Sunday, August 28, 2011

Just For Thought (11)

Ereaders?  What??

Okay, so this week I'm going to as the big question.  Ereaders?  What one to go with?  Do they all do the same anymore?

Let me start at the beginning.  So many of you are aware, Borders is closing their doors.  Shame really.  But to the ereader questions at hand.  I went to the store Friday night and bought books, but my husband noticed the Kobo readers were on sale for a nice price.  A friend purchased one before it was announced that Borders was closing and was told the Kobo was compatible with Barnes 'n Nobles Nook.  When she called Barnes & Nobles they didn't understand what she was saying.  So when my husband mentioned the price I immediately said no.  I would be limited to where I could get my books, and I get loads of books.  I was afraid even my review books would not be able to be open on the Kobo ereader.

But I got home and all weekend I've been thinking on this.  I'm not sure how these ereaders work.  Really, no idea at all.  I have the apps on my cell phone (god is it small) and on the computer so I can try playing with different models to see what I like.  Truth be told.... I can't figure the damned things out.

I hear people say PDF files (or books) can be read on them.  I can't figure out how to open pdf files on the versions I have.  So, if I can't figure it out and use it, I'm not going to spend the money on these things I can't use.

So, my questions fall back to the great community I love and trust.  You.  Can you please give me just a little clue?  I don't know if anything is compatible with anything.  Or if I should be able to do what I think it says I should be able to.  And can I do it on these stupid apps I have?  I want to play with these things and see what works.  So far I'm really not having luck.  I have the Kindle, which wont sink up my computer and cell phone at all, and I have the nook, and Kobo apps.  Will I be limited to who I can buy books from?  And will I be able to read my review copies sent from authors or publishers on it?  What formats are there and what is compatible with each other.

Yes, I'm naive when it comes to technology.  It's a wonder I can blog to tell you the truth. ;D

This technology is just all craziness I tell you!  It's taking over the world, one button at a time... lol.


  1. Before anything, I would familiarize myself with a program called Calibre, which has tools to convert electronic books to various formats, plus it organizes your library.

    I think you would then treat the ereader as you would an external hard drive by connecting it to your computer, and copy pasting the file you want to use in your e-reader, in the format required, to the file directory where the e-reader looks for documents.

    I don't know about the compatibility of the Kobo. I still think the best is the Kindle, solely because of the e-ink which makes it easy on the eyes to read. The more modern e-readers I've seen have color lcd displays and if your purpose is to read books, then those are not the optimal devices. Though they have other advantages (like reading in the dark, but you can get little lamps for your Kindle). So it depends on what usage you would be given. Also the Kindle can be read easily under sunlight.

    I don't know much about e-Readers, but that should give you a start.

  2. I can just attest to my Kindle--I can buy books and transfer them easily (plug in my Kindle, drag and drop, and poof! They're there.). You can also email your docs to Kindle. I imagine with Kobo you can at least drag and drop.

    If you're buying from an online store like B&N, I don't know if it would auto-transfer (Kindle does with Amazon, but I only buy from there is someone has given me a GC, as I hate Amazon), but you should be able to drag and drop. How about your son? Is he techy? Could he help you figure it out?

    The Kobo you saw was a steal, really, and you could still have mostly print books--it would just open up your options for any e-only titles you might want (or if the ebooks you want are cheaper).

  3. Bastard--I'm pretty sure Kobo uses eInk as well. Or at least some versions of it. I suggested the same thing to Mel--consider an eInk one because it's a lot easier on the eyes.

  4. Bastard - Thanks for the tip on the coverter. I never knew there was anything out there like that. So I could really read any book in any format with the help of that program on any ereader. That is cool to learn! Thank you! That makes it all the easier and makes me feel better about not being tied down with one format with this programs help.

    Skyla - I like that the docs can go to Kindle too. Geez. So much to think about. But sounds like the world is open to help. I don't know if my son is into all this stuff yet. But! I can't put it past him. He does all the online gaming things and such. But I might be able to get my brother or one of his buddies to help me more with it. I'm sure one of his friends might know more. But I have to say with the tip Bastard shared here, I think I could convert just about anything and use it on any ereader.

    And the cool thing I just learned with the Kobo app on my phone... it found my nook books safed on my phone and converted them over to save on the Kobo shelf. I'm thinking I need to go back and get that Kobo, even if I charge it. But I'll think on it. This stuff seems so much!


    And thanks for the tips on the lighting! Skyla aand I were chatting on that last night. Thanks Bastard! These are really tips to keep in mind.

  5. The only thing with Calibre is that not all ebooks are going to be convertible without cracking them--if they're DRMd, you're kinda screwed. And they don't always convert nicely, either. Now, when I looked up the Kobo, it was compatible with several file formats, and most online stores you could buy from (AllRomanceeBooks/OmniLit, Fictionwise) sell multiple formats, so it should never be too much of a worry. Same with publisher websites--if they're selling ebooks, they'll have a few formats. I know I can get PRC/MOBI at most stores--I've never had to convert something for my Kindle.

  6. Skyla, I've noticed many sites are carrying different formats too. But until now I never really looked closely at what they were or what readers used what ones. I will have to look at them this week here when I have more time. Thanks!

  7. Melissa, this really is a tricky question! I have a Kindle, and so far I've been able to sink it up with my phone (it runs Android) and my computer (the Google Chrome browser allows you to read ebooks in it!).

    According to my hubs (the techie), you can attach a compatible file, like a pdf or other doc, and email it to your Kindle email address. The doc will then appear in a readable format on your Kindle! We did this when we were overseeas to read documents my husband's father sent us.

    I also use NetGalley and haven't had any trouble yet viewing books on my Kindle!

    If you have any other questions, my husband can probably answer your questions because he knows so much! Feel free to email me at lisamparkin [at] gmail [dot] com! :D GOOD LUCK!

  8. I have a kindle and LOVE it. I have heard different things about the quality of different ereaders and that is why I went with the kindle. I also own an android phone and tablet and I can turn on the wireless on my kindle and sync between all three. It is awesome!

    I also like how netgalley sends things directly to my kindle for a small fee from amazon.

  9. Right now, I have a Kindle and I really like it. Getting stuff from Amazon is a breeze (sends it right to your Kindle via WiFi), as does NetGalley. It can read .pdf files, too, though the drawback is that the print is often pretty small and really can't be adjusted that well. Still legible, but not spectacularly convenient.

    The own downside to the Kindle are books that only seem to work through Adobe Digital Editions, which doesn't give you the option to transfer the file to the Kindle for more convenient reading. For me, that means I'm stuck reading some ARCs on my laptop. Those files are compatible with the Nook, I believe, but from what I once saw of the Nook, I still prefer my Kindle.

    Other people mentioned Calibre as a good program, and I have to agree. That program not only can organize your library and transfer files right to a mobile device, but it also does the wonderful job of converting all the pesky small-print .pdf files into other file formats that can be read more easily on said device. It's been a godsend for me since I discovered it. No matter what device you get, I highly recommend downloading Calibre to your computer to help out with the whole deal.

    Hope that helped a little.

  10. Calibre is great! Trust me, I use it all the time since the library e-reader is PDF friendly..but yeah big fat lie. So I covert everything to epub.

    So converting is your friend in the end

  11. I have a Kindle too and have had some issues with opening PDF files. I recently have had the chance to use a PocketBook and LOVE the features it offers as well as the fact that I can easily drag and drop both epub and PDF format. They are having a sale right now, I put the promo code to use in my sidebar on my blog.
    I agree with those who mentioned calibre, I use that as well, its very convenient. However, I haven't been able to convert the ebooks I receive for review from NetGalley so many of those I cannot read on my Kindle.

  12. I don't remember if you can download the books from B&N to your comp. If so, I know they are in epub format. Epub is the industry standard. will still be up and running after Borders closes. So, no probs there. You can also buy epubs anywhere you can get a hold of ebooks EXCEPT Amazon. They are the only one who has their own format. You can read .pdf on all ebook readers. Caliber, as mentioned already, is a must and is free. Skyla is right, if it is DRM'd you cannot convert, but I haven't run into problems yet. If I can help specifically to a question, just drop me an e-mail and I'll do my best to answer.

  13. First off, You ALL are amazing! :) Thank you for the help and offering all the help too! :) This is why I love this community here.

    Lisa @ Read.Breathe.Relax - This is all great information. I always wonder about the doc files too. Thank you! I might take you up on your offer of help. :) Thank yoU!

    WonderBunny - Kindle sounds like the winning ereader here. :) So glad you hear you enjoy it!

    Bibliotropic - Thank you. It sounds as the Adobe Digital editions are a trick. I'll have to think on that one too. And Calire is a winning helpful site too. Cool! Thank you for all the information!

    Blodeuedd - Oh, so if I get in trouble using this Calibre site, you'll walk me through it...right? ;P Thank you! Epub sounds the way to go.

    The Happy Booker - The PocketBook is a new one! I did stop by and check out the link you had. Thank you! It was a new idea to look into and check out. Sounds really neat. And I'll have to keep Calibre on the computer I think. :)

    Melissa (Books&Things) - Thank you for the offer! I might be emailing you one of these days. The B&N site was another site I like to buy from. So it's good to know that they are epubs too. And Amazon... well, I think I might be buying from other sites more than them. But I'll have to remember that. Thank you!

  14. Okay, I think I'm going to go back to Borders Express before they close (tonight with all I have going on) and looking to see what files it accepts. But PDF, EPUB, and MOBI along with PRC are the files I think I want to keep in mind and can work from on the Kobo. I'll see what it is able to read and go from there. You ALL have been a HUGE help! I can't thank you enough! And the information on the Calibre site is great to hear from you all! THANK YOU!!!

  15. @mee503 has a Kobo you might ask her what she thinks. I haven't heard any real complaints other than the PDF's can be a bit of a pain. I think font size tho not sure. I'm a two time nook owner and biased. :)

  16. Zia - thank you for letting me know Mee503 has a Kobo. I might have to chat with her in the future. :)

  17. Well, I went back to Borders with the amazing deal and.... they were all out of Kobos. So still ereaderless for me. But I tried. And I have to say thank you all! I know have some idea what to keep an eye out for on ereaders. :)


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