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Dear Jane: What eBook Reader Should I Buy?

Welcome to Dear Jane, a weekly column based upon reader mailbag questions on anything relating to ebooks. No question is too simple or too mundane. We are all learning together. Send your questions to jane @ with “Dear Jane” in the subject matter.


Dear Jane:

What ereader is best for me?



Dear Confused:

This is one of the most frequently sent emails.   There is an ever growing number of choices out there and because each ebook reader uses different software locks, picking out the right ebook reader can be tough.   What is right for you may not be the right one for your best reading friend.   Here are eight factors to consider when determining which ebook reader is right for you.

Various eReaders

1. Where do you read the most?

Think about where you read the most. If you read the most at night  with a booklight then a backlight LCD screen might be the best such as  the Apple devices like the iPad or iTouch. If you like to read  outside or mainly during the day, the best screens will be the eink  screens like the Kindle, nook, Sony, or Kobo.

2. Will you want to carry the device around?

If yes, think about the size of your average purse.   How big is it?  What kind of device can you fit in there?   The iPad is 10″ so you are  going to need a 12″ wide bag or wider to accommodate it.   The eink  devices are around 7-8″ long with the Kindle 6″ screen being the  longest.   Kindle and Kobo readers are the lightest in weight with the  Sony and nook a little heavier and the iPad nearly twice as heavy as  the eink devices.

3. Will you want to read on more than one device?

If you think you might want to read on the computer at work or on a  smartphone (blackberry, Android, iPhone), and on a dedicated device,  you will want an ereading device that has synchronization features.  This feature means that if you start reading on your computer and go  to pick up your ereader, both machines know exactly where you left  off!   That’s pretty cool, right?   If that is something you would like,  you’ll want to look at the Sony Daily Edition, nook, and Kindle  devices.

There are some drawbacks.   For example, Sony doesn’t have a smartphone  application.   The nook doesn’t have an app available for the iPad  although it is coming.   Kobo has apps that allow synchronization but  it’s dedicated ereader doesn’t.   The Kindle has the widest array of  apps (Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad + mac and PC) and its  dedicated ereading device (called the Kindle) has synchronization capabilities.

4. Will you want to shop around for the best deal?

The nook, Sony, and Kobo readers all take Adobe Digital Edition books  in the epub format.   If you want to shop around for the best prices,  you’ll want to take a look at these.   Kindle only allows Kindle books  bought at the Amazon store unless the books are DRM free.   The iPad and iPhone along with other smartphones have multiple reading applications so shopping around for a good deal is even easier with these mini computers.   For instance, the iPhone and the Blackberry devices both allow you to shop from Barnes and Noble and Kindle.

5. Do you want the book to appear on your device or are you willing to  plug in to your computer to add the content?

If you want to shop directly from your device, you’ll need to go with  the Kindle, nook, or Sony Daily Edition.   Each of these units has what  is called 3G connectivity which essentially means that your device is  hooked up to the internet through a cellular connection at all times  (or at least where there is cell phone service).   With this internet  connection, the devices allow you to purchase using the ereader alone.  No computer needed.

6. Do you have books now that you want to put on the device?

If you already have a collection of digital books, you may want a  device that is compatible with your existing library.   If you have  epub books, you could use a Sony, nook, or Kobo.   If you purchased  ereader books, go with the nook.   If you have mobipocket books that  have a software lock (also called Secure Ebooks), you have a much more  challenging problem.   The Cybook might be your only choice. The good  part about the Cybook is that you can switch back and forth between  mobipocket firmware and the epub firmware but that can be a big

7. How much do you want to spend?

If price is a concern, the lowest cost eink readers are the Kobo  ($149) and the Sony Pocket edition ($199 retail but found at $149 at  Walmart and other online retailers).   Both are nice eink readers that  allow you to just read the ebooks. You do have to plug in the Kobo and  Sony Pocket edition into the computer to load your books, but for a  device that is $100 less than most ebook readers out there, it’s a  small price to pay.

8.   I just want something easy.

The easiest to use ereading devices on the market are the Kindle and the nook.   The Kindle is more intuitive and the nook’s LCD screen, while neat, actually makes the nook a bit more difficult to navigate.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


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  2. J.
    May 16, 2010 @ 05:21:52

    After doing late night searches on google, I ordered a nook last week. It’s coming tomorrow so I hope it’ll be worth it! Thanks Jane, this made me more confident in my choice.

  3. Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe
    May 16, 2010 @ 05:57:28

    I bought a nook a little over a month ago, and my life has yet to settle down for me to even read the tutorial. We’re moving soon and will be very close to a B & N store. I have plans to go in and download like mad when we’re unpacked.

    I bought the nook primarily for my husband, whose vision is not what it could be. The large print option will help him get back to reading again.

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  5. Babs
    May 16, 2010 @ 06:01:22

    I chose a Kindle…mostly because it has the international 3G network which works best for me because my husband is in the Foreign Service and we spend most of our time outside the US!

    The ease of use is amazing — it is very intuitive and easy to use. My eyes never get tired reading from the screen.

  6. ms bookjunkie
    May 16, 2010 @ 06:07:32

    9. Do you have a US address and credit card?

    Because if you don’t, all those lovely ebooks from the Big 6 are unavailable to you (unless you engage in all kinds of convoluted shenanigans) due to something insanely stupid called geographical restrictions. No matter what your device.

    Bitter much? Hell YEAH! *goes off to gnaw on own liver*

  7. ardeatine
    May 16, 2010 @ 06:42:45

    A great list, I’m contemplating buying an ereader and something I’d add is – where in the world do you live? I would prefer a Kindle, but won’t buy one until they sort out a way to give overseas customers a fairer deal on book prices.

  8. Estara
    May 16, 2010 @ 06:56:15

    9. Do you have eye-problems but don’t want to give up reading? Are a lot of books in print that is too small for you?

    Get a crisp e-ink screen reader (not touch-screen as that seems to impinge on the crispness of the letters) with a good range of font sizes to choose from.

    It certainly works for me and I have chronic eye problems that according to specialists won’t heal.

  9. Scorpio M.
    May 16, 2010 @ 06:58:13

    I don’t have a stand-alone e-Reader right now but I do have the Kindle app on my BlackBerry, iTouch & laptop. I love how easy it is to use and that across all devices my books are synced. When I do decide to buy I’d go with the Kindle.

  10. Estara
    May 16, 2010 @ 07:00:58

    okay my first attempt at posting seems to have vanished:

    10. Do you have eye problems but don’t want to give up reading? Are some books printed much too small for you?

    Get an e-ink reader with a variety of large font sizes and preferably one without a touch screen, as those seem to influence the crispness of the contrast.

    It certainly helps with my chronic eye problems. Reading anything backlit for any longer length of time is begging for problems. I can live with the fact that the layout isn’t as pretty as it could be, as long as I can read at all.

  11. Lynne Connolly
    May 16, 2010 @ 07:18:24

    I fall into the first category. I read mostly at night, mostly in bed, so I need the backlit screen.
    I’m not too keen on Apple – I run a PC and any Apple program tends to try to take over your computer – so I do avoid it when possible. However the ipad seemed the answer, so on my recent visit to the US, I went into the Apple shop in Chicago and played with the demo models. Not for me, I found. Using an ipad to read is a bit like reading a hardback book. it’s heavy, you have to hold it in two hands and sit up to be comfortable. So an Itouch? Maybe.
    For now I’m sticking to my Ipaq 4700. It has a 4 inch screen, bigger than most PDA’s, its screen is astonishingly good, better than most PDA’s except for the Asus Mypal and one or two others (it’s a 640 pixel screen, most PDA’s are half that). Makes for beautiful clarity and crispness. I think that the blurriness is worse than the backlight, because I have very poor eyesight and I’ve never had eyestrain from reading from a backlit screen.
    And it’s cheap, compared to the ipad and itouch. No longer made, but plenty of second hand ones are available. I ebayed mine a couple of years ago for £80 (around $120, I think).
    Oh yes, and I carry my shopping lists, calendars and other stuff on it, so it’s a handy device, even if you buy one and decide that reading on it isn’t for you.
    The biggest drawback is the inability to read on it in sunlight. I wonder if there’s some kind of polarised lens that would take care of that?
    I download the books I buy to my computer (I live in the UK, so most direct buys are blocked to me anyway), and then upload them via an SD card or the cradle that you get with the device. I like having an SD card with my books loaded on it – it makes for a portable library.

    One thing that annoys me and applies to all ereaders – having to switch them off on a plane during take off and landing.

  12. Terri
    May 16, 2010 @ 07:58:46

    Wonderful column, Jane. Thanks for the analysis. I’ve been going back and forth and back and forth for a few weeks now.

  13. Choices Choices…Which Ereader? « A Taste For E-Books
    May 16, 2010 @ 08:09:24

    […] the heck out of me.  But for those who are in the market, Jane from Dear Author has posted a very informative post over at DA to help you make the decision.  Check it […]

  14. Charlotte Katie Bartle
    May 16, 2010 @ 08:23:38

    I have a Sony eReader and I love it.
    Very easy to use. Amazing battery life.

    Perfect for me and my requirements.

  15. Susan/DC
    May 16, 2010 @ 08:40:20

    One thing you don’t mention in making a choice is whether the e-reader does well with nonfiction books that may have graphs or maps or photos. How do the different e-readers stack up in those terms? And what about color? I’m still undecided about buying an e-reader, and even though most of my reading is fiction, I want a device that can handle it all — if such a device exists. I have a feeling that might be the iPad but, as others have noted, it’s the most unwieldy of the e-readers and doesn’t fit in any of my purses. If I have to carry a separate tote just for the e-reader, it’s probably not going to happen. OTOH, if I can’t read some of the books I need for work because the reader doesn’t do graphs or color, it’s not going to happen either.

  16. Mary Anne
    May 16, 2010 @ 09:03:27

    One day, in the future, I’d love to own a Kindle or an I-Pad – depending on how financially secure I am at the time. The Kindle allows certain Internet connectivity without charging for it but I understand there is a monthly fee for much greater connectivity with I-Pad.

    For now, in this economy and as a first e-reader, I have a Sony Pocket Edition. I heartily recommend that to anyone just entering the market. It fits right in my purse, which means I always have it with me. It does EPub and PDF well, although I had to read the manual to figure out the latter. (Read the instructions at the get go. Don’t be stupid like me. I’ve been married to a computer guy for long enough that his hatred of instructions has migrated.)

    My Sony Pocket has an easy import feature, meaning I can buy or get free books from anywhere in the supported formats and import them right into my Reader library. It’ll buy and import with 1 click from the Sony Store, but the device does have to be tethered to the computer before the book will transfer to the Reader, but THAT’S A GOOD THING.

    I’m too much of an impulse buyer, especially of things I love. With my current family finances, I’d be far too likely to push a buy button and regret it later. To buy a book I have to take the time to connect the reader and make the transfer. That requires thought and deliberation and protects me from myself.

    To anyone with a limited budget who’d like to purchase an E-Reader, I’d say you can’t go wrong with the Sony Pocket Edition.

  17. preeti
    May 16, 2010 @ 09:14:25

    Is now a good time to buy or are a slew of newer models or new devices in the pipeline for this year?

    I find reading books on my Android phone works well except when I want to read on the balcony, park, beach, etc. Just need cheap e-ink, ePub reader (preferably light and small) I can load up with a selection of TBR books for those situations.

    I guess I’m looking at Sony pocket or Kobo if nothing else coming down the line.

  18. Jennifer M
    May 16, 2010 @ 09:18:31

    Great summary. I have a Kindle that I love. I do think it’s important for people to consider under what conditions they will be reading most often. The eInk screens that the dedicated readers like the Kindle, Sony, and Nook use are great in normal reading conditions (including bright sunlight). I don’t read much in the darkness but I do have a lightweight, clip-on booklight from Mighty Brite that works quite well if I need it.

    On the other hand, while I loved the iPad that I played with for a few days, I definitely found that not only could I not read the backlit LCD screen outside in sunlight, I also couldn’t read it inside if I had a bright window behind me. Since I was borrowing it, I didn’t mess with the settings so I don’t know if I could have adjusted the contrast to make it more readable.

  19. Vivien Dean
    May 16, 2010 @ 09:24:25

    Regarding #6 and putting existing books on a device…

    I recently got an iPad and have read a half-dozen books on it so far, all of which I had purchased prior to the device, and were in two different formats. Importing them off my laptop was simple, fast, and lost none of their formatting. I’ve read in both iBooks (which I adore, because I think I’m one of the few who loathes the e-ink technology) and GoodReader, and don’t foresee really ever using iBooks as a store. While I can bring my other books over so easily, there’s no need.

  20. KristieJ
    May 16, 2010 @ 09:27:48

    I was almost afraid to read this post – seeing as I just ordered an ereader last week, but looking at your advice, I did right in going with the Kobo. Now!! If only it will ship sooner that the six weeks they said it might take.

  21. Elle
    May 16, 2010 @ 09:29:49

    *Love* my Kindle.

    It is lighter and easier to carry around in my purse than a paperback book. My eyes never get tired when reading on it (in contrast to reading on a computer screen.) Sometimes I forget that I am *not* reading an actual paperback book and I find myself trying to flip the page instead of pressing the button.

    My 14 year old son loves his Kindle as well. The only problem that we have had relative to him is that many of the YA titles do not seem to be available in Kindle format (or at least they take awhile to be released in Kindle format.)

  22. John
    May 16, 2010 @ 09:39:29

    I am a loner…my parents had a great idea to get me an ereader as a surprise x-mas gift. QVC told them to get a Cool-ER.

    It’s very, very simple and it’s the average page type with no back lighting that I know of. The online store has a surprising amount of books inside of it, but it’s really random as to what it has in some areas. The YA titles are okay, but I’ll be using it more for romance than anything else at this rate.

  23. TKF
    May 16, 2010 @ 10:18:34

    There’s also the Cybook (Gen 3 or Opus), which gets little to no love in the U.S. I have an Opus and I love it! It’s the lightest one on the market and can be switched between mobi and adobe.

    Oh, and for all who are not in the U.S.: The Mobipocket store lets you change your country of residence at will and doesn’t verify it against your bank account (at least not yet). I claimed to live in Turkey just last week so I could buy two books that weren’t available in the U.S.! Downloaded them and switched back to U.S. Easy-speezy.

  24. Ridley
    May 16, 2010 @ 10:26:51

    I can’t see suggesting the iPad as an ereader considering how Apple has completely screwed up the ebook market. It just seems disloyal. Maybe that’s just my drama queen talking, but there you have it.

    Anyways, I have the Sony Touch, like it, don’t plan to replace it, but it’s flawed enough that I wouldn’t recommend it without caveats.

    I pretty much never use the Sony book store or library. Their books are usually more expensive, even in these bleak agency times, and the UI blows. I use Calibre to manage my library instead.

    The e-ink screen doesn’t fare well in the hot sun, I’ve noticed. Once it’s about 75 outside, direct sun heats my black ereader and the e-ink doesn’t display fully. I have to sit in part-shade in warm weather or hold my hand or cover over the screen to cool it down before I turn a page.

    Indoors it’s usually fine, though the touchscreen can pick up glare from lamps and the like. I generally read under an Ott lamp and it works perfectly. YMMV.

    I strip some DRM, but I still haven’t quite figured out how python scripts work so I can liberate all of my books. I don’t share my ebooks or anything, but I’d prefer to actually own what I pay for.

  25. TKF
    May 16, 2010 @ 10:28:42


    Hey John, the Cool-er takes ePub, so you should be able to shop in lots of places. I’m sure Jane could do a better job of naming them than I can, but I think Books on Board, ePub Books and Diesel Books at the very least should all by your oyster.

  26. TKF
    May 16, 2010 @ 10:30:08

    I can't see suggesting the iPad as an ereader considering how Apple has completely screwed up the ebook market. It just seems disloyal. Maybe that's just my drama queen talking, but there you have it.

    Some of us feel this way about Amazon and the Kindle . . .

  27. Castiron
    May 16, 2010 @ 10:37:49

    #6 is why, if I were going to buy a dedicated ebook reader right now, I’d probably get a nook. Most of my ebooks are in Palm eReader format, and while many are DRM-free ones that I could convert, I’m too lazy to do that many.

    Right now, though, I’m just using my iPod Touch. I’d use Stanza for everything if it didn’t convert line breaks in non-secure eReader files as double spaces.

  28. Deb
    May 16, 2010 @ 10:40:25

    My plugged nickle’s worth: I’ve got both a Kindle and a Sony Pocket Reader. Both have limitations. But I have to say, at this point, the Kindle wins out.

    The Kindle just plain works. The hardware is durable, light and very comfortable on my aging eyes. Wispernet is fabulous when you can’t get to your computer, or you don’t want to bootup. Having found myself in both circumstances, this is great. Amazon’s Kindle Store is quick and easy. But like someone above mentioned, that can be a downfall if you can’t hold yourself back.

    Kindle doesn’t do Penguin or it’s imprints. No newly released Nora Roberts, Jenny Crusie, Jo Beverly. Something About You, Kate Noble’s new one, isn’t to be found. This is a serious drawback right now. I think that will change, but for now, it’s something to keep in mind.

    Sony Pocket Reader is small, lighter to hold than the Kindle although that isn’t a problem for me. Fits in my bag. It is tethered to the computer. That isn’t a big deal, although impulse shopping on the go is out. As far as functionality of the OS, Kindle has it beat, seriously beat. No searching. If you have more than a few books, this is a drawback. It is also very slow in bringing up the Author category and switching back. Getting back to home is Very Slow. Either I have a hard drive issue here, or the more books on the device seriously slows things down. I have also had to reset the device several times. This takes 5-7 mins. Like I said, it could be hardware issue, but worth mentioning. You have many more bookstores available to comparison shop. Made a difference before April, Agency 5 Fools Day. Now, there isn’t much difference, but you can still find bargains.

    If I were shopping for strictly an e-reader device, I’d look at the Kindle, keeping in mind Penguin though. Secondly, I’d look at the Kobo. A good price for the device and from what I’ve seen works well. I can’t recommend the Sony Pocket right now due to problems. If it is hardware issue, I’m seriously angry. If it is functionality and badly zipped epubs, it is still is an issue. It makes things much slower to access the books, although once you have the book open, it isn’t bad. The refresh is slower than the Kindle, but isn’t a big factor. I didn’t mention the Nook as I have no experience with it. In comparison with Kindle it’s bigger competitor, Amazon’s price point and # of books wins.

  29. Nadia Lee
    May 16, 2010 @ 10:41:35

    @Castiron: ITA about Nook & file conversion.

    I use iTouch for e-book reading, but it tires my eyes. But I just can’t justify spending over $200 on a gadget that’s capable of displays books only.

  30. Ridley
    May 16, 2010 @ 10:42:05


    What did Amazon do? They managed to create a market where there wasn’t one before. Then Apple waltzes in, decides they’d like to play around a bit, and *BAMF* prices jump across the board and my buying options halve.

    I don’t even see what agency is doing for publishers. The hardcovers are still selling for $9.99 pretty much everywhere.

    What is there to fault Amazon for? It’s not like they created the concept of loss-leader pricing. It’s a staple of retail.

  31. Lynn
    May 16, 2010 @ 10:49:21

    Thanks Jane.

    I have a Nook and am very happy with it for now. I like the fact that I’m not completely dependent on B&N for books unlike the Kindle. If I need an immediate bookfix, I’ll download it via 3G from their store. I can download from various ebook retailers and sideload the books, audio, and pics from my PC. It reads PDB, PDF, and EPUB books, graphics, music, and audiobooks. I believe it’s the only US reader that does both PDB (fictionwise stuff) and EPUB on one device for now. Reading is excellent in bright sunlight as well as dimly lit rooms. I have an attachable booklight if needed, which I haven’t used. The last software update added a web browser and a few other things to its android OS, but the browser isn’t great yet. It has excellent potential for more apps. On the downside, I'm not so thrilled with the filing system.

    The ebookwise ereader comes with a backlight and a good price point. Not sure on the formats, but I think you might be limited on that.

    Alex ereader by Spring Design should get a mention as well. It’s a dual screen reader just like the Nook, except cooler. The bottom is a color touchscreen (noon b&w) that can be expanded to the main reading window (b&w there) for reading or web browsing. That’s very cool. Great filing system. Little skinnier and a little longer than the nook. It’s more costly than other readers at $400.00 and needs some improvement for me to keep it. I think by the end of the summer it will have the kinks worked out that I have issue with and maybe I’ll try again. I did find it easy to hold and read with one hand (nook a little more comfy that way), but it does have great features. The reading screen is excellent and easy on the eyes, has adjustable font size, but no font choice like the nook. The touchscreen at the bottom is color with icon apps. Very cool interface. It has a web browser, email (yes!), music, audiobooks, youtube, supposedly getting facebook, twitter, RSS, a camera, etc and you can load your own apps. It comes with wifi access to some bookstores and the web, and will add 3G this summer. Faster response than Nook for page turning. No backlight, but that doesn’t matter to me. Formats are EPUB, PDF, txt, html, various graphics and audio formats. When the bugs shake out, I’ll grab another one.

    I’ll bide my time until Alex gets the kinks out. Unfortunately I don’t see the price coming down. It has great potential for lots of cool android apps. To me it’s the mini iPad I've been waiting for that fits well in my purse like the nook. If it only had pdb format available….but I guess I can't have everything, yet.

    I’m happy with my Nook for now—until the next shiny gadget that comes along.

  32. Kara
    May 16, 2010 @ 11:34:29

    Thank you so much for this informative post…I have been wanting an eReader for some time now, but with all the different brands, I am having a hard time choosing.

    Your questions and answer were very helpful…I will probably go with the Nook because most of my eBooks are in Palm eReader format…I have been reading books on my Palm TX but wanted to have a bigger screen.

  33. Sherri
    May 16, 2010 @ 13:18:51

    I spent a lot of time researching the various devices before I finally decided on the iTouch — and I don’t regret the choice! For $200 I got 8gb of hard drive (more than enough) and the ability to do more than read books. I use it for my grocery lists, as an alarm clock, to keeps tabs on Facebook & eBay, and of course to play games. Plus I like the full-colour feature. Instead of carrying around out-dated photos I now have up-to-date photos I can whip out and show off. Hundreds of them :) Oh, and I really like the size. It fits perfectly in a pocket.

    But there are downsides. It requires wifi to get books on it (darn Apple shut down Stanza’s ability to USB transfer) and in my area the only available wifi is at my house or the downtown core (where I rarely go). So the internet part of the iTouch is useless when I’m not at those two places. It also took me a few days to figure out how to get the books on there but once I did it’s now easy. The worst one though is battery life. It only lasts a few hours (even if the energy sucking wifi is off and the screen is dimmed) so I have to recharge daily.

    Even with all that I’m still happy with the iTouch. Though I do admit to occasionally lusting over the Sony…

  34. readerdiane
    May 16, 2010 @ 13:58:04

    Bought my Kindle to take on vacation and it was great because I had 20 books with me on my trip & the ability to download more even in the wilds of New Hampshire.I love it. I use a computer during the day & it tires my eyes but the Kindle doesn’t.

    I still buy paperbacks for my keepers and for any Penguin published books.

    Still think e-books should be cheaper than paperback since I can’t share or trade them.

  35. JessicaP
    May 16, 2010 @ 13:58:19

    I wouldn’t buy the iPad right now because of the business about pricing, and because they censor what they’ll list. That second point is a big issue for me, especially since I’m reading a lot of erotic romance right now. Amazon will sell you what you want, as long as they have it available. When Apple decides to treat its customers as grownups, I might reconsider.

    @Lynne Connolly – your point about having to turn off the device during takeoffs and landings. Seriously annoying! I want to be reading from the time I sit down until the time we’re at the gate. I bring a spare paperback for those times, which is ridiculous but Heaven forbid I have to sit there and not read.

  36. Karenmc
    May 16, 2010 @ 14:18:54

    I’m waiting for the market to filter out winners and losers. In the meantime, I read all the time on my ipod Touch. Until April, I usually bought from Fictonwise. Now it’s much more of a hunt for the best price, and I’m reading in Stanza, Kindle or the BN reader app.

    At some point I’ll need a bigger screen on which to read (I’m overdue for an eye exam), but so far the Touch works perfectly for me.

  37. Gina
    May 16, 2010 @ 14:33:47

    My children bought me a NOOK for Christmas and I love it. It feels lighter than most hardcover books, I can download books whenever I want, wherever I am, it fits in my purse (hardcover case included) so I am never lacking in entertainment. With the latest software upgrade I can switch things up with game of sudoku (love it!), and I have searched the web on occasion (not my 1st choice for a browser but it’ll do in a pinch). With the addition of the attachable book light reading at night is n problem.

    Yeah I love my NOOK for everything that it is, I love that my kids knew me well enough to have picked out the perfect gift for me and with so many choices coming on the market I’m still not inspired to look elsewhere.

  38. Kat
    May 16, 2010 @ 14:35:50

    I love my Kindle. I’ve had for Kindle 2 years and am on my second generation (bought as a gift to myself). Since they introduced Kindle for Mac a few months ago, my life has gotten 100x better. It syncs between your computer and Kindle, so I can start reading things at night on my computer then on the bus in the morning it automatically syncs on my Kindle to the furthest page read. For an avid reader, that is really fantastic.

  39. Christina
    May 16, 2010 @ 14:46:31

    @Sherri Turn the wifi on your iPod touch off when you’re not actively using it. Makes the battery life sooooo much better

  40. Marsha
    May 16, 2010 @ 14:47:20

    I’m a long time ebook reader from the Peanut Press days on my Palm PDA. As a result, most of of my 2000+ (no that is not a typo) ebooks are in the eReader format. A lot of them (mostly Harlequin) have DRM, but I also converted most of my HTML books from other publishers into that format. That kept me from buying a Kindle or other dedicated ereaders when they came out. I didn’t want to deal with keeping tract of multiple formats that only worked on certain ereaders and I wanted to keep reading my existing library on my main ereader, whatever it was.

    I always read on a Palm PDA/smartphone until the iPod touch came out. It is now my main ebook reader. (The Fictionwise eReader app is still my favorite.) I love that it is portable and always with me.

    I considered the nook for awhile, but decided to stick with the iPod touch when B&N didn’t merge the different libraries (eReader/Fictionwise/B&N – under their main umbrella) together in their iPhone app, and seemingly abandoned eReader/Fictionwise, except to add more restrictions and take away features. (Come on B&N, update the Fictionwise eReader app for iPhone/iPad and eBook Studio for the Mac!)

    I also have an iPad and have downloaded/converted a few of my books into the ePub format for the iBooks app. The weight is not really an issue for me and so far, I like it, but it really needs an update so I can customize the text and backbround colors.

    IMHO, to read on an iPad, you must have a non-slip case of some sort. Otherwise, you will make your hands tired and it will seem heavier as you try to keep a grip on it.

  41. Perry
    May 16, 2010 @ 19:38:54

    Thanks for this.This is the first post about ereaders where someone has thought about it from a usage point of view rather than a cool gadget point of view.

    My dad (79) just got a sony ereader because he wanted the touch screen. It’s a great reader and he had no ebooks purchased before he bought it.

    For me the touch screen isn’t so great. I have a terrible time with touch screens (elevator buttons, microwave setting, stove setting) they just don’t seem to notice when I touch them. My iTouch isn’t too bad.

    Thanks again.

  42. becca
    May 16, 2010 @ 20:52:56

    I’d like to hear from people who got one ereader or another and *didn’t* like it. It’s too easy to feel that, having invested a huge chunk of money, that it’s teh bestest evah.

    I’m half-looking at the Kobo myself, although with the sales at Borders of the Sony Readers, they’re being awfully tempting as well.

  43. Lynnette
    May 16, 2010 @ 22:50:20

    I have a KOBO and am loving it. It is quite light and it fits into my purse. It also reads very well in the sunlight. I used Calibre to convert and resize the font on the ebooks that I already had to Epub and then sent them to the KOBO. So I can read books that were not purchased from KOBO. Also if I want to read at night, I just use a lightweight flexible book light.

  44. alisa
    May 17, 2010 @ 05:56:10

    Another question to ask is what software (if any) your public library is using & which formats it supports. I have an iPad, which I won as I was prepared to wait another 18 months to see what emerged. I love it, but I always carry a larger purse, and this is light enough to replace carrying a laptop unless I need heavy email or word processing. I love that I can use Chicago Public Library’s OverDriveMedia for both eBooks & audio books, as well as

  45. alisa
    May 17, 2010 @ 05:57:11

    Another question to ask is what software (if any) your public library is using & which formats it supports. I have an iPad, which I won as I was prepared to wait another 18 months to see what emerged. I love it, but I always carry a larger purse, and this is light enough to replace carrying a laptop unless I need heavy email or word processing. I love that I can use Chicago Public Library’s OverDriveMedia for both eBooks & audio books, as well as videos. Saves me money as I’m not paying for all these titles either!

  46. Liz Fichera
    May 17, 2010 @ 08:46:48

    THANK YOU for writing this post. It’s the most helpful and comprehensive one I’ve read on e-readers!

  47. Sheryl Nantus
    May 17, 2010 @ 08:56:03

    I received a Nook for my b-day and have to say that I’m enjoying it!

    The biggest selling factor for me is that every Friday there’s a free book from B&N. Sure, it may not be my cuppa tea as far as genre goes, but with more and more publishers giving away temporary free copies I’ve managed to pack quite a few ebooks onto my Nook for free – or at very low cost.

    Free ebook Fridays? Darned YES!


  48. Jane
    May 17, 2010 @ 08:56:11

    @Liz Fichera I’m glad this helped and thank you to all the commenters who chimed in with their experiences. The comments section is sometimes the most helpful for any blog post.

  49. Carin
    May 17, 2010 @ 09:03:14

    @preeti – what android app do you use to read?

    I have a Sony Pocket. I like to read on it. I sometimes have a hard time getting books onto it. It works VERY slick with the Sony eBook store, but I like to look around other places and then I have to remember “do I open or save?” Where is that file? I use Calibre to help, but I still find myself going back and forth between the Sony software and the Calibre software. I load books then read for a couple weeks. It seems after that couple of weeks I can’t remember exactly how I got the books on the last time. I generally consider myself an ok computer user, but my Sony frustrates me. I love reading on it, it’s size and portability, and the e-ink, though. Finally, my Sony can read books from our state OverDrive library. Hooray for an ebook library!

    I just got and android phone. I downloaded two ebook apps, Aldiko and eReader. I am SO impressed! The screen on my phone is smaller, but the apps use it better. The Sony forces a margin around the edge of the screen I can’t change. The eReader software uses every millimeter of the screen to display the book.

    My Sony has one set font in 3 font sizes, which seem to be set by the book itself (so those 3 sizes vary from book to book). The eReader has from 1-71 pt font. It has several fonts I could choose to read the book in. It doesn’t have e-ink, but I can change background and font color – I think this would work very well for reading at night, but I haven’t tried it yet. I am very impressed with the options available to me on the android ereader software.

    The biggest android eReader software negative… it can’t read anything with DRM, and so far I’ve only been able to figure out how to download multiformat books off – that was a breeze, but I still need to figure out how to get the ones on my computer onto my phone.

    If I can tolerate reading on the phone screen instead of the wonderful e-ink on my Sony, and if I can figure out the file issues with getting ALL the books I bought (DRM or no) onto my phone, then I think the android phone will easily beat out the Sony for me.

  50. Jane
    May 17, 2010 @ 09:08:04

    @preeti I think that prices of eink readers will fall around October when the push for xmas presents begins. I am convinced that there will be a $100 Kindle but I have nothing to base that on (i.e., no insider knowledge or anything).

    I know that there are rumors of a color eink in the fall and there will be Copia eReaders in June. I am really excited about the Copia store but know next to nothing about the ereaders themselves. I hope to get a review copy of the Copia.

    I am planning to buy an eink reader, but I am waiting until the fall to see what the Xmas push brings about, if that helps you at all.

  51. Mina Kelly
    May 17, 2010 @ 09:34:15


    Thank you! I’ve just got an Android phone and was wondering if there were any good ereading apps for it. And Aldiko says it supports epub, which means I can port some of my current library into the phone.

    (eep! so excited!)

  52. Danielle D
    May 17, 2010 @ 10:11:45

    To me buying an ereader right now is just as confusing as buying a new car! I have both the Sony and Kindle and to me both have their good points and bad points.

  53. Joan/SarahF
    May 17, 2010 @ 10:12:27

    I know it’s a bit late, but as an addendum to #6, almost ALL my ebooks are in PDF which does NOT convert well with Calibre. Formatting gets completely screwed up. Best bet for that is saving the books to the Cloud (I use DropBox), then downloading the GoodReader app to the iPhone/iTouch and reading from there. I assume this will (eventually?) work on the iPad, too.

  54. Vivien Dean
    May 17, 2010 @ 10:17:13


    If it’s any help, 2 of the 6 books I’ve read on my iPad so far were PDF, and I did it exactly like that – files in DropBox, then to GoodReader. DropBox and GoodReader were two of the first apps I got for the device. Neither book I read had any formatting issues at all.

  55. Jill Shalvis
    May 17, 2010 @ 10:32:55

    I have the Sony and I’m hooked. Would I change things? Yes. I would like to be able to search within a book. I would like to be able to buy from Amazon.

    But overall, we’re still in our honeymoon stage and very much in love.

  56. Lily
    May 17, 2010 @ 10:42:03

    I am in love with my Kindle DX and am anxiously awaiting the update coming this month that lets you categorize your books and lets you password protect your Kindle (so prying eyes in the house don’t stumble upon mommy’s romance novels!).

  57. Lynn
    May 17, 2010 @ 11:53:13

    @Jill Shalvis: That would be a no sale for me if I couldn’t search within a book. I use that feature frequently on my Nook for text or numerics. Not so much with the dictionary, but it’s there if I need it. I also like on the Nook the ability to add highlights and notes. The Alex didn’t have a word search, just page, which wasn’t much use to me for the amount of money it cost. It also had the alpha order screwed up. B’s come after A’s… It did have a mucn better filing system than the Nook, so I was impressed with that. The Sony ereaders I took a look at Border’s had a good file system in place, but it just didn’t have the functions I want…yet.

    Lots of ereaders coming out towards the end of the summer. As I said in a previous post, I want the Alex back when the major kinks are worked out this summer. But still like my Nook.

  58. Ridley
    May 17, 2010 @ 12:30:27

    @Jill Shalvis:

    I have the Sony touch edition and I can search books via a search box and a touchscreen qwerty keyboard. I just used it to see how often a character said “fuck” in a book I just read (lost count.)

    The pocket version doesn’t search at all?

  59. Carin
    May 17, 2010 @ 16:02:44

    @Mina Kelly – if you figure out how to get Aldiko to find the files on your phone, will you let me know? I can get them onto my SD card, but I can’t get Aldiko to read them…

    ETA -hey, I just figured it out. Aldiko has a nice support page. I just had to create the import folder myself.

  60. Kate Pearce
    May 17, 2010 @ 16:46:06

    I bought my hubby the kindle last year and it is okay. He gets frustrated with the button clicking sometimes.
    I bought an ipad and as I’m getting old, I love the bright screen, the ease of navigation with a touch of my finger and the beauty of the illustrations.
    But I prefer the kindle catalog. The ibooks one is a mess at the moment, and it is hard to find stuff due to a serious lack of accurate tags.
    And I had no problem propping the ipad up on my knee in bed, using the handy little case Apple made to give it a wedge shape. Compared to lugging my laptop about it is a dream.
    If you just want an e-reader, the kindle is great, but if you want something bigger, brighter and with other capabilities, go with the ipad. I’m still using both at the moment :)

  61. Victoria
    May 17, 2010 @ 17:25:39

    As little as two months ago, I was still loudly and vehemently advocating for the Kindle. As little as two weeks ago, I was equally loudly and vehemently arguing against the iPad.

    The Amazon/Penguin pissing match has taught me that a closed DRM system is the worst of all worlds for consumers. Now everyone I know with ereaders–including some authors!–are learning to “free” the books they buy and convert them for use on the device they prefer. The irony is that this simply never would have happened had the Agency 5 not pulled their little antics. I’m sure that was one side effect they didn’t anticipate!

    If I were buying right now though, it would probably be a nook–epub based (which seems to be on track to becoming the industry standard), excellent reflowable PDF support, and e-ink for those who don’t like LCD screens.

    As for the iPad, my husband refused to use my K2. He disliked the e-ink screen’s grayish tint and lower contrast. He brought home an iPad two weeks ago, and has been reading nightly on it ever since. I picked up my own iPad last week, and though I still prefer reading on the Kindle, the Kindle for iPad app is excellent. The ability to easily switch to white text on black has been great for night reading with less eyestrain than I’d normally have from an LCD. And best of all, Goodreader + larger screen size + Goodreader’s wireless or web download functions means the PDFs I have are finally a thousand times more readable than they ever were with the Kindle.

    But I wouldn’t recommend it as a primary reader to most people unless they already have a need for this kind of multipurpose device. It’s too pricey, and it’s sure as heck too heavy to simply schlep around in your purse! My Kindle is my daily travel companion, the iPad stays home. Hubby carries his, but he’s using it in place of a laptop.

    I still love my Kindle, but recent events are pushing it away from being an automatic “buy this now!” rec for me. Until the industry settles on a universally readable DRM scheme, this will continue to be a tough decision for those in the market for a reader.

    (FYI–for those who said the iPad is too slippery to read without a case, Decal Girl’s matte finish skins provide just enough texture that I no longer feel the thing’s going to take flight when I pick up or hold it. Might be worth a try!)

  62. Elle
    May 17, 2010 @ 21:14:00

    Dang! I think that I jinxed myself by saying how much I loved my Kindle yesterday. Today (today! one day later!) the screen failed on both my Kindle *and* my son’s Kindle. There is a horizontal band across the top of the screen that seems to be frozen in the “home page” mode on both of our devices. How weird. My son’s is still under warranty (his is only 4 months old,) but mine is not. Amazon customer service offered to replace mine for about $150 with a “refurbished” Kindle. That does not sound like such a good deal to me since I have no idea why either of the current ones broke–neither was dropped, both were in their little padded jackets, mine in my purse and his in his backpack. Either there is a design flaw with the Kindle screen or the device is much, much more fragile than advertised and cannot be safely carried in a purse or backpack.
    Sigh. Do any of the other ereaders have a history of similar screen issues? If I buy a Sony or a Nook will I be able to read the books that I have bought from Amazon on it?

  63. L. Diane Wolfe
    May 18, 2010 @ 09:53:33

    The big question to ask is do you want your eReader to do more than just read books? After viewing a friend’s iPad, I know I don’t want to be limited. I think the demand for more than just an eReader will grow, especially once other tablets like Google’s hit the market.

  64. Jaclyn
    May 18, 2010 @ 12:32:11

    Great summary, Jane!

    I bought an eink device this year–a Sony Reader Touch (the middle version Sony, w/ a touch screen but no wireless shopping).

    Why an island device? Because when I am reading a book I don’t want to do anything else (like browse the net, check facebook, check twitter, shop for more books, and otherwise be distracted). My books are all in pdf, epub, or word, and I always buy epub if it’s available.

    The drawback is that I have to shop from a computer and then load it to my reader. The plus side of this is that I cannot instantly hit a button and spend money on impluse book purchases; the con side is that I can’t instantly hit a button and get a book. ;)

    Now if only my library would start lending ebooks again, I could be doing all this ebook reading for the price of my taxes…

  65. Gwen Hayes
    May 18, 2010 @ 17:52:32

    Carin–I bought a DRM pdb book at the other day. I was able to download it to my computer and then move it to my Droid phone using the USB cord, and put it in the ereader app manually.
    There should be a file on your SD card when your phone is hooked up that says “ereader” or something similar. It is where all your pdbs live on that app. I just pasted the fileI got from into that folder and it showed up the next time I opened the app.

    If you need more help,contact me gwen at gwenhayes dot com and I can walk you through it.

  66. Gwen Hayes
    May 18, 2010 @ 22:29:49

    @Gwen Hayes:

    Ignore that whole reply. I guess in the last few weeks, BN has been switching from PDB to epub. Without telling people ahead of time either.

    So, yeah, unless you buy your epubs at Kobo using the android app, there is no other place for Droid users.

    I miss the glory days of Fictionwise.

  67. Melissa
    May 19, 2010 @ 09:50:34

    Just purchased a nook on Mother’s Day and am loving it. The latest firmware update even included a beta web browser–it is a bit clunky, but I didn’t buy it for web browsing. So far I am really enjoying my nook and am not regretting the decision to go with that at all. Thanks for the article. I wish I had read it before I bought mine, it would have made me more confident in my choice, but I am extremely happy with my nook.

  68. jennygirl
    May 19, 2010 @ 10:48:09

    This is a great post. Thank you very much for the analysis. I’m still unsure whether to purchase or not, but when I do, I know which product is right for me.
    Right now, I am still in love with my paper books. I know, be green and all, but I like my paper!

    Thanks again and have a great day :)

  69. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Here, linkity, linkity, linkity…
    May 21, 2010 @ 01:03:38

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  70. ehoyden
    May 21, 2010 @ 07:57:44

    Hi Jane. This is regarding ebook readers having page numbers displayed(came up on another blog).

    My nook has the page#/page# along with the progress bar and a way to search for pages. I understand the Kindle doesn’t have any of these features and was very surprised. I want to know where I am in a book. I know that a too large or too small font size can screw up the page count by a few pages, but that typically doesn’t happen with the size I use.

    I’m curious if the Sonys, Kobos, and others have that feature or not?

    Is it a must have for you on a ereader device?

  71. Jane
    May 21, 2010 @ 09:33:31

    @ehoyden The Kindle uses a thing called “location” and it tells you that you are at 2000 out of 3000 or something crazy like that. It does have a progress bar, though. You can search for words on the Kindle. I can’t remember what the Kobo uses.

    The Sony, if you use epub, uses percentages but also shows the page numbers in small font on the right hand side. It also tells you how many pages you are in into the book out of how many pages long the book is.

    I like knowing how far I am in a book, whether it is by eyeballing the progress bar or by being told the percentage or so many pages out of ___ that I have left.

  72. ehoyden
    May 21, 2010 @ 11:36:30

    @Jane: Thanks.

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    Jun 15, 2010 @ 15:04:44

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  75. christina
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 16:10:26

    I have the Ipad and I absolutely love ibooks it was pricey but well worth it u can read books play games watch movies kisten to music surf the internet check your email and you have multiple apps for ebooks the 2 best are Ibooks and Stanza

  76. christine n
    Feb 07, 2011 @ 17:13:45

    I just purchased a black & white nook. I wanted to get the color version but was told I wont be able to see the screen in the sun which is where I do most of my reading outdoors or poolside. Im still able to return or exchange my nook so can anyone help me decide before its my return time is up? Thank you. Any input on my situation is greatly appreciated!

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  78. kpiot
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 12:39:47

    Thanks for a great article! Cause, I am really stuck!

    I have been determined to get an ipad for the past two years, mainly because I could use the sony, B&N, Borders (no longer, alas) and other reader ebooks all on the one device. No brainer. I only delayed because of the price.

    BUT then I discovered the Nook Color. LOVE it. For magazines, price, size is light and small, easy to carry around and forget it’s there until you want it. Perfect! I was absolutely ready to purchase, in spite of the slightly more restricted selection of ebooks. B&N has so much on its own, it was ok.

    BUT then I discovered the overseas download limitation. I live overseas, in a French speaking country (with French language only bookstores!). The ereader is the perfect solution.

    So far I have been able to purchase books and download them to my computer using my US bank account – but I hear I can’t do this with Nook. IS THAT REALLY TRUE? If so, is there an *easy* way around it?

    Because of this, I am back to the iPad, but now that it has got real competition in the NookColor, I am really stuck. So the questions are:

    1. How flexible is the Nook, really, in terms of accessing books and magazines overseas? Can you do it with a US bank account? Or is there an alternate route for getting books loaded to it?

    2. How flexible, really, is the Nook for accessing ebooks from other vendors?

    3. Is the iPad, really, that heavy? Can you ever “forget” you’ve got it in your bag?

    4. Is the iPad truly a reasonable substitute for a laptop, thus making it a more reasonable choice than the Nook? Can you really use the keyboard on the ipad, or do you really need to attach an external keyboard? (I work with computers constantly and carry my laptop with me everyday to work, so it would be nice to be able to take something a little lighter than that.)

    5. Finally, I am a school librarian and interested in adding ebooks to our libary collection, too, and possibly providing a few readers to loan out to our students. The Nook is cost effective, but I wonder what others think about this? Is the Nook or Ipad better or worse for library ebook sharing?

    I hope I get some response soon! I’m getting on a plane in less than a week, and want to take my Nook or iPad with me!


  79. Jane
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 12:49:46

    So far I have been able to purchase books and download them to my computer using my US bank account – but I hear I can’t do this with Nook. IS THAT REALLY TRUE? If so, is there an *easy* way around it?

    >>>Sometimes the websites prevent purchasing based on the IP address so if your IP address is from France, you might not be allowed to make a purchase.

    2. How flexible, really, is the Nook for accessing ebooks from other vendors?

    >>>Pretty flexible. You can sideload epub books but you can’t buy from Amazon.

    3. Is the iPad, really, that heavy? Can you ever “forget” you’ve got it in your bag?

    >>> Not really. I think its fairly heavy but YMMV.

    4. Is the iPad truly a reasonable substitute for a laptop, thus making it a more reasonable choice than the Nook? Can you really use the keyboard on the ipad, or do you really need to attach an external keyboard? (I work with computers constantly and carry my laptop with me everyday to work, so it would be nice to be able to take something a little lighter than that.)

    >>> You really need to attach an external keyboard for extensive typing.

    5. Finally, I am a school librarian and interested in adding ebooks to our libary collection, too, and possibly providing a few readers to loan out to our students. The Nook is cost effective, but I wonder what others think about this? Is the Nook or Ipad better or worse for library ebook sharing?

    >>>> They both have the same library capabilities. Here’s a post about library lending.


  80. Ami E. Bowen
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 23:31:19

    Hi there! The first exploration into e-reading I went on was when I used to read .txt file ebooks on my generic iTouch clone mp4 player from “Pyrus Electronics”. It would play video and hold pictures as well. I got mine from Amazon for around 40 dollars and have sense bought three more, two in black and one in pink for my two nephews; 8 and 5 and my niece 4. Afterwards, for Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend bought me a tablet p.c, the Velocity Micro Cruz Reader and I loved it so very much until I accidentally dropped it into the dog’s water dish. After which it stilled worked, but though extremely quirky. My mother’s now using it and she bought me the upgraded Velocity Micro Cruz TABLET (t301) for my birthday, which is what I use, now, to read my ebooks on. When I was in the market for an ereader what I wanted was a larger screen, of course, those small itouch clone screens are so small, and the ability to watch videos, view photos and go online so the tablet pc was a much better choice for me than the e-ink versions. Plus, I do most of my reading indoors either during the day or the night so the tablet pc really fits better than those that can’t play video, and are only in black and white.


  81. Jane
    Aug 13, 2011 @ 10:15:42

    @Ami E. Bowen Thanks for your input. I know other readers find this type of real world experiences invaluable.

  82. Christina
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 08:10:26

    I might be the most easily pleased e-reader shopper out there, potentially anyway. And yet I can’t seem to find an answer to my exact question, so I come to you! I don’t care about getting online with the bloody thing. I don’t care about text-to-speech or full color. I don’t want music. All I want is an electronic device I can transfer the thousands of .PDF files I already have onto so I can go outside with a book! Is Sony the best manufacturer for this? Seems I read something in a review on Amazon a while back.. that with the Kindle you can’t transfer your OWN .PDF files, for free, from your computer to the Kindle. Some disgruntled customer or another. Help! Considering I only have one requirement, you’d think it would be easier to find something that works lol.

  83. Jane
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 08:13:22

    @Christina: PDFs are going to be read best on a bigger device so you may want to consider the Kindle DX or the larger Sony (I think the Daily). Both devices read PDFs natively (meaning you don’t have to convert).

    You can transfer PDFs to your Kindle via a USB or by emailing it to yourself. If you email it to yourself, it will cost a fee but if you use the and transfer the book via WIFI (not the on board 3G), it is free. Check out my Kindle tips which you can access from the ebook menu above.

  84. Deb
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 18:53:24

    My requirements are the same as Christina’s. Thanks Christina for posting this. I read all responses on this page and the very last one was what I was going to post!

  85. John
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 16:57:15

    My daughter was given an unused SONY ereader. I already have the same model. I attempted to download my library onto her reader. My reader library software recognizes her reader by won’t copy the books. What to do?

  86. Jane
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 17:00:05

    @John – When you say that you are attempting to download your library onto her reader, what do yu mean by that? What software are you using? Sony or Adobe Digital Editions? Are you on a PC or a Mac? Are you trying to drag and drop files from one folder onto the reader? Are you downloading over an internet connection? WHat model?

  87. Tbird
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 04:12:23

    Hi wondering if you can make a suggestion.
    I need a color reader capable of playing music -must haves

    Touch screen is a preference but not a deal breaker.

    must be able to use my existing pdfs and if possible jpgs

    lastly it MUST NOT be able to play video – it’s for a teen that i want to avoid ‘problems’ with…

    can you help?

  88. Jane
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 07:17:16

    @Tbird: If it is just for pure reading, I would go with the Nook Touch or the Kindle Touch. Neither are in color but are great reading devices.

  89. Tbird
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 21:31:44

    it’s reading and music but since he’ll be reading magazines I wanted color for sure…popular mechanics for kids isn’t the same in B&W

  90. Brian
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 22:17:59

    @Tbird: That’s a tough one. Anything that’s got the horsepower to do a color magazine (I’d say Nook Color or Kobo Vox minimum) well, with fairly smooth page turns, is going to have the horsepower to do video. Also all of the various OS’s I can think of have video players built in by default even if one were to not add any player apps.

  91. Tbird
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 00:10:54

    you’re probably right – i think that ereaders have some serious security issues. I guess I’ll have to B&W it since having internet/video is a deal breaker. Thanks for helping me work this out!

  92. lambfan
    Nov 27, 2011 @ 21:44:47

    I’m with msbookjunkie. It’s grossly unfair that non-US citizens are so discriminated against.

    That said, the best all ’rounder I’ve come up with so far is the iPod Touch. Now that iPhones and iPads have gone to iOS5, a couple of the ebook sellers apps don’t work (and they have no intention of updating them any time soon according to their tech dept’s, but they DO work on iPod Touch because it uses the previous OS. You can download apps for Kindle, Kobo, Borders, eReader ad infinitum, and you can also use a wonderful app called iStanza, that allows you to convert and load any other kind of document/book from MS Reader’s .lit to PDFs, to Text and the utiquitous ePub files. I haven’t come across a document yet that it couldn’t convert to one format or another. Only drawback is you need a computer to convert and then upload your conversions to the iPod Touch.

    All the purpose built readers are pretty hefty, limited, and largish. The new Kindle Fire is the most versatile of all the purpose built readers, but you’re still limited (I believe) to using Amazon. I haven’t discovered a workaround yet that allows the owner to download other ebook readers apps…but I’m still trying.

    Great article by the way, the best info guide I’ve read so far.

  93. Jane
    Nov 27, 2011 @ 22:28:30

    @lambfan I wrote about sideloading apps here. It’s actually quite simple once you know where the APK files are. Mantano will read ePubs and the nook app will read nook books. You can also find Kobo and Sony APKs floating around if those are retailers you use often.

  94. Earleen Notestine
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 15:12:19

    Juno……..why didn’t they have my fave Suicidal Tendenciestrack , INSTITUTIONALIZED ?

  95. serlikat
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 12:04:46

    @ms bookjunkie:

    You could create another amazon account with a random US address, register your kindle to this account and send gift card to those fake account from your original account, then buy the book with your gift card balance.

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