Well, I was just about to click Proceed to Checkout on Amazon to purchase a Kindle when I decided to have a look at the ebook store. Naturally, I typed in Ender's Game first - only after an age of searching to find that it is not available to buy as an ebook in my region (Asia & Pacific). Seems there is a whole lot of "territorial copyright" rules and regulations around some ebooks. It's funny that I could buy the hardcopy from Amazon and get it shipped to me but can't buy the ebook.
I still want a Kindle butI'm wondering if it's still worth it now I know that I'm going to be a bit restricted on the titles I can get. I know there will still be millions of books to choose from But if I'm not allowed a book as cool as Ender's Game - What other cool books am I going to miss out on?!
There are ways around it - such as providing an overseas address instead of my one. However, (a) I don't know anyone overseas except for Australia and Rarotonga - both of which are still in the Asia & Pacific region! and (b) Not too keen on doing that anyway as it violates the T&C and the books could be taken off me without refund (Which is fair enough).
So, should I still get one anyway? Will the territorial copyright issues be resolved in the near(ish) future? Do I? Don't I?
*increasing hysteria due to procrastinating about this for months and then finding out this little detail as I've finally made up my mind to buy *
I've put books on my kindle that I didn't download from Amazon. For example, I purchased an issue of Analog from Fictionwise (a Barnes and Noble site). A file downloaded to my computer and I used free software, Calibre, to organize the file to send it to the kindle. Calibre is nice because it converts from other ebook formats.
I am not sure about Ender's Game. You might check around and see if there are other sites that offer the title (legally, of course).
I've had my kindle for a year and a half and still love it, but I am not making a comparison to the other readers -- I haven't used them.
I heard that Kindles don't have visible pagination---you can't tell what page of a book you're on without going through some rigamarole. Apparently there's a readout of how much data remains...not a very useful thing. (Not even something for writers, like how many words there are and how many are left.)
This is all second-hand---correct me if I'm wrong. (I was thinking of a Nook, myself.)
I picked up a second-gen Sony Reader. I have no complaints. Supports all common formats, including the DRM-free ones (yay, epub). Lets me put my own stories on there so I can lend eval copies to reviewers without having to print off a thousand pages.
You are right. At the bottom it has a size total, not a page total. There is a bar that fills up at the bottom with markers for chapters, so you have a feel for where you are.
If a person is gadgety and wants all forms of customization and statistics and word counts, etc., the kindle probably wouldn't be for him. I am pretty simple and want a kindle to read from and nothing more, so it works great.
My wife's grandfather wanted me to show him how to download classical music onto it so he could listen and read at the same time... I think it actually does that, but now that is starting to get into the territory of maybe an ipad would be a better fit.
I own a Sony Reader. I am very happy with it. Other than purchasing online through the Sony Reader Store, I also get free e-books from Manybooks.net. Manybooks has a great selection of books that are in the public domain. My local library also offers e-books on loan.
The other nifty thing about Sony Reader (I am not sure if Kindle has this too) is that you can add up to 5 devices to a single account (devices include other Sony Readers or computers).
I guess the downside of Sony compared to a Kindle is that you have to connect it to computer that has internet access in order to purchase a book. I believe the Kindle has wireless 3G connectivity to the Amazon store.
quote:So, should I still get one anyway? Will the territorial copyright issues be resolved in the near(ish) future?
Before purchasing I would take a close look at the e-book catalog and see if there's a good enough selection. Also, if there are plenty of public domain books or library e-books that you haven't read, the reader would essentially pay for itself since the alternative would be paying 10-15 dollars on average for books that can otherwise be read for free.
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Personally I want a Kindle even though I may end up with a Nook. Kindle was the first and I still think one of the best. In my mind they are tied with the Nook, including with price and memory, except the Nook has the Color Nook now. But its a hundred dollars more.
I like the real keyboard on the Kindle better but at the same time I like that you can go to B&N for help and classes. Target's people don't know much about the Kindle. I've been there and asked.
As has been said already you can find programs to run the other's e-books so I think it boils down to which one you like better and which ones looks better to you.
That is unless they still have the iPad ones. I found one for $350 at Apple.com and Verzion is suppose to have some for three hundred if they still have 'em.
It's still a bit pricey and they still have more stuff than I want for a reader but they are cool.
My advise on the Kindle is download the free PC version first, I hear it is pretty similar to the real thing. I have it on my PC.
About the pages not being listed there, it doesnt bother me at all, although I here there is an update out that changes that anyway. I like the percentage marker. I know if I am 25% trough and so forth at a glance.
As a non-possessor of any eBook device, I suppose I might list some of my worries and objections and problems and concerns---other than the one I brought up above.
(1) I've been through a couple of phases in my life where these great and wonderful new gizmos came out, all of which did more-or-less the same thing, but were all slightly different---and most were incompatable with each other. (Anybody remember eight-tracks? Laserdiscs?) I don't want to get stuck with something that, in a few years, goes out and leaves me having to buy something else.
(2) What about content? Where do I get it? How much will it cost me? How much can I accumulate in one device?
(3) As far as content goes...can I come up with my own? Can I, say, take a bunch of my own Internet Fan Fiction (or somebody else's) and put it on the device? Or can I adapt or reformat it in some way so I can put it on?
Kindle was not the first. Sony is the one who spent the R&D dollars to develop the e-ink, that’s what makes the page look just like a printed page even in direct sunlight. Amazon did a better job initially with the availability of titles, and they were already a place where people were used to buying books. That is where they took the lead.
The Nook entered third and has the advantage of being offered by an actual bookstore. All three devices are still in competition; however the format war seems to be winding around to ePub winning out. Most of the devices support multiple formats. I know that my Sony Reader will read PDFs and Word documents, although some of the features like large text work better with actual e-book formats. A year or two ago, the Sony Reader Store gave up on its previous proprietary format and went to ePub as its primary format.
I am not as familiar with the Kindle although I have friends who just love theirs, and one friend who raves about his Nook. I think the trick is to know what features matter to you and do your research.
Just for the record I absolutely adore my Reader.
In addition to the internal memory, it has two slots for memory cards, and therefore can hold more books than I will probably ever own. It can turn approximately 2,000 pages on a single charge and takes 1/2hr or an hour or something unobtrusive to charge up. It’s great for travelling as opposed to carting around 3-4 paperbacks and then deciding that what I really want to read, I left on the shelf back home.
I bought a special cover for it that has a lightwedge, so I have the ability to read in the dark but the light doesn’t drain my Reader battery. And when I inevitably fall asleep with it in my hand and the light on, all I have to do is maybe replace the two little AA batteries, and there’s no stress on my Reader.
I’ve probably bought over a hundred e-books since I got my reader nearly three years ago. I still buy paperbacks to loan to friends and the occasional hardback to sit on my shelf. But what I’m finding is that I seem to buy those in addition to the e-book.
BTW, my Reader does give me a “page/total pages” running count that even adjusts depending on text size.
If I ever lost my Reader or it broke, I would have to replace it immediately. Much like a cell phone, computer, or TV, it now fills a technological niche that I find that I don’t want to do without.
There's another issue. If your e-reader---whatever it is---gets lost or has to be replaced, can you recover your content? Where do you store it...on your computer? What'll it cost to duplicate it again?
Hadn't thought of text-size as an issue. I don't know how readable something smaller than ten-point anything would be...I wouldn't want to be trapped in something that's a hard squint.
(Compatability always varied from device to device. I could play my CDs on my laserdisc player, but, after the third time I took the damned thing apart to get a slipped disc out of it, I just hauled out one of my other gizmos to play CDs on.)
But Sony e-readers have been out longer than Kindle??? Kindle has been out what five years or so? I thought the Sony came out just last year, they need to do something about getting the word out better. I saw the Sony, pretty sure it was Sony, at Radio Shake once when I was zipping through the store. Had to take take a minute to look closer at it. From what it said on the packaging I thought it not as good as Kindle and the Nook which as I said in another post I think are tied. Not counting the Color Nook.
Since then I have also seem the Sony at one other store, Target maybe, seemed like it was cheaper than both of the other two.
quote:But Sony e-readers have been out longer than Kindle???
Sony e-reader came out in 2006 and Amazon's Kindle launched in 2007.
quote:There's another issue. If your e-reader---whatever it is---gets lost or has to be replaced, can you recover your content? Where do you store it...on your computer? What'll it cost to duplicate it again?
Along with the e-reader device you install the Reader Library software on your computer. All the books you purchase or download are loaded into this library and from there you can transfer to your devices.
Sony also allows up to 5 devices authorized per account. What this means is that on 1 computer you have the Reader Library software (1 device) and then you can authorize 4 additional e-readers or computers to that same account. This allows you and other family members to have access to the same content. All e-books purchased can then be transferred to any of the authorized devices at no additional cost. You essentially create a virtual library of e-books you own.
quote: don't know how readable something smaller than ten-point anything would be.
The Sony e-reader allows you to adjust text-size - Small, Medium, Large - with the press of a single button.
Regarding compatibility - both Sony and Kindle have proprietary formats (.lrf and .azw respectively). Sony e-readers are compatible with the ePUB (open standard) format. There are many e-books available in ePUB format (public domain books). The other format is Adobe PDF for purchased e-books (which contains Digital Rights Management protection). Sony is compatible with Adobe. Libraries also carry a form of DRM on their e-books which allow the books you download to expire after the end of the loan period.
I've had a Sony e-reader since 2009 - it's my own personal portable library. I love it.
[This message has been edited by redux (edited April 09, 2011).]
As I recall, and it's been quite a few months, the one I saw at Radio Shack had no Wi Fi or any other internet connection, it seemed to be very basic. And I'm not sure but I recall something about the price being $99. Could have been the one I saw at the other store or another reader. I also had the impression it was smaller than a Nook. Which I think is slightly smaller than a Kindle.
I haven't seen a Kobe but I have read about them so that could be it. But it still seems like the Sony was cheaper than Nook and Kindle. I'll check some time when I'm out.
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If we're going into who's first I checked out an e-reader at a computer store in 1996. Sorry I can't remember the brand, but there were quite a few companies trying to make a go of it. The e-reader thing has been tried quite a few times. They've finally worked out the battery issue, and the delivery issue. Back then it interfaced with the computer and you had to buy over the internet, which was less popular then. This was tried quite a few times before it actually worked. (As most ventures do.)
I wish they would turn the Nintendo DS into an e-reader, they could do two paged.
I've been looking into this and I have a few issues.
Page numbers should be standardized: I think we should get away from the thought that the words appearing on the screen at any time is the page, the thing is a scroll, not a codex. The size of the text is irrelevant if the page is defined as a set number of words. This way we can say to our friends, "hey check out the scene on page 113." (Not to mention citation for academic work) A reader who sees that they have only 30 more pages to go is more likely to finish in that sitting than one who has no idea. Then they will buy a new book for their next sitting.
Typesetting needs to be important: Go to a bookstore and compare the boiler-plate classics to the expensive versions. (Which is often the difference between $2 and $7.) The difference is usually typesetting based. In the store you may not notice beyond the expensive one looks nicer, but the differences in readability are dramatic. I once read Heart of Darkness in an anthology, and someone had crammed it into fifty pages. No one in that class who didn't buy a proper 100+ page version of it made it though it. It felt like sitting in a dark cave. I think you can have proper typesetting while still maintaining the customization.
How do you standardize page number? I guess you could do it based on the Hardcover version. It would be different than the trade paperback version or the mass market version... But then what if it goes straight to paperback? Even some of Dean Koontz's novels do that.
Maybe there's an individual page number count for e-editions. But then why would I care if my page number is the same on my Kindle as someone else's nook?
Considering that there seems to be people who care, it's just a minor software tweak to any of the platforms.
Yeah, lots of companies have tried to make a go at e-readers for the last 15-20 years. I had an RCA that I bought in 1999/2000, and thought it was the coolest thing at the time. It had a screen much like an early gameboy, and while direct sunlight was impossible, it was okay for most settings. Problem was when the battery went kaput, I lost all the books that I had bought. The readers were still fairly obscure and I swore that I wouldn’t make that mistake again. I figured that experiment would be marked “failed” and that was that.
Then in 2004/2005 sometime I first heard of e-ink and that Sony was working on it. This was around the same time that blu-ray was being brought to market. 2006 was a pretty spectacular year for Sony.
I agree that the most current Sony readers don’t really surpass the competition, but I love mine.
One other tidbit, once purchased you can download your titles as many times as you want to. So even if something happened to all of your devices at once (computer, laptop, reader, etc.) you still wouldn’t lose a single book that you had bought from the Sony Reader Store. (Sorry, I don’t have any familiarity with other purchases. Sony’s been so easy that I haven’t bothered to venture farther.)
Well I bought one! Very very cool - was very fast shipping from US to NZ! Already finished Switched by Amanda Hocking (had to see what all the fuss was about) and about to start OSC's Pathfinder. Lots of reading to catch up on - I haven't been doing nearly enough of that for the past couple of years. E readers are awesome for breastfeeding mums - wish I'd had one with my first baby!
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This may sound stupid, but I bought one because the case has a built in night light so I can read without waking the wife. Being able to download classics for free was a plus I hadn't thought about. Ton of free stuff out there on their site.
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Wanna know the game I wanted to try? Virtual Springfield. Now it's, oh, thirteen or fourteen years later, and I don't even watch "The Simpsons" anymore...
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Last week Amazon had a one day sale on their top Kindle...the 300 dollar modal. $80 off. If Nook did something similar with the color Nook I would probably run over to B&N faster than I could drive.
I talked to one of the Nook people today and told him I'm an inch away from buying one...but I've been that inch for six months or more. But I learned something I didn't know you can play music over the Nook. About a month ago I over heard a class on the color Nook and learned you can listen to music on that one but the same thing goes for the $150 model. Neat but they don't talk about that feature.
I tried to see if the Kindle has the same feature but I couldn't find anything that says. Of course I didn't do a long search.
I think if either the Nook or the Kindle were to have a sale I would buy, as the saying goes, yesterday, especially the Nook. I say the last because B&N has a place to go to with people who know the Nook. Kindle doesn't.
What worries me is the idea that this is a media consumption device, and the direction that Amazon's Advertising-Supported version of the Kindle is pointing us. Once enough buyers support that model, will all of them have ads? And what then, adverts inside our books? Maybe it took a while to get there, but do I really want my readers' experience to mimic the current internet experience, with flashing neon ads distracting them from my book?
It's making me consider buying an ereader now - something I've held off on for quite some time - rather than waiting until I no longer have any choice in the matter.
Some advertising is natural, we get that in our paper books too even though its usually for the same publisher. But we have it in our magazines for sure.
I've read a couple of stories that dealt with ads directly to our minds.
But as to buying one now. I believe that some day most written literature will be electronic instead of paper but how long that will be I have no idea. Evidently in Feb. more e-books sold than paperbacks. Part of that was e-readers as presents and cards that were given for Christmas so it may not continue throughout the year. But it might also.
That doesn't mean you will have to get an e-reader yet but it does mean that day has moved up.
Ben referenced this but I just found out today what that meant for the Kindle. Their bottom modal is now $115. WOW, I could almost buy that without breaking into my workshop money. And I started out wanting a Kindle.
Except for three things: The advertising, not sure if I really want to be subjected to ads for things I don't want--really don't want. Someone said it was the wallpaper which can be covered up by the book. Second: they still don't have a physical place for me to go like Nook has. That someone mentioned before said he's Kindle is still doing good and even plays music like the Nook. Third: The Color Nook.
But $115 WOW. I could almost buy two and keep one as a spare.
[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited April 19, 2011).]
Question: do you have to pay for separate internet accessiblity (the way I understand you have to do with a smartphone--and if I understand that incorrectly, please correct me?) in order to download books to your Nook or Kindle or Sony whatever, or can you use wireless internet accessibility at any place that offers a wireless connection?
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Any wireless connection. Some can even go into phone networks. With mine (border's kobo) I had a choice of a good ol' fashion wire connection or wireless. I know the kindle has the 3G connection on some models and I think sony does too.
To be honest with you I don't like the kindle. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you cannot go to other stores with the kindle. Every other one I looked at could, I think the term was open network or something. Plus mine (kobo) cost $99
[This message has been edited by JohnColgrove (edited April 25, 2011).]
quote: Question: do you have to pay for separate internet accessiblity (the way I understand you have to do with a smartphone--and if I understand that incorrectly, please correct me?) in order to download books to your Nook or Kindle or Sony whatever, or can you use wireless internet accessibility at any place that offers a wireless connection?
The Wi-Fi is if you use a free network that is free and they say the 3G is free. Not sure how that works though. And only the $189 and the $379 model has 3G.
And I misquoted the offers if you buy the $114 model. The fifty dollar thing must have been something else, maybe the price of one of their cheaper cases. Or another E-mail offer I got. Amazon does have some nice skins and cases but they are also a bit expensive.
Rats, I kept forgetting and it might be too late...if anyone would have done it anyway, but Kindla was offering a $25 Amazon card to ahoever bought one of their two most expensive models for Mother's Day. So you may have one more day to do it.
And Nook is suppose to be coming out with a new model. I have no idea if its NookColor two but it seems like its about time. Anyway, watch for it. It could change things..hopefully by making them cheaper.
I picked up a Kindle WiFi a few weeks ago and like it quite a lot. I use it pretty extensively every day, about 75% of the time for draft revision. I picked it for the quality of the display and key responsiveness.
Re picking one: Best Buy has displays for Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader and some others I don't like, e.g. Literati. Go play with them and see which one you like to look at. All e-paper looks whiter under harsh store lights than in typical house lighting, so shade the screen a little as well. They don't have trained salespeople yet, but if you're lucky there's a blueshirt who uses them.
@Delli re territorial limitations on book availability: Yup. That's mostly up to the publisher as well as whatever contracts Amazon has on distribution. I've heard of people just changing their CAN addresses to US addresses to get around it.
Re Kindle formats: No native EPUB support; MOBI, TXT, AZW only (maybe RTF?). Also PDF but they don't look great unless you have the DX model. Any nonencrypted file can be translated through Calibre (free). You can also email Word docs and such to your device and Amazon will translate it for you, though I like Calibre better.
@KDW re 3G/connectivity: The premium cost on 3G models pays for your connectivity. If you get personal documents mailed to your device over 3G instead of WiFi there's a surcharge, so send everything to (youraddress)@free.kindle.com to limit deliveries to WiFi. I didn't bother getting 3G because I'm usually near an accessible network. If you want to buy books or use the web browser on the beach or on a mountain it's probably invaluable. WiFi just connects to any available router: yours, office's, McDonald's, etc. You can also just transfer files from your computer with USB.
@Robert Nowall re losing content: Things you buy in the Kindle store stay tied to your account, so you can just re-download. Things you don't buy there are up to you; I keep my Calibre library on a network drive, and a friend uses Dropbox. I haven't bought anything from Smashwords or the like, so I can't speak to their backup systems.
@JohnColgrove re light: Kindles don't have built-in lights. Amazon makes a case with a light that runs off the Kindle battery, but there have been problems with the non-lighted version causing shorts, and with both of them damaging devices because of the metal hooks. I shoved mine into a Targus case/stand and put an M-Edge light between the Kindle and the case. Works great.
@LDWriter2 re MP3: You can play MP3s on Kindles but their interface is pretty bad. Mostly meant just for loading an audiobook, not a music library.
I also picked up an old Sony PRS-300 on the cheap, and the screen looks pretty good. I like both better than the Nook, and I don't like reading on LCDs at all (Nook Color, any tablet, etc.). I was thinking about one of the newer Sonys for freehand draft markup instead of a Kindle, but (a) they're expensive and (b) I've had the worst support on any Sony product I've ever owned for the past 22 years.
@KDW is that a phone question or a Kindle question? If it's phone I think it counts as an SMS message. If it's Kindle you just use the internet, but since it's free on either WiFi or 3G it doesn't matter. There's also a feature to tweet/facebook highlights or annotations, but I haven't tried it.
It's no problem deleting my post. I was going for the shortest post in history award.
Regarding your text/tweet question - I believe Twitter is a website, therefore you'd have to use the internet highway to get to it. Thus, you wouldn't be able to text, using the texting freeway to make a Twitter highway post.
@LDWriter2: It works like a connected GPS with search and Twitter features. Amazon pays AT&T or whomever for the connection, and the customer pays for it up front with the price premium ($189 vs $139/$114). The 3G models have a SIM card tied to an Amazon-licensed account. Since they don't do high bandwidth apps like voice chat/video/file sharing and can't be tethered to a PC, the network burden is low and the cost to Amazon is manageable.
Phone companies charge extra for 3G/4G data because, well, they're phone companies and charge for everything.
A few weeks ago I thought of another reason to get an e-reader. But I don't know if it will work. Here at my desk computer I read the various stories, and chapters that I crit during my writing time. If I could transfer the story to a reader I could read it any where and even when my wife is on the computer for her crafts.
So can you share a word processor file with a reader? I might be able to E-mail myself but that would mean I would need a WiFi network. And would I be able to download a .rtf, .doc, .txt file? Or would I have to read it in the body of the E-mail?
If so to any of that, it would give me another reason to get one, maybe push me over the edge. But I may get one with whatever birthday money I get, and who knows maybe in a month and a half someone will cut their price and/or offer a special extra.
Actually that's exactly why I got it. You can email rtf/doc to it and have Amazon translate, or just do it yourself using Calibre. If you don't have a wireless network you can just send them via USB. Calibre does both.
Note-taking is a bit awkward; you can't edit the text, just add little footnote-style markups and highlights. I highlight the word or phrase I don't like, then type a little note about it and read it back when I'm at a PC or in crit group. It's an advantage for me personally, since it forces me to think twice before reflex editing the master text.
I've also transferred files to a Sony PRS-300 and a Nook, but I haven't tried taking notes on them yet. Some of the Sonys allow freehand markup with a stylus, which looks nifty.
Update: Can't do it on a PRS-300, but it's a really basic reader. I just tried annotating on a Nook (B&W) using the most current software. It's possible, but I find it annoying. I had to go to a submenu to start an annotation, then use a touchscreen cursor control that didn't work half the time to select a text line, then type on a tiny touchscreen QWERTY keyboard for my note. I fat-fingered a letter and the Nook kicked me back to the main screen -- not even to the text I was reading.
[This message has been edited by muranternet (edited May 13, 2011).]