Knights in armor, bent on chivalry

That?  Was a staggeringly unpleasant week.  Let us speak of it no more.

Instead, let us speak of what Steve and I will be doing tomorrow, which is driving out to Bridgton to record an interview on “What Are You Reading?”, which airs on Lake District Cable. Bridgton’s a pretty place, a couple hours away from the location of the Cat Farm, and we anticipate a pleasant, relaxing drive and a good time at the interview itself.

In other news, the taxes have been dropped off with the accountant, so Sunday I’ll start revising “Intelligent Design.” That done, I’ll be clear to reread and get back with George, which still hasn’t forked over with a Title. Though, yanno, if there can be a movie called Harvey why not a book called George?

A question for all you ebook readers out there. I’ve actually been enjoying reading with the Nook app on my Android, which I never thought I’d say. But I really like that I can make the text bigger and read without my glasses, and I like how crisp the resolution is, and the page-turn — which was slllloooooowwwwwww in the One Real Nook I’ve ever held in my hands — is snappy. So, I’m thinking…maybe an ebook reader. But! There’s the brand-new iteration of the Kindle, of which I’ve heard lovely things, including the fact that they’ve got the hand-feel down to mass market weight, and, well — weight counts. I could never hold one of your whomping great Ipads and read on a book on it.

So, those of you with ’em — how’s the refresh rate on the actual Nook and Kindle? Comparable weights? Glad you have one? Wish you hadn’t bothered? What do I need to know? What should I think about before I plunge my next bit of crazy money into one of these things? Tell all.

In the meantime, I’m going to go vacuum the house and terrify the cats. Double the fun!

5 thoughts on “Knights in armor, bent on chivalry”

  1. I have both a BW and a color Nook. I strongly recommend Nook products in place of Kindle as they are not as proprietary. The color version is able to display National Geo and other pubs. Either Nook will accept third party books or PDF files. I believe Kindle can’t. The color Nook is a WiFi device only. The BW is available as an AT&T 3G or as WiFi. I have both– use both. Don’t have a Kindle.
    Hope this helps.

  2. To follow up on what I mentioned on FB, I kept researching ereaders until my brother gave me a NookColor for xmas. I really like it. I have successfully purchased and loaded (I love the wireless aspect) a few books from B&N, a couple of old favorites and several freebies. I have also purchased one from Baen (Dragon Variation 🙂 which I needed a little help with from the publisher – they were very helpful. And I have downloaded and returned a handful of books from the local library system (Kindle doesn’t work with OverDrive which is what most library systems use). Yes, I am liking it very much.

    If you get a Nook Color, be sure to get the some of the cling film to put over the screen since it is a touch screen and will show prints, etc.

    The major con I see so far is the weight which, since I bought a cover for it, does weigh down the old shoulder bag a bit. But I specifically wanted a cover with a clasp to keep closed in my bag (or brief bag) and so “stuff” wouldn’t get in/on in transit. If you’re gonna spend a couple hundred bucks on a piece of electronics, you want to make sure it is going to last.

    They claim that the battery will last quite a while. I have read 3-4 books on it so far and only charged the battery twice since its initial start-up.

    Oh, and another plus – the darn thing will take and store an SD card so you can have TONS of books any time!

  3. I have a Kindle. It is awesome. You can buy 3rd party books on them and use PDFs. I bought yours for example from Baen and have read them on my Kindle and I frequently buy directly from authors like CJ Cherryh who put backslisted stuff up as ebooks and sell them on their personal sites. 🙂 I even put my own writing on my Kindle just for kicks.

    Competitors lie through their teeth about what Kindle can and can’t do so do your own research on the subject. I’ve listened to the sales people at B&N lie and was just about ready to whip out my Kindle and show them all the 3rd party books I have on there but I didn’t want to cause a riot. I’ve heard the same misinfo at Borders. It is annoying.

    I buy my mainstream stuff from Amazon’s store because it is easy with whispernet and they have a lot of titles, but this year I’ve already bought over 10 ebooks from 3rd party and for older books that have entered the public domain I get them from Project Gutenberg for free. I’ve read a lot of Sherlock Holmes and GK Chesterton and Elizabeth Gaskell this last year through services like that.

    That said, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between them. Not as much as people lead you to believe. There is a main division though. You got your eInk (Kindle, first gen Nooks, kobo, Sony etc) and then you have back lit stuff like the new Nook and iPad and some Sony etc. So far color eInk isn’t available. Would be awesome though.

    I picked eInk and love it. You can read in direct sunlight with no glare problems. You need a light to read at night just like you would with a paper book though which I am cool with. I got a Kindle because I work on the computer all day. I don’t need additional eye strain. I also wanted a dedicated reader. When I read I want to read, not multitask and get distracted like with an iPad. I love being disconnected. I went on a train ride recently and read three books. And if I ran out of books I could use the free 3G whispernet connection and buy more right there on the train. No more packing 6 books and have anxiety I won’t be in the mood for any of them. I have hundreds of books.

    Among eInk options these days there isn’t a lot of difference in refresh rates. Early on the Nook was slower, but it got a firmware upgrade and I think the gap has narrowed. I don’t notice my Kindle’s refresh rate anymore. My Kindle has gotten a couple firmware updates through the wireless which is cool. They are constantly making things better even with the Kindle you already purchased. I think Nook and others do the same.

    One you get your Kindle (or whatever you pick) you’ll want to get Calibre. It is a free program that helps you keep your devices content organized, convert between formats, help make your own ebooks to put on your Kindle (I use the mobi format to turn my own writing into something that will work on Kindle). It isn’t required, but it is a useful tool for people who want to go beyond the basics. You don’t have to have a Kindle to use Calibre.

    Kindle and other ereaders have apps for your other devices. You can read books on your computer, smart phone, and even read Kindle books on an iPad if you want to. So if you do end up picking a certain brand you can access the same books using other tools. It is pretty cool actually.

    I read a lot and have collected a lot of books over the years and people like me seem to be concerned about DRM locks on books and the risk of losing them. I think two things when this comes up:
    1) I survived VHS to DVD. I’ve survived my books being flooded, lost, stolen, eaten by the dog. Even dead tree books have a finite life and we have adapted to that reality. I will keep collecting hardbacks of my fav authors (hey, I by vinyl still) but outside of that ebooks are safe enough for me.
    2) If ever Amazon dies there will be a jail break for my books. Some nerd out there will do it. In fact there is already a jail break. I don’t bother with it because I have no need to, but it exists.

    I’ve had my Kindle for a year now and don’t regret a thing. I know people who like Nooks (even if they all seem to be indoctrinated with bad info) and people who like their iPads though my iPad friends are not volume readers. I don’t think you could go wrong whatever you pick once you decide between eInk and backlit.

    Things I noticed since getting a Kindle (note–these features may be available on other readers too):
    1) I read more. And longer. And have less eye strain. This would probably be true for any eInk option. It really is like paper.
    2) I underline a lot. I never used to do this to paper books outside of academics but now I underline with glee.
    3) The dictionary is awesome. You just have to cursor over to the word and it pops up a definition like where a footnote would be. I was a lit major so my vocabulary is pretty good but I still use this. It’s fun. I get annoyed when reading a paper book and I can’t do it as easily. My thumb moves and no button. Alas.
    4) I take notes. The keyboard works great and I like jotting down comments. You can export comments too.
    5) I buy the next in a series in the middle of the night to keep the fun times going and the next day am confused by the purchase confirmation in my email until I remember my late night reading party. *sigh* Oh well.
    6) You can usually preview a chapter or two of a book before buying. I download previews a lot and more often than not buy a book that I have previewed. I’ve also been warned off stinkers though.
    7) It keeps a charge forever. If I only read before bed it lasts for about a month. I leave it on all the time even in sleep mode. Never gets hot. On the train I read for hours and hours and never had to charge.

    Sorry for such a long post. I love my Kindle and ereaders in general (well, not their sales people). On the train I got interrupted all the time for demos. It was fun to talk about reading and tech. 🙂

  4. Forgot to mention that I have a K2, not the latest iteration. BestBuys have the new Kindles you can handle if you want to get the weight comparisons going and B&N and Borders have their own on display too that you can play with.

    Also, there are cool accessories for Kindles and Nooks and the like. Stickers that go over the front and flip covers and slip covers. I use a slip cover I got online because I like reading a naked Kindle. Heh. Target and BestBuy type places have basic stuff, but if you go online you get pick from hundreds of options.

  5. What sweetbo wrote, plus…

    If you tend to read before going to sleep, eInk reflective screens have an advantage over backlit screens: you won’t be shining direct light into your eyes, which should improve your sleep. You will need to have a reading light on, but that will be no different from a light used for reading paper books.

    I had a version 2 Kindle, and now have a Version 3. It seems that the screen has improved (the background is closer to white), and page “turning” is almost instant. I find it easier to read than standard books. It’s lighter than hardcovers and trade PBs, and doesn’t heed to be held open.

    I have an M-Edge cover for my Kindle that has a built-in “theater stand.” When sitting alone eating lunch at work (not an anti-social thing, I just have a weird “lunch” hour – 9am!) I set my Kindle on the table and can easily read while eating. When at home I slip it out of the case and read “naked.”

    I’m definitely not thrilled by the DRM and related limitations of eBooks, but with the success of the Kindle I believe that, should Kindles become discontinued, there will be easy ways in that future to legally strip the DRM so the files can be accessed on then-current systems. Nonetheless, I make sure to download to my computer, and back-up,any Kindle books I want to hang on to, and I also download Kindle reading software for my Macbook and Windows (even though I don’t use Windows at home).

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