Sunday, June 19, 2011

Desperately Seeking E-Reader Advice!

Hello blog readers, I need your advice!

I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and buy myself an e-reader, mainly because I'll be travelling a lot next year and let's be honest, I always pack way too many bags and regret it when I my only pair of shoes or jacket fall apart! So the reason I need your advice is that I have no idea where to start. Obviously I want to go as cheap as I can but I don't want to forgo quality for price. I've been having a look around the interwebs and I've got a basic idea of who the front runners are but I thought I'd ask the critics who'll really know what they're talking about, because who's going to use an e-reader more than a book blogger? So I have a few questions and I'd appreciate any answers or advice you can give me!

What e-readers have you heard positive things about, or negative?

What formats do I want my e-reader to be able to read to get the best value for money?

Which are the best readers to read outside with all that glarey sunlight?

How important is a wireless connection for an e-reader?

What sort of indevice functions should I be looking for?

Would it be worth investing in a tablet (like the iPad) which has other functions beside the e-reader?

Thanks for your help guys!


  1. I know a lot of people in my Shelfari group who are from Australia like the Kindle, as it is reliable. If your interested in looking through the group its: A thread talking about one of the off brand ones in Australia:

    Everyone who has a Kindle loves them (same for nook, but those only in the states). Sony's seem to get pretty good reviews, and Kobo's reviews aren't too bad. I don't know what ones of these are available there, but Cnet compared a lot of the ones available in the US:;prodCompare

    You'll want an e-ink one if you read outside in direct sunlight. Color ones like my Nook Color you can to a point, but its not the easiest, especially if its dead on the screen.

    Wireless will make things easier, if yours has a store link, like a Kindle for buying or downloading, and getting firmware updates for the reader. If you don't have wireless or the reader doesn't you can sideload books to the reader (download to computer, then copy it to reader).

    As for a tablet, do you need or want some computer-ish capabilities? My NookColor is more of a tablet, and I got it versus the standard Nook because I liked the idea of having some of the abilities of my laptop (like the browser, and now email apps, and notes apps) so I could still keep up with my emails when traveling, but I didn't need to pack my 7 pound laptop unless I needed Microsoft Word or photo editing software or whatever. Now if you don't have a laptop but want some of those minor capabilities, then a tablet might be something you'd want. But if you're probably only going to use it as a reader, no need to waste all that money on an Ipad or tablet

    Epub is the industry standard, so nearly all of the readers can use this file type. Only one that can't right now is the kindle, but it sounds like Amazon might be working on so the Kindle will be able to use those. And if you are getting ebooks for review, most of the ones I've gotten have been available in all the major formats, so you can just pick.

  2. Wow! Thanks Sarah! That helps alot. The main reason i'm considering a tablet is that I'll be using it primarily while overseas so if it means I can use it's wireless at McDonalds and other Wireless hubs instead of paying for an internet cafe to write emails etc then that'd be awesome. Plus I figured if I'm spending a bit of money then I may as well spend wisely. Thanks for this, food for thought. I've got much more to go on now!

  3. I have a Nook and I decided to get that one because primarily because it handles the formats that library ebooks come in (EPUB and PDF) since I wasn't planning on buying any ebooks.
    There's now some software (which I can't remember the name of) that allows you to change files between kindle format and others, but I have no idea how well it works in practice.

    I got the 3G version rather than just the wifi version because I didn't have wireless at my old apartment. Looking back I probably didn't need to do that since the only time it uses the 3G is when it's pulling books down directly from B&N, otherwise it won't let you do browse the web or do any of the connected-to-the-internet functions unless you are connected to a wireless internet connection.

    If you think you'd use the other functionality of an Ipad it might be worth the extra money (especially as prices go down).

    My biggest piece of advice is to find people close by who own the items you are considering and are willing to meet up with you to answer questions and let you play with their "toys". I was able to try out Kindles, a Sony Reader, a Nook, and an Ipad (the Ipad was out of my budget so I wasn't really considering it) just by asking around at work.

  4. Thanks for all the advice Karen! I think I'll definitely hunt out a few friends with Ipads/kindles and have a fiddle around, that's a brilliant idea!

  5. The only thing that I can really say is that I love my Kindle and I love that it's wireless so I can get my books whenever I want wherever I am. I've heard, though, that the Amazon store in Australia doesn't have as many choices so Kindle may not be your best bet.



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