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Have You Changed Your Opinion On eBook Readers?

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the indispensible-or-expensive-e-paperweight dept.

Handhelds 569

An anonymous reader writes "The Kindle made waves when it came out, but they've now had the chance to calm. How many of you have been using your eBook readers since you've received them? How many of you forgot you had one, and how many of you swear by your reader? I like my single-purpose (well, dual — music player) Sony Reader because I actually use it to read, rather than multitasking myself to death. Is this technology as convenient and useful as you expected?" If not, what refinements or improvements would reKindle your interest?

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Monospace Font for Technical Books (5, Informative)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345636)

The Kindle, as I understand it, lacks a monospace font. Monospace fonts are rather useful for code listings and whatnot.

This changed my mind about reading (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345662)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, a big beautiful all-American football hero type, about twenty five, came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and married -- and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with him.

As soon as he left, I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist. I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass and not an end in itself.

Of course I'd had jerkoff fantasies of devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't?), but I had never done it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking.

I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract? I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does. I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down with his piss. I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my hankercheif, and stashed them in my briefcase.

In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole -- not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone.

The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process. I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did,bring to a grateful shiteater.

Re:This changed my mind about reading (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345892)


Explained (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23346000)

some people are assholes.

They'll post shit about, well, um, shit, for instance.

Deal with it. (e.g. mod it down and move on with life.)

Re:Monospace Font for Technical Books (5, Informative)

Jaegar (518423) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345818)

The Kindle, as I understand it, lacks a monospace font. Monospace fonts are rather useful for code listings and whatnot.

According to O'Reilly, the lack of the monospace is one of the roadblocks for getting more publisher support for the Kindle. I think that getting Safari Online for the Kindle would certainly be enough to get me to give the Kindle a shot.

No (4, Funny)

jon_cooper (746199) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345642)


Simple answer: No I have not (4, Interesting)

sasha328 (203458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345644)

I Have not changed my mind. I may use one, but I will always prefer to read a "dead tree" book. I love building my library of books. Some I even read again once in a while.

There is a sense of achievement when sitting in the living room surrounded by bookshelves full of varied book. Besides, they are always a conversation starter when I get visitors.

A file on a computer does not compare.

Re:Simple answer: No I have not (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345668)

Just like CDs, I guess. After all, I'm sure no slashdotter has an MP3 collection that is much larger than their CD collection...

CD and book collections. (1)

inTheLoo (1255256) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345918)

Thanks to and the creative commons, I now have a larger collection of free music than non free. This is nice because it gives me something I can share with my friends.

My book collection, alas, is still all dead tree. There are a few interesting titles from project gutenberg and others but there's no equivalent of the easy to rip CD format for books. This is a shame because books are often more important than entertainment. No bread no books, no books no bread or entertainment.

Hi, I'm your polar oposite. (5, Interesting)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345746)

I'm sick of books and would gladly pay for non drm'd replacement pdfs. I have hundreds of textbooks, novels and paperback books and can think of several serious restrictions. I have to remember who I loan them to. They are a pain to move and an even bigger pain to put back on shelves. Eventually, almost all of them will rot. I'd much rather have them all stored on a hard drive that I can run away with when the next Katrina comes. I've been taking pictures of the books I use more frequently, but a pdf would be better.

Publishers don't really stand to lose much this way. If the price was right, most people will just buy their pdfs. Universities and other schools can put the cost of texts into tuition. Employers will keep buying reference material. Libraries could pay a special fee based on average circulation. The other stuff might be swapped but it's not something people would have bought anyway. Publishers that don't get it soon enough are going to be made irrelevant by things like Google text and free science journals.

Re:Hi, I'm your polar oposite. (5, Insightful)

murdocj (543661) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345780)

Eventually, almost all of them will rot. I'd much rather have them all stored on a hard drive that I can run away with when the next Katrina comes.

It's a safe bet that those paper books will last far longer than any hard drive that you store files on

How about no? (4, Informative)

heptapod (243146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345832)

If the books were printed on rag or something else that lacked acid then those tomes would certainly outlast their electronic counterparts. Over time books will become brittle and fragile because the acid is deteriorating the paper.

That's not a safe bet at all. (4, Interesting)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345888)

Well maintained, redundant archives should last forever - the ability to copy reliably is equivalent to imortality. I have not lost a single file in the last eight years and I have all of my mail going back 20. Devices may and have failed me but my work, letters, photographs and music has survived and grown. They can be passed on to my kids but books will be too bulky for the same. Every library is overflowing with the result of estate overflow. Some put them on the shelf as a "free library" the majority goes to the paper mill to make TP. Such is the sad fate of your paper media and this is why public libraries are important repositories of culture. In the end, not even libraries last forever. All civilizations have their down time and public libraries are often torched. The entire library of the ancient western world, for example, now fits on a single six by twelve foot shelf because the vast majority of it was lost. The US Library of Congres itself is rotting as we speak. Digital libraries will be much hardier than this.

Re:Hi, I'm your polar oposite. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345928)

It's slightly easier to copy said files to another hard drive before that happens than it is to copy the books onto new pieces of paper.

Hard drive? (1)

epp_b (944299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345986)

Ha! The Kindle has solid state memory!

Oh, wait...

Re:Hi, I'm your polar oposite. (4, Insightful)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345824)

I happen to agree with the moving and all the rest of it. But I personally disagree with running everything to PDF. I read PDF's on the laptop - maybe on the way to work or occasionally on my lunch break - but the majority has to be in books. There is nothing quite like having 5 or 6 books open to various pages while I code, flicking my eyes to various books or turning pages to keep track. My screens just do not have that kind of real-estate space.

For me, there is no question in this debate, PDF's might be a lot better to move and transport, but nothing is better than a i-killed-a-tree text book IMHO.

Just my $0.02 AU

Almost agree with you 100% (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345984)

I have e-book, newton, and zarurus as readers. The e-book is a piece of junk (bitch to get anything on there that they do not want you to have; it was not worth the 99). The newton is awesome, but only supports ascii text. The Zarus is way too small. I would love to have the e-book, but with the ability of the kindle; Give me CF for mem, and a better battery or possibly e-ink. Finally, make it open arch. so that new formats can be put on it.

But at this time, I do not like any of these except for special cases.

In the end, I KNOW that e-books will come within 5 years. So at this time, I buy few paper backs and/or computer books. OTH, I am buying leather-bound books. Esp the classics. The easton press are OH so nice. They should last all the way to my great grandchildren or beyond. But for simple items, far better to go with e-books.

Re:Hi, I'm your polar oposite. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346014)

I have to remember who I loan them to.

Don't worry, the Kindle will conveniently render the option to loan books out a moot point.

And I'm your Bi-Polar Opposite (2, Funny)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346038)

Somes days I just LOVE my spiffy Kindle! It makes puppies smile and rainbows sing!

Other days I just don't see the point. I mean why even bother reading ANYTHING? We're all just going to die eventually anyway.

Re:Simple answer: No I have not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345828)

re: Building your library of dead trees. If you haven't tried, check it out.

Re:Simple answer: No I have not (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345836)

I just went to the used bookstore, enjoying the smells, the sight, and the interaction with a person who was able to tell me based on a loose idea of what I told him I liked several books I should read. I'm currently reading a paperback copy of Patricia Cornwell's Post-Mortem and it's something that there's no way I'd have read any other way and it's something I'm really enjoying for a quick and relaxing read. Yeah, Amazon gives me recommendations (and one's I have taken them up on before) but Amazon smells like my living room and the recommendations just feel stale.

Now, the price. I paid .75 for this particular paperback and $2 for two others (John Sandford, a Minneapolis-based author). I didn't have to front load the cost of these books by purchasing an expensive reader that only helps another big corporation make its stockholders happy rather than a local guy a few miles from my house.

Re:Simple answer: No I have not (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345992)

I just went to the used bookstore, enjoying the smells, the sight, and the interaction with a person who was able to tell me based on a loose idea of what I told him I liked several books I should read.

Last used bookstore I went to the guy behind the counter hit on my girlfriend. Amazon has never done that.

Re:Simple answer: No I have not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23346052)

Oh come on, why today of all days to lose my fucking mod points?

Re:Simple answer: No I have not (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346092)

I Have not changed my mind. I may use one, but I will always ...... Okay, here we stop our agreement. I have not seen one yet in the wild ... so to speak. If they work well when I see one, I'll change my mind

Re:Simple answer: No I have not (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346100)

I will always prefer to read a "dead tree" book.... There is a sense of achievement when sitting in the living room surrounded by bookshelves full of varied book.
"Always" is a long time! I can understand the collector's mentality. I used to feel that way about tapes and CD's. But now I feel close enough to the same thing as I flip through the albums on my livingroom PC using a remote control. Or maybe I don't, but the overwhelming advantages (convenience, cost, ability to make backups...) are just too much.

Yes! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345654)

Ever since I discovered alt.ascii-art.erotica, I've been using my eBook reader at every possible occasion.

Freedom, duh. (4, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345658)

I want it to use KPDF, USB and just work. Sell me the book/paper and let me read it with software that works the way I like it to work. If you make it free, people will figure out how to make it usefull.

Re:Freedom, duh. (1)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346074)

So... you want a small, handeld computer with built in EVDO data cell service that sports a nifty e-ink screen and you want it for free. I'm rather certain people would "figure out how to make it useful" if it were free. I don't see how it can be manufactured, shipped, marketed and distributed for free. Kind of like a pyramid scheme without the pyramid...

Re:Freedom, duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23346096)

Get an N800 internet tablet. It's cheap and it does what you want.

Palm Tungsten (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345660)

I have a Palm Tungsten. Very nice PDA, used primarily as an ebook reader. The screen is easy on the eyes, the armored case means I can stick it in my pocket and forget it's there, the small size makes fitting in the pocket possible in the first place. My only complaint is that it has a short battery life.

Any of the modern phones SHOULD be able to do ebooks but the vendors keep the damn things so locked down it's impossible to do much with them. You want some app on a Palm nobody's written yet? You can write it yourself. Want something someone else wrote? You can install it. The Palm is more like a PC, very open, and the damn smart phones these days, even the blackberries, are more like Xbox 360's, technically capable of being open but deliberately locked down due to the parent company's infamous douchebaggery.

I will also say this: none of the books I've read have been paid for and the prices charged for electronic distribution are obscene. Electronic distribution removes most of the costs associated with publication and you're still going to charge me the full price of the hardcover? Fuck you.

Re:Palm Tungsten (2)

sznupi (719324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345690)

Your CARRIERS keep locking them, not vendors.

Where I live, I haven't yet encountered a phone that doesn't allow installing your apps (as far as technical capabilities of given phone go of course)

Re:Palm Tungsten (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346018)

Where I live, I haven't yet encountered a phone that doesn't allow installing your apps (as far as technical capabilities of given phone go of course)

So you haven't seen the iPhone yet I take it?

Re:Palm Tungsten (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346084)

Yep. They aren't a hit wonder in most of EU, I guess...

Re:Palm Tungsten (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345756)

The Xbox 360 isn't the only personal home device that is locked down. If you wanted to get real "douchebaggery" even cable boxes, STB's, tuners, satellite receivers, PS3s, Wii's, nintentos, PSPs and other devices "SHOULD" work but their respective companies are all full of "douchebaggery"

Re:Palm Tungsten (1)

Vengeance_au (318990) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345868)

My PSP *is* my eBook reader and I swear by it. Of course, I had to go off the reservation and mod the firmware, but with bookr [] installed (search google for if you have a slim), the unit is perfect as a PDF and TXT book reader. Combine this with being a gaming rig and being able to watch (converted) movies and listen to MP3's - the PSP is the ultimate train commuters tool. Shame it didn't come out of the box like that though!

Re:Palm Tungsten (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345964)

And i'm glad the 360 is locked down. This means little or no cheating on multiplayer, plus it keeps it a profitable platform (yes, I DO believe the game developers when they say the PC is not profitable due to piracy; the same people informed enough to upgrade their video cards, are informed enough to crack games rather than buy them. Think about it for a moment: how many people do YOU know who PAY for PC games? The majority of my friends, nerds or otherwise, steal).

Re:Palm Tungsten (3, Interesting)

Angry Toad (314562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345768)

Amen, I love using my Tx as an ebook reader. I haven't read a paper book in ages. The portability is great - on the plane, the bus, waiting in the car, wherever, I have a library with me at all times.

You're Missing the Point... (5, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345880)

Sure, you can multipurpose your gadgets into reading books. But the draw of the ebook reader is eInk.

If you havn't experienced eInk yourself, you're missing out. Not only is it as readable as newspaper, but the power consumption at rest is ZERO. You don't worry about that nasty backlighting or the headaches you get from reading off a screen - it is completely different and without trying it, you really can't say 'your' non-eInk device is better.

I was an early adopter, and I've still got dead tree books... but I love my sony reader because I can keep all my paper books in one small unit.

Re:You're Missing the Point... (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346094)

I use an old Clie primarily as a book reader.

Its great. Yeah ... the battery life is less than great if the backlight is on, but I can read in the dark after my wife goes to sleep without waking her.

Yeah, the Kindle or Sony can store more books (although I only read one at a time), and yeah they have better battery life (although when I'm using it by my bedside, I can plug it in and use it tethered), but it fits my niche need very well.

I also use it to read books to/from the office during my commute, or around the house on the couch. So far it worked fine.

Re:Palm Tungsten (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345948)

In my case, it's an old Dell Axim X5, but many of the same arguments apply.

Still not interested. (3, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345672)

I like having a physical library. Books are perfectly convenient for my purposes, and don't typically come with a triple-digit buy-in.

Re:Still not interested. (1)

bobwrit (1232148) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345916)

I'm a similer way. Keep your book-reading device. I have eyes and can read for myself. At least those didn't cost me $250+tax.

No. (0, Redundant)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345676)

Is there one that doesn't need a backlight or continuous power to display? Can I read it in the sunlight or under a lamp?

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345694)

welcome to 1998.

Re:No. (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345696)

Isn't that the whole point of these things? They use ePaper [] and reflect light.

Re:No. (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345708)

Yes. Many of the current eBook readers use a different display technology that doesn't require any power to hold its image. Power is only used for refresh (page turning). They really look much closer to a permanent printed image than a screen. (and should be fine in sunlight or under a lamp)

Actually, when you see a demo unit in the story, it looks like a mock-up screen until you start pressing buttons.

Re:No. (1)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345720)

Sorry. Forgot to add: Doesn't cost near $400?

The Kindle still appears to use power to display the print. Battery life is like a cell-phone (even without the wireless turned on.) If it truly isn't using power, the battery should last for months without recharging.

Re:No. (4, Insightful)

driftingwalrus (203255) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345770)

I had been considering buying one to play with until I saw the price. For crying out loud, I can buy quite a few books for $400!

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345878)

Heck, for $400 you can buy a PDA with a decent screen that will function as an adequate book reader, have lots of other functions, and you'll still have money left over when you're done.

Re:No. (1)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345956)

I already have a PDA. It doesn't have e-ink type of screen, and it still eats up power about as much as the Kindle. It's just not a great book reading device for those reasons.

Re:No. (2, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345870)

The screen on the kindle only uses power when it refreshes. The other stuff in there obviously uses power (cpu, memory, data link, etc).

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345920)

Hmmm. The Sony Reader is $300. Still too expensive.

7500 "turns" on a charge. At about 20 books, that does seem to use much less power than Kindle's 1 week (maybe!) rating.

The e-books cost the same as normal books? WTF? And I'm tied into only Sony's selection, unless a publisher provides it DRM-free.

If the price were to drastically drop, maybe to $50, for that reader, and the ridiculous prices on the books were lowered, I'd buy it.

So there. I learned something new. But my overall opinion hasn't changed.

Open or bust! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345682)

In order for me to want a reader, it should have the screen, durability & low power setup of the OLPC so it can be used outside. If you can give it a crank or pull-string charger, that's a bonus, too, especially when you want to get away.

It should support all the basic ebook formats, including PDFs, text, HTML, etc. but NONE of the DRM. I don't want DRM to be an option, I don't want DRM code at all, any more than I want spam.

So it's open formats or bust for me. I don't put up with DRM, however optional.

Only two sticking points for me (4, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345688)

I'd love to buy one, but two things hurt them right now:

1. Refresh time on turning pages. I know that it doesn't bother some people, but I do notice it. I'm told that it's getting better, though, and that gives me some hope.

2. Price of digital books. The price is still too close to the cost of physical books. The discount from the physical edition is only a couple of dollars, despite not having to come up with materials and shipping. I don't mind paying a little for convenience, but not that much.

Going along with the price is the issue of title selection (not many science or computer books seem to have made the jump yet), but that will improve. Early in the CD days, many things in which I would have been interested were unavailable in that format.

Re:Only two sticking points for me (5, Interesting)

Lershac (240419) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345762)

But you realize that the costs of printing and distribution in the paper industry are already very very low? Like under a buck a book for mass market paperbacks? So as long as the traditional publishing houses are involved, the price will stay high as they need to put food on the table for their employees.

Prices can only drop as we cut out middlemen.

If an itunes-like publisher were to open up, and offer low priced books direct from the author (like on the itunes app store model maybe) this would revolutionize (read KILL) the dead tree publishing industry. It would also open the door to lots of CRAP. But a ratings system would emerge I am sure.

If wishes were fishes...

Re:Only two sticking points for me (4, Interesting)

Your Pal Dave (33229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345808)

2. Price of digital books. The price is still too close to the cost of physical books. The discount from the physical edition is only a couple of dollars, despite not having to come up with materials and shipping. I don't mind paying a little for convenience, but not that much.
The worst part is, because of DRM, you also can't sell, lend or give away an ebook after you finish reading it. That reduces the value even more.

I'm OK with DRM on ebooks from a lending library which expires them at the end of the check-out period. But if I'm going to purchase a DRM encumbered ebook it had better come at a substantial discount over the dead-tree version.

Re:Only two sticking points for me (1)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346054)

2. Price of digital books. The price is still too close to the cost of physical books. The discount from the physical edition is only a couple of dollars, despite not having to come up with materials and shipping. I don't mind paying a little for convenience, but not that much.

Precisely! I may want to read a book and then pass it on to my wife, or friend, or whatever. With the ebook you cannot do it. It is, basically, for your eyes only. I'd have to buy at last 2 copies of each e-book for my family. The only way for this to be worthwile for me is if the e-books were 50% off the dead tree versions.

(That, plus the still high cost of the (limited purpose) device makes it a non-starter for me.)

Re:Only two sticking points for me (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346056)

Project Gutenberg has more (good) free books that I will ever be able to read....

What about e-ink in subnotebooks? (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345698)

When it comes to story, I much prefer dead-tree book.

BUT...I'd really like to see subnotebook with e-ink. Yeah, no colours and low refresh rate...but that doesn't really harm www/im/e-mail/writing. With a huge bonus of prolonged battery life.

Sadly, market works against me, in similar way how it established 15,4' "laptop" as perfectly acceptable standard (cheapest) size...

I haven't changed my mind (0, Flamebait)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345702)

The kindle is still overpriced and ugly as Hillary Clinton's cunt. Tip: get inspiration from Apple, not Microsoft.

Yes, but.... (3, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345712)

I travel a lot and read for entertainment and work related. Give me an ebook when I purchase the paper version. Make ebooks cheaper. Take out the cost of paper, inventory and labor. Make ebook readers less expensive. Sell more ebooks in volume when they are cheaper and the reader is free or subsidized.

Shouldn't this be a poll maybe? (3, Funny)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345722)

()Hell No!
()The 70's called they want their 8-tracks AND the Kindle back.
()Dead Tree or Dead Me!
()Didn't I see one of these in Star Wars?
()Cowboy Neal Kindles his Spindle

There's this fairly old device I have.. (1, Funny)

ihaveamo (989662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345724)

The font has no pixelation at all. Awesome sort of "Dogearing" technology, and an external "bookmark" device I can insert into it. No power requrements.A nice wood finish. Bendable without breaking. Droppable without breaking. Cheap to buy. Anyone have better?

Its all about book availability (4, Insightful)

Octorian (14086) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345730)

Regardless of how nice the reader is, its worthless to me as long as I can only get something from "their online store of X number of books". Until I can find any random book (yes, including all the zillion tech books we all collect) in eBook form, the device serves no purpose to me.

FUCK NO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345742)


Why? (2, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345748)

Whats wrong with ... wait for it ... a REAL book? One you can read in 20 years, doesn't need batteries, and you can share with anyone else?

Seems like this is a solution looking for a problem.

That was my take on it to (1)

bamwham (1211702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345942)

I buy my books for a substantial discount from a used book dealer and sell them for only slightly less than I paid when I'm done, or pass them around friends and family first. Can you give me an e-book that I can do this with?

I'd love to see how your e-book reader would hold up in my kitchen with a copy of "Joy of Cooking" on it. I'm guessing one good dousing in hot bacon grease would more than ruin the screen, while it only made my JoC smell funny, well ... one page is a little see-through now.

Seems like there are a number of very substantial hurdles for e-books to overcome, I'm guessing the solution involves some sort of wood based material...

Re:Why? (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345998)

Whats wrong with ... wait for it ... a REAL book? One you can read in 20 years, doesn't need batteries, and you can share with anyone else?

Seems like this is a solution looking for a problem.
I can't carry half a dozen or more on vacation with me easily, and I can't carry around the many volumes of references that I'd love to keep with me, in quickly searchable formats. Now that may not be something that interests a lot of people, but it's what I want.

I want no DRM, ability to read all the common non-DRM'd formats, search capabilities, highly readable screen, long battery life, and a form-factor small enough to fit in a jacket pocket.

If I could have a couple more wishes, I'd like the ability to tack notes onto the texts and have them retained along with it and also be able to create my own text files on the device for writing down my own thoughts.

Re:Why? (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346008)

Oh yeah, one more thing to add. External storage such as flash memory. Can never have too much memory.

Re:Why? (1)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346062)

IMO, there's one case where bits are a big win today: I'm sick of real books for technical reference material. It's so much easier to search and link one's way through reference material as a PDF. And when it's out of date (in way less than 20 years) and you need an upgrade, no trees get hurt in the process. If only Adobe would pull its head out of its arse and just copy the search UI of the OS X readers like Preview and (especially) Skim; PDF searching for Windows users seems lacking due to this.

It helps greatly that many publishers have finally figured out how to format PDFs for online readers vs. just chucking camera ready copy (sometimes with registration marks!) at readers.

Pages (5, Insightful)

Blice (1208832) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345754)

With a real book, there's something magical about turning pages.
As you get closer to the end, you keep a mental track of where you are in the book by the thickness of either ends. Having a digit tell you what page out of the total pages you're at just isn't the same.
Especially as you get closer to the end- Having the second half of the book shrink as you go, getting excited about the end (Without knowing -exactly- how close you are). Sometimes it even surprises you; you get close to the end but you know you aren't there yet, and then it -does- end, with a thick index in the back.
But not just the turning and thickness of the book. Also the texture. That rough texture of paper vs. slick plastic. That's just something that an eBook reader isn't going to replace.
However, I do think eventually next generations will get used to this. I don't dislike ebooks because of functionality or looks, I just don't like them because I'm not used to them. Sort of comparable to Windows and Linux, where Linux is actually more functional and capable of more things, but at first it doesn't matter because you're just not used to it.
At any rate, I think there is definitely a market for them, and that it'll grow. It'll just take some time of people getting used to the new feelings.

Re:Pages (2, Insightful)

pumpkinpuss (1276420) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345946)

With a real book, there's something magical about turning pages.
Just like there is something magical about owning a record or CD, which is why music will never shift to digital formats. Oh wait...

Elana Engdahl (1)

quarkify (1285230) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345772)

I never purchased one since the very thought incurs a 451ÂF fever. I prefer the vintage page-turners myself.

My old Powerbook is my ebook reader (1)

rogerborn (236155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345774)

A long time ago, I sold or gave away all my Heinlein, Asimov, and Niven - almost 200 books, plus a few Christopher Anvil and James Schmitz stories from Analog. Instead, I downloaded free text versions from some scifi torrent and use TEXTEDIT on my Mac to read them. The advantage is that I can carry all my novels with me, on flash drives and on the hard drive of my laptop. Best of all, I can use the whole screen if I want, and I am not limited to a tiny screen. Who needs an extra device when you've got a Mac?

"Never squat with your spurs on."

Re:My old Powerbook is my ebook reader (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346034)

The advantage is that I can carry all my novels with me, on flash drives and on the hard drive of my laptop. Best of all, I can use the whole screen if I want, and I am not limited to a tiny screen. Who needs an extra device when you've got a Mac?

I can't read for pleasure from a glowing, constantly refreshing screen, and I think a lot of people are the same way (which is the whole impetus behind e-ink I think).

My list of killer features (2, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345776)

  1. *NO* DRM.
  2. Uses the same amount of electricity as a solar-powered calculator, so that it can be passively powered rather than rely on batteries. All it needs to do is display text at a decent resolution, enough that it's readable without eyestrain, and scroll about as fast as a 300 baud modem used to be able to put text on a screen back in the day.
  3. durable enough that I can take it places, drop it, let it get wet, and worry about as much about damage as I would a book, or less.
  4. Screen is readable under the same lighting conditions as traditional print on paper -- particularly under bright sunlight. I don't want a backlight for reading in the dark as much as I want to be able to read in daylight.
Nice features:
  1. Extendable via a USB port -- let me plug in a keyboard for annotations and note-taking.
  2. Let me also use that USB port to directly access the storage on the device.
  3. I don't need wifi (too energy-costly) or network connectivity, as long as I can plug it into something that has that capability, such as my cell phone or a laptop or other IP node, and share its connection.

Well (1)

Merc248 (1026032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345798)

I don't know about you guys, but I like having stacks of books to convince people that I'm really really smart

two things missing (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345804)

Using a sony reader and generally quite happy with it. The size is a compromise between those who want something not bulk to carry with them and those who are more or less home bound and would like a larger, more hardcover screen size. But there remain two issues with ebooks/readers: 1) The pricing model. Ebooks, in general, remain far to expensive. With significant distribution cost savings and no physical material, ebooks shouldn't sell for much over 25% of the print version. The ultimate insult is Amazon selling text books for the same price as the print edition. Clue: Sell the print edition and toss in the emedia for $1 more. 2) Adobe PDFs suck. The ability to regenerate a document on the fly in a variety of sizes is essential (a3,4,5,6 etc). Unfortunately, pdf's are locked in stone after they have been created and only some dramatic hacks make them at all usable on an ereader. Way too much work for inferior results. Adobe, are you listening?

Re:two things missing (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346102)

I have the Sony PRS-505 eReader as well, and I'm very happy with it (about 2-3 months now). I read on it around 3-5 nights per week for an hour or two at a go. I only have to charge it every few weeks (I have a 1GB Memstick Duo card inserted for extra capacity). I'm very pleased with it, even given its minor quirks (such as the half second page refresh).

I'm not sure it's the best device for trying to read PDFs or technical manuals on. But that's mostly a function of the screen size (all current e-ink reader screens are only 6" diagonal and 170ppi). But, frankly, I don't want a bigger unit. The Sony is a very nice size, easy to hold in one hand for long periods, and there's not much clutter around the screen. The design simply gets out of my way when reading.

The only books that I've bought so far are from Baen's Webscription. Baen offers everything in no-DRM format, in multiple formats, with the ability to download any format that you need. So, even if my Sony dies - I can buy another one (or even a different brand) and still have my Baen books. The only effort on my part might be to convert them into the new reader format. No muss, no fuss, so they get my money.

The rest of my books are from Project Gutenberg. I'm currently wading through a hell of a lot of classics that I've read before (20 years ago) or that I've always wanted to read. I figure there are enough PG books to keep me well occupied for the next few years.

Basically, if you like to read fiction, or at least books without a lot of full-page pictures / diagrams, the e-book is pretty much "there". The price is a shade under $300 now (I paid $280), which is a lot cheaper then it was 2-3 years ago. The resolution is good (I'd like to see 250-300ppi, not the 170ppi), and the overall functionality of the unit is quite good. I was basically waiting for the new screens to come out and for the price to get below $300. Hopefully the prices drop below $200 next year and continue to trend downwards.

(I am a huge paper book reader... when I packed up all of my books to move this past year, they filled an area that is roughly 2 meters cubed. I typically read at least 2 leisure books per month, plus at least one technical manual.)

I absolutely love mine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345812)

I love mine (kindle). I've churned through 30 or 40 books since I got it in late December. I travel a lot, and the convenience of being able to take along a large and varied selection of books is unsurpassed. The fact that I can refresh the collection mid-trip if I run out (which happened on my last month+ trip), even when in a country that has no english language bookstores, makes it even better. But even at home, I love it. I've always read a lot, but the kindle has probably close to doubled my throughput just because it is always accessible and I can always find something that suits my mood. With a dead tree book, if it isn't what I want to be reading right now, I'll wind up ignoring it. That can't easily happen on a kindle.

Once you get over the silly ego-cnetric aspect of building a collection that you can show off to your friends, I'd much rather have a large electronic collection, just as I do with my music. My whole family has their kindles on one account, so we can share books far more easily than we used to, as well. I no longer have to pop a book in the mail to my folks, or risk having my latest book stolen at the end of a visit. Instead, once I'm done, I just delete it from my kindle and any member of the family can grab it. Try that with a dead tree book! The kindle was be far superior if they just formalized the concept of loaning a book to a friend. I do it with my dead tree books, and I do it with my kindle books now, by sharing account info, but I'd rather just be able to do it by giving up my access while they are reading it after I email it to them.

Also, show one to someone who has failing eyesight and they'll be ever so pleased. The large font size is very readable, even for someone suffering from macular degeneration.

As for the shopping experience - with the built in whispernet, I've been known to wander around a B&N or borders, buying books I see on my kindle, so the experience of walking around, browsing a bookstore isn't really lost. And I don't care much about the 'fairness' o doing that to B&N or borders. However, when it comes to my favoured mom & pop bookstores, I'd far rather that any books I buy while wandering their store would have some kind of rev share deal with amazon. Instead of whispernet, just let me check out at the front and download my books from a machine up front. Or let me use whispernet, but give a cut to the store I'm in.

Modern E-book readers (1)

i_b_don (1049110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345816)

They're awesome! I would so buy one if I actually read books.


Haven't changed my mind.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345822)

...for one simple reason. I can't lend an e-book to a friend. To me, this is actually THE issue that is the wrench in the wheel of digital distribution.

My wife loves her Kindle (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345830)

She's an avid reader, always working on a book. With the Kindle, once she is finished with one, she can immediately download a few samples and then go on to purchase the next. She's browsed and purchased several times on our train commute into Manhattan-- extremely convenient. One of her favorite things about her Kindle is that on a crowded subway, she can hold on to a rail with one hand while holding up her Kindle with the other, flipping 'pages' easily with her thumb.

While she may pick up a paperback every so often-- usually if someone lends it to her-- I don't think her life will ever be without an eBook reader again.

As for me.. I don't read as many books. However, I've been considering one, likely the Sony, as a replacement for all of the PDF's I'm always printing out and sticking in my bag for reading during my commutes and while on business travel. There are always a few white papers, marketing material, reports and other documents which I want to have on me for when I have a chance to read them. Unfortunately, when I fall behind in free time, the weight of the documents can add up appreciably and my bag can get pretty heavy. I'm thinking the eBook reader can easily help me cut down on the weight and even allow me to read more as it will be easier to hold onto them until I get to reading them. I suppose I'll also cut down on the paper I'm wasting since when I've finished reading one of these printouts, I trash it.

Indispensable (4, Interesting)

kabdib (81955) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345842)

I have a Sony PRS-505. It's really great having 300-400 books available at my fingertips, wherever I travel.

The device has PDF support, but it is glacial and nearly inadequate for reading (say) ACM papers. There are conversion possibilities here, or the device may get better support in the future (it wouldn't be hard, frankly).

But for plain text it's wonderful. I'm on vacation now with my unit, and have ploughed through 3-4 books in the last few days.

My balk at getting a Kindle: Having to route your content through Amazon. The privacy aspects of this are terrifying.

Re:Indispensable (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346042)

I'm tempted by the Sony but not the Kindle. I'd never buy a device so comprehensively tied to one supplier.

As for ebooks, Cory Doctorow posted an article [] just days ago in which he states that ebooks should be more like dandelion seeds than babies. Chuck out as many as possible and hope they survive. (Okay, so some parents do this anyway, but you get the idea.)

I have totally switched (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345844)

I wont lie, much of the appeal is the VAST library of free books out there, being able to read anything I fancy with a few keyboard strokes.

But the readers themselves are what cinched it. I have always had access to the books but reading on a laptop really is not convenient and does strain the eyes. Not to mention horrible battery life (as compared to a reader type device)

On my Sony (Blech I know) Reader, I can read 2-3 good sized books in between battery charges. I can take it with me traveling to 3rd world countries instead of the seperate suitcase for books I normally bring.

And even just reading in a normal environment I find it better and more comfortable than a dead-tree book. I can lay in any position without worrying about the page folding or losing my page. I can read at night without worrying about losing my page when I fall asleep reading (often). If reading in the cold I can keep my whole body including hands under the covers and read and just hold the book through the covers, one finger on a button.

The screen looks fantastic, the battery life is great, and it has a million and one advantages over a dead tree book. I would never go back. I even download e-book versions so I can read them on my reader.

Re:I have totally switched (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345896)

The ereaders are even better if you download the books from .. say, mininova.

I'm not encouraging piracy, I'm just sayin' ...

Does an Eee PC can't as an eBook reader (1)

kalbzayn (927509) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345864)

Since you asked our opinions, here's mine. I love reading books on it. With a PDF, I can turn the doc sideways and switch to full screen mode and easily read it almost anywhere with each PDF page taking up one full screen. I used to have a Palm Tungsten and also loved reading books on it. And for the record, we turned our family room into a library and have a lot of books in it. I enjoy reading books either way. I'm more about the content then the actual physical manipulation of the pages.

Sony Clie PEG SJ-20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345866)

I've had three of them -- they mostly get stolen. But having my Palm be my book means i won't lose it or forget it in my drawer. These are all things which i do with my other attempts at keeping a schedule or address book. Or calculator.

I LOVE reading books, and i love my Palm. I think the talk about woodware books having a mystique is understandable affectation.

Plus, mostly i read hard sci-fi, and most of those books have embarrassingly juvenile cover art.

Agree that the Kindle has its weaknesses (4, Interesting)

slack of thyme (1286490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345876)

It won't reliably handle many non-English characters. I won't use it for Chinese texts especially. And anything where the illustrations are critical to full understanding of the text is also useless at this stage.

It's very weak when it comes to handling most books with code samples as a critical component, but in most such cases, the kludginess of transporting Kindle text to a machine where I might use the code sample is such that the attraction of stocking up on programming references that contain significant caches of adaptable code is not really there on a Kindle -- and most publishers now offer some simpler means to supply sample code in an accessible manner if you own a hardcopy of the book.

I actually find its main use for me is as a laptop substitute, at least in settings were I'm not looking at a lot of quantitative material, and as a pinch-hitting connection to the 'net when I might be someplace without a convenient phone jack or other connection. My book collection is already too large and I won't replace most of it with Kindled copies.

Still its connectivity is useful for following a few current papers, storing public-domain classic texts for text search and reference purposes, when I want to be able to answer some question quickly, but still want to "un-plug" for the most part from phones, e-mail and other pointless distractions.

I can also store reference documents of my own on the device in what is usually a more readable form than I could managed with most PDAs, if the text in question can be readily formatted as HTML without too big a loss of readability.

Glad I bought one (1)

Simulant (528590) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345926)

I picked up a Cybook Gen3 several months ago and have read 4 or 5 books on it.
I'm quite happy with it, however it's really only good for reading books from start to finish. It absolutely sucks for reference material, heavily illustrated books, or any book you might just want to flip through.

Another bummer is that it (and most other existing readers) don't display most PDFs very well since they tend to be formatted for a larger screen. It's relatively simple to convert a mostly text pdf to a readable format (mobipocket has a nice, free converter for download) but forget scanned or complex pdfs with illustrations.

That said, it's a joy reading a novel on this thing and there is plenty of content to be had for free as well as for pay. I don't think I'll ever be caught somewhere with nothing to read again.

ebook readers yes, kindle no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23345934)

ebook readers? sure.IRex iLiad [] rocks, an e-ink greyscale display linux tablet (@ 768x1024), with various linux apps ported as well as the usual ebook-reader style PDF and web page readers.

Amazon Kindle in particular? No. It's just low-spec compared to the iliad (and the iliad isn't particularly new anymore!), and while it may be "linux underneath", its primary purpose is reading DRMed files from amazon so it's pretty much worthless to me.

Missing option: changing (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345944)

The Kindle looks mostly great so far, compared to readers that came before it. Partly because the tech has improved, but also partly because of clever things like the built in EVDO and the free-first-chapter-preview. (I think that would mostly make up for being unable to physically browse books. Or maybe I'd cruise the bookstores, Kindle in hand, and browse physically and buy electronically.) However, the price for the device is too high ($400 is a bit steep; $200 is more like it) and same with the books. I'm not a have-to-read-it-in-hardcover-right-away person. Most of what I read (2-5 novels/month) comes from the library or other people, the few books I do buy are <$10 paperbacks or <$10 discounted hardbacks. After paying a bunch for a device, books should be in the $5 range. The last books I paid over $10 for were the illustrated versions of The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons. (And I'd happily pay as much for an illustrated The Broker or Playing for Pizza by Grisham.)

So my main complaint is price, and a couple years should take care of that. :-)

Wishlist. (4, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345962)

1. Dead-simple operation. Reads e-books, and does very little else.

2. Minimalist Interface. Possibly the Kindle's greatest shortcoming. Should have no more buttons than an iPod (or, say, the original Game Boy).

3. Books easy to download/retrieve. Should be wireless, though the actual purchase doesn't necessarily need to originate from the device itself (see #1 and #2). Perhaps a hybrid system by which content may be purchased online via web browser, and then "pushed" to the unit wirelessly?

4. Open access. Any seller must be able to supply content via a common format. DRM is somewhat acceptable, as long as it isn't obnoxiously intrusive (eg. Apple's FairPlay). Free content must also not cost money (tsk, tsk, Amazon)

5. Books must be considerably cheaper than their dead-tree equivalents.

6. Large, crisp, legible, glare-free display. Should be able to withstand some degree of abuse. I want to feel like I'm looking at a piece of paper, not a screen.

7. Sleek design. Doesn't need to be revolutionary, but also not ugly. This should naturally follow from #1, #2, and #6.

7. Page-turn lag must be kept to a minimum.

8. Cheap enough for normal folks to afford. Under $300?

Under these conditions, you *might* be able to successfully market one of these.

Re:Wishlist. (2, Interesting)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346072)

1. book sized
2. thin
3. a "cover" or something to protect the display (clamshell with dual screens would be awesome)
4. quick search/bookmark
5. annotation with a stylus so you can write on the pages

PSP could have been an eBook Reader (1)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345972)

Sadily, the PSP continues to lose ground as a portable web browser as more website use more dynamic features. It also does not help that the PSP does not have a PDF or eBook reading software. The video game developers would have loved to cut their publishing costs by putting their instruction manuals on the UMD discs, but Sony failed there too.

I'm at the point that I'm thinking of selling my PSP.

Another thing to consider about eBook readers is their availability. Consider the case from the Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last" [] A shrewd person such as myself would need to consider the drawbacks of relying on electronics to read books, such as battery life, durability, and ofcourse text size. A poorly designed eBook reader will leave you in the dark and unable to read the books that you want. I am still a fan of the physical records. An old book can last a long time if kept in good condition.

Good for me (1)

hayagriva (1260388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23345982)

I have a Hanlin V3, and I absolutely love it. I do know my situation is unusual, though. I don't live in an English-speaking country, so *any* English-language book is expensive. I also travel quite a bit. Being able to replace the a couple heavy, bulky dead-tree books with one ebook reader with a gig of memory is really nice.

As far as the complaints go, some seem valid, others not so much. Page lag is a bit weird to start, but I got used to it within an hour or so. It's just a matter of hitting "turn page" before reading every word. Battery life: actually, it's excellent. It only draws power to change a page, and one charge lasts thousands of page turns. I can also just leave it on to my current page, so I can jump back into the book quickly. On the other hand, search functions suck. I would never use the current crop of technology for reference books. Texture/feel...well, I guess. But the ebook form factor is just too much more convenient for me.

I still don't see the point (5, Interesting)

iteyoidar (972700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346010)

So far a lot of the features in e-book readers are focused on making them closer to...real books. The big deal with the kindle is apparently that the screen looks like...paper. Or that you can mark pages and write notes on your e-books, just like a real book, only with a computer interface getting in the way. There is so much convenience in having a real physical paper book where the pages can be written on and flipped through and folded that it is hard for to come up with an electronic design that is as easy to use and still looks like a book.

From what I've seen of e-book readers so far, I can predict that in The Future, the "perfect" e-book reader will be almost identical to a paperback book, only slightly smaller than a real book, with electronic pages, and dozens of seldom-used features like dictionaries and trivia games and thesauruses. And I guess the pages might as well light up too. Maybe it will be useful if there is a paper shortage

On the other hand, the newspaper functionality has potential. Unlike novels, reading the newspaper can be very clumsy and annoying unless you have an entire table to read it on. And the online distribution method is so much more convenient than real newspapers. Of course you can already get news on your cell phone or computer for free, but all the same I think e-book newspapers have some serious advantages over the real thing, which I can't say about the e-novels.

full PDF and some HTML Support (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346036)

Being able to use some more open standards would be great I get a lot of e publications in PDF this includes newsletters books as well as technical diagrams and such. Being able to read those without any conversion would be great.

This also includes some HTML content (Halcyon Days comes to mind... hmm PHP manual...).

I think the more it has features where I don't have to depend on connection/supplies from the company to use it the better, just like real books.

Still pricey (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23346046)

Books have some really annoying drawbacks, which ebooks promise to solve. Unfortunately for ebooks, the virtues that books do possess are really hard to match in ebook format.

Books, even cheaply printed ones, offer excellent resolution and contrast. All but the most awful will last for ages without any special effort. The ability to use marginal notes, bookmarks, underlining/highlighting, sticky notes, and dog-ears gives one a lot of markup options.

I've yet to find an ebook reader even close to my price range that can touch paper on any of those counts. Until I do find one, I'm sticking with my current setup. A cheap secondhand palm pilot of some sort + plucker + project gutenberg. It isn't even close to reading a real book; but it comes in awfully handy on the subway, in waiting rooms, and so forth. Until the tech catches up, I'm treating ebooks as complements, rather than substitutes, to real books.
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