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Preferred eBook Reading Device

If I could choose any ebook reader, it would be

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I’m doing a two piece buying guide for ebook reading devices.   What would be your preference?   Mine is the iPhone. I’ve had both the Sony Reader and the iPhone and found myself reading the iPhone so much I sent my Sony Reader to Jayne.   Everyone is different though.

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


  1. Gina Black
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 13:20:31

    I’m enjoying my Kindle a lot. Didn’t like reading on the iPod Touch. Too small. Didn’t like reading on the Palm. Too small screen as well. The Kindle is easy to manage (I can read without even holding it) and easy on my eyes.

  2. gwen hayes
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 14:03:28

    I love my ebookwise still. If I had my Christmas wish, though, it would be for a standard ebook format so I didn’t have to strip drm and go through such a process to load books onto it.

    I like its size, it’s lack of fussy buttons, the battery life, and the backlight.

    I hate the fact that I have to convert .lit to html and it doesn’t always work. I have about ten books I’ll have to read on my laptop because they won’t convert correctly.

    Are you listening, Santa?

  3. WriteBlack
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 14:05:15

    Funny that you put this up just as I’m trying to figure out whether a Kindle is a worthwhile buy.

    I’ve done a lot of reading on my iPhone lately and really enjoy it — although I wish the screen was just a touch (!) larger. I’m secretly still hoping that Steve Jobs was just joshing with us when he said Apple won’t be working on a real e-reader. Something with a screen a little larger would be perfect, Steve.

  4. Jusy
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 14:18:04

    I prefer my Palm Centro or my Sony Clie as I’m prefer a multi-functional gadget. Since I got my Palm Centro, my Sony Clie has been laying around more. The Palm Centro does everything my Sony Clie does. The Palm is now my phone and helps my addiction to Sudoko. I have Mobi and eReader install. I’m sure can I do Adobe, too, but have not found a need to yet.

  5. Statch
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 14:49:42

    I have an eeePC and a Dell Axim PDA, and use them both for reading ebooks. I love the eeePC for organizing my ebook library and reading at home, but the PDA is also great for throwing into my purse and taking everywhere. I find I also read on it a lot at home because it’s so convenient. It’s showing signs of decay, though, so I’ve been trying to decide what to replace it with when that day comes, and the iPhone or iPod Touch both sound really interesting. I won’t consider either the Kindle or the Sony because I’m not getting stuck with a proprietary format.

  6. MoJo
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 14:50:50

    I love my eBookWise, don’t get me wrong.

    But I’d sure like to have an all-in-one device I can shove in my purse and go.

  7. TerryS
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 15:03:26

    My Sony Clie has been my primary ebook reader for many years now but I also recently purchased a MSI Wind mini notebook with the intent of also using it for reading ebooks. I continue to use my Sony Clie for reading outside the home. However, for reading at home, I use the MSI Wind. I downloaded EEERotate which makes reading feel more like reading an actual book. I like the freedom to control the font size in both devices as well as the ability to use mutliple ereader programs on both devices. Ereader is my favorite reading program for oh so many reasons, but I also have MobiPocket and Adobe as well as ebooks in all three formats. I did consider the Kindle before buying the MSI Wind, but the Kindle quickly lost out to the multi-functionality I get from the MSI Wind. A serious evaluation of my needs revealed the mini notebook option (regardless of brand name) to be a much greater value for not much more money.

  8. Ember
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 15:04:04

    I love my Sony. When I purse shop, I make sure it has a pocket big enough to hold just the reader, so I guess my love has reached the point of planning my wardrobe around it.

  9. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 15:24:21

    Love my Sony Reader. I hated reading on a PDA and I imagine an iPhone wouldn’t be much different. I strain my eyes enough as it is just working so I don’t want to add to the strain when I read.

  10. shanna
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 15:35:07

    I love my iPhone, I like having a multi-functional device for reading.

  11. JulieLeto
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 18:08:11

    I could not live without my Kindle and my ability to buy books whenever and where ever I am. And to get hardcovers for $9.95? I’m buying books I never would have bought previously. I love it! And adjusting font size…the bomb.

  12. Jessica
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 18:23:49


    Not sure if you saw this, but Kindle 1.0 is sold out, not expected back in stock for 11-13 weeks.

    But, according to this site, Kindle 2.0 is coming early 2009

  13. Jane O
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 20:39:13

    All this makes me nervous, and not because I am a Luddite. However, ninety-nine percent of my reading material comes from the library. I can see where it would be infinitely more economical for publishers to put out only e-books, especially for genre fiction. But what then happens to those of us who cannot afford to buy e-readers and e-books? (And not because we are buying sable coats and caviar instead.)

  14. Terri
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 21:58:20

    I currently use a Palm for reading. I can’t justify the price of a dedicated reader. My husband gave me the choice of a mini computer or an IPod touch. I’ve chosen the IPod touch. I am concerned about the small screen but I couldn’t see me taking the computer to my childrens’ practices.

  15. E
    Nov 29, 2008 @ 23:27:55

    I use my Palm T/X with mobipocket for all my ebooks.

  16. Tae
    Nov 30, 2008 @ 00:24:21

    I have an Ebookwise right now. I plan on buying the Sony 505. I have some books on pdf format which Tor was giving away for free and I’d like to be able to carry them around with me.

    Also I see that NYPL (New York Public Library) sells library memberships and also carries ebooks in either mobirocket or pdf format. This means I can stretch my money further by borrowing books from them in pdf format.

    I’m not living in the US currently and the Kindle doesn’t seem like a good idea.

  17. Jessica Kennedy
    Nov 30, 2008 @ 01:14:57

    I’ve had my Kindle for a year now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    I own an iPhone and I don’t think I’d be comfortable reading on something so small. Plus, I can prop my Kindle up just about anywhere and read it with no hands and while laying in bed.

  18. Kerry D.
    Nov 30, 2008 @ 03:41:02

    I use my Palm T/X with mobipocket for all my ebooks.

    Ditto. Love it and the fact I can do more than just read books with it – although I admit that’s what I use if for most.

  19. RLJ
    Nov 30, 2008 @ 12:05:14

    What about using an iTouch – would it be the same as the iPhone. I don’t want an iPhone, but would love an iTouch – especially if I could use it as an ebook.

  20. karmelrio
    Nov 30, 2008 @ 12:33:40

    My preferred eBook reading device? None.

    I’m with Jane O., preferring to kick it old school reading physical books. I’m not a Luddite by any means – I use a laptop 10 hours a day for my day job in the technology field, and an eeePC for writing my WIP. I just get to the point where my eyes get so bleary I can’t fathom any more screentime. I’m nearsighted enough.

    I like the feel of a book, the smell of a book, the sound of the pages turning, the look of the characters marching across the page.

  21. Jane
    Nov 30, 2008 @ 12:37:28

    @RLJ: Yes, the reading experience would be the same on the itouch as on the iphone. The difference is that you would only be able to buy books from the iTouch and download them via a wi fi connection.

  22. Anita.R
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 07:45:29

    I really would like an opinion from the ladies (and readers) of DA, on what ereader device I should get.

    If I do not live in the US, would a Kindle be worth it? My friend Stateside is recommending it all the time, even knowing that I would not be able to use the Whispernet. I love Mobi format.

    I personally read all my books on my 14.1″ trusty old laptop. I tried my mom’s HP 2133 but find the whole thing to be too small for me. I love reading on my laptop, but sometimes it’s just not convenient, and I do feel the strain.

    I would not like an iPhone, I think there would be too much hassle involved with trying to carry book in it, especially with the battery. And the iTouch is out too, because I tried it and the sound rendering is terrible even with my Sennheiser headphones, so the multifunction thing is not gonna work. Smartphone/PDA, probably will be a good choice, but at the price of a small laptop? No thank you.

    I really would love (quite desperate for it actually) the help on deciding from knowledgeable consumers.

    Thank you very any help at all.

  23. Keishon
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 12:30:04

    Sony Reader then iPhone.

  24. Sunita
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 12:37:43

    Sony Reader then Palm Centro. The Centro screen is small, but I always have my phone with me and it reads DRM ereader and mobi and non-DRM Adobe, plus others.

  25. Jane
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 13:58:08

    @Anita.R: You would not be able to a) purchase a Kindle or b) purchase any Kindle books without a US CC attached to your account.

    Also, if you purchased Mobipocket books, you would have to strip them of their DRM (or change the PID code which I don’t remember exactly how to do).

    If you have alot of Mobipocket books and you live outside the US, I think your best bet would be the Cybook by Bookeen. It has the same screen as the Kindle and works with secure Mobipocket format.

  26. Kalen Hughes
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 15:57:14

    I like paper, but I’ll admit to being tempted by the CyBook . . .

  27. Kalen Hughes
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 12:10:41

    . . . so tempted that I just got one. I’m loving it so far (though I kind of miss the physical sensation of holding a book and turning pages).

  28. Anne Douglas
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 16:56:52

    Kalen – I’ve been reading exclusively e the last few days (versus one from the library bag – yay for new release royalties so I can do some book shopping heh!) and seriously, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m trying to turn the page :D) Bodes well for readers glomming on to eReaders in general!

  29. Mari
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 18:50:39

    I actually got the sony 505 as a christmas gift. I have been reading so much on it, and it is so realistic that I also have tried to turn the page a few times….So far I’ve only purchased some books from the Sony store, so I really have no experience with any other e-book site.I actually have zero experience with e-books,so I’m kinda learning as I go along…I have to say that I love this thing, but I just wish they gave more tech support—while I was transferring some books from my PC to the Reader, it froze….this has happenned almost every time I do it so I don’t even know if its just me in my ignorance, or just the Reader….but I do love the reader. (If anyone has any tips, they are more than welcome)

  30. Jane
    Jan 13, 2009 @ 19:46:22

    @Mari When you say it froze, do you mean that you have to unplug or restart the software or something? or that you have to wait before it’s completed its task?

  31. Rob Philip
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 08:09:01

    After buying (and returning) a kindle, and buying (and loving) a Droid, I doubt I’d ever buy a dedicated e-book reader. Having a pocket computer (which is what the Droid is) that can also play music, let me read books, send e-mail, browse the web and do any number of other things is a better choice for me.

    The quality of the text is a *lot* better than the weak dark gray on light gray of the kindle, and I can listen to music while reading at the gym.

    I’d rate a kindle 4.5/10 as an e-book reader and 2/10 for its lame music playback. The Droid hits more like 8/10. The only think the kindle has going for it is the ability to buy books from Amazon.

    In my opinion :)

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