I was having a bit of conversation about e-book readers with my oldest son in the comments so I thought I would expand on that post with a little more of my thinking.
PRICE – Although I’ve complained about prices, it’s not the primary thing on my mind. Nook is the cheapest at $149. That’s actually not too bad but I wouldn’t buy based on price alone. If I find a reader that I definitely want, based on its features, then I will decide whether or not I want it badly enough to pay what it costs.
WIRELESS INTERNET – Oh, yes yes yes! I want! The most expensive PocketBook has wi-fi, not 3G. The Kindle has 3G. The $199 Nook has 3G. The $149 Nook, wi-fi. I do really, really want the wireless Internet capability. But I could live without it (maybe) and I haven’t made up my mind whether or not it’s a must have.
DOWNLOADS – As I mentioned in the comments to the other post, I mainly want to be able to download free books from sites like Project Gutenberg. Kindle does have this capability. Nook? I do not know. (Barnes & Noble’s website is not as informative as it could be.) PocketBook? Yes. If I had a Kindle I might buy e-books from Amazon.com but that’s not primarily what I have in mind and, frankly, I don’t want something that is likely to make me spend more money. And there’s another issue that I’ll mention farther on.
SIZE – The Kindle is not bad – too large to put in my purse and carry around with me everywhere but a good size for reading. The Kindle DX is not only too expensive, it’s too big. Don’t want one. The smallest PocketBook would be easier to take with me and the size is adequate for reading. I don’t know the exact size of the Nook but I’m guessing it’s similar to the Kindle.
STORAGE – Nook and Kindle both say they hold 1500 books (2 Gb) which seems like all anyone would ever need but my experience has been that what seems like several times what you could possibly ever need usually turns out to be not enough in a surprisingly short time. The PocketBook takes up to a 32 Gb SD card. Or at least the two larger models do. They don’t specify on the 360.
BATTERY LIFE – Two weeks on the Kindle if you’re only reading books; no more than half that if you’re connecting to the Internet. Now I wonder how many hours a day they’re estimating that you’re going to spend using the thing. I would like to know more about the battery in the PocketBook.
There are more features I won’t go into all of them. Overall, it looks like the Kindle is probably the best value but there is something that bothers me a lot. You might remember a while back there was a bit of an uproar about Amazon deleting copies of a book from their customers’ Kindles. I can’t remember exactly how that came out. They apologized, refunded customers’ money I think? I would not have been satisfied with that. I would want the book back. When I buy a dead-tree book the store I bought it from does not send someone to my house to take that book away from me when they discover that there’s a problem with the copyright. Regardless of whether or not they made things right, it seriously bothers me that Amazon, or anyone else, is even capable of doing such a thing. For this reason I am extremely reluctant to ever buy eBooks.
I have read several complete books online, including a couple of very long ones. Most people do not like to read books online. I don’t have too much of a problem with it except that when I read a book online I am stuck here at the computer. I can’t take it and read it in bed or outdoors. This is the reason I want an e-book reader – so I can download public domain books and take them anywhere. Just a minute or two of browsing at the Project Gutenberg site and I start desperately craving an e-book reader – any e-book reader. Must! Have! NOW! But then I think about my digital camera. I looked and researched and waited and waited for a long time before I bought one. Then, almost immediately, I started seeing much more advanced cameras for half what I had paid. Sometimes it almost seems like they’re waiting for me to buy before they come out with the new, better, lower priced models.
So, I don’t know. Right now I’m still leaning strongly toward the PocketBooks and hoping that someone will come out with an e-book reader – very soon – that’s better and cheaper and not tied to any particular retailer.
UPDATE: A huge thank you to EdH for the link to Best-eReaders.com. I’ve read most of the reviews. I skipped over the most expensive ones and haven’t got around to the last few yet. The Nook is definitely eliminated from the race. No TXT files and shorter battery life. There are several very nice readers but none that leaped out at me and said “I’m the one!” I am very very interested in the PocketBook 601 which, apparently, isn’t for sale yet and they’re still keeping the price a secret.
The Kindle? You know, if I had a Kindle 2 I’d probably be reasonably happy with it but it’s not really what I want. It’s easy to get distracted by shiny things like free wireless Internet access. But I live in a dead zone so that would only be useful to me when I leave home and the Kindle is big enough that it’s not convenient to carry around everywhere so that feature would be of limited usefulness to me. What I really want is just a good, small, not too expensive e-book reader that I can use mainly to download free public domain books and so far the PocketBook is still looking very attractive to me.
UPDATE II: Possible new favorite: the Acer Lumiread but I want more information, starting with the price.
UPDATE III: The Cruz Reader looks pretty nifty too. But enough of this. I’m going to be looking at these things for months, at least. I promise I’ll blog about something else soon.