Shopping for an eBook Reader

Someone I follow on tweeted this link today. Engadget’s back to school guide: E-readers. Naturally I had to look because I too want to buy an e-book reader. I have wanted one ever since they first came out but never could afford one because they were in the $400 – $600 range (around 2006).

In November 2009 I started blogging for pay (via PayPerPost and Blogsvertise) with the intention of saving money for buying an e-book reader, Kindle or Nook. Preferably a Nook because of the color screen at the bottom but it didn’t really make any difference. They were both around $265 or so back then.

I had a lot of trouble saving the money for one because my monthly income is so low that when I run out of grocery money I ended up taking the blogging money from PayPal to buy food. Since I have a PayPal debit card it makes it so much easier to spend the money.

9 months has gone by since I made the commitment to save the money and I still don’t have an e-book reader. However, the thing that I wanted the most out of an e-book reader was a lower price to justify my purchase.

eBook readers such as the Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook and Sony Reader have all gone dramatically down in price, down to a price that I can finally afford.

Unfortunately, they still don’t fit my needs. What I want is an e-book reader that will accept a lot of formats like .lit, .prc, .pdf, .mobi and .epub. What I want is for an e-book reader that would allow me to read those formats and still be able to use their dictionary. I don’t know if they all let you to use the dictionary with just a .pdf file which is what makes my decision so difficult.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6″ Display, Graphite – Latest Generation:

Pros: The new Amazon Kindle is stylish. I love the graphite color. I like the keypad on the bottom, it’s small enough that I’m ok with it considering I would probably be typing on it occasionally when searching for keywords, making notes and searching for books in the Kindle store. They have games on it, which I don’t really care about, I just want it to read but it is good to know. The price dropped down to $139 and has free 2-day free shipping which is awesome. The battery works for a full month without charging with the wi-fi turned off which is great.

Cons: It does allow me to view my .pdf books but that’s it and I can’t use the dictionary for definitions which is a big negative for me. I mean sure I can’t do that with a paper book but this is electronic and I want that ability. Also, it does not have an SD card for adding more books.

NOOK Wi-Fi, eReader, eBook Reader – Barnes & Noble:

Pros: The B&N Nook is also very stylish with its cool color touchscreen at the bottom which also has a keyboard. The screen goes black while you are reading to keep you from being distracted. It does allow me to add a .pdf, .epub and .pdb file and has a MicroSD slot. The cool thing about the Nook is that you can lend books to your friends and if I had any that had a Nook then we could lend each other books. If you are in the B&N store you can browse through a book for free for 1 hour per day. The price dropped down to $149 and although it’s $10 more than Amazon it is still a good price.

Cons: The Nooks battery is only 10 days unlike the Kindle which is 30 days. The color touchscreen on the bottom is too slow for impatient people like me. Although as I said it allows .pdf, .epub and .pdb files it doesn’t allow the others. All my ebooks are in all the other formats I mentioned above.

Sony Digital Reader Pocket Edition – Dark Blue:

The price of this is different at the Sony site as opposed to the Amazon site. Amazon charges $136.99 with free shipping but according to the Sony site it’s $149.99. I would buy it from Amazon.

Pros: Although it is a little bit stylish in the dark blue color, it isn’t as stylish as the Kindle or Nook. The Sony Pocket Edition does allow multiple formats such as .pdf, .epub, MS Word, BBeB Book (?) and other text file formats. It doesn’t say the others. The ebook store Sony uses is the Reader store which I assume is from Sony, check out books from public libraries and access over one million free public domain titles from Google Books, sharing sites and other online stores and publishers websites.

I don’t know if that means I can access the Rainbow eBooks website or not, I hope it does because that is what I want.

Cons: One of the things I don’t like about this is that it doesn’t have a keyboard for typing and I don’t know how you type anything when looking up a book to buy.

I don’t know if this should go in pro or con, it’s charge only lasts 2 weeks but I mean seriously, I can charge it every 2 weeks.

This is a tough and huge decision, one that I can think about until the first week of September when I will finally have the money saved up to buy one. I’m leaning more toward the Sony reader though but I would like it if people would leave a comment telling me what they think of each of these readers to give me more to think about. Keeping in mind that I buy a lot of books from Rainbow eBooks and ebooks.com.

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