E-Readers – A review

23 Nov

Through the years I’ve had several different e-readers – some vastly more enjoyable to read on than others.

Palm: Tungsten T5
My very first e-reader was a Palm. I pretty much only used this when I had no other reading material around. It served that purpose well enough, but I got frustrated by the very small screen, so never really got fond of using it as an e-reader. I think I only ever read 2-3 books on it in the 4 years I had it.

Nokia E72
After 4 years, the Palm had reached the end of its life, and I needed a replacement. Since my phone was up for an upgrade at the same time, I got a Nokia E72. My two main requirements for the phone at the time was that had to have a decent calendar and some sort of e-reading functionality. Unfortunately I ended up being rather disappointed by the latter. While it did have the option to display PDF and DOC-files, it didn’t have a bookmark function and opened the files at the top whenever I accessed them. Since at the time I only used an e-reader to read for short periods at a time, that wouldn’t do.

BeBook One
In November 2009 I finally got my hands on a real E-Reader. I chose the BeBook One because at the time it supported the most formats by far (lit, doc, rtf, txt, pdf, epub, html – just to mention the most common ones). At the time I received it, I’d never had my hands on any other e-readers, so I had nothing to compare it to. I loved the ease of it, and especially that I no longer had to worry about how many books I could bring on vacation, but it was relatively low-tech, which especially showed in that it took an extremely long time to turn pages – as much as 3-4 seconds for some formats and lengths of books. Being as fast a reader as I am, that both really slowed down my reading experience, and made it less fluid.

My sensible self was satisfied with it. It fulfilled its purpose, and that’s really all I needed it to do. My geeky self thought it would be nice with something a bit more high tech though.

Kindle Keyboard
Two years later, I finally caved and got myself something more high tech. I had been resisting getting a Kindle pretty much every since they came out, because I didn’t (and still don’t) agree with many of the business decisions Amazon has made in regard to selling E-Readers and E-Books. I still think it’s pathetic that I have to purchase both Kindle and books at rather than, and am even more annoyed that even within, there are some books that aren’t available in Denmark.

Fortunately I don’t have to use Amazon for my purchases at all (not once I have the e-reader anyway), and most of my books I get elsewhere, and then convert via Calibre to Kindle format. So I try to put aside my annoyance with Amazon, and just look at the Kindle itself for this review.

And doing that, I have to say that I love it. It’s easy to use, and the pages turn instantly, so I get the proper ‘feel’ of reading a book – to the point that I have caught myself trying to physically turn pages more than once. I cannot give it a higher recommendation than that.

I haven’t yet used the audiobook feature, but since I have an audible account, I’m pretty sure that it’s just a matter of time, considering how handily it supports that too.

My one complaint is that it’s somewhat cumbersome to organize books. The Kindle support ‘Collections’, but it takes a lot of clicking to move books between collections. Also, it would be a huge bonus if it had an automatic “Recently read” collection as I’m often reading several books at once. That is a minor nice-to-have feature though.

I have yet to try a Nook, a Kebo or a Sony E-reader, but of the E-readers I have tried, the Kindle gets my vote.

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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Reading



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