then I guess if I get one I should look at the one supported by where I mostly Buy books??? Do I have that right? Cicerone I do not tend to read best sellers & have to admit that when in Asia (esp India) I love to find a book shop to browse because you find some gems. I don't take a mountain of books when I travel but often run out & end up reading any guide book I have from cover to cover several times!! This time last year in Bhutan I was excited to find a shop in the capital where I was able to pick up a book to get me through the rest of our trip. Just trying to decide if I should put one on my Christmas list or not!! Thanks again. J
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 10:18 AM
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You get your content for your reader online at that specific "online store"...you wouldn't be able to get that content in any actual physical store.

So you maybe you should browse the online stores for these devices/vendors and see which you think has the most extensive content, the best prices and the type of content that's most appealing to you. Good luck!
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 05:43 PM
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Thanks everyone for the great info. I just need to decide if I want another gadget to take travelling! I usually pick up some inexpensive books at Costco to take on trips because I usually only read at night & then leave those books with a guide or the like when I am done with them. J
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