Being an author with The Wild Rose Press, a publisher predominantly focused on digital books, (they also offer longer novels in print), I’ve gathered information on the various ereaders you can download ebooks to (in addition to computers of course). I’m also making this study for myself because I’m still reading on my laptop. How to choose an e-reader? This is a rapidly changing industry with improved technology emerging all the time. The digital world is exploding, making this an exciting time to be an author and a reader. For purposes of this post I will focus on the top readers but there are others and new ones on the horizon. Let me know if you prefer another. Bottom line, ebooks are cheaper than paperbacks and ereaders are handy, transportable and hold a virtual library at your fingertips.
Amazon’s Kindle remains the giant in the e-reader industry, although others are closing in on that market. Kindle has a huge range of book titles to choose from, upwards of 250000, and growing. That’s a vast selection.
The Amazon Kindle 2, released in February of 2009, is more curvy and symmetrical than the original, and its new screen displays 16 shades of gray. Amazon says page turning is 20% faster and the Kindle 2 model features a 5-way joystick to help navigate the pages. Kindle 2 also talks to you (if you want it to), featuring a text-to-speech function with your choice of three reading rates and a male or female voice. In July, 2009, Amazon lowered the Kindle’s price from $359 to $299; and just three months later, the price was further reduced to $259.
Kindle: The Pros
- Downloading: Books from the Kindle store are downloaded via Sprint’s EV-DO (Evolution/Data Optimized) network. It means you can order and download content from most locations in the US. And there’s no charge for the wireless connection: It’s built into the cost of the books. With other portable readers, you must download books to your computer and transfer them to the readers via USB. The Kindle 2 is now available in an international wireless version for $279.
- Battery: Kindle 2 uses the E-Ink screen, which produces no light and thus uses no power. The newest version of Kindle will give you four days of reading with the wireless connection on. Turn off the wireless and the Kindle 2 will work for two weeks without a ccharge.
- Capacity: With its built in internal memory, Kindle can hold about 1,500 books, and accepts an external 4GB SD memory card. Other readers take up to a 2GB SD card.
- Readability: Kindle’s E-Ink Vizplex screen is designed to make the page look like it’s from a real book. It’s effective in most light levels and it’s easy on the eyes.
- Content: The Amazon connection brings you the easy-to-use Kindle Store, offering 230,000+ titles, the largest eBook library anywhere. You can also subscribe to major newspapers and magazines and read blogs on the Kindle. Amazon also allows you to download samples of books and periodicals to help you decide whether you want to buy them.
- Controls: The Kindle’s page turners are on both left and right sides.
- Search and Notes: The built in keyboard allows both functions.
- Compatibility: Accepts lots of file formats; and lets you convert your own writing to Kindle’s proprietary AZW format.
- Cost: No longer a factor, since Kindle’s repricing to $259. It’s now the same as competitive models.
- Readibility: While we pointed out it can be read at most light levels, Kindle can’t be read in the dark. To do that, you would have to purchase an accessory reading light.
- Ergonomics: Greatly improved in Kindle 2. Controls are better designed and are in logical places.
- Black-and white screen: Don’t expect an iPhone-like display on your Kindle. Color is not yet within the capabilities of the E-Ink technology.
- Screen: Screen size is relatively small–meaning more page turning than with real books.
What I love about the reader touch is that you can add your own books from any source unlike the Kindle, which restricts you to only books purchased off of Amazon. The reader touch supports many formats, including the two most popular, PDF and Epub.
If you’re reading a book for class, you may know how important it is for highlighting and annotating in your books. The reader touch offers the aforementioned capabilities right on the device. Aside from being able to highlight and annotate your books, there’s also a built in dictionary. This is my favorite feature of the whole thing.
Another feature that I love about the reader touch is that you can upgrade the memory by purchasing a memory stick and inserting it into the provided slot. This allows you to hold even more books in case you’re an avid reader.
The reader touch itself is extremely thin weighing only 10 ounces. The weight is great for traveling. Most people who travel for business can go through several books. Carrying around all those books can be extremely cumbersome. With the reader touch, you can store all those heavy books into this lightweight device.
The battery life is amazingly long. Fully charged, the reader touch lasts up to two weeks. This is great for short business trips because you won’t have to worry about carrying around a charger that will take up extra space.
What I really dislike about the reader touch is that you have to provide your own internet connections. Unlike the Kindle and Nook which both come with a built in wireless connection, you have to purchase your own wireless connection through a service provider. What this means is you’re paying extra for the convenience of being able to purchase books on the go. In order to store books onto the device, you’ll need to purchase it from your computer and then load it onto the reader.
Barnes&Noble’s Nook: Pros and Cons from this site:
nook: The Pros
- Color touchscreen: Like other wireless readers, nook has a black-and-white E-Ink screen for displaying books and magazines. But underneath the reading screen is a smaller color screen that lets users browse their collection and choose what to read. The 3.5″ color LED screen also features a keyboard for navigation.
- Share your books: This is the first ebook reader that lets you “lend” books to family and friends. The lent books can be accessed through computers and smartphones. You can lend a book for two weeks, during which time it’s unavailable to you. At the end of the two weeks, it reverts back to the owner.
- Android operating system: The nook is the first portable reader to operate under Android, Google’s OS for mobile devices. Since Android is open source, outside developers will be able to customize special applications for the nook, a la Apple’s iPhone apps. Nook also allows users to access existing apps for Android devices.
- Wi-Fi access: Besides being able to download books over a wireless 3G connection, the nook also lets you do the same via Wi-Fi. For now it only works on the Wi-Fi systems at Barnes & Noble stores, but plans are to offer it on other systems.
- Battery life: The nook can operate for ten days on one battery charge. The Kindle runs up to 14 days.
- No text-to-speech feature: Nor does the nook include a web browser. Both features are available on the Kindle.
nook: The Bottom Line
Priced at $259, the same as Kindle, the nook should give Amazon a run for its money. And Barnes & Noble, which has almost 800 retail locations, has the advantage of letting prospective buyers eyeball the devices before purchasing.
E-reader comparison from this site:
Tech It Out
Updated: Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010, 8:52 AM EST
Published : Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010, 8:51 AM EST
MYFOXNY.COM – Tech experts say the e-reader is one of the hottest gadgets of 2010. Sales are expected to double this year, but there are still a lot of people wondering just what an e-reader really does.
The interesting thing about e-readers is that they really do appeal to people who are not really gadget hounds. If you read a lot of material and love having it available to you whenever you want it, e-readers are fantastic.
Some of the most popular e-readers on the market right now: Amazon’s Kindle 2, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Sony’s newest e-reader the Daily Edition.
The Kindle is the clear market leader. It accounts for about 80% of e-book sales and until a few months ago had very little competition. The kindle has the largest selection of new books and bestsellers…
The Kindle also has more newspapers and magazines than the competition, but for now you’re pretty much limited to what’s available in Amazon’s bookstore. The same is true for the Nook. In this case, it’s the Barnes & Noble bookstore.
You can walk into any Barnes & Noble and use their WiFi to read any e-book they have, the entire thing, just like you were reading a book in the store. Nook users can also lend their books to each other.
The Sony bookstore is not as impressive as the other two but this e-reader has a neat trick up its sleeve. The Daily Edition, is the first Sony to have 3G wireless and you can borrow books from your local library.
As for the physical differences among these three devices, the Kindle is probably the simplest. The Nook has two screens — on top it has a screen like the Kindle that uses e-ink technology — which is thought to be much easier on the eyes than a computer screen — but the strip on the bottom is a touch screen. It looks neat but it can get a little confusing to use.
Some people also read digital books on their ipod Touch and iPhones. For more on using these devices visit: http://www.readyaimread.com/
Are you swimming in techno information? I am, but this should give you something to consider. I’m still pondering which I prefer. Maybe even a lighter weight laptop.
All of my books are available in digital download from The Wild Rose Press,Amazon , Barnes&Noble, Fictionwise, Sony, All Romance Ebooks and many many more online booksellers. If you’ve never visited The Wild Rose Press you’re in for a treat. Their online store is constantly expanding, adding new features and additional download capabilities for digital books. Their newest and most exciting advance is that all 2010 releases will be available in MOBI format recommended for your KINDLE eBook Reader. And if you wish to read a MOBI file on your computer, just download it free from MobiPocket.com
More on the Kindle from Amazon:
*Note: Somewhere My Lass came out in May and Red Bird’s Song will come out September 10th. Also, get yourself some kind of Ereader because Somewhere My Lass is exclusively available as a digital book–not quite long enough to meet the minimum print word count for The Wild Rose Press. And if I do say so myself, it’s a super story you won’t want to miss. 🙂
BREAKING NEWS as of June 22nd! Amazon lowered their price on Kindle! Lower than Sony’s e-reader now.
*You might also be interested in a more recent related post: ‘Which Ereader is Best, Kindle or Nook?’