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Topic # 115171 16-Mar-2013 12:55
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Have much of you guys transitioned to e-readers? 

My concerns have been perhaps:
Unable to share a book with other people. 
Can they be viewed on multiple sources by the same owner?  Like Kindle, tablet, computer?
They may be ok for novels but for guidebooks or technical books, even if I electronically scribble on them, the may not look as good as with a pen or fold the pages and get to the page(s) quickly. 
And; the unsureness of keeping that e-book for many years ie - if the e-reader breaks or is discontinued/unsupported, as well as will the old e-books still be readable in future readers and can one backup e-books and reinstall them?

:)

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  Reply # 782654 16-Mar-2013 13:11
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Call me old-fashioned, but I still use paper books.




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  Reply # 782657 16-Mar-2013 13:15
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I got a kindle paperwhite for taking on holiday, but since I got it I haven't read a paper book. Technical books are fine, on a PC. With Kindle it syncs your position between devices, you can read on any of them. You can buy books elsewhere and get them onto the kindle easily enough, if they're in the right format. They're great for really big heavy novels, I wanted to read a book but it was just too heavy to hold, kindle books are quite light ;)

The ones with a light built into them are fantastic, much much better than without IMHO - I have a light, my partner doesn't. As well as night reading it gives better contrast and it's easier to read.




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  Reply # 782659 16-Mar-2013 13:19
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hi, I prefer ebooks these days.
share books- easily done but legality doubtful unless Amazon Kindle shared through their site.
can be viewed on multiple devices.  I have both Kindle and Kobo plus their aps on computer, phone and tablet and all sync well.
great for novels yes. Guidebooks and technical bulletins etc, well not on Kobo or Kindle or phone but I find great on 10.1 and above tablet and computer. Finding pages quickly etc possible easily with practice in most but not all cases.
and finally if unsure of long term longevity well again easily overcome but again legality issues.




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gzt

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  Reply # 782660 16-Mar-2013 13:20
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Those are all good reasons in the OP. You can add availability of second hand books to that list as well. The main one for me is too many new books are unavailable. I could have had most of a Kindle or something for the airfreight I spent yesterday.

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  Reply # 782665 16-Mar-2013 13:38
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gzt: Those are all good reasons in the OP. You can add availability of second hand books to that list as well. The main one for me is too many new books are unavailable. I could have had most of a Kindle or something for the airfreight I spent yesterday.
yeah I get annoyed sometimes when on Amazon the book isnt available in our region.  Sometimes it will be a couple weeks later but if not I have found I can get the book from Kobo. Kobo generally more expensive than Amazon though




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  Reply # 782668 16-Mar-2013 13:47
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Gilco2:
gzt: Those are all good reasons in the OP. You can add availability of second hand books to that list as well. The main one for me is too many new books are unavailable. I could have had most of a Kindle or something for the airfreight I spent yesterday.
yeah I get annoyed sometimes when on Amazon the book isnt available in our region.  Sometimes it will be a couple weeks later but if not I have found I can get the book from Kobo. Kobo generally more expensive than Amazon though


I've had this problem. Fortunately having a younger brother who is a mere 31 and so more in tune with this geekery than I am at 45, he merely 'obtained' the book files from somewhere and emailed them to me. At least Amazon is less annoying with books than iTunes is with music, TV series etc.

I use a Kindle (the one with the keyboard that was around just before the latest sort) and love it. I hardly ever read paper books at all now.

The most annoying thing for me is these blasted authors are just too slow - I discover a new series, devour them in a fortnight and then have to wait 18 months for the last one...!!





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  Reply # 782669 16-Mar-2013 13:48
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I have a Paperwhite and love it. I wouldn't read a paper book again if I had a choice.

Unable to share books with friends. True, but not a big deal for me. (My mums' book club has ladies that just swap Kindles with each other, quite a good idea!)
I have the Kindle app for iPad but don't use it much. Paperwhite is vastly superior for reading books.
Not so good for technical books, this is probably true, but not applicable to me.
Backing up etc. I have all my ebooks on my mac, backed up, and synced to Kindle with horrible Calibre application. No worries there, I'm sure future devices will support the popular formats (ePub, mobi etc. maybe famous last words?)

I do gripe that Kindle, very popular device, is not supported by Auckland Libraries for electronic lending.
Otherwise the convenience of having many, many, books on one slim device, for work or whatever, is awesome. The backlight is great, reading in bed has never been easier. I don't miss paper books at all. Although, I guess ironically, I am about to start one right now, is not available electronically by any means.

Cheers,
Joseph

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  Reply # 782678 16-Mar-2013 13:54
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I had a Kindle keyboard and just this month replaced it with a Kindle Paperwhite. Easy to get my books on the device, reading position synced between all. While my new Kindle was on its way (it only took four days from order to delivery) I used my Windows Phone Kindle app to keep reading...

As for swapping books... Not into that anyway. I haven't bought a paperback in years now. All the paperbacks we had here were sent to a second hand shop, resulting in a few hundred dollars more in our bank accounts.

I use a US account to buy books on Kindle, which means you have to login via VPN. If you use it too much without a US address it will be blocked. Not a big deal for me but might for others. I only do this because of book availability.

Having said that I've noticed in the last few months some books showing up in New Zealand bookstores a couple of weeks before being available on Amazon (either paperback or Kindle editions). An example was the last Jack Reacher story, which was available at Whitcoulls here in Wellington two weeks before the US launch date.

In the last two and half years I bought 150 books on Kindle Amazon. Almost one a week on average.





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  Reply # 782693 16-Mar-2013 15:02
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I have been using ebooks extensively for at least a decade, first on PDAs, and more recently on E Ink  eReaders and over the years have built a library of thousands of books.

My recommendation would be to go for a reader that reads ePub format books. ePub is an open standard, not a proprietary one such as those from Amazon (i.e. for Amazon's Kindle readers) and some others which try to lock you in to a specific supplier, is widely available, and has become the format of choice for dedicated ebook reading people.

Going the ePub way one can still, for example, buy Kindle books from Amazon, using the free Amazon application Kindle for PC, and convert them to ePub format using the likes of Calibre (also free); a very simple process. One can likewise convert ePub to Kindle formats if one goes the Kindle reader way, but conversion tools are generally more oriented to tidily getting to the open ePub standard rather than to proprietary ones.

Saying that will put the cat among the pigeons here, as Kindle seems to be the only reader most seem to want to know anything about ;-). So, if you get confused and want the best advice possible from both very experienced users and ebook production house people as to what to go for insofar as format, then I suggest going to http://www.mobileread.com/forums and getting advice there. You will also find there everything you ever wanted to know about ebooks, formats, readers, software, etc.

Regarding technical books; if you are thinking .pdf format ones with diagrams, colour illustrations, etc. then forget using the E Ink ebook readers as their screens are far too small for anything other than plain text, and they don't (as yet) do colour. If you want to do just plain text .pdfs then make sure you get a reader that does it well with reflow. Pdfs are very troublesome converting to other eBook formats and doing so is not worth contemplating.

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  Reply # 782719 16-Mar-2013 17:09
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DarthKermit: Call me old-fashioned,


Not until you start using manuscript copies on goatskin vellum...





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  Reply # 782728 16-Mar-2013 17:39
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Geektastic:
I've had this problem. Fortunately having a younger brother who is a mere 31 and so more in tune with this geekery than I am at 45, he merely 'obtained' the book files from somewhere and emailed them to me.


As far as I can tell people basically scan a book, or break the DRM, then distribute them online. ie steal them.




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  Reply # 782757 16-Mar-2013 19:12
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I used to buy a lot of books, new and second hand, and have literally two shelved rooms full of them, with more stored in the garage and attic.

Since 2011 I have had a a keyboard Kindle, and love it. It means on long daily commutes etc I have dozens of books available with little bulk/weight in my bag. Many ebooks are free (check out, for example, project Gutenberg). Others are relatively cheap - I picked up a dozen or so older ones off Amazon with prices ranging from $US0.99 to 1.99. My hardcopy purchasing is probably down 89-95%.

I'm absolutely sick of being gouged by local retailers at nearly double (or more!) the price UK and US readers have to pay for novels etc. A new release book I wanted recently was on Whitcoulls shelves for $39.99, and the UK price retail visibly displayed on the back was 6.99 pounds which equates to less than $15 NZ dollars!. Finally, we are able to get competitive pricing, as well as access to a proper range rather than the limited one retailers chose to stock here, and and it's great.

I don't actually feel very sorry for NZ book retailers & distributors, their monopolistic pricing and restrictive trade practices have cost me literally thousands over the years, and as far as I'm concerned they are now getting their just desserts.

There is a Calibre plug-in which strips DRM and lets the ebook be format converted. You should always do this when you buy something, so you don't lose the value of hundreds/thousands of dollars of your purchases if you switch to a reader that supports a different format. (Cue a wiseguy with the "technically it's illegal...." comment in three, two, one.....).

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  Reply # 782758 16-Mar-2013 19:15
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I've had a kindle for a couple of years and have used an iPad and, most recently, a Nexus 7. For versatility and general utility the I've found the Nexus 7 to be excellent. It's small and light, and I personally find LCD to be fine for reading. YMMV of course.

It has the advantage of being able to read all available formats using different apps, including the overdrive app that Auckland library uses.

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  Reply # 782789 16-Mar-2013 22:16
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The issue of proprietary formats is certainly one to consider. Who knows if we will be able to read our books 20 years from now? But then again, how many books do we read more than once?

I've built up a collection of more than 600 books over the last 25 years and they look great in my bookshelves scattered around the house. But I have to say the lower cost and convenience of e-books has swayed me to buying more of them. I had to start factoring in the cost of buying more bookshelves and storage space.

Lastly, the cost. I lament the high cost of books in this country. I would be very sorry to see the demise of bookstores in NZ, but if they have no alternative to pricing themselves out of the market, so be it.

David.





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  Reply # 782809 16-Mar-2013 23:20
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I don't share books because I never get them returned or forget who owes me

There are software out there that can keep multiple sources in sync should you have different platforms

I use a different app to annotate or make notes if I have to

I disagree with the unsupported format idea - ebooks have been a while now so are other formats like mp3 and PDF, it is the same for any medium for example VHS gets re released. I would only be concern if 'future' proofing was for the next generation.

I still have paperbacks but mostly coffee table books

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