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Ask Slashdot: I Want To Read More. Should I Get an eBook Reader Or a Tablet?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the hire-james-earl-jones-to-read-to-you dept.

Books 415

gspec writes "I read less and less nowadays, but I realize I need to get back into my old reading habit. Would getting an ebook reader or a tablet help me to enjoy reading more? Would you recommend one over the other? A little relevant background about me: I probably can spare two hours a day to read. I do not travel a lot. I am not a fast reader; if I force myself, I could probably finish a standard length novel in a week. English is my second language, so a built-in dictionary would be nice. I enjoy Netflix, and I have bought many computer/technical eBooks from O'Reilly for reference. I have many technical reference PDFs. I have 300-400 bucks to spare for this. I'd like to hear opinions based on your knowledge and experience on reading using ebook readers/tablets."

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I had this issue (3, Informative)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039119)

I got an kindle dx which was terrible for pdfs, my main interest. Now I have an iPad and use goodreader and it is awesome.

Re:I had this issue (3, Informative)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039197)

Ebook readers aren't great for PDFs, but they are leagues ahead of tablets for reading textbooks. I'd leave it another couple of years until ebooks really get all the wrinkles ironed out, then get an ebook reader. I have a nook and I can store tens of thousands of quality books in there at less than the weight of a paperback.

Re:I had this issue (5, Interesting)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039579)

Agreed. If you're actually going to be using the thing for reading in a serious way, then eReader without a doubt. Ridiculously long battery life, pleasant to read on, no reflections and usable in direct sunlight, and far cheaper. In fact, for something that can do everything, you can buy a netbook and eReader for less than a tablet, and you get superior reading and superior computing. Tablets are for when you want the reading experience of a netbook and the typing/input interface of an eReader.

Re:I had this issue (4, Interesting)

Lord Maud'Dib (611577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039583)

I don't agree. I use a Toshiba Thrive 10" Android tablet with an SD card full of textbooks in PDF. Makes it really easy to transfer them to my notebook if need. By reading them with EzPDF I can highlight, annotate, draw on them and save them. I can add bookmarks and quickly do searches too. I also find the extra length of the screen in portrait mode (due to the widescreen setup on Android tablets) is beneficial as it allows menus and toolbars along the top and bottom of the screen which don't overlay on the page. Overall, I can't think of a better solution, except for possibly a matte screen to reduce reflections.

Ebook reader (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039125)

If you get an iPad, and you're not disciplined, you'll find yourself doing everything else but reading books because it's really nice to use. Ebook readers with browsers or application support are still pretty limited.

Re:Ebook reader (4, Informative)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039203)

For just plain reading, the kindle is where it is at. Even with a retina display, an ipad doesn't feel right.

It won't be great for techinical books, but for reading novels, the cheapest kindle is just awesome. eInk is super comfortable to read and it doesn't force you to read with an overly bright backlit display. The "page" is about the size of a normal book (the ipad screen is a little too wide to support a good reading speed IMHO).

Re:Ebook reader (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039351)

it is size actually.

if your reading 7-8" tablet size is easier to deal with than the 10" tablet's.

if you want the most flexiblity get a google nexus tablet. you want the easy setup get either a nook or kindle fire.

I love my nook tablet for reading and web surfing it is easy to hold on to and a decent size. the only draw back is that the stock OS sucks. if I root it i might as well get a full google tablet anyways.

Re:Ebook reader (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039215)

i don't know. i bought an ipad 2 expecting to do everything else and ended up reading more than anything

Re:Ebook reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039385)

Bingo. What do you think I'm doing on my tablet right now?

Get both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039131)

You can find an Allwinner android tablet for 75-80 bucks, and a kindle fire for the same price.

Re:Get both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039435)

I meant kindle touch, not kindle fire.

eBook Reader vs Tablet (0)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039137)

I think the two are converging somewhat. eBook readers aren't as powerful or versatile. I need another gadget like I need a hole in the head too. But if I must, I would get a tablet. If money was no object, I would go with a retina iPad. But the Android tablets are catching up fast. Cheaper too. I look at an eBook reader as a crippled tablet.

Re:eBook Reader vs Tablet (4, Informative)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039399)

That's not a good way of looking at it. ebook readers are much, much better for reading (easier to read off of is the main advantage, but not having to constantly re-charge is also a huge advantage, as is being able to fit it in a pocket). If you plan to read a lot, I just don't think a tablet is an acceptable substitute.

If you're not a heavy reader and but want to have the capability in case the mood ever strikes you, then reading a book on a tablet is fine.

It's almost a moot point, since a kindle is just $80.

Re:eBook Reader vs Tablet (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039427)

Having myself both a tablet ( HP Touchpad) and an eBook Reader (Sony PRS1), there is absolutely no contest when it comes to textbooks. No matter how high the screen resolution of your tablet is, it can't beat e-ink for pure comfort. Additionally, ebook readers are generally a lot lighter and smaller than tablets. Techbooks are another matter. I have plenty of oreilly books on the reader (epub format), and whilst not bad from an handling and speed point of view, the small B/W screen is really a problem. Anyway, all this to say that Parent is clueless ...

Re:eBook Reader vs Tablet (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039471)

>>>I look at an eBook reader as a crippled tablet.

I look at a tablet as a pisspoor substitute for a book. Heavy and it has that annoying light shining in my eyes. I want my book reader to be a closer to paper as possible, and e-ink does that.

If you have 300-400... (4, Insightful)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039151)

Why not both? You can easily buy two tablets for $300-400. One e-ink device @ $100 and one tablet @$200-300

Try out one of each (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039155)

I prefer the Kindle because it doesn't have a backlight. I find it tires my eyes much less, like reading a regular book. Try one of each and see which one works out better for you.

Ebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039163)

For reading novels, definitely an ebook reader. Mine's a Kindle but I'm sure there's other good ones out there too. That shouldn't stop you getting a tablet too if you want to do other things, and for some technical PDFs a tablet might be handy, but definitely an e-ink device for novels.

I don't usually reply to gweihir (88907) either. So there.

Reader for reading, Tablet for playing Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039165)

that pretty much sums it up

how about a library card? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039167)

The have a wide selection, great price, and 2 weeks to read it.

Re:how about a library card? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039205)

The have a wide selection, great price, and 2 weeks to read it.

Even though he says he's a slow reader, I don't think it would take 2 weeks to read a library card.

I don't usually reply to gweihir (88907) either. So there.

Wait for iPad 7" and make your choice (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039173)

Personally I have both a tablet and an e-reader (iPad/Kindle3) and for $300-400, you could get both e-ink and LCD Kindles, for example. If reading detailed image-based PDFs is your thing I'd probably recommend 10" tablet at least. Reflow on text doesn't help there as much.

Re:Wait for iPad 7" and make your choice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039209)

Or why not wait til next year (or the year after) to get the latest and bestest tablet?

Re:Wait for iPad 7" and make your choice (-1, Flamebait)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039417)

That assumes a person with some technical grasp would actually want an Apple product.

I would recommend an e-ink reader (4, Informative)

dasunt (249686) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039179)

I really prefer e-ink for reading. Its nice on the eyes, and the low-power consumption of the screen gives excellent battery life. Plus, most of the e-ink readers I see seem a little lighter than the corresponding tablets.

Right now I have a Kindle Keyboard. The screen may be too small if you read books with a lot of diagrams or illustrations. The Kindle DX would be better in this regards, but it is a tad spendy.

Regardless of what you get, I'd recommend Calibre for managing your library, and I would strongly suggest checking out your local library system's ebook lending. It is extremely convenient to be able to borrow books at any hour of the day or night. If you have access to different library systems, check out the ebook lending offers at each - sometimes one system will have a wider selection.

Re:I would recommend an e-ink reader (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039253)

I agree. I have a tablet (iPad) as well as an e-ink reader (Nook), and I much prefer the e-ink device for extended reading. I spend enough of my day looking at an LCD; I find the much more book-like characteristics of the Nook far more conducive to serious reading.

Re:I would recommend an e-ink reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039279)

I agree.

I like the dedicated e-ink book readers. For straight reading, I like the low power consumption, the space to hold lots of books, and I don't need a lot of "extra" features. I use my e-readers with wifi turned off and don't care about telling the universe what I am reading on facebook and twitter. I like drm-free books the best and don't like nosy vendors.

Re:I would recommend an e-ink reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039567)

I also decided I'd go the eink route. I'd started reading for leisure again from about a year ago. I find that I use it as a "disconnect" of sorts, having only my book and my cell phone for dictionary lookup. I decided on the kindle 4 and ordered it half a week ago. Figured screen clarity would be more easily maintained over the Touch model, and i'm also shooting for extreme portabiliity and light reading for extended periods with one hand. Once I start getting some tablet functionality, I start using it by instinct, and I lose my purpose of getting away from things. Since it supposedly has a built in dictionary, I anticipate it being even easier to not touch my phone or lappy and getting in the quick facebook check for notifications.

Tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039185)

I recently bought an Samsung Tablet 2 10.1 and I should have done that ages ago.
With Perfect Viewer's outcrop feature you can read pdfs perfectly, if you have to
read something technically. For literature you can go with fbreader.


eInk (3, Informative)

Manip (656104) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039187)

I would recommend eInk. Less eye-strain. Less battery drain (weeks between charges). And seems to work great in strong sunlight or other adverse conditions.

Tablets are multi-media devices. They do it all. eInk based e-readers are just for books and they do it exceptionally.

PS - The text on this page is insanely small and CTRL+ won't fix it. What the hell /.?

Buy some books (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039193)

Buy some paper books, or perhaps the bible

Re:Buy some books (1)

mark_elf (2009518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039373)

Because in an emergency can't roll joints with a Kindle.

Re:Buy some books (-1, Troll)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039461)

He asked specifically about electronic devices, so standard books are pretty much offtopic, besides, why you would suggest a badly writen novel whose only intrinsic value is that it can be used a narcoleptic is well beyond me...

Considerations (2)

Shoten (260439) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039195)

The answer depends on a few different things. One, how durable a device do you need? Most e-readers are a bit tougher. Two, where will you be reading? If you expect a lot of outdoors reading, definitely go with the e-reader...otherwise, it won't matter. Three, how much use do you have for a tablet's functions? Tablets can do more than e-readers. Battery life: the nod goes to e-readers. Versatilty: tablets win. Up to you...

Depends (1)

jlechem (613317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039201)

Do you want to read or have a media device?
My wife has a kindle that she just wants to read on. If you want to read, watch movies, listen to mp3s, and browse the web get a tablet. If you just want books for the airplane or car ride get an eReader.

Re:Depends (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039485)

just a small correction : many ebook readers have integrated mp3 players and, at least on my Sony PRS-T1, the web browser isn't really THAT bad ... it's good enough to read the huffpost, or slashdot.

Really depends on the subject matter (5, Informative)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039221)

If you're reading fiction, get a Kindle or other e-ink device, because these guys have the advantage of being lightweight, have long battery lives, and "disappear" when you're reading. You just read and read and can enjoy yourself.

If you're reading non-fiction, especially non-fiction with charts, graphs, and the like, get a tablet. They support more advanced features with ePub.

Finally, the device in many cases also ties you into a store. If you're just interested in loading up your own PDFs, you have free reign to select any tablet. If you want to read books from the iBookstore, you have to go with the iPad. If you like the Kindle store or the Nook store, you can choose most tablets OR their own tablet offering.

Re:Really depends on the subject matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039525)

I read nothing but PDFs and after comparing the Kobo Touch and the Kindle, the Kobo Touch handles PDFs far better so I went with that, and I'm glad I did. I sometimes have trouble with the text being too small but every ereader I'm aware of has at least some kind of zoom or text resizing feature. I wasn't even sure if I'd get much use out of it but it's fantastic, I use it a lot more than I anticipated.

300-400 dollars buys a lot of paper books (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039223)

Like 75-100 books. Do you really need an e-reader just to read? Plus many e-books are overpriced, where used books only cost 1 penny plus shipping.

If it were me I'd buy the cheaper e-book available which is the Kindle for $79. I wouldn't go spending hundreds of dollars on a device.

Re:300-400 dollars buys a lot of paper books (2)

opkool (231966) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039299)

Like 75-100 books. Do you really need an e-reader just to read? Plus many e-books are overpriced, where used books only cost 1 penny plus shipping.

If it were me I'd buy the cheaper e-book available which is the Kindle for $79. I wouldn't go spending hundreds of dollars on a device.

The problem with $300-$400 in books is: where are you going to put them?

The poster is already an avid reader, thus (s)he surely has a sizable amount of books. As you cannot buy (yet) 400sqf on Amazon to expand your home, space becomes a premium.

My 2 cents.

Re:300-400 dollars buys a lot of paper books (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039365)

Four hundred paperback books will fit in a pile with a four square foot footprint and not even make it close to the ceiling!

Re:300-400 dollars buys a lot of paper books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039449)

Assuming the reader intends to read them again in the future: I keep rather few books on the bookshelf, the rest get put up for resale or donated to the library after I'm done with them.

At least with paper you have the resale/gifting option, with eBooks you're stuck with them thanks to DRM and they're not even cheaper than paperbacks either!

Re:300-400 dollars buys a lot of paper books (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039475)

Buy few at a time and donate it to the local library (or you nephew or someone else in your family), as you are done? If you want to read it again, you can buy it again.

Re:300-400 dollars buys a lot of paper books (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039349)

amen to that. I do a bit of reading in the bath.... a tatty paperback is perfect for that, an expensive ereader is not. Same for out and about - a paperback is easy to pack and doesn't matter if someone nicks it.

And not only that, the feel good and they get you laid. []

Re:300-400 dollars buys a lot of paper books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039447)

Subtract at least $100 for an Ikea bookshelf, or more if you're a grown-up and past your college days. Then there's having the space to put the bookshelf. Not to mention the extra space in your luggage for a couple books when on vacation, and the extra weight they add to your luggage (I'm always near my 50 lbs limit on each bag).

Yeah... I'll take digital books any day.

Re:300-400 dollars buys a lot of paper books (3, Informative)

caffiend666 (598633) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039603)

My Kobo came with 100 (free) books pre-installed and I have read through about 20 of them so far. Having a good e-Reader makes Project Gutenberg books (free) easy to read, and there are about 40,000 books available, I have read about 10 so far. There are many great $1 dollar books available online. Given my Kobo cost me $80, I have broken even and saved money already, not to mention the tremendous convenience. I am also reading things I wouldn't have read otherwise, that I wanted to read. It wasn't worth spending $7 to buy a copy of Anna Karenina, but it was a worthwhile read at no-cost except for the reader which was already paid for.

E-ink reader here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039225)

All depends on exactly what you want to do with it.

If you just want to read books then get an ebook reader - despite what everyone may say you cannot compare an tablet to an e-ink screen.

E-ink is so easy on the eyes, and feels like reading a book.

Plus they're light, and just the right size.

If you want to use any other feature that are tablet specific (and you can't do on your smartphone (if you have one)) - then a tablet all the way.

Both have merits... (1)

Fraser (16937) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039229)

... but I do most of my reading on a Kindle Touch. It's always charged, as it can run for six weeks between charges and there are just less distractions -- plus it's so much easier to read when outside.

iPad 2 (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039231)

If you mostly need it for books, the iPad 2 (last gen) is really good, and they are just $400 now - I would say it's a better option than other ebook readers for you because of the Netflix support which is also very good. The minimum configuration of 16GB would be plenty for books and a few other apps.

Reading is really nice on the newer iPad with the higher res screen, if you could find one refurbished [] or used that would be ideal. Apple refurb prices are around $450 though, still slightly out of your budget.

Re:iPad 2 (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039397)

If an iPad is on his radar at all, he might be well-advised to wait until at least September 12th, since that's when rumors are currently pointing to an Apple product announcement taking place, with an iPad mini being rumored. It's possible that may either be more to his liking or else may trigger price drops on the rest of the line.

Otherwise, I agree. An iPad 2 is in his budget, handles Netflix beautifully, and does great with colors, diagrams, PDFs, etc..

Choices... (1)

r0ni (765319) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039233)

Ebooks definitely go with a kindle or equivalent. I find my iPad distracts me from actually doing any reading at all. But it is quite handy with PDFs, even the kindle app or iBooks handle them well. But if you want to read ebooks and not be distracted by other things I'd suggest a dedicated ebook reader. It's not useful for much else, so you'll actually get reading done on it.

Do you read before bed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039235)

If you read before you go to bed, I would suggest not getting a tablet. At least for me, the light from the tablet screen keeps me awake for far longer then a book (or e-ink for that matter). For tech manuals a e-reader isn't going to be very good... a tablet would be better. However because of the need to constantly flip pages in such manuals, I find both to be restrictive.

Want to read more? Get an exercise machine! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039241)

I have long wanted to read more and have a large stack of books next to my desk. But the thing that really has held me back is lack of time. I always seem to have something else that is "more important" to do. I also have a problem in that I work as a programmer (sitting at a desk) and have a long commute (sitting in a car) so I've gotten out of shape.

The solution? I bought a treadmill. Now I get some exercise each day and I can read while exercising.

Of course, you don't necessarily need to get an exercise machine yourself, that is just an example and is something that has helped me. The important thing is to take the time to read. If you don't set aside time in your day for reading, then a tablet or e-reader is simply going to end up collecting dust.

My experience with Nook Color (3, Interesting)

opkool (231966) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039245)

I had this same problem. I *love* to read, but I was hardly reading anything.

Then my wife got me a Nook Color. And it's awesome

- Decent price
- B&N reader (very good!)
- on-line dictionary (English is my 3rd language)
- I can read ePubs and PDFs fine
- New Nook Color has Netflix
- Rooteable and good Nook Rooter community
- B&N has free ebooks every week
- If you root it, you can install Kindle Android App
- MicroSD slot
- Decent battery life
- Not awful reading outside
- I can read at night
- (...)

So in those last 2 years I've read a lot, a little bit during lunch and some week-end marathons when wife is at work.

All in all, I love it and give it my OpKool Seal of Approval.

--- Peace!

Not having either (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039247)

Not having either I could very much imagine a general purpose tablet taking my attention away from the book as does my laptop.

An e-paper reader can be used in full daylight, a tremendous advantage.
Plus they are not expensive.

Kindle pro: eInk -- Tablet pro: flexibility (2)

Scryer (60692) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039251)

There's no guarantee that getting an electronic tool will make reading more interesting or fun for you. The main advantage of an ebook reader like Kindle is that you can read it outside in the sunlight, if that fits better with your lifestyle. A tablet provide its own light, so you can read in the dark and not bother roommates. I personally prefer the tablet (Nexus 7 for me), since I can do a great deal of other stuff on it when I'm not reading. I spend probably half my tablet time reading, and the other half web-surfing or writing. I plan to watch movies and read books on it the next time I fly. It's handy because I can copy and paste from what I'm reading into what I'm writing.

My wife has a Kindle and a Nexus 7 -- she no longer uses the Kindle. It'll be gifted to a niece, probably.

kindle change my (reading-) life (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039257)

I've read far more books since getting my kindle (keyboard version) than in the past. I also strongly recommend e-ink. Even after being warned about battery (happens every 3-4 weeks), you still have about 2 hours until it actually dies.. more than enough to get to a good stopping point. It basically took away all of the excuses I had not to read. Only problem now is making myself read books for work instead of Game of Thrones...

If you want to read PDFs, check the Onyx Boox M92 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039261)

Apparently this is currently the best 10" e-ink reader.
If you want to read PDFs, don't settle for 6" or 7" e-ink readers. The screen's resolution is too small for A4 PDFs.

Get both for versatility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039265)

PDF handling on e-readers generally isn't good, and reading for extended periods on tablets is harsh on the eyes.

My choices are the discontinued Sony PRS-350 (very light and comfortable to hold) and the Nexus 7, both of which are inexpensive.

Get both (5, Informative)

caffiend666 (598633) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039271)

Get both. A $70-$120 dollar e-reader and a $330 to $280 tablet. e-Readers are bad for surfing the web or any interactive work, they are also bad for any graphical reading. Tablets are bad for long-term reading, both in strain on the eyes and they tend to go to sleep before wordy pages can be read, not to mention who wants to recharge multiple times to finish a book, and are worthless in sunlight, and Tablets are heavy.

I have a Second-gen Kobo I got on sale as Borders was going out of business. And, I have a HP Touchpad I bought as HP discontinued the product line. Together they cost less than $350. Watch for a sale, the previous generation devices can always be found cheap.

Both the tablet and e-Reader grew on me and I reach for each at different times. I keep both with me almost all of the time. My certification/professional work all ends up on the Tablet for the graphics. O'Reilly publishes their e-books without DRM, so I can put books on both and use whichever works best in a given situation. I wasn't too sure about the e-Reader until I went on a trip without it, I was miserable in an 8-hour layover without it. The Tablet I liked immediately, and have it dual booting between WebOS and Android. The E-Reader ends up with most fiction and non-technical non-fiction, I have downloaded about as many Gutenberg Press books as for pay books off of O'reilly, Google, and Kobobooks. I spend about an hour with each device EACH day. I also have learned to build my own Android APPs and ePub books, not that difficult.

Re:Get both (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039561)

Get Calibre on your computer to convert any non DRM content. All the O'Reilly stuff isn't DRM and you can download mobi (kindle), ePub (everything else) or PDF (print, non reflowable). Project Gutenburg has lots of good stuff.

Get a reader app on your phone & put books there in its format.
I used to carry my PalmPilot with mobipocket everywhere & used that before the phone.
I've read on my laptop too.
A tablet or reader is better because it fits better. The phone/palm is too small, the laptop is too big,

If you want to read comics, the tablet wins hands down. You need decent pixel count

Reading or general? (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039297)

If all you expect to do with this thing is to read books, the eBook reader is far better, especially if you can get one based on e-ink. The batteries typically last longer, and the screen won't strain your eyes to nearly the same degree.

If you need something more general-purpose, though, then go with a tablet. E-ink is awesome for reading books, but is very specialized toward that purpose: the low refresh rate makes it unsuitable for many other tasks.

Kindle + Nexus 7 (2)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039303)

A Kindle will allow you to read books using e-ink, which will be easier on your eyes. The Nexus 7 will provide you with PDF and ePub support, as well as more purchasing options.

Even together, they will both be cheaper than an iPad.

Re:Kindle + Nexus 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039379)

I have a Nexus 7 and think ebooks on it are nice. Then again, I'm reading indoors only so I don't need an e-ink display. An Android device like the Nexus 7 has the option of installing the Amazon Kindle app (which I've done), and also has the Google Play store for ebooks.

The question is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039311)

..would a normal book (as in paperback) also work for you?

eInk is great, but get a hard cover. (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039313)

My wife and I trashed three different eInk readers (Nook, Kobo, Kindle) by allowing sharp things to impact the screen, once even through a padded neoprene sleeve. Keys in a backpack = fatal. Get the eink reader for the screen, but then spend decent money on a case with a rigid, robust screen protector that flips shut whenever the device isn't being read.

Also: I was a big fan of our Kobo, if you can handle buying books via laptop and syncing via Calibri. A simple, focused, cheap device.

If you're serious about reading (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039319)

If you're serious about reading get an Ereader that uses Eink they are so much nicer for extended reading than a tablet, and they are also much cheaper than a tablet. I got my nook simple touch for 60 bucks on Ebay, it looked brand new and works perfectly.

I cannot stress enough how awesome Eink is, for reading it really does look just like a book, plus the battery life is so much longer with Eink, so long as you turn off the wireless while you're reading. My Nook has never been below 50% charge, I only charge it about once a month and I read like fiend.

Tablets! (1)

deltasabre (2495142) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039321)

I was in the same boat last winter and I jumped on the imaginary band waggon and bought a cheap $200 Blackberry Playbook that I thought was all the rage. I'm happy that I bought a tablet as it fits my reading demands quite nicely. The physical size isn't too large, like an Ipad. It's small enough I can carry it in my sweater pockets. Now that being said, don't get a playbook. The app scene is like a soviet warehouse: empty. I have yet to find a PDF reader that can do the same functions as my PDF reader on my Nexus S. So I'd bet on the Nexus 7 tablet. Good size, cheap at $200, and can do more than just read books if you ever feel the need to do more on a tablet. It can also leverage the whole Android market. I can say it will be my next tablet.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039335)


That's how the new headline meme is played, right?

Better device for actually getting a reading habit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039357)

get yourself a library card.

obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039363)

How bout going to the library and picking up a couple of books and then returning them after your'e done. It is no cost to you and your need for reading is satisfied.

Re:obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039425)

On a side note ... TFA sounds like a troll/shill for ereaders.

Buy a Kindle (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039381)

Then pocket the other $200-300 while you watch how the 7"-8" tablet market shakes out. Oh, but spend another $30 to get an Octovo Solis light for your Kindle.

I like the utility of the iPad; but, for reading, my Kindle 3 (what's now called the Kindle Keyboard) beats the pants off it.

You'll read with an e-reader (5, Insightful)

alispguru (72689) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039389)

You'll fart around and waste time on the internet with a tablet.

At least, that's what I'd probably do...

dedicated readers are limited (2)

milkmage (795746) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039391)

I used to think I'd always use the Kindle (3) over my ipadRetina because of 2 things:
1) weight
2) backlit screen

since I got a nexus7, I've changed my mind.
i use the kindle app as well as collections (the google book app)

the weight problem is obviously solved,
and I think the "backlit screen" problem is mitigated by fewer pixel i guess.. i don't get eye fatigue when staring at the nexus (white text black background, lowest brightness setting).

it even comes with a $25 credit so you can get a few books from google. $250 is right in your range, you could buy a ton of books with the change.

i like jellybean more than i thought i would, the nexus is a solid offering and it can do a hell of a lot more (quite capably).

if you have amazon prime, there are a few perks available to kindle hardware owners... unless you really need/want a specific ereader characteristic (battery life, outdoor use, "free" networking) a tablet is the way to go (7" that is, at least for me)

Will you be reading books or graphic novels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039393)

If all you will be doing is reading books, I would suggest an e-ink reader. The advantage of e-ink is mega-long battery life and it's much easier on the eyes. The kindle and the nook are obvious choices, and if you will be reading in bed or on airplanes I highly suggest getting the Nook with the front-light built in. (It's a front-light, not a backlight. Some of you might remember the Afterburner mod for the original Gameboy Advance, which was a similar idea.)

If you will be using it for reading comic books/graphic novels, movies or maybe surf the web, go with the Google Nexus. At $200 it's the same price as the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet, and unlike the other two the Nexus isn't crippled to tie you to Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

And yes, you could blow a whole lot more money and get an iPad, but why? A 7 inch tablet is ideal for reading, and $300 cheaper.

Get a tablet. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039395)

I was in the same situation myself. I ended up buying a Nexus 7and now I'm typing this on my tablet in between finishing a book. I am the first book I've read in years, and actually. The functionality and portability of a tablet combined with the ease of reading pdfs or epubs or whatever can't be beat.

You can have an entire library in your hand. You can use find functions for words or phrases and can look up words on Google or a dictionary app and pop right back into the reader program.

Also, you can get free public domain books off project gutenberg. I love my tablet and I love finally sitting down and reading again.

Of course. The being able to play games and watch video on this is pretty nice.

I'd recommend a Nexus 7 but wait a few months... The first runs of the device have had some hardware problems.

I've read 10k+ pages on an iPad (5, Interesting)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039405)

.... and, in my opinion, if you want to read for pleasure, something with an eInk screen is the way to go. I've read tens of thousands of pages on my iPad over the past two years, on both the first gen iPad and, latterly, the iPad 3, and, were it not for the need to mark up / annotate my reading, I'd have much preferred an eInk screen; reading on the iPad has been tough on the eyes, and, whilst far from heavy, it's not ideal for reading over long periods of time.

When I read for pleasure, I used a Sony 505, and, before that, a COOL-ER reader. Each had its flaws, but, for the simple act of displaying a page in an easy-on-the-eye manner, they were streets ahead of the iPad. They are different things, for sure — I'm happy with my iPad for annotating my reading, as I tend to read mostly academic works now, and, when I do read for pleasure, I use the iPad, simply because it's with me, and the best book is the one I have to hand. But if I were looking for something to read for pleasure, I'd go for eInk, whether a Kindle or something else.

Oh, and I'd make sure I had DeDRM and Calibre installed, to ensure that I can read any book I purchase on any software client I like :)

Re:I've read 10k+ pages on an iPad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039557)

Fuck off Apple shill cunt. Open Source is the only way not to get fucked in the ass by The Man(tm).

Re:I've read 10k+ pages on an iPad (1)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039581)

If you do go for a tablet, be strict about keeping Wi-Fi off. Else you'll find yourself posting on Slashdot and not reading. The more capable the device, the more discipline required to get anything done, I reckon...

Psychological Considerations... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039407)

First, the hardware:

E-ink reader: Cheaper, lighter, better battery life, sunlight readable.

Tablet: Much more versatile, backlit, more expensive.

For travelling/commuting users, the hardware characteristics of the e-ink devices are pretty compelling. Sunlight readable, cheap enough that losing/breaking/having one stolen isn't the end of the world, and can last (literally) weeks on a charge.

For less mobile purposes, though, it matters rather less. Tablets aren't exactly laborious to carry, and they last long enough.

Given that your question is "I want to read more", I'd be concerned about the psychological and attention aspects of the device. A tablet, aside from the suckitude of a software keyboard, is a portal to the Internet, man's greatest corrupter and destroyer, It That Hungers For Free Time, devourer of souls. This definitely has its perks; but your odds of doing more serious reading are not among them.

E-ink devices, by contrast, frequently have wifi and may have some sort of rudimentary browser; but are largely too limited to muster any real distraction. You may put it down; but you won't just close the book and start tossing angry birds. That would make them my recommendation.

Unfortunately, there is a slight wrinkle: PDF support. PDFs tend to reflow/resize poorly(though this can vary by source, 'PDF' is a monstrously complex beast, and can mean almost anything from slightly overwrought plaintext to some seriously indigestable monstrosities that are virtually impossible to view in anything other than the intended size and layout), which makes them a bit tricky on e-ink screens(since the slower refresh rates discourage lots of zooming/scrolling). Tablets are often a better option there. Either category should support all reasonably common etext formats; but epubs and their ilk are much better behaved on more limited devices.

depends on what you want to do. (1)

gnume (2080814) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039411)

if you want the ability to surf the net, play games and use email. get a tablet. if you want to just read books get an ereader. my personal recommendation is the pocketbook pro series.

Reading is so over rated (4, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039413)

But really -- hear me out. I found myself in the same position, having once been a voracious reader to not reading books at all. And I found that when I did make a conscious effort to start reading books again, I would finish a book and then take some time to start another, up to a year - or worse, start reading a book I really did not like, *cough*Crytonomicon*cough* which would stop me from reading all together for a period because I felt obligated to finish something that I really, really hated reading and would never actually get around to finishing.

What did get me "reading" again on a regular basis was audio books. It seems that it wasn't so much my lack of interest in reading, but my lack of ability to make time for reading and that the pace of my life is much more condensed than it was in my early 20s. So audiobooks fit in with my schedule better, I can listen to them while driving, while eating or while working and have averaged about 4 books a month. And since it was much less effort of my time, I found that I could even make it through books I found I HATED such as Bleak House (sorry Dickens -- that was a long-winded turd), if only because it didn't take physical effort of actually reading the book and feeling I was wasting my time. Audiobooks are not dumbed down and while being read to you, they require your mind to provide the mental imagery and are every bit as cerebral as a paper or digital book. And often times they have well known actors such as Tim Curry, or even Samuel L Jackson doing the narration, which adds it's own element to the book.

So you might want to ask if it's rally a factor of being able to make time and how busy your schedule is, and if it is pretty busy to the point of being unable to keep a constant commitment to a couple hours a day for reading, you might want to head over to Audible and give audio books a go.

Get a library card (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039423)

If you want to read more go get some dead tree books for free (library/friends) or cheap (swap meets, garage sales, used book stores) and save your money.

If you want something JUST to read go for an ebook reader for the longer life.

If you want a justification to get a tablet, just admit it to yourself that you want to play angry birds or use/try other apps and buy one.

Won't Make You Read More If You Can't With A Book (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039439)

Would getting an ebook reader or a tablet help me to enjoy reading more?

No, they will make it easier to carry around a large bunch of books you might want to read, but they don't make reading any funner (it will be a word if you use it enough). Tablet vs eBook doesn't matter. If you truly want it for reading and not social media/videos, pick something with an e-ink display. If you're a slow reader, text-to-speech is a very nice feature. I use it all the time on my standard Kindle.

You want an e-ink display.
You want good battery life.
You don't need much storage (books are at most a few MBs each).
You want something that you don't notice while carrying.
You'll want to use the free open source Calibre to manage your eBooks. I hate it's slow and annoying interface, but it's by far the best at what it does.
However, eBook readers are poor for PDFs.

If you can't handle carrying around a small book and reading that, getting a tablet or eBook read won't make you read books. Getting a Kindle has made me listen to books. I listen to them while doing things around the apartment, traveling on a bus, and whenever I have +10m of nothing to do and don't want to simply relax. But I still don't read more.


Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039459)

Check it out !!


pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039595)

I'd mod this up, but I can't, so I'll add a note in the hope that it may catch someone's eye. Personally, paper is still ahead of e-readers, and there is the live social experience of going to a Library or bookshop, second-hand or otherwise. If I wanted an e-reader it would have to have a 10" screen, 'cause I find 7" screens too small.

how about using your phone? (1)

kbdd (823155) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039465)

I have a Droid Razr and it is actually quite nice to read ebooks on it. I do not have a tablet or ebook reader, but I found that the Razr is quite sufficient.

The default display (for ebooks) is white characters on black background and that is easy to read. It is easily changed to black-on-white if you prefer, but the white-on-black has the advantage of saving quite a bit of battery life (feature of the AMOLED display compared to LCD).

Suggest Audible (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039467)

I used to read a lot and then I quit because I didn't have time. I got a subscription to audible and I get more enjoyment out of it than I do television and movies, at 1/4th the cost. For one, you can listen to a good book while doing something else, like walking. You can also listen to one while driving. I get stuck driving a lot where I work, and it sure makes for a good use of time. Now if you are doing something that takes a lot of concentration, audiobooks don't work so well.

Kindle. Period. (2)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039469)

Eh, this is a no-brainer. The Kindle (not Fire, the regular with the e-ink screen) has been the best think that has ever happened to my reading habits.
Both me and my wife read a lot. While I don't mind reading the odd pdf on my (portrait-mode) LCD screen, I prefer the actual books since they are both portable and mainly much more relaxing to the eye. My wife cannot read on an LCD for more than an hour or so, so her only choice was books. That is until I bought her a Kindle Keyboard to try out. Well, let's just say that after a couple of weeks I got one for myself as well. While we have built a decent "paper" book library over the years (well over 1000 books), I now prefer to read the ebook versions - easier to carry, as relaxing to read, easier to hold, better night light, built in dictionary. Ok, I cheat a little - if I already own the book I download the kindle version without buying it again, but overall Amazon makes it amazingly easy to buy books instantly no matter where you are in the world.
Overall, a tablet seems kind of useless to me for reading books. During the day, it is as tiring as a good monitor. Which for some people like me it is not that tiring, but it never compares to the relaxed reading that an e-ink screen offers you (and then there are people who get quickly tired with any LCD). During the night you would think that the LCD would have an advantage, but to me when the environment is dark that is exactly when the LCD becomes too tiring, probably because my iris is not closed enough due to the ambient darkness. A good light with the Kindle (e.g. the Kandle) is much more relaxing. Then we go to battery power - for a tablet it is measured in hours, for an e-ink reader it is measured in MONTHS (provided you don't leave your wireless on of course), if you can't imagine how important a difference that makes let me assure you it is a huge disadvantage of the tablet. One last thing is that a lot of people don't like the touch interface for their e-reader and that includes devices like Kindle Touch along with Tablets. The reason is that you don't want to accidentally switch a page while you are re-arranging your hold on the device and also it is tiring to do gestures when you do want to switch to the next page.
Anyway, if it is not clear I am trying to say that a modern e-ink reader will actually improve your reading experience compared to traditional books making your read more in the end (at least in my and my wife's case), when a tablet is a device that among other things can let your read books, but makes a rather awkward substitute of the traditional book. I talked mostly about Kindle because I usually buy from Amazon anyway, plus I am a huge fan of free worldwide 3G access - but the rest of the points apply to any current e-ink based device.
Obviously there are some limitations - pdfs don't work that well, you have to wait for the next generation if you expect color etc. But you asked about reading more.
Also I am sure a lot of people will be adamant that e.g. an Apple tablet is as relaxing to read as admiring the landscape in the countryside (I mean - it's like a RETINA screen man, it's made for your eyes by Steve himself), but, yeah, you could try reading a few hours on a Tablet and on an e-ink and judge by yourself.

read books without reading... (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039473)

Try online audio books if you commute.. Lots of free stuff online and at the library.. and Audible has tons of up to date new stuff. In case you want to try reading without the reading.


Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039499)

Really, just buy a damn book.

An E-Reader that Doesn't Suck sometimes? (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039507)

Our local library (yay!) [] loans e-readers, so over a month I tried a Sony, a Kindle, and a Kobo.

In a nutshell, each of them had some serious missing feature that drove me away.
  • Back-lighting. These should be ideal for reading in bed, but because they also need a lamp turned on I might as well stay with a book. I'd assumed that the screen would illuminate itself somehow for reading after dark.
  • Vendor tie in - our library system has lots of e-books available, but they aren't accessible on the Kindle, only Amazon supplied content. For library users this is a big hurdle.
  • Page turns - maybe these were older models, but it drove me crazy that every page turn required a blank of the screen followed by a redraw of the new page.
  • Lack of touch screen I'm used to swiping my phone screen - the "dead" screen on the e-readers drove me insane - always hunting for the darned page turn button, or cursoring through (not very well designed) menus.

All in all it seemed to me that each of the e-readers seemed primitive compared to my Nexus S.

Tablet (1, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039523)

The fact is that there are a number of different formats. ipad and android tablets support most, if not all of the formats. The readers are limited to what that company wants.

If you want an inexpensive reader, pick up a google nexus 7 with 8 mb.

My recommendation: tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039553)

I own both the Kindle DX and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (the one banned for being too much like an iPad). I used to think that a tablet was overkill for reading eBooks, but I never use my Kindle anymore. At all. My recommendation is to get one of the larger Android tablets and install the Kindle app. That way you can still read any Kindle books, but you'll also have no trouble reading PDFs or any other format. Plus you have the advantage of being able to watch Netflix or do any of the other countless things you can do with a tablet, as oppose to a dedicated eBook reader with it's handful of secondary functions.

The only downside to the tablet over the Kindle is the screen, which isn't as easy on the eyes as eInk. But on the plus side, you won't need a booklight. When I'm reading in the dark with the Kindle app on my Tab, I'll invert the page color (so it's white text on a black background) and turn the brightness down to the minimum setting. I actually prefer that over eInk, at least in most circumstances.

Eink Readers are much Better (1)

cpwegener (1182841) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039555)

Reading from a tablet is like reading with someone shining a flashlight into your eyes. Particularly at night a tablet, with its backlight, keeps you awake. An eink reader does not have that problem.

In general they are lighter as well making them easier to hold.

For people who want to consume from the web a tablet is the right choice. For those of us who want to read the eink readers are the right choice.


Tablets -can- prevent you from sleeping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039565)

If you're very sensitive to light. I know for some people this is a problem but if you're reading this late at night, the odds are a little light won't keep you up, otherwise you'd be off the computer by now.

Get real books (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039573)

Having a nice large library is an impressive thing for women (or men if that's your inclination) to behold. It makes you look super-smart, and since you're trying to go for licensed e-crap, you're going to *NEED* to look smart, because you've gotta be lacking in brains to consider an electronic device that will fail versus a book.

Depends on use (1)

proxy318 (944196) | more than 2 years ago | (#41039599)

eInk is a billion times better than LCD for reading. If you want apps and web, get a tablet. One advantage of a general tablet like a straight android device or the ipad, you can load all of the stores: amazon, barnes and noble, kobo, google play, and buy books from whoever. If you get an ereader, you'll be stuck with the store that the ereader supports. Not sure if tablets support adobe digital editions, which you need to check out ebooks from most libraries.

Definitely ebook reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41039605)

Less fancy, but you can use an ebook reader on a one week holiday even if you forget your charger. You can use it on the beach, on a long train journey. Epubs work perfect. For a novel you dont need pdf, epub is just fine.

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