Kindle books versus oldfashioned ones ??

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by anivid, Jan 8, 2012.

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    anivid

    anivid Planetary Guest

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    I have a library of a more than adequate size.
    It’s mostly non-fiction, but also fiction I know I would want to read more than once – and of course fiction I haven’t even read yet ;-)
    As I don’t want my physical library to grow any further, I have pondered about investing in a Kindle reading apparatus for one-time literature - and in that connection I would like to hear what others have experienced with such media.
    Are you comfortable with reading from Kindle ?? – are you bringing the Kindle with you as you would do with a pocket book ?? - which problems (if any ;-) have you experienced when using such reading apparatus ?? - are the SF/F books you want to buy usually available for such media ?? – are they cheaper/more expensive than the pocket editions ?? – etc. etc.
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    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate I lie. A lot. Honest!

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    Well, I don't have a Kindle but I do most of my reading on a Barnes & Noble Nook and the points will be largely the same. (I do buy most of my ebooks from Amazon, though.)

    Yup. Very.

    I rarely go places where I would be required to sit down and read a book, but on the rare occasions that happens -- yes.

    None that I can think of, to be honest. At least, none with the device itself (see below).

    Usually, yes. Not always though. I think most recent and new books will be almost certainly available, but you might have issues with older titles. For example, I had wanted Stephen R. Donaldson's The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (the first one) but no one had it as ebook. I ended up buying the paperbacks.

    Depends, really. Generally speaking, they will be cheaper than hardbacks, but around the same as paperback. Sometimes ebooks will be cheaper, but there are also occasions where you'll find them more expensive than paperback or stiffly discounted hardbacks.

    The reason for that is because the large publishers (known now as the Agency 6) have created a situation where they fix the selling price of ebooks, rather than the retailers. Retailers, in other words, cannot discount them like normal. As a result, you will see some situations where a retailer like Amazon.com is selling a discounted hardback for, say, $14.50, and the ebook of the same book would be $14.99.

    (I am, of course, talking about relatively new ebooks. Older ones are generally cheaper than the above, though still not always less than paperbacks.)
  3.  
    anivid

    anivid Planetary Guest

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    Thanks a lot ;-)
    Further: Can you read in the SUN from your B&N Nook/Kindle ??

    As you might know - (or not ;-) for those books, where the copyright has expired (in EUR it's 80 years) Gutenberg has free ebooks for downloading to Kindle etc.
    Best
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2012
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    pyan

    pyan Fortiter et recte! Staff Member

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    Yes - if fact, you need a light-source to read the Kindle at all, as it's not a back-lit screen - it's called an e-ink display, and looks and behaves much like an ordinary printed page.
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    AnyaKimlin

    AnyaKimlin Active Member

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    So far been very happy with it - I have an illness that gives me sore hands and eye problems - it allows me to make the print larger and doesn't hurt to hold like a print book does.
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    I got a Kindle recently and was quite surprised at how easy and natural it is to read from.

    So far I've mainly just read a couple of SFF magazines on it, but it manages to recreate the feel of reading from paper, without all the eye strain and attention distracting issues normal tablet PC's and computers normally invoke.
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    I would agree with all of DA's points and indeed all the other posters'. I do pretty much all my reading on my Sony and love it. I also travel a bit and always take it with me.
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    steve12553

    steve12553 The Enigma of Steel

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    My lastest toy has the Android OS and I have both Kindle and Nook for Android. That puts the available books in the millions. Many of the books that are hard to find on ebooks are just plain hard to find. But much of the thrill is the hunt, isn't it?
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    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

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    On y va.

    I have a Kindle since Christmas day, and am still learning it. It has latched up on me once (keep the power button pushed for twenty seconds and it resets) and never seems to charge to capacity, but it goes on for a good long time on one charge.

    The problem is not in the reading experience – I find the device extremely comfortable and practical – but in Amazon. As my home address is in Switzerland (Suisse Romande) they insist I should be working through Amazon.de, and I don't even speak German. The idea of eLiterature is that it's world wide, but so far I haven't succeeded in buying a single book for it, although I have collected quite a range of free ones.

    This could turn out to be a problem in France, sauf si vous lizez en Français.

    But it's early days yet, for me.
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    Chrispy, there are ways to get around this problem but they can be a bit of a pain. I don't know the details but you can get some kind of proxies that make the likes of Amazon think you are in America (say) not sure whether Amazon check the registered location of the card though. Try speaking to Devils Advocate as I think he hit similar problems and overcame them.
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    Grizzgreen711

    Grizzgreen711 The Bloody Scribbler

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    My girlfriend has one and she loves it. I myself tried it and hated it. I like being able to flip through a book. Going back sometimes to double check a chapter or something like that.

    Personal preference.
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    Now I've gotten used to it I don't miss the ability to flick through the pages so much. I mostly achieve the same thing using the word search function. I generally search for a name or word that I know pops up in the area I'm interested in and nowhere (or rarely) between there and where I am now. Also the Sony does have a sliding bar that you can use to flick through pages but I find the slow eink refresh makes that a bit of a pain to use.
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    Cayal

    Cayal The Immortal Prince

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    I think Amazon have gotten around this now.
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    psychotick

    psychotick Dangerously confused

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    Hi,

    I don't have an ereader of any sort. I simply down load to my computer, and with a 22 inch wide screen and an armchair to sit in, it's an excelent read. If I needed to have something more portable I'd simply take the laptop. The various readers seem too gadgetty for me.

    Cheers, Greg.
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    AnyaKimlin

    AnyaKimlin Active Member

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    I am sure you have and I am being that irritating useless person, but have you tried going to Amazon.com ? instead of .co.uk? I have to tick a box assuring it I do want .com, but I use it for sending presents to my in laws.
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    biodroid

    biodroid Expensive Gadget User

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    I have had my Kindle for almost a year and think it's the best thing since...well you get the picture. The books are a bit cheaper and are available to download within 60 seconds when bought. If you don't like it you can return it within 7 days for a full refund and they delete it off your digital library. There are some formatting issues (on some books), but I found a workaround for that. the nice thing is if Amazon feels like it you can get books on bargain prices sometimes. I bought Brent Weeks Black Prism for $2.99. 3G is free anywhere in the world. The Kindle reads just like the paper version and my eyes don't get tired unlike the iPad's iBooks app. You won't be sorry getting one, I actually feel a bit guilty when I read a paperback version, but that's only because I can't get it on the Kindle site.
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    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate I lie. A lot. Honest!

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    Ask and ye shall receive!

    You can change your default location to Amazon.com, but that won't solve the ebook issue (though you should be able to buy other stuff, I think). The problem isn't with Amazon, but rather with the contracts signed between publishers and authors (see below).

    One solution (which I employ, since pretty much no publisher on the planet has the rights to 'officially' sell the books I read in this region) is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) software to mask your IP. This is how Amazon et al. know your location. So using a VPN will make it seem like you are located in another country (mostly US, though there are others if you look for them). One of the most popular free VPNs is HotSpot Shield, though in my experience it doesn't always work smoothly. Personally, I use AlwaysVPN, which is a paid software but works very well.

    Unfortunately, that won't do the trick. At least not for the ebooks.

    While the Internet is, indeed, supposed to be a global platform, most publishing contracts still work in the old way, i.e. certain publishers have the right to sell a book in certain territories. So Chrispy won't officially be able to buy an ebook from the American publisher, as they likely don't have the rights for Switzerland.

    Authors have good reason for doing so, of course, since a Swiss publisher will have a better idea about how to market books in Switzerland. And it's probably more lucrative for authors to have specific contracts for international territories, as opposed to a single contract for global rights. Unfortunately, this results in situations like the above.
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    Moonbat

    Moonbat Luna tick

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    I've had a kindle for over year now and I find it brilliant to use.
    I have hundreds of books on it (some I will probably never reaD) most of them free.

    I am working my way through the discworld novels ad I got to Eric (about number 7ish) and couldn't find it on ebook, it turns out that Eric was published by a different publisher than the rest and they have decided not to put it on ebook yet. fortunately I visted a brilliant book shop and got a real copy for £2, so I can read that when I've finished with Dirk Gently.
    I personally have no problems with it, the charge lasts for ages, and I love that I can look up what a word means whenever a book I'm reading has one I don't know (which is more often than I'd like) it have sorted my books (on the kindle) into categories and even have one call Books Read, so I can make sure I don't read any book twice (unless on purpose)
    I too have the Android kindle app and have read almost a whole book on my phone, but ultimately the real kindle is best.
    I bought my GF one for xmas but she hasn't used it as she is finishing her paperback of 'we need to talk about kevin' even though I have a copy of it for her on her kindle. Hopefully she'll start using it now and never go back to the paper books.
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    Jen526

    Jen526 New Member

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    I tend to be something of a Luddite when it comes to techie toys (my cell phone is still the kind that *gasp* only makes phone calls) but the Kindle is my favorite thing ever. I originally got it because I wanted a way to read fanfiction and other web-content without being in front of a computer, but within a few weeks it had become my preferred way of reading regular books, too.

    Likes:
    - Ease of Sampling/Buying books. I like being able to download samples of anything that looks even remotely interesting with a single click, and the samples so far have been more than enough to get a good feel for whether the book will catch my interest. It's probably tripled the number of books by new-to-me authors I've bought this past year.

    - Lightweight. I'm prone to doorstopper-fantasies, so I find the Kindle a lot *easier* to carry along with me than a real book. I also feel less self-conscious about reading it in public for some reason. I guess because there's no cover to give away my trashy fantasy-reader tendencies. :)

    - One of the reasons I don't have a smart-phone is that I've never been able to keep techie toys charged. It's always been more trouble than it's worth for me. My Kindle hardly ever seems to need charged - and when it does, I have plenty of advance notice.

    - The aforementioned ability to read fanfiction and other web-articles offline, as well as free e-books from places like Project Gutenberg, the Baen Free library, manybooks.net, etc.

    Dislikes:
    - Lack of availability for older titles. I guess there's no one to blame for OOP titles not having ebook editions (though I wish more authors would follow Martha Wells example with Element of Fire and release free editions of some of their OOP work.) But the few times I've gone looking for something *popular* and not found it as an ebook is very frustrating. (Bujold's Vorkosigan books, for example.)

    - Menu-ing is really clunky. I wish they had some sort of front-end for the computer to help with keeping things organized. The interface on the Kindle itself for sorting things into folders, especially if you've downloaded a big batch of stuff and having to sort them one by one, is a significant pain. (This is on the previous generation of Kindle. Newer ones with touch screens and such may have improved this.)
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    Jen, If you get Calibre (free ebook database management software) on your PC and then download the books to your PC it can organise the works wonderfully and then upload them to your Kindle. You might have to do a bit of fiddling with the Calibre upload settings to get it so put them in sensible places on your Kindle but once set up it can do it with a single mouse click. Doing it like this also means that you are not relying on Amazon or whoever to keep archives of your book you will have a full backup archive on your PC.

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