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Why you shouldn't buy an e reader

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Tue December 7th, 2010, 8:33 pm

I just heard on the news last night that someone -- Google, I believe -- is soon to come out with an ereader service. My understanding is that it won't require the purchase of a device, but that the books will be accessible from any computer. I think the service may be free as well, but I'm not sure of that.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what impact this has on the whole e-reading phenomenon......

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N. Gemini Sasson
Reader
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Postby N. Gemini Sasson » Tue December 7th, 2010, 9:39 pm

"Michy" wrote:I just heard on the news last night that someone -- Google, I believe -- is soon to come out with an ereader service. My understanding is that it won't require the purchase of a device, but that the books will be accessible from any computer. I think the service may be free as well, but I'm not sure of that.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what impact this has on the whole e-reading phenomenon......


Sounds right, Michy. Looks like the books are actually being read online. Check here for details: http://books.google.com/ebooks.

[Edited to add] I forget if this was said before, but Kindle for PC and Kindle apps are free, too. The difference with the Google e-books is that you're not actually downloading the book to your device (not sure what the advantage to that might be, though).
Last edited by N. Gemini Sasson on Tue December 7th, 2010, 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SarahWoodbury
Avid Reader
Location: Pendleton, Oregon
Contact:

Postby SarahWoodbury » Wed December 8th, 2010, 12:06 am

All these books can be read from your laptop--whether you download them from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Smashwords, etc. The convenience of an ereader is the size and display (if you have a Kindle that's not backlit). I also like it so I can read my own stuff not on the computer on which I spend way too much time anyway.

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Mythica
Bibliophile
Preferred HF: European and American (mostly pre-20th century)
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Postby Mythica » Wed December 8th, 2010, 12:38 pm

"N. Gemini Sasson" wrote:Sounds right, Michy. Looks like the books are actually being read online. Check here for details: http://books.google.com/ebooks.

[Edited to add] I forget if this was said before, but Kindle for PC and Kindle apps are free, too. The difference with the Google e-books is that you're not actually downloading the book to your device (not sure what the advantage to that might be, though).


Google ebooks are available to read on the Nook or Sony Reader devices. You don't need one but you can use them. Google is using the Adobe ebook Platform so this is the list of all supported devices: http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalpublishing/supported-devices

Kindle really needs to start supporting epub.

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LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Postby LoveHistory » Wed December 8th, 2010, 3:44 pm

The advantage of not downloading the book is that it won't take up space on your hard drive.

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N. Gemini Sasson
Reader
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Postby N. Gemini Sasson » Wed December 8th, 2010, 11:39 pm

"LoveHistory" wrote:The advantage of not downloading the book is that it won't take up space on your hard drive.


That would make sense if you had a lot of books, but ebooks take up a lot less space than music or high resolution pictures.

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SarahWoodbury
Avid Reader
Location: Pendleton, Oregon
Contact:

Postby SarahWoodbury » Wed December 8th, 2010, 11:51 pm

My book on Kindle is about 400 KB. Say, then, two books to a MB, and thus 2000 books for just 1 Gig. My 8 Gig flash drive, the size of my thumb, could hold a pretty big library!

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Mythica
Bibliophile
Preferred HF: European and American (mostly pre-20th century)
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Postby Mythica » Thu December 9th, 2010, 9:53 am

Yeah, ebooks are so small in size, I really don't worry about how much hard drive space they take up. I worry much more about how much space a paper book takes up in my home - my husband and I share an apartment smaller than 700 sq ft. We're planning on moving to a bigger place in June but we still wouldn't have room for many printed books.

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Thu December 16th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Some of you may already know this, but I just heard it yesterday.... with e-readers, the "provider" can actually "watch" you while you read. It's not just that they know which books you've purchased and downloaded, but that they know how long it takes you to read them, when you're looking at them and for how long, etc. etc. Apparently this is via the wireless signal. My guess is that this would be the case with every ebook service, not just Amazon's, although Amazon may be the most motivated to pay attention to its readers' behaviors.

This may not bother a lot of people, but for a privacy freak like me it's a definite turn-off. I don't even like that Target and other stores can and do track what I buy! (although I guess if I wanted to stop that I could just pay cash for everything, couldn't I? ;) )

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Mythica
Bibliophile
Preferred HF: European and American (mostly pre-20th century)
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Postby Mythica » Thu December 16th, 2010, 3:54 pm

"Michy" wrote:Some of you may already know this, but I just heard it yesterday.... with e-readers, the "provider" can actually "watch" you while you read. It's not just that they know which books you've purchased and downloaded, but that they know how long it takes you to read them, when you're looking at them and for how long, etc. etc. Apparently this is via the wireless signal. My guess is that this would be the case with every ebook service, not just Amazon's, although Amazon may be the most motivated to pay attention to its readers' behaviors.


It may only the case with retailers who sync their content. For example, if you put down your Kindle and pick up your smartphone with the Kindle app on it, the book will jump to the same place you left off on in your Kindle. For that to work, data from the books has to upload to Amazon's servers, which they will naturally have access to. And many people who has called Kindle CS for tech problems have probably experienced the fact that Amazon can access your Kindle over the internet as long as the Wifi/3G is on - this is a good thing because it means they can resolve many technical problems without the customer needing to send it in for repair/replacement.

I don't mind - if they use it for anything, it's probably just statistical and demographical purposes.

But there are ebook retailers who do not sync their content - here in the UK, Waterstones and WHSmith do not offer this service so they may not have access to these kind of details.


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