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I was filling out a survey about e-books the other day, and it asked… 
4th-Jun-2011 10:03 pm
books_two, books2, books
I was filling out a survey about e-books the other day, and it asked what I used to read on my iPad - the Kindle app or the Nook app?


I use on a regular basis:

- the Kindle app. Good for reading, well, things from Amazon. I have to admit, Amazon is easy. I go on their website, tell it to send the book to Russell (the iPad), and boom done. Most of what I pull down from Amazon are free books, though, of which there is no lack. Books are easy to search, color options are easy to change. My queendom for the ability to organize books, and not just sort by author, title, and recent. Archiving and deleting are completely non-obvious (press and hold to delete, swipe to get an archive button).

- the Nook app. I am more likely to buy from B&N than Amazon, because I want other people to continue to sell books besides Amazon. I like the Nook app better than the Kindle app for no real reason that I could put my finger on at the moment. Also does not offer organizational options. Does anyone who actually reads write these apps?

- Stanza. This is where everything that doesn't have DRM to deal with goes. I like it best of all. It has collections! But they're awkward to manage. (Tagging, people, it's 2011).

- the Overdrive app. This is what I have to use to read e-books from my library. I am so, so grateful that I can do this (for free!), but I've said some nasty things about the Overdrive app. You can't turn in a book from the iPad. If it's an Adobe epub, I can download it to my computer and turn it in from there; otherwise, you've got to wait for the lending period to expire. Overdrive can't directly download the books - it loads Safari, which you use to log into your account, which then you can download the book with, which loads it into Overdrive... blah blah blah so a first world problem, but it's still badly designed. Still. I can read library books on my portable mini-computer, and I love living in the future.

I have installed but have not used yet:

- Bluefire Reader, which I installed because a book I purchased has a whacksauce Adobe DRM and I didn't realize that I wasn't going to be able to somehow authenticate it in Stanza. Avoiding that from now on if I can, let me tell you. No idea if I like it or not. Still need to read the book. :)

- the Kobo app. I want to like this - Borders likes to give out coupon codes. But if I can't figure out how to turn off the blasted social networking "features", this is a no go (I've googled, a lot; all I find are articles about how great these features are. Ngggh.) I do not want to tell Facebook that I started a new book. I do not want it to ask me if I want to tell Facebook that I started a new book. (When did Facebook get so wrapped up in everything? Freaking Weight Watchers is offering to link my Facebook account with my WW account. Are they HIGH?) I turned off notifications while reading, and turned off icons for characters and locations, but I want to make it all go away. I do not need a "Primetime Award" because I was reading between 8pm and 10pm.

Whee. Okay, that was more effusive than I intended.

I do not use:

- iBooks. I do not need the pages of my virtual book to actually turn. This is a deal breaker in any app.

In sum: yay books.

I'm reading a lot more now that I'm reading e-books. I still like paper books, sometimes, but e-books are upping my reading volume; I'm still thinking about why. What I end up with in paper and what I end up with in e depends on what form factor the library has, how badly I want to read a book, how much I want to support the author, whether I'm likely to get it cheaper at the used bookstore (I am a reader on a budget), whether I'm going to want to loan the book out, and whether the books I want to read are digitized (most of Dorothy Gilman isn't. Charlotte Macleod isn't. Etc.) Some books I own in paper, but I'm getting ready to sell to the used bookstore and replace in e-book, because they're doorstoppers (S. M. Stirling, I'm looking at you). I don't audiobook (my audio attention span is about as long as an episode of This American Life). If you offer the first book in a series free, I'm more likely to buy the rest. Etc.

So. Do you read e-books? What's your preferred app/hardware? What are you reading now?

Meantime, I think I need to go to bed. And, well, read. And sleeeeeeeeeeeeep. :)
5th-Jun-2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
Embrace the power of and, indeed! :D

I have a Nook Color (which dual-boots a real Android ROM, CyanogenMod7, and can therefore use the Nook app -- which is visually identical to stock Nook on the Nook Color, except that it has different color options -- as well as Kindle and Overdrive books), plus a Kindle 3rd generation, plus I read books on my Android phone as well. :)

+ Kindle app: nice for anything from Amazon, can also be used to download and read any other .mobi/.prc file (you just stick it in the Kindle directory on your SD card, very handy!). I love the Whispernet-save-your-location-across-devices feature, and I think that is really what got me buying books off Amazon. I would give ANYTHING for a sans-serif font on the Kindle app, though; I have an irrational dislike for serif fonts. :)

| Nook app: I barely ever use this, because I just don't buy a lot of books for Nook. I haven't yet figured out a way to read bare epub files with nothing but the Nook app, but full disclosure, I also haven't tried. >_>

+ Overdrive app: LOVE. I use this all the time. Also, the Android version will let you return books early -- you select delete, and it asks if you just want to delete, or return and delete. Is there maybe an update for the iPad version? (The Android version is, but I don't know if the version numbers are the same.) Really, this is the app that caused me to root and dual-boot my Nook Color, because while you can use Adobe Digital Editions to upload books to the NC when running stock, you always need to have an intermediate computer. When you're running Android and have the Overdrive app instead, you can do it all directly from the device. And I like the color options better -- stock Nook lets you have white text on dark grey (?!), black text on white, and dark brown text on cream, but app Nook lets you have white text on a black background. Normally I wouldn't like that, but it's killer for reading in the dark, and since the NC is self-lit, it's the device I pull for reading in the dark.

!! I didn't realize there was a Kobo app, and I'm so excited to hear there's one for Android! I'm going to have to check that out. I don't really want to link it to Facebook, but I am easily impressed by achievements. Shiny, shiny achievements. ^_^ Also, it says it will read DRM-free epubs, which I didn't have an app for before (I always just converted everything to Mobi and read it with the Kindle app). WIN!!!!

I actually prefer e-books to paper books for ease of reading -- not having to hold a book open makes a world of difference for me -- and I'm rebuying books that are so heavy they really interfere with the reading experience (A Song Of Ice And Fire, hello!). And I like that I can download things that I could previously only get online and read them on the Kindle, which is upping my reading count, too.

So far my favorite e-reader is the Kindle, because I like having hardware page turn buttons (I am really hoping that this touch screen thing doesn't turn out to be how everyone does it in the future; I know B&N and Kobo are doing it, and I'll be picking up a Kobo reader to try it out*, but I vastly prefer having hardware buttons and keyboard! If Amazon continues to have a SKU that has hardware page turn buttons, and not in DX size, I will keep buying Kindles for that alone), I like the screen, and I like the keyboard. I'll reach for the NC in the dark or if I want to read library books, although when Amazon updates their Kindle software to allow Kindles to read library books (any day now, Amazon, you told us you're doing it, I'm ready!), I'll probably switch to mostly using the Kindle for that, too.

* Business expense! :)
5th-Jun-2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
More later, but "you select delete, and it asks if you just want to delete, or return and delete. Is there maybe an update for the iPad version?" Dude, I just checked, and I swear, this feature wasn't there the last time I looked. YAY!
5th-Jun-2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, glad that was helpful! :)
5th-Jun-2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
My solution for DRM-free epubs is Stanza, and I've no idea if there's an Android version.

So far my favorite e-reader is the Kindle, because I like having hardware page turn buttons

To me, this is one of the most interesting things about talking about ebooks and readers - everyone likes different form factors. With books, you have three choices. :) But I'm growing to hate anything that isn't a touch screen, and ebooks can accommodate both of us.
5th-Jun-2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
The Kindle is my favorite e-reader, too. Not to mention I feel I need to support them for giving free 3G :) I love touchscreens, but not for e-reading. I especially love that I can leave the Kindle "open" to a page and not feel like I'm draining the battery. It's also much more convenient for reading while in close proximity to my child, who is very attracted to bright shiny touchscreens.

I have been reading a lot more e-books than paper books too. Part of it is the form factor is just soooo nice. I can carry around my Kindle and read it while washing dishes or tidying up. (Which has also made me a lot better about cleaning up... those times when I am just so tired it is hard to motivate myself, it's just that little bit easier when I have something to keep my mind off it.)

joyce, I love stanza. And one of the things I love about it is that I can turn off the page-turning thingie. Something about the way it does so electronically makes my eyes hurt... I haven't used iBooks, though.
5th-Jun-2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Something about the way it does so electronically makes my eyes hurt...

Maybe that's it. I know I'm particular about how things look on a screen. We checked out a Nook in B&N and while it didn't do the fake-turn, it did this weird flicker and hold thing while the page changed, and it was a total distraction.
6th-Jun-2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Kindle flickers too, but with the Kindle 3 (which is much better than previous iterations of the kindle) I can deal with it, especially since it's an "ink-like" flicker, if that makes any sense -- the page turn on an iPod (I don't have an iPad... yet) is all lit-up-flickery and it really bothers my eyes.
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