the holiday ereader round-up

December 21, 2010

with Christmas just a few short days away, articles and blog posts about ereaders are at an all-time high.  i’ve tried to pull together some of the better articles which cover and compare dedicated ereaders, as well as tablets – customers are certainly asking for advice.

first off, for those asking about our ebook collection from OverDrive, here’s their cheat sheet for which devices are compatible.

from the most excellent blog, Dear Author, is a compilation of questions to ask before embarking on the purchase of an ereader or tablet, “Holiday Buying Guide, Part 1:  Device differentiation, which type is right for you?”  the 10 questions range from “Do you need backward compatibility?” to “Do you read at night?”  Part 2 of the “Holiday Buying Guide” is a list of recommended devices.  also included is a handy chart of devices with comparisons (updated frequently).

in its November 15, 2010 issue, PW published an article,  “Digital Readers” (link to PDF).  it’s an easy to read, one page spread that compares the cost, title availability, tech specs, and provides comment on E-ink readers, tablets, and Phones/handhelds.

also timed with the post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz, CNET Editors’ Choice Awards picked both the Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook Color as favorites.  the Kindle earned the top spot in the dedicated ereader e-ink market, while the Nook Color was the pick for a color dedicated reader (limited competition); the Nook Color is also as an affordable alternative to the multi-function and expensive iPad. Time compared the two devices  as well, concluding

If you want a monochrome E Ink screen, absurdly long battery life and the option of 3G wireless so you don’t need to hunt for a wi-fi hotspot, buy a Kindle. If you crave backlight color and a touch interface, don’t require 3G and don’t mind charging up your gadgets every couple of days, get a Nook Color. I like ’em both–and I don’t see either being rendered obsolete by pricier full-strength tablets any time soon.

(via Shelf Awareness)

note that a Nook Color can be rooted into a budget tablet, patience during install not included.

making the rounds last week was the EFF’s (Electronic Frontier Foundation) updated review of privacy policies of both devices and ebookstores, “E-Book Buyer’s Guide to E-Book Privacy.”   this is a useful compilation for consumers who want to know what retailers track in their searches and purchases. (via Shelf Awareness)

once the ereader or tablet is purchased, it’s not all smooth sailing.  there are a seemingly endless number ebook retailers and subsequent differences in availability and pricing (Amazon, iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, the newly launched Google ebookstore, etc.).  there are also the questions of format (epub, mobi, Kindle, pdf, and so on), which app is allowed on which device, what it means to own an ebook, but not really own it, etc. etc.

it’s certainly a challenge to keep up with the technology, but looking to the experts like some of those listed in the post is about the only way to stay sane.  as Josh Hadro writes in his LJ article, “How to Get Library Ebooks on the iPad/iPhone, No Sync Required,”

The day library patrons can download and read a library ebook directly on a mobile device will be the day I can die happy.

We’re not there yet. It’s still stupidly complicated to get a library ebook onto a device. Anytime there’s a step involved along the lines of “now, connect your device to your computer…”, they’ve lost me for good. Here’s a hint: I love my mobile device because it’s not tethered to the mothership.

heck, i am exhausted from writing this post, “stupidly complicated” is putting it mildly.  it takes a village to become an ereader and for many, we’re the source for information regardless of the device.

posting by marin who has decided that she will delay buying an ereader or tablet until she reads all the unread books currently languishing on her bookshelves


2 Responses to “the holiday ereader round-up”

  1. […] th&#1077 original post here: th&#1077 holiday ereader round-up | Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle Share and […]

  2. Great post, Marin. Thanks for the literature review.

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