Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

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Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby aburt » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:40 pm

I hear people talk about ebook readers and how they like or dislike them, but what I'm wondering is how many of those who dislike them have actually tried them under realistic, "comfy reading chair" conditions. Like, sitting in your favorite reading spot with a Kindle or whatnot in hand, and spending a goodly number of minutes reading a book you like. And "recently," since the devices change a lot. So, here's a poll about that... Feel free to discuss at length.

Please take the poll, which is at:

http://critique.org/c/ersurv/

And please pass the URL around on Facebook, Twitter, your blogs, etc. so we can get the widest possible set of results. (I'd suggest NOT posting it on ebook-specific forums as that would skew the results, but on general reading forums, or any other kind of forum, you bet.)

After you take the survey, a followup question for discussion here would be, what did you think of it? Has it changed your reading habits? Do you read some paper, some ereader? How much of each? Do you read more overall, the same, less?

If you haven't tried one, what is the reason? Cost? Don't think it could be the same experience?

Thanks! I look forward to all the answers and discussion. I did a poll like this once before, so it will be interesting to see how the results have changed over time.
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Re: Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby crit26239 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:33 pm

I've had a Nook Color for a little under a year, and I love it. I've used it in bed while sick, in business class on the way to China, on the sofa while my son plays with his trains, at my desk or outside at a lunch table; I've got a kids' tae kwon do book with embedded videos that my son likes, I play angry birds during his boring gymnastics class, and I download 3-5 crit stories a week onto it (even if I never get around to reading them all) so that they can be read anywhere I go. I wish my grad student textbooks were all available as eBooks so I could read them on it, and I have to say I like it better than my iPad, which is for me a functional toy and not useful and not fun to read on. And I no longer buy real books, well, at least not as many, especially now that the nearest bookstore is over 10 miles away. And last but not least, I am actually willing to pay full paperback price for most books, unless they are books that contain a lot of diagrams and images and things that a paper book is truly much better for.
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Re: Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby crit26091 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:18 am

I've had my KindleDX for quite some time now. I'm replacing my books with e-books. Up with Trees!

Top three Kindle moments:

#3: Reading on the patio in full sunlight. I'm very sensitive to light and have never been able to enjoy the outdoors with a book in the sun. I can't express how wonderful the moment was for me.

#2: Learning about the Kindle, I mistook the still charging light color to mean I was fully charged. Got to the cafe, 10 min and the Kindle shuts down. Switched over to my Android Kindle app and in 4 min (had never used it) was up an reading right where I left off.

Annnndd ## 1 <drum roll>: Finished first book in the series unexpectedly at the cafe - bought the second one and was reading in under 7 min! How awesome is that?!? Way cool.
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Re: Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby crit26742 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:33 am

I've had a B & W Nook for almost a year. Now I don't leave home without it, and never have to decide on what book I'll be in the mood to read at lunchtime! I initially had the first generation B & W Nook. I liked it so much, I sent it to my mother to use to read my stories--she's my first reader. (Yep, blatant bribery.)

I currently have about 80 ebooks or manuscripts loaded. I'm too busy writing to do much recreational reading, but it's been a great platform for proofing manuscripts. I save them as a PDF, set the margins to narrow, the spacing to 1.15, and set the font at either 28 or 36, depending on how tired my eyes are, and the story comes up with its formatting intact on the second smallest font setting, but at an actually large size. I currently have a Nook Simple Touch and love it. I thought the Nook Color was nice, but an 8 hr battery just won't hack it for me.

I find that I buy books now (fiction) by whether it's available as an ebook. I disagree with the major publishers' strategy of pricing them at more than a paperback, so I've found web sites like Smashwords where I've discovered a number of new authors that I really like, at a price where I can afford to take a chance on an unknown. I still buy nonfiction, reference-type material in paper. :D
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Re: Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby crit26267 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:30 am

I bought my Kindle 3 a year ago. From the moment I unboxed the device, I knew it would be a long and loving relationship. How’d I know? For starters, the E Ink, non-glare screen was easy to read even with allergy-swollen eyes, and I could customize the font size to reduce eyestrain. There are many reasons why I love my Kindle, here are a few:

• Syncs with Kindle apps that I have installed on my computer and smartphone; I can pick-up where I left off no matter what device I use
• Built-in dictionary
• Ability to download/view free chapter or two of a book so I can “browse” the book and decide if I want to purchase it
• Instantly and easily (too easily) buy books and magazines without leaving my chair
• Take notes and sync with online account
• Email documents to my Kindle
• Create folders and organize my reading material
• Light/portable – great when traveling
• Text is readable even in bright sunlight
• Send online articles to my Kindle via Readability.com
• Borrow library books without leaving my home (just borrowed my first book and can’t get over how easy it was to do)

I purchased a leather cover so I feel like I’m holding a leather-bound book when I read on my Kindle. The longer I use my Kindle the more I love it. (Sorry if I sound like an advertisement but I really do love my Kindle.)
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Re: Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby crit26544 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:11 am

I own a Nook Color and I love it. I've had it for a few months and have already purchased and read several books on it. I'm not going to say one product is better than others, but there are certainly different products to suit different types of readers. Both the Kindle and the orginal B&W Nook look great outside and in the sun, whereas a Nook color will have somewhat of a glare in the sun (though not as bad as an iPad from my experience). Some people will want to use an iPad for their main ereader. They'd have access to iBooks which is a reader app that I really enjoy using. However, for my personal taste, the iPad is far to large and unweildy to comfortabley work as a long term ereader for me. The Nook Color is the perfect shape and size for me to read with it for hours (which I have) and it fits comfortably within my cargo pants pocket. The added bonus for a Nook Color is that it's a fully functional Android tablet that can do pretty much anything any other tablet can do (and with Flash, unlike the iPad).

I currently use the Nook app to purchase most of my books on my Nook Color, but I've also used the Kindle app and the Aldiko app which all work well for me. I do wish there were a discount for using eBooks rather than paper books, but sometimes they're actually more expensive than their paper counterparks. However, Nook often offers great deals on Facebook, and Kindle has an amazing amount of free books (though they're not as great to navigate through as the purchased books). If you're out of money and have read all the free books and samples you could also access "Library books" at your local library with the Nook or borrow a book from your friend.

Honestly, there isn't much the modern ebooks can't do in place of the traditional paper books. The page turning simulator that some of the apps have works great. They just need to make eReader covers that "smell" like books, and they'd have it whipped. I have seen some eReader covers that were made out of actual carved out books. I considered making one of those myself, but couldn't bring myself to carve out any of the precious books that I own. LOL!
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Re: Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby crit19292 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:39 am

Boy, does this thread look like Spam.

No, I do not have a reader, as the amount of money I believe would be better spent for a new comfy chair --
1) The chair will not go out of date
2) The chair will meet my needs
3) The chair can be easily modified to fit my mood or situation

The readers cost WAY too much, and that is the same with most e-books that I really want to read (might as well buy the book in many cases). While I read all these wonderful sales pitches, I have to say that I see no one really using the things. The closest friend that I have has a wife that has one.

I did put a book out on Kindle. It appears as just a mass of words. The interface to upload it was poor.

I put out the same book on Nook, and it looks proper. The interface was friendly. Thus, if I were to buy one, I would buy the Nook.
I will not deny myself having my opinions.
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Re: Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby crit26707 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:33 pm

Given that an ebook reader only does one thing -- admittedly an IMPORTANT thing -- and that there are many other ways to do that thing, I think the price will have to come down a lot before I consider one. Say, £60? (What's that -- $90?)

Meanwhile, I'm happy reading on my phone, my laptop, or those weird little crinkly paper things,
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Re: Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby aburt » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:57 pm

crit26707 wrote:Given that an ebook reader only does one thing -- admittedly an IMPORTANT thing -- and that there are many other ways to do that thing, I think the price will have to come down a lot before I consider one. Say, £60? (What's that -- $90?)


Well......... :) Here you go! Amazon yesterday started selling a Kindle for $79. (And their prices have been steadily going down, so I have no reason to suspect $79 is the end of it. Someone asked the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, if they might soon be free, and he sort of winked.) (The least I've paid so far for a dedicated ereader was $10 for a used PDA, though I have many devices that do other things [phone, tablet, netbook, etc.] that do other things and on which I read, so, sort of "free".)

Meanwhile, I'm happy reading on my phone, my laptop, or those weird little crinkly paper things,


Ah, so, you do read ebooks, though. Doesn't matter if it's on a phone -- which is one of my favorite devices too -- or a laptop. The device is just a means to an end (reading books delivered digitally). The focus of this poll was on the experience of reading ebooks (not a dedicated device, any device) and whether people have tried it under realistic conditions. Since you say you're happy reading ebooks on a phone/etc., that'd count as a "Yes and liked it" answer.

What I find extremely interesting is that few who've actually tried ebooks under comfortable conditions have said they disliked it.

That suggests to me that the trend away from paper will continue, at least so long as it remains less expensive for publishers to distribute books digitally instead of printing/shipping paper around. Following that trend to its logical conclusion would get us to a point where there are very few paper books being sold. (Specialty products kind of thing.)
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Re: Ebook reader poll - have you tried one recently?

Postby crit26707 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:24 pm

Given the Amazon Fire release, I checked the price of the old, B&W kindle last night -- £100. We kind of get shafted on the exchange rate on tech goods here in the UK. But I'm sure that you are right, the price will go down.

I do actually prefer the crinkly paper things. But my Nokia N900 has an excellent ebook reader, and I've been using it to read some of the Honor Harrington novels, because that was quicker and cheaper than actually ordering a paperback.

I agree with your assessment. eBooks aren't going away. But I hope the paper ones aren't, either.
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