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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 Amazon.com rather than Amazon.co.uk, and am even more annoyed that even within amazon.com, 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.

Conclusion
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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