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So, is the eReader really and honestly worth it?

My birthday, and Christmas, is coming up and I was wondering if all the fuss about the hand-held books deserves all the praise it has been given.

Also, which is the best one to own, and why?

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( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
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jawastew
Oct. 26th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Depends what you want, honestly. The new BN e-reader has DRM and so does the Kindle (I think). I've personally only had experience with the Sony e-reader. While it was nice and the e-ink was really cool, I don't see myself owning one in the future. Being able to carry a ton of books around is great, I guess, but then I'd constantly be worried about losing it.

Nothing beats the real thing for me! If I lose a paperback, it's easy to replace. If I lose an e-reader? The cost is enormous. That, and, it's so nice to flip through the pages, not having to wait for a machine to turn on or need power if it's low on battery or whatever. A book is so easy & quick to open and begin reading. :)
keepertells
Oct. 26th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
We gave one to my mom this summer and she is already back to regualr old fashioned books. It all depends whether you like the feel of paper in your hands and visually seeing where you are in the book.

If you are always on the go and don't have much room in your bag then go for it, just don't forget to charge it up.
lakramer14
Oct. 26th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
I've been wondering if I should get Barnes & Noble's "nook" recently. It looks a little more advanced than the Kindle; I just don't know if I'd be able to let go of physically holding books so easily...
mirthical
Oct. 26th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
If you have a Nintendo DS, there's also the option of the 100 Classic Book Collection which basically turns your DS into a baby eReader.

I bought it a few months ago, and am pleased to report that I quite enjoy reading on it in certain circumstances. I don't see it as a replacement for reading books (or listening to them!) but rather a nice addition for a little traveling library.

eta: also, it's a tenth (if that!) of the cost of a "real" eReader, if you already own the DS.

Edited at 2009-10-26 09:12 pm (UTC)
renagrrl7
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
Ah, looks like this might be a good compromise for me -- I've been looking at e-readers, but am unsure as to whether or not I'd like the experience. I love the feel of the printed page, but hate the paper usage...Thanks for the suggestion!
(no subject) - renagrrl7 - Oct. 26th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mirthical - Oct. 26th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - my_name_is_jenn - Oct. 26th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Incorrect - see below. - count_fenring - Oct. 26th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Incorrect - see below. - renagrrl7 - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Incorrect - see below. - count_fenring - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Incorrect - see below. - count_fenring - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
kiimp
Oct. 26th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
I have a BeBook, because that's basically all I can own since I'm not a US citizen. I'd love a Kindle but you have to have a creditcard registered to an American address to be even able to order one; let alone order books: eBook readers are handy but for people who mainly read English but aren't from the US it's a pain in the ass to buy eBooks. I literally have to download books illegally or get stuff for free off Project Gutenberg and such, because I'm literally not allowed to buy most English eBooks because of my location. It has to do with publishing rights and I understand them, but it's really fucking annoying. That said; my BeBook is great. I'm not sure if I'd recommend them to other people - it seems like it won't last for ages since 'chinese piece of crap' just kind of radiates off it; but I've had no problems with it so far. Yet. I love it because of practicality - I love reading, I read loads and loads when I travel, I travel a lot, and I don't have to lug around kilos and kilos of books like I normally did. I remember vacations where I actually carried around Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in my purse - now I can have all 7 Harry Potter books with me at once at all times and it won't even give me muscle pain.
They read quite nicely, actually. The screen is very comfortable to read off on these things (no backlighting) and somehow I read faster.
kiimp
Oct. 26th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
OH, and on the best one to own, I'd totally go for the Kindle. That's the one I'd want.
(no subject) - im_writing - Oct. 27th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kiimp - Oct. 27th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - im_writing - Oct. 27th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kiimp - Oct. 27th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - im_writing - Oct. 27th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kiimp - Oct. 27th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
stackcats
Oct. 26th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
I thought all books were hand-held...

But yeah, I've been wondering this too. I rather like the feel of real books, but it breaks my heart when they get squished in my bag. Which is often.
tigre_at_heart
Oct. 26th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
Personally, I don't find it to be too tempting. It would be like reading off a computer screen all the time. I understand the comment someone had about books getting squished, but instead of using a kindle I just knit book covers for my books.

You can go to a library and rent a Kindle to see how you like it. (Maybe not everywhere, but I know my library has one so there must be others.)
count_fenring
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
Actually...
Just so you know, it's nothing like reading off of a computer screen. The reason computer screens are hard on the eyes are two-fold - refresh rate and light projection; basically, they beam things at the eyes, and CRT monitors, at least, also force the eyes to adjust to the refresh rate. E-ink is stable, being pigments, as opposed to glowing elements - it's exactly the same as ink printed on paper, except it's behind a layer of plastic.

The rental program sounds pretty cool... I wonder if the BPL has one.

Re: Actually... - neon_spades - Oct. 27th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
count_fenring
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
Incorrect - see below.
This is incorrect - see my comment below for why.
college_girl21
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
It would definitely help out as far as saving paper and going green. Personally I would do it just because I read alot online anyway and I know I would be helping against global warming (<-- I'm big on that issue lol). To figure out if its right for you just ask yourself if you'd rather have a real book or read off of the ebook screen. Like everyone else says, its all according to what you like. =]
pushpoplove
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
May I ask where you download your books online? Or do you just download the ebook and read them on the computer?
(no subject) - jarethrake - Oct. 26th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cthulhu_shuman - Oct. 26th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jarethrake - Oct. 26th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cthulhu_shuman - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jarethrake - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cthulhu_shuman - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jarethrake - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cthulhu_shuman - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jarethrake - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cthulhu_shuman - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jarethrake - Oct. 26th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
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jarethrake
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
I don't really like the idea of eBooks. I fully admit that my opinion is uninformed and biased, and I still can't really see any 'better' points for paper books. I just really prefer them. Yes, they're heavy, since I normally cart around two or three, much more than that if I'm going on a train or on holiday, but I just like them better.

...so, probably not very helpful, all in all.
renagrrl7
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
Ah, great question! I was asking myself the same question earlier this week when Barnes & Noble released the Nook. I'm wondering if it's worth putting on my "wish list" for Christmas. I read in bits in pieces while riding public transportation, so bringing a book around with me all the time is a hassle. But, I'm not sure that another gadget is the way to go either, especially since I read a lot of graphic novels, which are an underutilized format for e-books...

Well, it seems like there's plenty of arguments for both formats. I'll need to think about this some more -- whatever you choose, I'd be interested in seeing what you decided. Good luck and happy reading!
count_fenring
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
At this point in time, e-Readers aren't useful at all for graphic novels - they aren't, by and large, color enabled.
dr_reedz
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
I have a Sony eReader. I stored a lot of my medical textbooks there since I travel a lot and medical textbooks are sooo heavy! I bring it along to Starbucks and can stay there for hours, reading!

I know that the new generation of sony ereader has a built in dictionary and I think that would be very helpful.

Can never replace an old fashion book though!
cthulhu_shuman
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
They're putting textbooks on now? Score! How did you find them?
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 27th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
count_fenring
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
Attention everyone who says "It'll hurt my eyes!"
e-Reader screens based on e-Ink are nothing like traditional computer screens. They work on a different principle, and will NOT hurt your eyes any more than regular books. Period. It is exactly the same as reading ink under a layer of transparent plastic.

The eyestrain caused by computer monitors is caused by two factors - the light output by the screen, and, in CRTs, differences between the refresh rate and the human eye's expectations. Neither of these problems are possible with e-Ink - the device puts out no light, and the image only performs refreshes when you turn a page.

Note, this applies only to e-Ink displays - smart phones (including the iPhone) and video game consoles (DS and PSP) use traditional LCD screens.
ocelot_eyes
Oct. 27th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
Re: Attention everyone who says "It'll hurt my eyes!"
Agreed, agreed, agreed!!! +1 million. From an avid eBook reader.

I have an older EBook device, the RCA version of the Rocket EBook 1100. ( http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/REB_1100 )
It doesn't have e-ink, it still has an LCD display, but even with the LCD, it is very comfortable to read on. Combined with the backlight, it is just like reading with light reflected off a printed page in a comfortable setting. I often read for hours with this thing, with no eyestrain problems whatsoever. I've had this thing for over 6 years now, and absolutely can't imagine my reading life without it.
luna_potterhead
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
I definitely be reading regular books as well, because I highly doubt I would be able to bring the eReader into my school...
luna_potterhead
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
*definitely WILL be
cthulhu_shuman
Oct. 26th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
This is not the best community to ask. This has come up fairly often, and what tends to happen is that 75% of commenters say they've never tried one, but they're sure they're crap, and then go off in ecstasies about the feel and smell of books. 75% of THOSE people tend to not understand the technology behind it and give misleading information. It's sort of like going into a vinyl collector community and asking the benefits of .ogg versus .mp3.

I am not saying that people should get eReaders. Full disclosure: I also have never tried one (outside of the display at Borders). If you seriously value the feel of a real book, or often read things where color plates matter, I wouldn't bother. They seem to not wow everyone who thought they'd love them, but other people fall madly in love. Slate has some good articles - search the site for "Kindle." Really, just putting "ereader review" into Google will get you enough results to fill an afternoon. :)
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